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Performing Arts Center at Rockwell Hall Announces Great Performers Series

Posted: August 15, 2005
The Performing Arts Center at Rockwell Hall, on the campus of Buffalo State College, proudly announces the 2005-2006 Great Performers Series, presented by M&T Bank. The Great Performers Series features world-class artists in the intimate setting of Rockwell Hall.

The series includes funky smooth jazz saxophonist Richard Elliot; popular Canadian Celtic sensations the Barra MacNeils, with special guests The Cottars; A Scottish Christmas featuring fiddle champion Bonnie Rideout; A Rockapella Holiday, with the kings of contemporary, a cappella music in a special holiday concert; the 12-piece Pink Martini who draw from classical, Latin and jazz traditions; Dan?, one of the most in-demand touring bands to emerge from Ireland; “rumba flamenco” guitarist extraordinaire Jesse Cook and vocal great Steve Tyrell.
Tickets for the Great Performers series go on sale August 29 at 9:00 a.m. Continuing to be one of the best entertainment values in the area, the Performing Arts Center has priced all shows in the Great Performers Series between $28 and $30. With the Flex Pack, patrons can purchase any three Great Performers shows for $75. Tickets may be purchased at the Rockwell Hall Box Office, 1300 Elmwood Ave. by calling 716-878-3005 or online at Box Office hours are Monday to Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

The Great Performers series opens on Saturday, October 15 with a rare WNY appearance by soulful saxman Richard Elliot. Elliot’s music is a rhythmic force of funk and fire, diverse and distinctive, passionate and powerful, soulful and seductive. Having started his music career in the touring bands for Huey Lewis, the Pointer Sisters and Natalie Cole, Richard Elliot went on to a five year tenure with Tower of Power. Since the early nineties he has successfully forged a solo career, releasing fourteen albums, all of them consistent chart toppers. Elliot’s high-energy funk-flavored sax playing makes him a fan favorite all over the world.

On November 4, Rockwell Hall is pleased to celebrate the talent of Cape Breton Island with the Barra MacNeils, one of Canada’s most talented and recognized Celtic groups and The Cottars, one of the hottest upcoming stars of the Canadian Celtic scene. The Barra MacNeils are four siblings that grew up in the heart of Celtic tradition on Nova Scotia’s Cape Breton Island. Kyle, Lucy, Sheumas, and Stewart MacNeil all sing and play a range of traditional Celtic instruments. They’ve been stars of the Canadian traditional music scene since 1986, but they venture south of the border only occasionally. Joining them on stage will be Cape Breton’s latest musical success story and 2003 Best New Artist award winner at the East Coast Music Awards, The Cottars. The Boston Globes acclaims The Cottars as "one of the hottest acts in the folk world today." The four young Celts - brother/sister pairs Ciaran and Fiona MacGillivray and Jimmy and Roseanne MacKenzie are each multi-instrumentalists, singers and stepdancers. The Cottars are convincing the world, one show at a time, that they are the bright future Celtic music!

In the spirit of the holiday season, the Performing Arts Center is pleased to present A Scottish Christmas on Saturday, December 10. A lively collection of Scottish carols, wassail tunes, and traditional Highland music and dances, A Scottish Christmas features Bonnie Rideout, a three-time US-Scottish fiddle champion. This delightful show is presented by some of the most legendary Celtic musicians from both North America and Scotland, blending the sounds of the fiddle, bagpipes, Uillieann pipes, Border pipes, clarsach (Celtic harp),bodhr?n, guitar and voice. Traditional dancers add grace and excitement to this holiday celebration.

On Tuesday, December 20, Rockwell Hall welcomes the undisputed kings of contemporary a cappella music, Rockapella, for a special holiday performance. What began asa few men on a New York City street corner, is now the top dog in contemporary a cappella. Rockapella’s audience – a mix of families, young and old alike, is drawn to the humor, style and artistry of this unique group that combines soul, rock, r&b, and jazz. Millions of Americans discovered Rockapella on the hit television show Where In The World Is Carmen Sandiego? Since then, the group has toured the United States and Japan, selling out concerts and appearing on national commercials including the popular Folgers coffee campaign. "Some say the best musical instrument of all is the human voice," writes USA Today. "If you've seen Rockapella, you know that's the truth."

