Though he has, over the years, made himself a most valued member of several of the finest live ensembles ever - among them his bands the Range and the Noisemakers, plus the Grateful Dead - Bruce Hornsby always makes time to perform intimate shows with nothing but his piano and his voice for company. These shows seem to be the core of what Hornsby does - he employs them as both personal challenge and agent of growth, finding through these periodic tours a deeper relationship with both his own (breathtaking) piano playing and his loyal fans.

We've been treated to many of these up close and personal Hornsby solo piano gigs in Buffalo over the past decade, but when Hornsby arrives for a show at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday in the University's Center for the Arts, he'll be doing so hot on the heels of the release of his soundtrack for director Spike Lee's "Red Hook Summer." For this particular collection, Hornsby reveals the true breadth of his musical vision, indulging in a seemingly effortless hybrid of jazz, classical and Americana and rooting all of it in inspired piano playing. It's a beautiful soundtrack. Let's hope Hornsby shares some of it with us in concert.

Tickets are $32 to $40 (box office, Ticketmaster). Visit

- Jeff Miers