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Spring Cleaning

"March bustles in on windy feet
And sweeps my doorstep and my street.
She washes and cleans with pounding rains,
Scrubbing the earth of winter stains.
She shakes the grime from carpet green
Till naught but fresh new blades are seen.
Then, house in order, all neat as a pin,
She ushers gentle springtime in."

- Susan Reiner

ON THE MOVE From Celeste Lawson

Hello, friends! Is it spring yet?! No, not quite, but almost. March 20th is the vernal equinox (spring equinox) and ushers in the new season, and not a moment too soon in my book! This has been a real rollercoaster of a winter season, and, who knows, Mother Nature may not be done with her mood swings and changes of heart for the new season just yet. But let me wish everyone a Happy Saint Patrick’s Day and hope that the parades will have decent weather for both marchers and spectators. March is also Women’s History Month and time to honor the many achievements and contributions women have made to our society and culture and the great legacies they leave for us to appreciate.

We are fortunate that there are really a substantial number of organizations in the Buffalo Niagara region that are in business to advocate, support, and advance many causes that directly impact women. There are major non-profit organizations such as the WNY Women’s Foundation that host a full complement of programs specifically to assist women and girls that range from education and training to providing impact grants to other organizations that have programming especially for women and girls. Their mission is to “create a culture of possibility so each woman and girl can live, grow, and lead to her fullest potential.” We also have the Erie County Commission on the Status of Women that is in business to ensure that there are systems and opportunities in place specifically to assist women and their families meet challenges and that they are able to fully participate in matters of importance to them from policy to health care to any number of services for women and their families.

We have the League of Women Voters that was established in this country in 1920 immediately after women won the right to vote. They do not have any particular party affiliation; they are all about presenting and making information available about political issues and candidates seeking office at any level of government and making sure that our voting processes are fair and meeting the mandatory requirements for fair elections. They have many other services as well, so a visit to their website is worth the time. We also have a National Association of Women Business Owners (NABO) Chapter here in Buffalo that meets monthly with guest speakers who offer insight and information on being a successful female business owner. Women are busy and doing lots of interesting and exciting things in our community.

If you Google “women’s social clubs,” you will be led to a page on <> that lists a number of different types of groups where women gather and support one another with diverse groups ranging from breastfeeding and daycare to empowerment and leadership. This month of March, take some time to reflect on the strength and wisdom of some of the women you know, and even take some time for personal reflection to acknowledge the effort you put forth in trying to make things happen on a day-to-day basis. March is Women’s History Month; let’s celebrate it!

Rise Up! – Saturday, March 2, 7:30pm

First Shiloh Baptist Church, 15 Pine St., Buffalo, NY, 14204

Stacey V. Gibbs, a renowned choral composer and arranger, will join with Harmonia Chamber Singers to present Rise Up!, an evening of spirituals and gospel music. Gibbs is highly acclaimed for his ability to infuse new energy into familiar works without sacrificing their authenticity or power. Tickets: $15. For tickets and information, call 847-6555.

Cheektowaga Community Symphony Orchestra (CCSO) – Sunday, March 3, 3pm

Villa Maria College Auditorium, 240 Pine Ridge Road, Cheektowaga, NY 14225

For over 50 years, the CCSO has served the community with free public performances of music for full symphony orchestra. This concert is the Echo of Brahms, directed by Nicholas Delbello and featuring Natasha Farny on cello. Free.

National Geographic Live! Ronan Donovan: Social By Nature – Tuesday, March 5, 7pm

Kleinhans Music Hall, 370 Pennsylvania Street, Buffalo, NY, 14201

What is a human? We’re not too different from other social mammals like chimpanzees, wolves, gorillas, and bears. Join biologist Ronan Donovan as he talks about his work in documenting these animals and what we can learn from them. Tickets: $35. For information, call 885-5000.

Dances On – Zodiaque Dance Company

Thurs., Fri., and Sat., March 7, 8, & 9 at 7:30pm; Sun., March 10, 2pm

Dances On is a dance experience that explores various styles of movement and asks the question, “What is dance?” Designed to entertain and excite, the dancers will perform popular American dance forms. Tickets: $20. Call 645-2787 for information.

Amy Winehouse Tribute Featuring Remember Jones – Thurs., March 7, 8pm

Buffalo Iron Works, 49 Illinois St., Buffalo, 14203.

