Local Music Showcase Turns 10

Saturday’s celebration of Infinity Visual and Performing Arts’ Local Music Showcase will mark the 10th anniversary of an event which plays an integral role in the development and sustainability of the musical arts community in Jamestown and the surrounding region.

The Local Music Showcase is set for Saturday from 6 p.m. until 2 a.m. A total of 43 acts will participate at 10 downtown Jamestown venues, including: Mojos, Shawbucks, Cibo, The Pub, Labyrinth Press Company, Forte, The Wine Cellar, The Reg Studio Theater, Jamestown Skate Products and the Infinity Arts Cafe.

According to Shane Hawkins, executive director for Infinity, it’s hard to believe it has been 10 years since the showcase first began.

“There are quite a few of us that have been involved with the organizing of all of the Local Music Showcases, and every time we put together our thank you page at the end we are amazed at the number of people that work together to make the event run smoothly,” Hawkins said. “It feels great to see that list of people all dedicated to celebrating local music, youth and the arts in our community.”

But, in particular, the thing Hawkins is most excited about in regard to this year’s event is seeing the local musicians and music supporters hanging out downtown together, she said.

“It’s such a fun night downtown,” Hawkins said. “So many people end up seeing friends they haven’t seen in a long time.”

In honor of the 10th anniversary celebration, a drawing for a guitar and amplifier, donated by Trinity Guitars, will be held during the evening. The proceeds from the sale of tickets for the drawing will be split between Infinity and the St. Susan Center. Hawkins said she also hopes to see the unveiling of the new outdoor mural by artist Dave Grice, which was partially funded by a Jamestown Renaissance Block Grant.

Tickets are available at Infinity for $10, or at the door of each venue during the evening of the event. A complete schedule of events is located at www.infinityperformingarts.org. For more information, call 664-0991.

A DECADE STRONG

Over the course of the 10 years Hawkins has watched the Local Music Showcase evolve, as well as acted as witness to touching moments worth remembering.

According to Hawkins, she was part of the first small group of organizers for the first Local Music Showcase, and over time, as the event grew, they’ve enlisted most of the Infinity staff to take on key organizing roles.

“So many of the bands and sound engineers that are involved this year have made it a point to volunteer every year to participate,” Hawkins said. “In the past four or five years, we have also seen some Infinity students rise to the level of being performers in the showcase, and that has been a fantastic thing to see happen.”

The event has also become a tradition for many area residents and supporters of the local music community. During the third annual showcase, after the event had been moved to downtown Jamestown from its original location in Bemus Point, the event became very exciting for Hawkins, she said.

“It was exciting to see so many people walking downtown and traveling from venue to venue in groups to follow their ‘band game plan,'” Hawkins said. “For many, it has become a tradition to go out on this night every year.”

ARTIST AND VENUE

Part of what inspires Hawkins and the staff at Infinity is just how supportive local artists are of the program, and how they always seem so eager to help out.

“We hear over and over: ‘I wish there had been an Infinity when I was a kid,'” Hawkins said. “So they get it; they understand what we are trying to do, and the potential for the program to be a catalyst for lifelong change in our students.”

By participating in the event, the bands receive advertising on Infinity’s poster, and in the program booklet. Plus, the audiences are very receptive to the musicians during the evening of the showcase, Hawkins said.

“They get to introduce themselves to new venues if they are new to performing in downtown venues,” Hawkins said. “We really try to make it a valuable experience for everyone.”

The venues also benefit by participating in the program, and every year Hawkins is told that the night is one of the busiest of the year.

“We hope the event brings new customers in their doors that become regular customers,” Hawkins said. “We appreciate the willingness of the local restaurants to allow us to sell wristbands at their event and host our local bands – we couldn’t hold the event without their support.”

According to Nick Dean, front manager for Forte, as a locally owned business in the downtown area, the restaurant has always supported and been a part of Local Music Showcase thanks to owner Peggy Kaltenmeier.

“People love to come out and support live music, and we love to support Infinity, which is an organization that teaches music and arts to the youth of the city,” Dean said. “It’s a cyclic, full-circle sort of thing: we support them, they breed new generations of music and art lovers and the city has more culture and art to thrive on.

“The Arts Council, which is now the Reg Lenna Center for the Arts, has been building Third Street as an arts corridor – it’s nice to be located in the heart of the burgeoning arts corridor of the city of Jamestown,” Dean continued. “Infinity is great, and we’re lucky to have them directly across the street. They sometimes have outdoor concerts, so our patrons get to not only hear during local music showcase, but throughout the summer.”

In addition to being an opportunity for local musicians, venues and the local community to interact, the event also serves as a major fundraiser for Infinity. According to Hawkins, 10 percent of Infinity’s budget comes from fundraising efforts such as Local Music Showcase.

“With the exception of a small grant from the New York State Council on the Arts, Infinity is not funded by county, state or federal sources, so community support is essential to our existence,” Hawkins said. “This is our biggest fundraiser of the year and we would love to see as many people out there supporting local musicians, local venues, and arts education. Please support Infinity, local music, our generous musicians, sound engineers and venues.”

For more information visit www.infinityperformingarts.org.

SCHEDULE:

Cibo:

Oliver Burdo and Friends:10 p.m.

Mike Brunacini: 11 p.m.

Emily Strong and Kyle Gustafson: midnight

Forte:

Cindy Love: 10:30 p.m.

Andy White: 11:40 p.m.

Gar, Jay & Jeff: 12:50 a.m.

Infinity Arts Cafe:

Collective Groove: 6 p.m.

Abrielle Mistretta and Steve Eng: 7 p.m.

Stephanie Benson: 7:30 p.m.

SYMBA: 8 p.m.

Tuesday Night Rhythm Connection: 9 p.m.

GAHU: 10 p.m.

Jamestown Skate Products:

DJ 80N3: 8 p.m.

The Warning: 9:30 p.m.

Cryptic Yeast/6ix6ix6ixties: 10:45 p.m.

Oliver and The Bats: midnight

The Labyrinth:

Doc and Bill: 6 p.m.

Rob and Karen Suber: 7 p.m.

Ryan Melquist: 8 p.m.

Jake and Sarah: 9 p.m.

Mojo’s:

We Speak Canadian: 6:30 p.m.

The Elektra Kings: 8 p.m.

Dust N Bones: 9:30 p.m.

Thee Audience: 11 p.m.

Smackdab: 12:30 a.m.

Reg Studio Theater:

Oxenwings: 6 p.m.

Disurbin’ The Peace: 7:15 p.m.

LMS Mashup Show!: 8:30 p.m.

I AM Z3R05 AND 0N35: 9:45 p.m.

Jake Swanson: 11 p.m.

Shawbucks:

The Bogarts: 9 p.m.

Blind Society: 11 p.m.

Monday Night Mistake: 1 a.m.

The Pub:

Sean Lander: 7 p.m.

Bill Ward & Amanda Barton: 8:10 p.m.

Davis and Eng: 9:20 p.m.

Steel Rails: 10:30 p.m.

Andrew Conti: 11:40 p.m.

The Wine Cellar:

Bumpy, Jay and Jeff: 7:15 p.m.

Haunted Heart: 8:30 p.m.

Brian Hanna and Scott Horton: 9:45 p.m.

Amanda Barton and Sara The Greatest: 11 p.m.

City Folk: 12:15 a.m.

Joey Cobra: 1 a.m.