With more theme nights and more acts than ever including 24 of 38 making their Live at Larkin debut, Larkin Square will celebrate its fifth summer of free Wednesday concerts with another diverse collection of Buffalo-bred musical acts.
Beginning earlier than ever with a wild June 1st kickoff, Live at Larkin will again offer 14 Wednesdays of at least two bands, complete with its signature collaborative encore in which the acts perform together for a uniquely fun finale.
Just a few highlights of the series include a six-act Opening Night headlined by annual favorites John and Mary & the Valkyries, with each act representing at least one local music nonprofit organization; new theme nights in “Buffalo ’66: Cash & Stones Revisited” marking the 50th anniversary of the week in which both legends performed in Buffalo (June 29th), “Latin at Larkin” complete with dance lessons before each band (July 6th), and “Sinatra’s Second Century” featuring a look both back and forward on the Frank Sinatra songbook (August 24th); and a rare performance for closing night from special-occasion supergroup The Buffalovebirds (August 31st).
Admission is free. Free parking available along with $5 premium parking in the ramp behind Larkin Square. Each event also features food trucks, beverages for purchase and an occasional visit from community groups.
Thank you to Presenting Sponsor First Niagara and Sponsor Independent Health for Buffalo’s best night for music, food and fun!
Here is the full line up:
6/1 – Opening Night Extravaganza! 6 acts, all representing local music nonprofits – John and Mary & the Valkyries (Sportsmens Americana Music Foundation); Fredtown Stompers (Music is Art); Freightrain (Buffalo Music Hall of Fame, Blues Society of WNY); Verve Dance Studio (Young Audiences of WNY); Carol McLaughlin & Magnitude (Colored Musicians Club, Community Music School); and the French Quarter Hounds (Music is Art).
6/8 – On a break from nationwide touring, Buffalo’s own ever-growing groove-rockers Aqueous return to Larkin Square with support from the debut show of their friends Jettison, featuring members of The Albrights.
6/15 – After one of the wildest nights in Live at Larkin history last year, Outer Circle Orchestra brings its Afro-Caribbean world-beat back to Larkinville with support from fellow horn-heavy, high-energy ensemble Tiger Chung Lee.
6/22 – East Side Night: featuring the return of the Unity Band along with Larkinville debuts of jazz saxophonist Will Holton, a cappella quartet 4 B-Lo, and Polonia-flavored polkas from the Buffalo Concertina All Stars.
6/29 – Buffalo ’66: Cash & Stones Revisited: 50 years ago this week, Johnny Cash played 6 nights at Melody Fair while The Rolling Stones played The Aud on their first U.S. tour. In honor of this amazing occasion, Buffalo bands Stoneflower and A Band Named Sue featuring cast members from Ring of Fire will recreate the sets of those shows.
7/6 – Latin at Larkin: while not the first time Latin grooves have graced the Larkin stage, this makes the first time that free dance lessons will be offered alongside, as Salsa Sarah‘s beginner sessions in merengue, bachata and salsa precede sets from La Krema and Sol Y Sombra.
7/13 – Album release: folk-rock veterans Tom Stahl and the Dangerfields will celebrate the release of his 11th album – along with his 25th wedding anniversary! – with support from the Larkinville debut of folk-pop singer-songwriter Savannah & the Kings.
7/20 – In a brief visit home from cross-country touring, Miller & the Other Sinners bring their internationally-charting blues-soul back to Live at Larkin, with support from the Larkinville debut of renowned roots-rock-reggae sage Preach Freedom & Connect.
7/27 – Returning home from New York City for their first Buffalo show in more than two years, The Reign of Kindo brings their adventurous rock to Larkinville for the first time, with support from fellow internationally-renowned indie rockers The Tins.
8/3 – South Buffalo Night: the annual civic pride party returns with both new and familiar faces – Congressman Brian Higgins & the Exchange Street Band will once again headline in their only annual appearance, along with South Buffalo special-occasion staple The Stone Bridge Band and newcomer Keith Shuskie featuring John Higgins.
8/10 – The only Live at Larkin pairing to appear together in each of the series’ first five seasons, blues-rock powerhouse Dive House Union will once again reunite for the occasion of playing with survival blues beacon Jony James Band.
8/17 – Album release: Led by Andrew J. Reimers and Kate Panfil of CPX fame, The Rear View Ramblers will release their debut album of original Americana with support from another Live at Larkin debut in outlaw country newcomers Uncle Ben’s Remedy.
8/24 – Sinatra’s Second Century: with another new theme night unique to Live at Larkin, two acts will look both forward and back on the songbook of Frank Sinatra, who would’ve turned 100 in 2015 – Nelson Starr & the Franciscans have been assembled just for the occasion, as Starr and a group of adventurous local musicians will put a new spin on old Sinatra songs, while the Joey Giambra Jazz Orchestra will honor the original Sinatra sound while sharing stories of The Chairman of the Board’s many visits to Buffalo.
8/31 – The Live at Larkin finale has always been a big party – enter the perfect party band, The Buffalovebirds, a local supergroup which to date has only performed at the annual Buffalovefest at the zoo, with support from another special-occasion party band in the debut of The New Good Neighbors, a 12-piece outfit led by Larkin’s own emcee Seamus Gallivan.