SYMBA’s Got Talent

Through five weeks of covering Chautauqua’s Got Talent, one of my favorite acts was SYMBA, a duo of 16-year-olds featuring Infinity Performing Arts students Hayley Restivo and Ryan Hawkins. While the majority of the contestants in the competition brought only a new song to sing each week, the duo picked up different instruments for every performance. If nothing else, the duo are a shining example of the amazing things Infinity is doing for the youth of Chautauqua County.

But, that’s the thing, there is much more to the duo. Not only did the two perform with a variety of instruments, but instead of just doing a cover they made each song their own by transforming the tunes performed by full bands into pieces that could sound great done by a duo.

During the first round’s medley of “Stand By Me” and “Time of the Season,” Hawkins played bass and percussion while Restivo sang and played acoustic guitar. Then in round two’s “Youth,” by Daughter, Restivo belted out vocals without the accompaniment of a guitar while Hawkins took over that role with piano. Round three showcased Restivo’s piano skills, while Hawkins once again played bass and percussion for “Tainted Love.”

In round four the duo threw in a special guest, vocalist and guitarist Oliver Burdo, another Infinity Performing Arts student. The group’s performance of “Home” by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros had Restivo on vocals and tambourine, while Hawkins rocked out on the accordion. The duo followed the special guest act up during finale night with Tommy Gerace on percussion, Restivo on guitar and vocals and Hawkins on banjo and penny whistle for “Send Me On My Way” by Rusted Root. While waiting for the votes to be tallied during the finale, the duo also performed an original with Restivo on vocals and ukulele, while Hawkins drummed away on a percussion box. If you hadn’t already lost count, that’s at least 10 instruments between the two of them.

Although SYMBA didn’t win the competition, I believe that the future is bright for Restivo and Hawkins. If they continue honing their craft, I’m sure that there will be better, bigger and more influential gigs coming their way. Especially since the last time I spoke with them, they told me that they are working on a full-length album.

For more information, photos and videos, search for SYMBA on Facebook.


Saint Patrick’s Day Show Set For Friday: Relik Productions will present an evening of live music at the Jamestown Train Station at 5 p.m. on Friday.

The show will feature several bands including: One Year Later, Norm From Cheers, Red Light Departure, The Teeth, Traxippi and Amongst the Thorns.

Admission to the event is $6. The Jamestown Train Station is located at 211 W. Second St. in Jamestown.

Classical Guitarist To Play Music Salon Series Sunday: James Piorkowski, classical guitarist, will perform on Sunday at 7 p.m. at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Jamestown.

Piorkowski will present a program entitled “The Guitarist and the Composer.” It will feature some of his more recent compositions, including Eucharisto, which roughly translates to “joyfulness.”

Formerly a member of the Buffalo Guitar Quartet, Piorkowski is currently serving as a professor of guitar studies at Fredonia State University.

He performs exclusively on instruments constructed by Jamestown’s James Holler of Trinity Guitars. Holler will be on hand at the recital to display some of the guitars he has built.



From Page D1

The event will be located at 1255 Prendergast Ave. in Jamestown. The Music Salon series of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Jamestown is supported in part by a grant from the New York State Council for the Arts. Admission is free. To assure continuation of these programs, free-will donations are accepted.

A Jazz Tribute To Benefit Girls Undergoing Medical Treatment Is Set To Open In April: On April 5 and 6 at 8 p.m. at the Spire Theater of Jamestown “New York, New York!” will take the stage to benefit 4-year-old kidney transplant patient Rosie Thrasher-Miller and 26-year-old double lung transplant patient Elisha Kulpa.

The event will be presented by Shannon’s Kids Series in conjunction with Big Time Productions. The jazz tribute concert brings together regional entertainers to perform Sinatra classics, cabaret, fosse style dance numbers and comedy routines. According to Shannon Nixon, executive producer, guest appearances include radio personality Matt Warren, Willow Bay Theater owner Kira Spencer and Infinity Performing Arts coordinator Adam Owens.

“‘New York, New York!’ follows the tumultuous lives of several vivacious, overly dramatic thespians who emulate a style reminiscent of the golden era of vintage and jazz,” said Nixon. “The stage production depicts not only what is showcased in front of the audience-a glitzy and glamorous performance saturated in familiar ballads, show-stopping sing and dance numbers and vaudevillian comedy-but what is not. The backstage happenings and real-life situations of these entertainers are revealed as the curtain is drawn back to expose it all. The audience gets to see a staged production as well as a backstage production filled with battle of the sexes banter, outrageous sketches, and romantic entanglements.”

The event will be the second production staged through the Shannon’s Kids Series Program, which is a theatrical project dedicated to raising funds for local children undergoing medical treatment. Tickets are $10 presale and $12 at the door. Presale tickets can be reserved by calling 708-8879. The Spire Theater, formerly First Congregational Church, is located at 317 E. Third St. in Jamestown.

Pro Wrestling Rampage JCC Fundraiser Set For April 12: A fundraiser for the Jamestown Community College wrestling team is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Friday, April 12, at the JCC physical education complex.

The event, which is organized by Randy Grey, will feature pro wrestlers Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake and Greg “The Hammer” Valentine.

The physical education complex is located on the JCC campus at 525 Falconer St. in Jamestown. Tickets are available at the JCC box office, and start at $10 for general admission. For more information visit


To include an upcoming show or event in this column, email or call 487-1111 ext. 253 by Monday.


Pete Pepke: 6-8 p.m., The Corner Coffeehouse, 54 W. Main St. in Frewsburg. Pepke was named Jazz Man of the Year 2006 by the Musicians’ Union.

Blue Grass Jam: 7-10 p.m., Celoron Legion, 26 Jackson Ave. in Celoron. Area bluegrass musicians are welcome to sit in and play.


Stan Barton Jazz Mandolin And Violin: 6-8 p.m., The Corner Coffeehouse, 54 W. Main St. in Frewsburg.

Bill Ward And Amanda Barton: 7 p.m., The Pad, 1064 Route 394 in Kennedy.

Opera House Cinema Series To Screen “Hop”: 7 p.m., 1891 Fredonia Opera House, 9 Church St. in Fredonia. The film is free for Family Night at the Movies.


Davis And Eng: 6-8 p.m., The Corner Coffeehouse, 54 W. Main St. in Frewsburg. The band performs jazz, swing, blues and light rock.

Opera House Cinema Series To Screen “Silver Linings Playbook”: 7:30 p.m., 1891 Fredonia Opera House, 9 Church St. in Fredonia.

Bill Ward And Amanda Barton: 8 p.m., Tom’s Tavern, 4739 Route 430 in Maple Springs.

Sammy Slicker Band: 8 p.m. to midnight, Celoron Legion, 26 Jackson Ave. in Celoron.

Grand Larseny: 8 p.m. to midnight, The Bellini Lounge, Chautauqua Suites, 215 W. Lake Road (Route 394) in Mayville.


Brian Chase: 6-9 p.m., Bemus Point Golf Course, 72 Main St. in Bemus Point.


Opera House Cinema Series To Screen “Silver Linings Playbook”: 7:30 p.m., 1891 Fredonia Opera House, 9 Church St. in Fredonia.


The Boonies Road Show Indie Movie Night: 6-8 p.m., The Corner Coffeehouse, 54 W. Main St. in Frewsburg.