The Great Blue Heron Festival, Big Leg Emma, Mojo's and The Labyrinth Press Co. have teamed up to raise funds for Infinity Visual and Performing Arts.
The idea for the fundraiser was presented by Jay Grawet, of Big Leg Emma, who suggested holding drawings for four Great Blue Heron Festival weekend passes, which were donated by Julie Rockcastle. Gib Taylor, of Mojo's, and the Labyrinth Press Co. also pitched in by helping sell tickets and will host drawing events.
"I'm a Jamestown implant, and I believe that Jamestown has a jewel of a program," said Grawet. "I remember being a little kid and wanting to learn how to play guitar. I had no family or friends that had the knowledge to teach me, and my family could not afford to get me private lessons - so I didn't. I feel it is important for a community to have a program like Infinity Performing Arts. No child should be denied the sensation of music, due to a lack of instruments or teachers of music. And as long as we continue to come together and raise money for Infinity, every child will have an opportunity to learn and grow with music in their lives."
"Infinity is the most wonderful program for kids and music ever imagined, in my opinion, and it has been locally created which makes it extra special," added Rockcastle. "We've done a few collaborations in the past by having Infinity groups perform at the festival, so when Jay Grawet suggested this fundraiser, it seemed a great way to work to help Infinity and the kids again."
According to Shane Hawkins, executive director for Infinity, the combination of a local music festival, band, music venue and a coffee house all working together to help raise money for a local youth arts program is an outstanding example of a community working together to help make a better community future.
"Infinity was so excited and honored to be presented with this fundraiser," said Hawkins. "All of us at Infinity extend a huge thank you to Julie and Steve Rockcastle from the Great Blue Heron, Jaw Grawet from Big Leg Emma, Gib Taylor from Mojo's and Jeff James from the Labyrinth. All of them have always been individually supportive of the Infinity concept and to see them all working together to help Infinity is incredibly special."
Highlights And Happenings
with Dusten Rader
Four opportunities to win the weekend passes are planned, and one ticket will be awarded per event. The events are scheduled for: this Saturday at Mojo's; Saturday, June 15, at Southern Tier Brewing Company; Saturday, June 22, at Mojo's; and Saturday, June 29, at Mojo's. Times are yet to be announced. Tickets for the drawings can be purchased at the events, Mojo's, Labyrinth Press Co. and at Infinity.
The Great Blue Heron Music Festival is scheduled for July 5-7. For more information visit www.greatblueheron.com.
As per usual, here are the highlights and happenings going on in the area.
Infinity Cafe To Host Second Hootenanny Friday: Following the positive feedback received for its inaugural hootenanny in January, the Infinity Visual and Performing Arts Cafe will again be the site of a 1960s-style hoot on Friday, from 7-9 p.m.
Once again, the evening will be hosted by local folk music duo, Doc And Bill. Admission is free, and all ages and skill levels are encouraged to attend, as are those who simply want to enjoy the experience of hearing others sing and play.
"The underlying principle of Infinity is to provide a nurturing environment in which aspiring young musicians are encouraged to develop their talents and share them with others," said Hawkins. "Earlier this month, nearly 100 students performed at our annual showcase event, in a large theater setting. But our hootenannies are much more casual; less about stagecraft, and more like playing with a group of friends at home. Hoots are the perfect setting for sharing favorite tunes, and trying out original material in a relaxed and supportive setting."
Friday's event will reprise the successful format of the first Infinity hoot, with Doc And Bill kicking it off by leading the group in singing and playing a couple of folk standards popular with 1950s and '60s audiences. The duo's role will then be to recognize audience members who wish to introduce traditional or original material for the group to join in.
"The success of our first hootenanny was due largely to the fact that anyone could play a role, but without having to stand on a stage, or at a microphone, and feel everyone's eyes on them," said Sarah Marchitelli, Infinity's music coordinator. "This is a great way to ease gently into the world of performance."
In keeping with the style of early hootenannies, the event will be strictly unplugged; no sound amplification for voices or instruments will be used. Attendees are encouraged to bring traditional acoustic folk instruments such as guitars, banjos and mandolins, as well as lyric sheets for songs they would like to share with the group.
"It was really gratifying to see the age and skill level mix that turned out for the January hoot," said Bill Drellow, of Doc And Bill.
"There were also quite a few people who didn't bring instruments, but just came to sing," added John 'Doc' Hamels. "You don't have to have been around in the 1960s, or know exactly what the word hootenanny means, to get the feeling that hootenannies are a good time. It's impossible to not have fun at a hoot."
The Infinity Cafe is located in the 8,600 square-foot Infinity performance and learning center at 115 E. Third St. in Jamestown. For more information visit www.infinityperformingarts.org or www.facebook.com/docandbill.
Prepare Ye, Prepare Ye, Auditions Are Set For "Spamalot:" A new musical, inspired by the motion picture "Monty Python and the Holy Grail," is in the process of casting.
