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East meets West through rock ‘n’ roll in the heart of Buffalo!

Sometimes there’s nothing better than a good ol’ Buffalo mashup. This happens when we take two local characters and put them in the same room, to see what sort of magic naturally occurs. These random throwdowns have the ability to inspire in ways that we could never imagine. Take, for example, Zamir Gotta (Zamir Vodka) and Erin Bahn (Rabbit Jaw). The two recently came together at one of my favorite Riverside pubs – Dalmatia Hotel. Bahn described the joining of forces as “East Meets West through rock ‘n’ roll in the heart of Buffalo!”

While many people might not consider Riverside as “the heart of Buffalo”, there is a newfound zest and zeal that is bubbling up in this part of the city thanks to places like Dalmatia Hotel.

I asked Bahn how the unlikely mash-up occurred, and she told me that Gotta has been entertaining the idea of incorporating Rabbit Jaw into his documentary, which is now underway. “He was interested in our show partially because I studied in Moscow at the Bolshoi Ballet Academy in 1989 for the summer and then as a full time student in 1990,” said Bahn, who really needs no introduction wherever she winds up performing in Buffalo.”

All photos by Glenn Murray

Bahn went on to say that the joining of forces could not have happened at a better time in this nation’s history, and the history of the world. “It’s never been a more important time to recognize the not so ancient history of World War II and the world’s united effort against fascism,” reflected Bahn. “Zamir’s father’s side were Crimean Jews and were murdered on December 11, 1941 by the Nazis.”

Today, as the world continues to turmoil with various forces butting heads over issues including the environment, land, resources, sanctions, religion, weapons of mass destruction… it seems as if the more things change, the more things stay the same. That’s why it’s so fascinating to see Bahn and Gotta teaming up here in Buffalo. Gotta first came to Buffalo with renowned chef Anthony Bourdain in 2009. It was at that point that he fell in love with Buffalo, and decided to put down roots here. Since that time, he has been painstakingly building his vodka brand. If there is one thing that you can say about Gotta it’s that his personality is larger than life. And that’s why he is so perfectly suited to team up with Bahn, who could possibly be his only local match when it comes to igniting any given room or venue. There’s such a fiery energy and unpredictability between the two, that no one could possibly comprehend their combined fortitudinous nature. This past Thursday, Buffalo saw a glimpse of the possibilities.

Moving forward, one thing is for certain, and that’s that nothing is certain. I can’t wait to see where this newfound camaraderie takes these two characters in months and years to come. Thankfully, all of Buffalo will be along for the ride, to witness the antics.

Photos by Glenn Murray

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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