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M&T Bank’s Plaza Event Series Celebrates 50th Season

M&T launches musical instrument drive to benefit local students; debuts Spotify playlist of songs of the summer from the last 50 years

Not many people are aware that M&T Bank’s Plaza Event Series has been in production for 50 years. The noontime music series got underway in 1969 – two years after the Plaza first opened at 345 Main Street, and has been a live music mainstay in downtown Buffalo ever since. It was acclaimed architect Minoru Yamasaki who first envisioned the Plaza as being a central social gathering place for downtown workers, who could escape the daily grind and enjoy various outdoor performances throughout the course of the summertime. Due to its lengthy run, the 11-week series is now considered “the longest running free concert series of its kind in the United States!”

“Our plaza is a symbolic manifestation of the bank’s role in the community—joining, strengthening and enriching the central business district for visitors and residents alike,” said Rich Gold, M&T Bank President and COO. “However, strengthening a city doesn’t happen through building projects alone; it also takes experiences and events that bring the community together and cultivate connections. The Plaza Event Series has done exactly that throughout its 50 years, becoming part of the fabric of the downtown community.”

As a way to celebrate this significant milestone, M&T is launching a used musical instrument drive to benefit local students. Anyone interested in donating an instrument can stop by while the series is underway – this will only occur during the first week of performances. Donors can also visit M&T’s branch on the ground floor of One M&T Plaza during regular business hours throughout the duration of the series, which runs June 10 through August 23.

“The Plaza Event Series is an inspiring experience. It brings our community together to celebrate local music and the arts—and with the community’s support, we have the opportunity to convert the inspiration into action,” said Shelley Drake, M&T Bank Regional President for Western New York. “This drive will give new life to instruments stowed away in attics and garages by putting them into the hands of local students who want to learn a new instrument or take their talents to the next level. And who knows – maybe the Plaza Event Series headliner, 10 or 20 years from now, will be a local student who received an instrument through our musical instrument drive.”

Another way that M&T is celebrating the 50-year milestone is to create a playlist of tunes that will be available on Spotify. The tunes chosen for the playlist are examples of live music that have been played at the Series over the last 50 years. To listen to the Spotify playlist, visit

Along with the live music, there’s plenty to eat at the series, thanks to the food trucks that are onsite at The Plaza each week day, including Great Aussie Bite (Mondays), The Blend (Tuesdays), Cheesy Chick (Wednesdays), Caribbean Flava (Thursdays) and Dickey’s Barbeque Pit (Fridays).

Attendees to the Plaza Series can share their experiences by posting photos to hashtag #PlazaEventSeries.

A full listing of 2019 performances is below:

WKBW-TV Channel 7 Week
Monday, June 10 – Joyryde & The Hitmen Horns
Tuesday, June 11 – Ramblin’ Lou Family Band from WXRL Radio
Wednesday, June 12 – Westminster Community Charter School
Thursday, June 13 – The Frankfurters
Friday, June 14 – Big Wheelie & The Hubcaps

The Buffalo News Week
Monday, June 17 – Old School B-Boys
Tuesday, June 18 – Beatlemagic
Wednesday, June 19 – The Doug Yeomans Band
Thursday, June 20 – Only Humen
Friday, June 21 – West of the Mark

Buffalo Bisons Week
Monday, June 24 – The Bobby Militello Quartet
Tuesday, June 25 – Mark Mazur and “The Little Big Band”
Wednesday, June 26 – SuperCharger
Thursday, June 27 – Flipside
Friday, June 28 – XOXO

92.9 JACK FM Week
Monday, July 1 – Lithium
Tuesday, July 2 – The Scott Celani Band
Wednesday, July 3 –Mike Randall & Friends / Zoomobile
Thursday, July 4 – Bank holiday to observe Independence Day, no performance
Friday, July 5 – Quintessential Phunk

Business First Week
Monday, July 8 – Will Holton
Tuesday, July 9 – Allykat
Wednesday, July 10 – The Chicago Authority
Thursday, July 11 – Breakaway
Friday, July 12 – Carnival Kids Steel Orchestra

Buffalo Music Hall of Fame Week
Monday, July 15 – Boys of Summer
Tuesday, July 16 – Dave Constantino Band
Wednesday, July 17 – Tom Stahl and The Dangerfields
Thursday, July 18 – Bar-room Buzzards
Friday, July 19 – Unity Band

WNED l WBFO Buffalo Toronto Week
Monday, July 22 – Disco Duck
Tuesday, July 23 – Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra (Note: Show begins at 11:45a.m.)
Wednesday, July 24 – Broken Strings
Thursday, July 25 – Caribbean Extravaganza
Friday, July 26 – Angel Vox

Spectrum News Week
Monday, July 29 – JJ Swing
Tuesday, July 30 – Queen City Swing
Wednesday, July 31 – The Kensingtons
Thursday, August 1 – “In Jest” Comedy Variety Show with Nels Ross
Friday, August 2 – Denzel Ward & The Cool Platinum Band

Power 93.7 WBLK Week
Monday, August 5 – Back to the Bars
Tuesday, August 6 – Jim Tudini Big Band
Wednesday, August 7 – The Lake Effect
Thursday, August 8 – Creek Bend
Friday, August 9 – African American Cultural Center’s Dance & Drum Performance Company

Country 106.5 WYRK Week
Monday, August 12 – The Soul Providers
Tuesday, August 13 – Pointless Brothers
Wednesday, August 14 – Colleen Williams & The Bobby Jones Trio
Thursday, August 15 – McCarthyizm
Friday, August 16 – Terry Buchwald’s Tribute to Elvis

The Breeze 96.1 Week
Monday, August 19 – David Kane’s Them Jazzbeards
Tuesday, August 20 – Joseph Michael Mahfoud Band
Wednesday, August 21 – The Tommy Z Band
Thursday, August 22 – Taylor Made Jazz
Friday, August 23 – Total Eclipse & The Buffalo Horns

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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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