Making their first appearance in Western New York on Saturday February 18 is Pink Martini. Pink Martini is less a drink than a stirring sound, but every bit as intoxicating. This multi-talented twelve-piece group delivers a cosmopolitan and sophisticated sound flavored with Latin jazz, Afro Cuban rumba and sultry cabaret that lies somewhere between a 1930s Cuban dance orchestra, classical chamber music ensemble, Brazilian marching band, and Japanese film noir. The Portland-based group has become an international favorite of fashion and entertainment crowds, selling out venues ranging from the Kennedy Center to Las Vegas’ Bellagio Hotel. With their multi-lingual repertoire, Pink Martini draws a wildly diverse crowd and has become one of the hottest commodities on what can only be described as the stylish, eclectic, jazz fusion scene.

On Friday, March 31 the Performing Arts Center is pleased to welcome one of the most in demand touring bands to emerge from Ireland in the past decade, Dan?. The band’s six instrumentalists are lead by Donal Clancy (formerly of Eileen Ivers Band and Solas and son of the world-famous Clancy Brother Liam) as they skillfully blend fiddle, flute, accordion, bouzouki, guitar, and bodhr?n into a sound that is rooted in the Celtic tradition but still sounds fresh. While Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh's singing in both English and Irish is as sweet and attractive as it comes. Recognized with “Best Overall Traditional Act,” “Best Band” and “Best Live Act,” awards in their native Ireland, the group have a strong ethos of loyalty to the tradition from which their music comes and yet still bring a fresh, inspiring approach to their performances.

The Performing Arts Center is thrilled to present guitarist extraordinaire Jesse Cook on Friday, April 7. This Canadian sensation’s exotic “Rumba Flamenco” is an intoxicating, “gypsy-esque” blend of jazz and Afro-Caribbean styles. He’s jammed with the Gipsy Kings and Cassandra Wilson—and you might have heard a track on HBO’s Sex and the City. Seamlessly fusing flamenco and rumba music with a host of other world music influences from the Middle East, the Indian subcontinent, and beyond, this musical nomad creates a cross-cultural sonic stew full of expressive arrangements and passionate riffs. On stage, Jesse Cook enraptures audiences with his jaw-dropping technique, easy-going charisma and intoxicating music, drawing throngs of fans to sing and dance along. Accompanied by his superb band, this will be yet another wonderful evening of music with this remarkable artist.

On Friday, April 28 the Performing Arts Center welcomesback vocal powerhouse Steve Tyrell. This smooth song stylist who has made a steady rise to the top of the contemporary pop charts, returns to Rockwell Hall after a stellar performance in 2004. With comparisons to Tony Bennett and Harry Connick, Jr. Tyrrell has become the new standard-bearer for the great American songbook. His broad appeal lies in his ability to recast many of the great American Standards with a tinge of sexy swagger and soul appeal. A 40-year veteran of the music industry, Steve Tyrell is best known for his work as a composer, producer and music supervisor for movie soundtracks. With four chart-topping and mega-selling albums to his credit and a fifth one on the way Tyrell’s future seems firmly planted on the stage.

The 2005-2006 Great Performers Series is sponsored by M&T Bank, WBFO and The Buffalo News.

presented by M&T Bank

Saturday, October 15, 2005 at 8:00 p.m.

Friday, November 4, 2005 at 8:00 p.m.
THE BARRA MACNEILS, with special guest THE COTTARS - $30.00

Saturday, December 10, 2005 at 8:00 p.m.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005 at 8:00 p.m.

Saturday, February 18, 2006 at 8:00 p.m.

Friday, March 31 2006 at 8:00 p.m.
DAN? - $28.00

Friday, April 7, 2006 at 8:00 p.m.
JESSE COOK - $28.00

Friday, April 28, 2006 at 8:00 p.m.

FLEX PACK - Buy any three Great Performers Shows for $75.00, a savings of up to 17%.

SENIOR DISCOUNT - Patrons aged 60 and older take $3.00 off the regular price of each ticket.

CHARGE BY PHONE: 716-878-3005
Media Contact:
Jeff Marsha, Director of Operations, Performing Arts Center | 7168783032 |

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