Remember Jones brings a 12-piece orchestra and special guests to recreate the entire Amy Winehouse album Back to Black. Call 341-2840 for information. Advance tickets: $12. Door tickets: $15.

Duke Robillard, Blues musician – Sun., March 10, 5pm

Sportsmen's Tavern, 326 Amherst Street, Buffalo, NY, 14207

What do Bob Dylan, Tom Waits, Jay McShann, The Fabulous Thunderbirds, John Hammond, the late Jimmy Witherspoon, Dr. John, and Maria Muldaur all have in common? Answer: Duke Robillard – Guitarist, bandleader, songwriter, singer, producer, session musician, and a man who is a legend in the Blues community. Tickets: $20-25. Call 874-7734 for information.

Million Dollar Quartet

Thurs. March 14, 7:30pm; Fri., March 15 and Sat., March 16, 8pm; Sun., March 17, 2pm

Shea's 710 Theatre, 710 Main Street, Buffalo, NY, 14202

What if four rock legends met at a recording studio and had an impromptu jam session? What would it be like to experience Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, Elvis Presley, and Johnny Cash singing together? Join us for this musical that’s sure to have you dancing. Call 847-1410 for information.

Russian National Ballet Theatre (RNBT) presents Cinderella – Thurs., March 14, 7:30pm

UB Center for the Arts, 103 Center for the Arts, SUNY Buffalo, Buffalo, NY, 14260

RNBT strives to provide audiences with the opportunity to experience classical Russian ballet by presenting ballet masterpieces such as Cinderella. The company repertoire includes many ballets as well as a wide range of concert numbers of Russian and foreign world classics. Call 645-6259 for information. Tickets: $34 - $44.

Indigo Girls – Fri., March 15, 8pm

Babeville, 341 Delaware Avenue, Buffalo, NY, 14202

The Indigo Girls released their critically acclaimed debut album in 1988. It remained on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart for 35 weeks, earned double platinum status, received a Grammy nomination for “Best New Artist,” and won “Best Contemporary Folk Recording.” Since then, the band has received six Grammy nominations. NPR’s Mountain Stage called the group “one of the finest folk duos of all time.” The New York Times raved that “gleeful profanities, righteous protest anthems and impeccable folk songwriting have carried this duo for thirty years.” Call 852-3835 for information. Tickets: $35 - $40.

Art of Jazz: Carla Bley, “Trios – Sun., March 17, 3pm

Albright-Knox Art Gallery, 1285 Elmwood Avenue, Buffalo, NY, 14222

Pianist/composer Carla Bley first made her mark with her landmark 1971 triple album jazz-rock opera, Escalator Over the Hill, and cemented her reputation for diversity and creativity. Bley was recognized as a National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Master and will perform with her trio featuring two premier artists in their own right: bassist extraordinaire Steve Swallow and British saxophonist Andy Sheppard. Tickets: $29. Call 882-8700 for information.

Friends of Vienna – Sun., March 17, 3:30 pm

Unity Church of Practical Christianity, 1243 Delaware Avenue, Buffalo, NY, 14209.

Katherein Allenberg, violin; UB faculty members Leanne Darling, viola; and Jonathan Golove, cello, perform in a string trio program: Mozart – Divertimento in E-flat major, K.563 and Beethoven – Serenade in D major for Violin, Viola, and Cello. Tickets: $12. Call 838-3730 for information.

Melvin Seals & JGB – Mon., March 18, 7pm

Buffalo Iron Works, 49 Illinois St., Buffalo, 14203

From blues to funk to rock to jazz, Melvin Seals serves up a tasty mix with a little R&B and gospel thrown in to spice things up with acoustic and electric ingredients and unique combinations. The result is a most satisfying blend of grooves. They offer an exciting and often psychedelic musical journey that keeps the audience dancing and smiling for hours. Tickets: $20-25. Call 341-2840 for information.

Jose Gonzalez and The String Theory – Tues., March 19, 7:30pm

UB Center for the Arts, University at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY, 14260

This performance by Jose Gonzalez will be accompanied by a full chamber orchestra, The String Theory, and will feature renditions of songs from his three solo albums. Tickets: $29 – $49. Call 645-6259 for information.

