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Slyboots is music to our ears… for now.

Over the years we’ve had our shares of ups and downs in Buffalo. As of late, there have been large and small scale successes, and although we’ve let some growth potential slip through the cracks, Buffalo is certainly heading in the right direction. It seems that just about every day someone is contacting us because they are opening a business or starting an organization. Or they are simply giving us the heads up about the status of a building… or someone might be simply looking to move to Buffalo and is in need of information on working/living environments.

While most of the queries are positive in nature, last week I learned that a grassroots group of music-oriented folks was looking for a new home in Buffalo, and they were in somewhat of a pickle. Recently I’ve become a big fan of Slyboots School of Music – the musicians behind the school and the mission that they set out to accomplish. When I realized that they were trying desperately to plant deeper roots here, yet were not from Buffalo and needed help getting established in a more permanent home, I suggested to the founder of Slyboots, Griffin Brady, that I reach out to Buffalo Rising readers to see if there was a property owner out there who was willing to work with the non-traditional school.

Up until this point, Griffin and his school have been winging it in Buffalo… essentially testing the waters to see if this was the city where the concept of Slyboots could thrive. After sitting down with Griffin over lunch (last week), I realized that we (Buffalo) had an opportunity to not only try to retain this inspirational fellow and his team of traveling musicians, we had been given an opportunity to help retain and grow Slyboots by reaching out into the community to see if we could find a live/work scenario that would fit the identity of a small group of musicians who were in need of fertile grounds to grow a movement. At this point there are only four Buffalo-based people (and one dog) looking for a residence. The studio/school would require enough room for dance and performance space. At this point there are limitless possibilities when it comes to arrangements that can be made in order to secure Slyboots in Buffalo. It’s going to take a building owner/landlord that is willing to work with Griffin and his team to find a place where the school will not merely exist, it will thrive.

If you’ve been following the Slyboots story on Buffalo Rising, then you know that the key members of the school are established in a traveling performance circuit from here to Africa. By hosting shows that drum up a substantial income (relatively speaking), Griffin is not looking for a hand out when it comes to finding a permanent home for his school. Rather he is looking for an owner of a building who is looking to cultivate a legit cultural scene with a group of musicians that have been around the block… and the world for that matter.

Here’s more on Slyboots from Buffalo Rising writer Jessica Edwards:

A few years ago, Griffin went to Syracuse for a “Day of Percussion” concert and there he met Bernard Woma, a musician who has played for Bill Clinton, Nelson Mandela, and has received awards from President Obama. He was looking for inspiration and after watching Bernard perform the Gyil (Ghanaian xylophone), he found it. Almost immediately, Griffin auditioned for the music program at Fredonia State College and was enrolled. Although, he later transferred to the Goddard School of Music to finish his B.A. and receive his M.A, the two kept in contact and were mutually beneficial. Bernard became a close mentor to Griffin – the two worked closely together at SUNY Fredonia in 2002.
At this time, Bernard was already an accomplished musician back home. He established the Dagara Music and Arts Center in Accra, Ghana. There he would arrange for musicians from all over Ghana to come together for concerts and celebrations. In 2000, Bernard invited Griffin to come join him and his family in their village of Medie. So, Griffin accepted the gesture and went to study the music and live with Bernard and his family.
Out of this adventure, came the idea to create a music school in Buffalo.
On top of the heavy performance schedule, Griffin brings students from Buffalo to Africa every year (four years running), and also organizes the Slyboots festival (eight years running). With all of these accomplishments in and around Greater Buffalo, hopefully Slyboots is here to stay…
Website: the slyboots school of music and art | facebook | Griffin Brady –

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.

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