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The Summer of Outdoor Music

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The area outdoor music scene is in full swing. Grab your lawn chairs, kick off those flip flops and get ready to dance to the music!

Griffis Sculpture Park Benefit Concert

This Sunday, head to a fantastic benefit concert for Griffis Sculpture Park.

In 1991, over 6,000 people attended a benefit concert for the park hosted by alternative rockers 10,000 Maniacs. It was a legendary day that is etched in Western New York music history. Twenty-six years later, 10,000 Maniacs will make a highly anticipated return to the United States’ largest sculpture park on Sunday, July 16, 2017 at 2 p.m. for a full-performance of their album “In My Tribe,” which celebrated its 30th anniversary celebration this year.

10,000 Maniacs “In My Tribe” was named by Rolling Stone magazine as one of the “Top 100 Albums of the 1980s.”

10,000 Maniacs, from Jamestown, recently celebrated their 35th anniversary and continues to progress with new material and touring. The band rose to stardom in the 1980s, with their breakout hit album “In My Tribe.” The albums “Blind Man’s Zoo” and “Our Time in Eden” solidified them as one of the country’s biggest acts with sold out shows, major media appearances, and millions of albums sold. The departure of singer Natalie Merchant in 1993, presented the band new beginnings with singer and viola player Mary Ramsey in 1994. What followed was the 10,000 Maniacs tradition of creating innovative alternative rock with multiple albums and international touring that continues to this day. In the past four years, the band has release three new recordings “Music from the Motion Picture,” “Twice Told Tales” and “Playing Favorites.”

Joining the bill is the percussion rock group from Pittsburgh, PA, Jim Donovan & Sun King Warriors. Donovan was one of the founding members of the band Rusted Root and is nationally known wellness and percussion instructor.

Acoustic performer and touring musician Tyler Smilo will open the concert. Born in Texas and raised deep in the Rustbelt of Ohio, Smilo has lived a vagabond’s lifestyle before settling in Erie, PA and taking the city’s music scene by storm. An award winning acoustic artist, Smilo’s Americana influenced folk songs are mostly autobiographical. However, the themes are easily relatable to the “everyman” and his performances both heartfelt and moving.

Tickets are $20 advance, $25 day of show. Children 12 and under free. Tickets can be purchased online at www.eventbrite.com  Gates for the show open at noon, with music starting at 2 p.m.

The concert will feature music, activities, artists, food and beer services. Concert attendees can take in the 250 sculptures that reside throughout the trails of the park, making it the United States largest outdoor sculpture park. The events will be taking place on the top of the hill at the Mill Valley site of the park. Guests must be able to endure a 10 minute walk uphill to the festival site. There will be a shuttle service that will help attendees get to the concert area.

Allegany Rocks the Park July 21

The outdoor music fun continues on July 21 at Allegany State Park’s 6th annual Rock the Park! This year’s event takes place at the Quaker Beach area,  kicking off at 3 p.m. with a local vendor showcase. Various merchants and organizations will be on hand to familiarize park patrons and local residents with the many great things that are available to them in the surrounding area. At 5 p.m., Park Naturalists will host an “Ask the Naturalist” program that will feature several interactive nature displays.

At 6 p.m., it’s time to “Rock the Park” with opening act and Allegany’s own Artist in Residence, Jess Chizuk. Jess, an award-winning songwriter, has her musical roots firmly divided between both old folk tunes and new indie music, and the result of this combination is her truly captivating writing. It has been garnering the attention of audiences in her hometown of Buffalo, New York and beyond. Drawing on life experiences, honest stories, and the city she calls home, her music is soulful and truly genuine.

She will be followed by headliners Playing with Monsters. The band got its start in November of 2014. It was an idea that blossomed from Lead Singer Paul Justinger (Flipside) and Rob Baker (Metal101). The idea was simple— create a band that allows all members to play what they always wanted to, whether they like the song or just the challenge of the song. Since that time the idea has taken off and the group continues to grow in popularity including playing multiple music festivals and opening for national artists like Scott Stapp of Creed.

For more information, contact the Environmental Education/Recreation Department at (716) 354-9101 ext 236 or check out the park’s Facebook page.

Gazebo Series

The Ellicottville Chamber of Commerce presents this summer’s Gazebo Series, sponsored by CCSE Federal Credit Union. The concerts take place in the gazebo on Thursdays from 7 to 9 p.m. and are rain or shine.

The remaining performance schedule is as follows:

Check out Old Hippies on July 20, Black Rock Zydeco on July 27, Lady Rush & the Vinyls on Aug. 3 and Shake on the Lake, presented by the Cattaraugus County Arts Council, on Aug. 11.

Mark your calendars and don’t miss your chance to dance under the sun and stars in the upcoming weeks!

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