This year’s Pine Grill Reunion jazz concert will feature an appearance by organ kingpin Dr. Lonnie Smith, the African-American Cultural Center has told The News.
The annual festival, which takes place Aug. 3 and 10 in Martin Luther King Park, traditionally focuses on gutbucket jazz centered on the sound of the Hammond B3. It is a tribute to the old Pine Grill, a long-gone club on Jefferson Avenue that presented that kind of music.
Smith, a Niagara Falls native famous for his high-wattage virtuosity and his work with George Benson, will perform on Aug. 3. Also on the bill for that day are:
• Niki Haris – the daughter of jazz pianist Gene Harris. Haris was a backup singer for Madonna and has also sung and recorded with Ani DiFranco.
• The Danny Mixon Quartet. Mixon, a jazz pianist who is the head of the Lenox Lounge in Harlem, has worked with such musicians as Charles Mingus, Joe Williams, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Grant Green and Frank Foster, who spent considerable time here in Buffalo.
• Saltman Knowles, a contemporary West Coast jazz group featuring bassist Mark Saltman and pianist William Knowles.
The lineup for Aug. 10 had not been finalized. The second Sunday of the Pine Grill Reunion traditionally features local performers. Both events begin at 4 p.m. and are expected to draw a big crowd. The concerts are free. Vendors sell food, but feel free to bring your own, along with the family and the lawn chairs.