A Tribute To Pink Floyd’s The Wall with Critt & Friends – Thurs., March 21, 7pm

Buffalo Iron Works, 49 Illinois St., Buffalo, NY, 14203

Celebrate Pink Floyd’s epic multi-sensory Picasso, featuring some of the best musicians in Buffalo, including Damone Jackson, Jeff Miers, Blaise Mercedes, Erin Ward, Vin DeRosa, DJ Sike, and many more to be announced. Visuals by Garbaz. Tickets: $10. Call 341-2840 for information.

Viva Espan˜a! – Thurs., March 21, 7:30pm

Albright-Knox Art Gallery, 1285 Elmwood Avenue, Buffalo, NY, 14222

Experience the exotic sounds of Spain. Blending European, Moorish, and Sephardic musical traditions, the music of Spain developed musical modes, textures, and timbres all its own. The concert will highlight our newly restored harpsichord in a performance of Manuel de Falla’s Harpsichord Concerto. Tickets: $20. Call 882-8700 for information.

Big Bad VooDoo Daddy – Sat., March 23, 8pm

Rockwell Hall Performing Arts Center, 1300 Elmwood Avenue, Buffalo, NY, 14222

Appearing as part of the Great Performer Series, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, with their unique take on American swing and jazz, has thrilled audiences around the world. They’ve sold millions of albums and performed sold-out shows around the world including at the Hollywood Bowl and Lincoln Center. Tickets: $35-$40. Call 878-3005 for information.

Music of the Stars – Sat., March 23, 8:30pm

Batavia Downs, 8315 Park Rd, Batavia, NY, 14020

Music of the Stars is a tribute to eight internationally known superstars starting with Neil Diamond, Tom Jones, Elton John, The Bee Gees, Gary Puckett, Paul McCartney, Roy Orbison, and Elvis. The show spans an hour and a half of great music. Tickets: $10. Call (585) 343-3750 for information.

The Dorothy Cotton Jubilee Singers – Sun., March 24, 4pm

St. Paul's A.M.E. Zion Church, 610 E. Eagle St., Buffalo, NY, 14210

The Dorothy Cotton Jubilee Singers (DCJS) will present an afternoon concert of Negro Spirituals. The DCJS, is dedicated to preserving the Negro Spiritual and its themes of sorrow, despair, and hope to promote racial healing and social justice while furthering civil rights leader Dorothy Cotton’s message of freedom and hope through music. The diverse chorus has performed at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. Free and open to the public. Call 852-2721 for information.

Western New York Chamber Orchestra presents “Amadeus” – Fri., March 29, 7:30pm

Westminster Presbyterian Church, 724 Delaware Avenue, Buffalo, NY, 14209

The orchestra will perform “Amadeus” in their Classics #3 Concert.

Red Blazer Men’s Chorus Varieties – Fri., March 29, 7:30pm & Sat., March 30, 2pm

Sweet Home Middle School, 4150 Maple Road, Amherst, NY, 14226

The Red Blazer Men’s Chorus, a 45 member, four-part harmony men’s chorus will perform a full-fledged variety show with an orchestra, not a choral concert, with a repertoire that includes everything from barbershop to old standards to Broadway to pop music. The group’s mission is to encourage, develop, and promote the advancement of male choral music and the theatrical arts through the public presentation of concerts and performances. Tickets: $10 - $20. Call 406-7262 for information.


Tinsley Ellis, Blues, R&B, Rock & Roll artist – Mon., April1, 6pm

Buffalo Iron Works, 49 Illinois St., Buffalo, 14203

Tinsley Ellis, a proud Georgia-based artist, with his new album Red Clay Soul, celebrates a legacy built on performing, recording, and songwriting. He offers, “Georgia is where the Blues has got soul. From the gospel inspired Ray Charles, to the R&B of James Brown and Otis Redding, to the rock and roll of Little Richard, to the Blues-rock of the Allman Brothers Band, they all have the sound of Georgia and down here what we call red clay soul.” “Feral blues guitar…non-stop gigging has sharpened his six-string to a razor’s edge…his eloquence dazzles…he achieves pyrotechnics that rival early Jeff Beck and Eric Clapton.” – Rolling Stone. Tickets: $15-$20. Call 341-2840 for information.

Any thoughts, you can email me at


Celeste Lawson is a long-time arts advocate, arts administrator, and artist in WNY. Over the years she has worked with arts organizations locally, statewide, and nationally including the National Endowment on the Arts, Americans for the Arts, NYS Council on the Arts, the NYS Council on the Humanities and the NY Foundation on the Arts.