A new venue for jazz in the Buffalo area

On Tuesday night, November 1st, a new “Tuesday Nite Concert Series” begins. The Tim Clarke Trio will take the stage at the Village of Williamsville’s historic Meeting House for a 7pm concert.

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If you’ve never been to The Meeting House on Main Street in Williamsville, you might be wondering, “How did this place become a new venue for jazz in the Buffalo area?” Here’s the story…

In 2013, local jazz singer Mark Weber decided to paint old, upright pianos colorfully and place them around the Buffalo area, outdoors, for the public to play. “Pianos in Public Buffalo” made a lot of people happy, accomplishing its intended goal.

Back then, Weber met with Dick and Sharon Rich from the Village of Williamsville. At the time, they were somewhat interested in having colorful pianos placed in Williamsville and Amherst. As the chair of the Village Arts & Culture Committee, Sharon Rich had been instrumental in organizing many positive events for years, including the Glen Park Art Festival. She and her husband asked Weber to join their committee since he was interested in promoting music and art in the area.

Fast forward to now. Weber somehow connected with JazzBuffalo’s email list to get news of area jazz events, and became Facebook friends with its founder, Tony Zambito. Since joining the Williamsville Arts & Culture Committee, Weber had helped put on various events at The Meeting House, which is located on Main Street near Mill Street. Seeing all the good Zambito was doing online, promoting jazz in the region, Weber thought, “Why not see if Tony Zambito would be interested in promoting jazz concerts at The Meeting House in Williamsville? It’d be another venue for jazz in the area– the more, the better.”

Zambito met with Weber, as well as Dick and Sharon Rich, at the Original Pancake House in Williamsville to discuss the potential of bringing jazz to the Village. Then Zambito attended the Arts & Culture Committee meeting at Village Hall recently, where the idea for a Tuesday night concert series this November and December at The Meeting House was met with both approval and enthusiasm.

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The Meeting House on Main Street

So will The Meeting House go over well with jazz aficionados? Time will tell. If the “Tuesday Nite Concert Series” is well-attended, the musicians like the place, and word gets out, the Buffalo area may have another great place for jazz concerts.

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The Meeting House stage

The Meeting House is at 5658 Main St. in the heart of Williamsville, at Main and Mill Streets. It’s the building that looks like an old church from the 1870s. Parking is available behind the venue as well as on the street and in nearby lots. Restaurants within walking distance include Sorrentinos, The Irishman, Creekview, Share, Moor Pat and The Eagle House if you want to make a night of it with dinner before or after the concert.

Key info: Tuesday, Nov. 1st, 7 to 9pm, Tim Clarke Trio (with George Kane & Wayne Moose) at The Meeting House on Main Street in Williamsville, $10 general admission, $5 for students

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World’s Largest Rubber Duck in Buffalo

The World’s Largest Rubber Duck came to Buffalo and some 100,000 people came to see it! What a sight– at 6 stories tall, this yellow duck stood out in the Buffalo River on a strong platform for all to see. Take a look at the pictures from Buffalo’s “Canalside” and notice how much Buffalo’s waterfront has changed in the past 20 years. It used to be a ghost town. Today it’s the place to be, with lots of boats, people, and things to see and do. From the USS Little Rock navy ship to the boardwalk, Canalside is a hot and happening area; there’s even the Queen City Bike Ferry to take people across the water so to get to the “Outer Harbor” area where there’s a park, events, bike trails and more. If you haven’t been to Canalside/Buffalo, it’s worth a visit. –Mark Weber of Beautiful Buffalo

Buffalo Basilica

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Our Lady of Victory, the Buffalo Basilica

Our Lady of Victory Basilica is a magnificent place to visit in South Buffalo. Located at 767 Ridge Road, the inspiring structure was built by “Father Baker,” and it rivals any church you’d find in Europe. It’s open daily from 7 a.m. until 8:30 p.m. Visitors of all faiths are welcome and there is no charge for admission.

Sometimes we all need to get away from the craziness of modern life. Walk into the Basilica on a typical day, and you’ll notice how quiet it is. Look up, and see the art on the walls and ceilings. The stained glass is intricate. Have a seat in the pews and take it all in; better yet, use the time to have a chat with the Lord. Tell God about your troubles as well as your triumphs. Ask the Lord to give you strength to get through life’s challenges. God is love, and brings hope to the hopeless and peace to those in pain.

Guided Tours of the OLV Basilica

Open, guided tours are conducted every Sunday at 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. (except on Christmas, Easter, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day). You do not have to make an appointment to take part in an Open Tour. Just wait for a tour guide by the “Tour Begins Here” sign located in the vestibule (the main foyer) of the Basilica by 1 or 2 p.m. (Please note: if baptisms or first communions are scheduled, tours may be delayed for a short time.)

Personal tours of the Buffalo Basilica can be scheduled any time between 11 a.m. and 7 p.m. throughout the week, as long as they do not conflict with Masses, weddings, or funerals. Personal tours can be as long or short as desired. Generally, tours last approximately 75 minutes, although arrangements can be made to shorten/lengthen your visit. To schedule a personal tour, call 716-828-7517.

Tours of the breathtaking OLV Buffalo Basilica are free of charge, although donations are accepted and go toward offsetting the cost of ongoing renovations and maintenance. Ample, free parking is available behind the Basilica and is accessible off of South Park Avenue (Rte. 62). The Buffalo Basilica is wheelchair accessible. In the basement, you’ll find a Father Baker Museum and well-stocked Catholic gift shop, as well as restrooms and pop machines. If you have any questions, call (716) 828-7517. –Mark Weber

 

Buffalo Botanical Gardens

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Under the main dome of Buffalo’s botanical gardens

The Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens offer an oasis from Buffalo’s cold winter weather. Located in South Park, in South Buffalo, why not make a day of it, by visiting the gardens, followed by Our Lady of Victory Basilica, and then something to eat at Curly’s? If you’re bored and/or cold in Buffalo, you haven’t been to this area yet! It’s a warm oasis full of greenery. I love the Buffalo Botanical Gardens. –Mark Weber

Vidlers East Aurora

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Vidlers East Aurora is the world’s largest 5 & 10 variety store, and it’s in one of Buffalo’s beautiful suburbs. On historic Main Street, Vidlers East Aurora occupies four connected 19th century buildings, and is stocked with over 75,000 different items on two levels! Locals and tourists alike love to shop at this folksy store, which has more character and heart than any big box retailer could ever hope to have.

Wondering what’s inside Vidlers East Aurora? Here’s a quick list: nostalgic candies, novelty toys, kitchen gadgets, jewelry, candles, fabrics, music CDs, clothing, art supplies, greeting cards and more. –Mark Weber