Open auditions are set for Friday at 7 p.m., Saturday at 1 p.m. and callback auditions will be held Sunday at 1 p.m. at The Lucille Ball Little Theater, Second Street in Jamestown.
Those interested in auditioning should prepare one minute of a song that shows off range and a character, preferably from the show. Auditionees may wear comfortable clothing for a movement portion of the audition. There will also be a dance audition for those wishing to be considered for the larger dancing roles.
The show runs Oct. 11, 12, 13, 18, 19 and 20. Rehearsals will be once or twice weekly during June, July and August, depending on cast availability, and then Monday through Friday evenings in September. There will be at least one all day Sunday rehearsal on Oct. 6.
For more information call 679-8763 or visit www.lucilleballlittletheatre.org.
Seneca Allegany Casino To Kick Off Summer Rush Concert Series Saturday: Seneca Allegany Events Center will feature B.B. King Saturday in Salamanca.
B.B. King recorded his first No. 1 hit, "Three O'clock Blues," in 1951, and he still performs more than 100 shows a year at age 87. B.B. King earned 15 Grammy Awards, the Presidential Medal of the Arts, and a long list of other awards in his career.
Seats are still available and start at $40. To purchase tickets, visit any Seneca Casino box office, Ticketmaster.com or call 800-745-3000.
Babes of Wrath To Present Third Annual Summer Bruise In: Chautauqua County's women's flat track roller derby team, the Babes of Wrath, will take on the Nightmares on Main Street from Corry, Pa., Sunday at Allen Park Ice Rink, 200 Elizabeth Ave. in Jamestown.
Doors open at 4 p.m. and the whistle blows at 5 p.m. $8 presale tickets are available at Labyrinth Press Company, 12 E. Fourth St. in Jamestown and Russell Roller Rink, 7385 Market St. in Russell, Pa. $10 tickets will be available at the door, and admission is free for kids 12 and under. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to Meals on Wheels.
For more information, visit www.BabesofWrath.com or search for "Chautauqua County Roller Derby" on Facebook.
Karaoke Contest Winner Receives $1,000 Cash Prize: Kira Spencer was recently announced as the first-place winner for a karaoke contest held by Family Of Notes Entertainment.
The contest was held for eight weeks at two locations, including The Q Sports Bar & Night Club in Jamestown. The first place winner took home $1,000 and the opportunity to record their favorite song in Studio Jamestown, located in historic Hotel Jamestown.
In total, 53 singers from the Western New York and Warren area entered the contest, but only 30 singers made the cut to week three. Each contestant had the opportunity to sing one song per night in front of four local judges: Charles Fredrick, TQ, member Of Too Skinny, Yuonne Bair, owner of Bair's Pizza and one guest judge each week.
Further karaoke event details will be posted at Facebook.com/StudioJamestown. For more information call 450-6273.
To include an upcoming show or event in this column, email email@example.com or call 487-1111 ext. 253 by Monday.
Pete Pepke: 6-8 p.m., The Corner Coffeehouse, 54 W. Main St. in Frewsburg.
Blue Grass Jam: 7-10 p.m., Celoron Legion, 26 Jackson Ave. in Celoron.
Bill Ward And Amanda Barton: 6 p.m., Wine Cellar, 309 N. Main St. in Jamestown.
Brian Chase: 8-11 p.m., Bellini Lounge, Chautauqua Suites, 215 W. Lake Road (Route 394) in Mayville.
Rod Horning Project: 8 p.m. to midnight, Casino Bar, 777 Seneca Allegany Blvd. in Salamanca.
Brian Butler And House of Cards: 9 p.m. to 12:30 a.m., Webb's Captain's Table, 115 W. Lake Road in Mayville.
Zephyr: 9 p.m. to 1 a.m., Peek'n Peak, 1405 Olde Road in Findley Lake.
Bill Ward And Amanda Barton: 2:30 p.m., Southern Tier Brewing Company, 2072 Stoneman Circle in Lakewood.
Doc And Bill: 6-8 p.m., Chautauqua County Historical Society Annual Fundraiser, McClurg Museum, 15 Main St. in Westfield.
No Limit: 8 p.m. to midnight, Celoron Legion, 26 Jackson Ave. in Celoron.
Derek Davis And The Tasty Groove: 8 p.m. to midnight, Pine Junction, 9757 Bailey Hill Road in Sherman.
Katie Engler Band: 8 p.m. to midnight, Casino Bar, 777 Seneca Allegany Blvd. in Salamanca.
Two Degrees From Perfect: 9:30 p.m. to 1:30 a.m., Peek'n Peak, 1405 Olde Road in Findley Lake.
Bill Ward And Amanda Barton: 10 p.m., the crooked i, 1013 State St. in Erie.
Red Rhythm: 4-8 p.m., Casino Bar, 777 Seneca Allegany Blvd. in Salamanca.
Bill Ward And Amanda Barton: 6-9 p.m., Hadley House, 3328 Hadley Bay Road in Stow.