Niagara Gazette

June 20, 2013

JENNINGS: Former Barenaked Lady, teen idol and jazz great among this week's shows

By Thom Jennings negedit@niagara-gazette.com
Night & Day

Night & Day — The summer rolls on with another great week of music selections sure to please a variety of musical tastes. This week’s selection includes a former member of a popular Canadian band, a former television star and teen idol, a national act that originated in nearby Jamestown, one of country music’s hottest stars and a famous trumpet player who is also nine-time Grammy winner.

The weekend gets started early tonight with a free show at the Thursday at Canalside concert series in downtown Buffalo from former Barenaked Ladies singer/guitarist Steven Page. You can expect to hear some great selections from his days in BNL, in the past he has performed “Old Apartment,” “It’s All Been Done” and “Brian Wilson.”

I was fortunate enough to see one of Page’s last shows with BNL before he left them in 2009 and one of his first solo shows the following year. If you are a fan of the classic BNL stuff you will love the show, and Page’s solo material from his solo album “Page One” should be featured prominently as well.

On Friday night, David Cassidy will be performing at the intimate Bear’s Den at the Seneca Niagara Casino. If you were around in the 1970s you couldn’t avoid David Cassidy, he was on the popular television show “The Partridge Family,” and appeared on their ten albums, providing lead vocals on their signature hit “I Think I Love You.”

Cassidy is the son of the actors Jack Cassidy and Evelyn Ward, Shirley Jones, who played his mother on “The Partridge Family,” was his stepmother in real life and the mother of his famous half-brother Shaun Cassidy.

In addition to his hits with The Partridge Family, Cassidy hit it big in England with “I Write the Songs,” well before Barry Manilow had a hit with the song in the U.S (neither one of them wrote the song, it was penned by Beach Boy Bruce Johnston).

Tickets for David Cassidy are available through Ticketmaster or at the casino box office

Over in Amherst at The Sportsman’s Tavern on Saturday night, you can catch an intimate evening with 10,000 Maniacs. The band formed in Jamestown in 1981, and became known for hits like “What’s the Matter Here,” “These Are Days,” and cover versions of Bruce Springsteen’s “Because the Night,” and Roxy Music’s “More than This.”

The current lineup includes Buffalo’s own Mary Ramsey on lead vocals, from the folk duo John & Mary.

On Sunday, country superstars the Zac Brown Band come to Darien Lake. The band hit the big time in 2008 with the No. 1 single “Chicken Fried,” a song that the band originally recorded and released in 2003.

Since 2008 the band has amassed 55 major music award nominations, and has already won three Grammy awards.

Tickets for Zac Brown Band are available through Live Nation.

Finally, on Sunday world-renowned trumpeter Wynton Marsalis visits Artpark for a performance with the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra.

I don’t have enough space to list all of Marsalis’ accomplishments, but a small sample includes nine Grammy Awards and a Pulitzer Prize for music. When I was a kid my father raised me to love great trumpet players like Dizzy Gillespie, Louis Armstrong and Harry James. Marsalis is not only in the same class as those trumpet players, he is arguably the best living trumpet player in the world.

As if that wasn’t enough reason to attend, he is backed by some of the greatest jazz players in the business.

Tickets for Wynton Marsalis at Artpark’s mainstage theatre are available at Artpark’s website and at their box office. There will not be any lawn seating available for the show.

Thom Jennings covers the local music scene for Night & Day.