Tickets for the Great Performers series go on sale Monday, January 31 and may be purchased at the Rockwell Hall Box Office, 1300 Elmwood Ave. or by calling 716-878-3005. Box Office hours are Monday to Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Launching the Great Performers Series at the newly re-opened Performing Arts Center will be saxophone legend David Sanborn on Friday, March 18. David Sanborn’s credibility and appeal encompasses the worlds of jazz, R&B, rock, and pop. Mixing spontaneous jazz with groove-oriented soul and funk, David Sanborn is among the most versatile artists in jazz today. From his session work with such artists as Paul Butterfield, David Bowie and Stevie Wonder to his acclaimed solo recordings, Sanborn is a true jazz superstar, who has sold more than six million records. His unique, soulful sax playing has also made him one of the jazz world’s most popular performers.
On Friday, April 15 Gaelic Storm brings their non-stop, high-intensity, power-packed show to the Performing Arts Center. They continue to make headlines and dazzle audiences around the world long after their memorable appearance as the “steerage band” in James Cameron’s Titanic. Their first four albums hit the top ten on the Billboard world music charts, with their newly released fifth recording, How Are We Getting Home? debuting at No. 3. The California-based Celtic group, featuring co-founder and Olean native Steve Wehmeyer, has a sound that remains true to traditional Celtic music with a twist of dizzying live energy – hence the name “Gaelic Storm.”
WNED and the Performing Arts Center are pleased to present the return engagement of folk-rock pioneer Roger McGuinn on Friday, April 22, for an intimate evening of songs and stories. As the founder of the legendary band The Byrds, McGuinn revolutionized folk-rock music with hits such as “Mr. Tambourine Man” and “Turn, Turn, Turn,” and profoundly influenced everyone from the Eagles and Tom Petty to R.E.M. and Elvis Costello with his signature 12-string guitar and unorthodox melding of rock ‘n’ roll grooves with folk and country harmonies. A successful solo artist since the early eighties, McGuinn will delight audiences with songs and stories including Byrd classics, vintage Dylan, and a sprinkling of folk standards learned during his formative years on the hootenanny circuit.
On Friday, April 29 the Performing Arts Center welcomes smooth jazz trumpet sensation Chris Botti. A gifted instrumentalist, a talented composer, and a charismatic performer -- since the release of his first solo album in 1995 Chris Botti has created a series of recordings that have made him a virtual genre-of-one in the realm of contemporary jazz. On his latest album When I Fall in Love, Botti, recently picked as one of People magazine's "50 Most Beautiful People," breathes new soul and magic into classics by Irving Berlin, Rodgers and Hart, Ira and George Gershwin, Harold Arlen, and Johnny Mercer, as well as creating new pop standards of his own. The album has remained at No. 1 on the Billboard jazz chart and in the top 100 on the Billboard album chart since its release.
The 2005 Great Performers Series is sponsored by M&T Bank, WBFO and The Buffalo News.