Author: Elias Benavides

Elias Benavides

A goofy kid from Buffalo's lower west side who loved to play the guitar and loved live music. Has moved on to sound engineering, stage lighting, anything live music. Now he's writing about musicians on BR too. Why am I talking in the third person?

Last year, I was referred by a friend to check out this new weekly event along the water, featuring food trucks and live bands. I found it to be a wonderful addition to the many outdoor summer events happening all around our beautiful city. I attended several of these weekly events, and enjoyed meeting neighbors, business professionals, and all others who gathered for an early evening of food, libations, warm lake breeze, and great live music. “We are very excited to host Waterfront Wednesday’s for the 2nd year,” Kevin Dagher expressed to me. “This year we have a great band…

Read More

“It truly exceeded my expectations”’ was the first thought Niagara Falls native Christina Custode expressed to me about her memorable weekend in La La Land, surrounded by musical peers from all around the world, all genres, all different instrumentalists, vocalists, and songwriters. All had been connected together by the 58th annual Grammy Awards. In late October, Christina learned that her music had been selected for nomination in 5 categories. “Someone found the music online, and submitted it to the academy, and we were off to the races,” says the 27 year old pianist. That someone was Kevin Stratton, who found…

Read More

Last year, bassist and Buffalo native Zuri Appleby was chosen to be a part of the Nick Jonas Band for his national tour (see more here). It was an exciting time for Zuri, and the local music scene. Upon arriving to Los Angeles for the gig, she found a kindred spirit in her new band with Arianna Powell, LA based guitarist from Pittsburgh, PA. The two formed a great bond, and have discussed doing something together since. That opportunity has come. Reflex Productions and Buffalo Iron Works are proud to present #A2Z, a collaboration between Arianna and Zuri. The event…

Read More

David Kane has made a career out of putting together eccentric, out of the box type projects over the years. He has several original albums to his credit, along with film scoring. His projects include Them Jazzbeards, HEARsay, and collaborations with notables Terry Sullivan, and the unforgettable Mark Freeland and many others. David just oozes with creativity, and originality… every project is every bit as unique as the last. His latest project, Night Slaves features David Kane (keyboards, electronics and noise) and John Toohill (lyrics, vocals and electronics). The pair have a cassette release party this Friday at Mohawk Place,…

Read More

For many of us, Vince Guaraldi’s music has been with us our entire lives. Some of his best known music is the Christmas soundtrack for the animated television program made famous by cartoonist Charles Schulz in 1965. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the work, and will be presented live, in its entirety in downtown Buffalo. Reflex Productions proudly presents A Guaraldi Christmas in the City, starring Gruvology, pianist Linda Appleby, the Buffalo Academy for Visual and Performing Arts 5/6 grade select choir, with special guest Anthony Re. The event will be held at Shea’s Smith Theatre, 660 Main…

Read More

In light of the events happening in Paris, I am compelled to share my thoughts on a previous experience, and how personal, and close to home yesterday’s brutal and bloody massacre hit for me. I had the opportunity to work with California based Eagles of Death Metal (EoDM) in September 2006. The venue was the Showplace Theatre on Grant Street, and the gig was booked by ESI. I was in the theatre in the afternoon getting gear ready for the load in and set up. The band shows up, and the first person I meet was Jesse Hughes, vocalist and…

Read More

This past summer, some musician friends of mine were involved in a hip hop show, and called me to run the production for it. I had not worked with hip hop acts before, and really wasn’t sure what to expect. This turned out to be a series of shows called Anti Venue Tour, a concept dreamed up by Buffalo repat Shawn Patterson, and his organization, Haute La Vie. I ended up meeting some great people in the series, very ambitious kids, with the desire to entertain. One of the entertainers on the bill, the first act up to be more…

Read More

Computers for Children, Inc is a not for profit organization that, for 18 years, has focused on bringing computer technology and all of its ever changing potential to schools and children throughout Western New York. Their annual fundraiser, Tour de Vine will be held Thursday, November 5 on the 8th floor at Larkin Center of Commerce at 5pm. This year’s theme is “La Masquerade”, with a New Orleans flavor, from the décor to the food sampling. I sat down with Christine Carr, the executive director recently at their location at the Center of Commerce, and she gave me an in-depth…

Read More

Through the years, working with live music and musicians, I have crossed paths with many artists as they started their careers. Such is the case with Drea D’Nur. The first time with her was about 10 years ago at the former Forbes Theater. She performed her original music, and was very ambitious. Fast forward to today, the ambition is still there, so is the talent, so is the original music. A hard worker, and mother of 5, she has grinded out a path where many are noticing the quality of the artistry she possesses. The music rooted in Marleyesque reggae,…

Read More

I sat down with Linda at her home the other day, to discuss her induction into the Buffalo Music Hall of Fame (BMHOF). As I waited while she took a call from, of all people, one of the BMHOF committee members, I couldn’t help but notice the plaques that hung on the wall over her baby grand piano. It was nestled in one of the corners of her home. Recognition from all levels of government, private institutions, for her work in music education. It reaffirmed my thoughts, this induction is well earned. Linda will be inducted with the class of 2015,…

Read More