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Sounds of Buffalo: Sara Elizabeth

List your band members and the instruments that they play:

Sara Elizabeth – vocals, guitar, ukulele, piano, banjo, mandolin, harmonica

Josh Schlabach – drums, hand percussion

Where are you from originally? If not from Buffalo, why are you here?

I am from Alden and Josh is from South Wales

What’s it like to perform in front of a crowd? Give me three words.

Fun, invigorating, fulfilling

When and why did you start playing?

I got my first guitar for my 9th birthday, just as something I wanted to try. Thank goodness I did!

What was the first tune that you remember “really” playing well?

Amazing Grace

Did music come naturally to you? Or were you driven to learn and play/sing? What sparked the passion?

Singing was a natural thing. I have memories of being 3 or 4 years old and making up songs to sing to my cat. But I was inspired to sing “for real” when watching the first season of American Idol when I was 9. Learning to play guitar was more of a challenge at first, but once had grown with that instrument, learning new instruments became a natural thing.

Are you schooled in music? From where?

Yes, I have a BA in Music from the University at Buffalo.

Which famous musician(s) do you admire?

So many! The Beatles, Ingrid Michaelson, Mumford and Sons, P!NK, Chris Thile, Death Cab For Cutie, Joni Mitchell..,

Sara-Elizabeth-Buffalo-NY-2Where is your favorite place to play/sing in Buffalo? Where would you most like to play/sing in Buffalo?

I always love Babeville – such a unique venue. I played at the Town Ballroom a couple years ago and it was amazing. I’d love to get back in there. I’m also looking forward to playing at Waiting Room and would like to play Pausa Art House.

What’s your day job?

Same as my night job – I’m a musician! Write, rehearse, record, repeat. I also teach guitar to future musicians.

How would you describe your music style? Influences?

I am influenced by great songwriters who have broken genre barriers, so that’s what I try to do myself. A little bit of indie, folk, pop, acoustic rock, and alternative can be found in each song, as well as my background in both classical and jazz.

Do you play/sing covers or all originals? Ar a combination of both?


If you could play/sing with one famous band (any time in history), what would that band be?

The Beatles!

What are your strengths?

Knowing my own voice and what I can do with it. Also, writing melodically and rhythmically at the same time, using the instrument to my advantage.

What are your weaknesses?


Have you recorded a CD?

I’ve released an EP, “Darling, I’m Not Yours” and a full length album, “On the Rise”.

Where and when is your next gig(s) in the city?

Thursday, September 26 @ Iron Works – see Facebook – 49 Illinois Street, Buffalo, New York 14203 | 8pm-11pm

Babeville’s Ninth Ward, October 11th

Anything else?

My drummer Josh is one of the most talented and diverse (not to mention nicest) musicians I have ever met. He makes me a better musician and is a blast to play with!

Photo credit David Genco


See more Sounds of Buffalo:
If you play in a group/band (or solo) here in Buffalo, and have an upcoming gig at a venue(s) in the city, consider sending buffalo rising an email requesting to be emailed a Q&A interview that we can then post, along with concert dates. It’s a fun and easy way to get your name in front of another audience that is interested in learning about the local music scene. The requirements are:
-You must be living in the Greater Buffalo region… or you must be plotting your return
-You must have a public show coming up in the city of Buffalo, as our focus is the urban landscape
-You must have a photo of the band
-Solo acts are also welcome
-Video is a plus
-CD/Album/poster art is welcome
-Links to Social Media sites are a bonus
-Ability to take accept both praise and/or criticism is a must
It is up to the discretion of Buffalo Rising whether or not to publish the interviews depending on nature of content submitted, or lack thereof. 
Please send requests here. Include “Sounds of Buffalo” in the subject box of the email.

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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