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Playin’ at The Plaza: A Buffalo First

The Tower Jam Concert Series is designed to do three things for downtown Buffalo. It introduces live music to people who might not get to hear a lot of it. It keeps people hanging around downtown Buffalo well after the workday is over. And more than anything else, it utilizes a plaza that has been literally dormant for years.

Last evening’s concert brought together one of Toronto’s greatest trumpeters with some of Buffalo’s finest musicians – including members of Type Relevant, Bill Staebell (upright bassist), Aaron Staebell (drums), Angelo Di Loreto (keys), Rodney Appleby (electric bass), Andy Weinzler (tenor sax) and Tim Webb (drums). While playing a Miles Davis retrospective, DJ Cutler and Brownman killed it as they sampled each other’s riffs for an eclectic audience of hoopdancers, families, jazz aficionados and random passersby. As the sun went down, rays of light crept over the crowd as they sat amongst the concrete bench/planters, creating a scene that felt more like downtown Toronto than Buffalo.

The attendance for the concert was not overwhelming – it was very comfortable, even though I have a feeling that the good word of the event will spread now that the first one was such a hit with those who attended. This is an extremely bike-friendly concert series and should also attract a lot of Metro Rail riders. It will be interesting to see how the series will evolve – from what I understand, Raging Wolf will continue to provide the stage and may even work out a deal to incorporate a couple of big video screens. All in all, Tower Jam (a Roaming Buffaloes event) should prove to be an indispensable music showcase for people looking to do something a bit out of the ordinary.

It’s not a bad idea to bring a folding chair and even a blanket along to stake out a spot for your group. Stay tuned for the next concerts (to be announced soon) on  Fridays July 9th, August 13th and September 10th.

Written by queenseyes


Newell Nussbaumer is 'queenseyes' - Eyes of the Queen City and Founder of Buffalo Rising. Co-founder Elmwood Avenue Festival of the Arts. Co-founder Powder Keg Festival that built the world's largest ice maze (Guinness Book of World Records). Instigator behind Emerald Beach at the Erie Basin Marina. Co-created Flurrious! winter festival. Co-creator of Rusty Chain Beer. Instigator behind Saturday Artisan Market (SAM) at Canalside, Buffalo Porchfest, and Paint vs. Paint. Founder of The Peddler retro and vintage market on Elmwood. Instigator behind Liberty Hound @ Canalside. Throws The Witches Ball at Statler City, the Hertel Alley Street Art Festival, and The Flutterby Festival.

Contact Newell Nussbaumer |

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