Local Music Legends

Beginning Sunday, area residents will have a once-a-month opportunity to memorialize regional musicians, support aspiring youth and catch some live music at a Jamestown venue.

Kelly Mesler and Todd Haskins created the The Chautauqua County Local Legends of Music Memorial Fund in August to recognize seven regional musicians at what they thought would be an annual show.

The duo then hosted a memorial celebration at the Reardon Stage in Ashville that recognized Rob Buck, Tim Welch, Bruce Peterson, Ronnie Kuhns, Rod Welling, Mike Higgs and Frank Smeragliuolo. The goal of the show was to raise funds to support local talent in Chautauqua County as well as foster public school music programs.

Since then the concept has evolved, and now area residents will be treated to a genre-themed performance at Chautauqua Music, 110 E. Second St. in Jamestown, during the first Sunday of each month.

The first performance of the series, which is set for Sunday from 6-9 p.m., will feature country music by artists such as American Ride Band, Tom Edington and Lords of May. Each show will also feature a special guest, such as Danny Shanahan, harmonica player. Admission to each show is free, but a $15 minimum donation is required.

According to Mesler, in addition to supporting live local music, each attendee will leave with a T-shirt and an autograph by a music legend, such as Edington.

“We had so many phone calls that two days before the August show we already had the next full of nominees,” Mesler said. “After the show we had even more calls, and we didn’t have anywhere to put them other than three years down the road. So, we decided to do something that would help everyone participate.”

“It’s a lot of work – but it’s worth it,” Haskins added.

The series will continue on the first Sunday of each month, such as the Sunday, Nov. 3, 6-9 p.m. rap show. The show will feature Behind The Mic Entertainment’s Mike Lane, South Dayton’s Finest, FROST and special guest Too Skinny who will perform and sign autographs. December’s performance will feature hard rock, old school versus new school rock in January, reggae in February, blues in March, metal in April and alternative in May.

The second annual memorial celebration will held in August, with more details to be announced at a later date. But, the show will honor several more local legends, such as Richie Leeper, Jerry Logue, Phillip Bailey, Virgil Allen, Kevin Swanson, John Davis and Jamie Butts.

Monthly informational and volunteer meetings are held every third Saturday of the month at noon, with the locations to be determined. For more information, call 814-670-9151, search for “Chautauqua County Local Legends of Music Memorial Fund” on Facebook or visit www.sites.google.com/site/annuallocalmusiciansmemorial.