Tickets for Spyro Gyra are $30 each, with a discount for seniors and rush tickets for students. Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased at the Rockwell Hall Box Office, 1300 Elmwood Ave., by calling 716-878-3005 or online at www.buffalostate.edu/pac. Box Office hours are Monday to Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Spyro Gyra is a marathon runner in the arena of contemporary jazz. For more than three decades, moving across a musical landscape marked by increasingly challenging terrain and accelerated change, they have maintained the well-deserved reputation as a viable and highly versatile creative force. Since their earliest recordings in the mid 1970s, they have maintained a fresh approach to their craft by borrowing from a range of sources and distilling them into an unmistakable signature sound.
This innovative and eclectic sensibility has earned the band nine GRAMMY nominations overall, and has fueled the sale of 11 million records - including one platinum and two gold records. In the midst of the achievements and accolades, Spyro Gyra keeps moving, having logged over 5,000 high-energy performances in their prestigious and prolific career.
The band passed another milestone on this long-distance run with the June 12, 2007, release of Good To Go-Go on Heads Up International. The album is the band's twenty-sixth of their overall career and their fifth release on Heads Up, following on the heels of the GRAMMY nominated 2006 release Wrapped in a Dream (Best Pop Instrumental Album).
A new face in the Spyro Gyra lineup belongs to drummer/percussionist Bonny B (short for Bonaparte). The Trinidad native had been touring with the band for several months before they went into the studio to record Good To Go-Go, and the energy he brought to the party served as the catalyst for some fine tuning in the group's overall philosophy. Bonny B joins saxophonist and Spyro Gyra founder Jay Beckenstein, keyboardist Tom Schuman, guitarist Julio Fernandez and bassist Scott Ambush in the five-man lineup.
"The fact that we had this new drummer with this great spirit about him prompted us to go in the direction of a more live-sounding, less produced record," says Beckenstein. "The band was just sounding so killer on the road that I wanted to capture some of that energy and reproduce it on the record. When you bring somebody new on board who's bringing some unexpected things with him, it shakes you up a little bit and puts you in new territory. It's been a process of discovery for all of us, and it's been a lot of fun."
"We've always had this belief that the thing we're doing in any given moment is the best we've ever done," says Beckenstein. "And we always want to maintain that philosophy, because that's what drives us forward. We haven't succumbed to the mentality of 'Let's just play the hits and collect the check.' We never saw ourselves as a pop band. We've always seen ourselves as a forward thinking creative outfit. After 30 years, it still feels very interesting and exciting."
The Great Performers Series is sponsored by M&T Bank and WBFO.