For the fifth annual edition of the Big Easy in Buffalo series, Music is Art has gone deep. Papa Grows Funk is one of the hippest bands in New Orleans, and the group's collective mastery of that particularly greasy, oft-imitated, rarely duplicated strain of Louisiana soul-funk is close to unrivaled. This is dance music, in essence, but it is based on collective improvisation -- a jubilant meeting of relentless groove and exploratory musicianship. Sitting still is not offered as an option while PGF is in the process of kicking it out.
Papa Grows Funk -- fronted by soulful keyboard playing and Dr. John-esque vocalisms of frontman John Gros -- will headline the Big Easy in Buffalo at 8 p.m. Saturday in Nietzsche's (248 Allen St.). Critt's Juke Joint, led by saxophonist/keyboardist/master of ceremonies, and also featuring the likes of bassist Michael Wagner, will kick off the proceedings shortly thereafter. Admission is $10.
-- Jeff Miers