ELLICOTTVILLE - They are the two most American forms of music - blues and jazz. The influences of these two genres have been blended together to create sounds that have been the catalyst for new movements. The Ellicottville Chamber of Commerce has brought some of the best in both genres to the area for the annual Ellicottville Jazz and Blues Festival, Friday-Sunday.
"It is a boutique experience," according to the Chamber of Commerce website. "Wander through the village and choose from a variety of jazz and blues performance areas, ranging from restaurants, bars and nightclubs, even street-side."
Shows kick off Friday night when the stage at Balloons Restaurant and Nightclub comes to life with the Memphis vocalist and harmonica player, Brandon Santini, playing his traditional blues, starting at 7 p.m. The Gin Mill gets into the action at 9 p.m., when the Speedy Parker Band takes to the stage with their powerful, hard-edged blues.
Saturday, the action starts at 1 p.m. when Sol Y Sombra, a six-piece Latin jazz ensemble, takes to the Monroe Street Main Stage, playing until about 4. At the same time, the Fredonia Student Modern Jazz Quartet will provide music in the Beer Garden at Ellicottville Brewing Company.
At 5 p.m. the "Green Bar," Madigan's, will be the host to the Buffalo-style dirty blues and uptown jazz of Hoagy and the Blues Bombers, playing a four-hour set, wrapping up at 9. An hour after The Blues Bombers hit their first note, the stage at Balloons lights up with the New Jersey-based B.D. Lenz. Known for their "killer guitarist, bassist and drummer," the band is on an East Coast tour, making an Ellicottville stop along the way.
At 7 p.m., the Silver Fox Steakhouse gets into the action with NY Standard Time, the LTM Trio with vocals, which will be a treat for all that have yet to hear the artistry.
Are you a fan of the rockabilly sound? Would you like to hear it mixed with a bit of blues? That's exactly what the Gin Mill will offer at 9 p.m. when the Heavenly Chillbillies hit the stage. Meanwhile, local blues masters, Mojo Hand, will be kicking their performance off at Ellicottville Brewing Company. For those who have never heard Mojo Hand, their live performances will get even the most ardent non-dancer grooving in their seats with their mix of blues, jazz and other elements.
Fredonia Student Modern Jazz Quartet takes their place in the Beer Garden on Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m. for a return performance, as BLUZEINN, a staple of the Seneca Allegany Casino Bar, hits their five-piece jazz/blues sound.
"Ellicottville has the shops and all the facilities you'd expect in an international class resort, the village is self-contained - all of the venues are within easy walking distance of each other," according to the Chamber website. "After you arrive, leave the car and enjoy the fresh mountain air on foot."