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entertainment

July 24, 2021 - 9:39pm

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Batavia Downs summer concert series brought Slaughter last evening in a recent change from a couple weeks ago to replace Skid Row due to a cancellation. 

The heavy rock band has two original members since its inception, lead singer Mark Slaughter and Dana Strum bass guitar, backing vocals. The band played some of its greatest hits, "Fly to the Angels," "Up All Night" and "Spend My Life."

Photos by Steve Ognibene.

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July 11, 2021 - 4:44pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in elba, video, music, arts, entertainment.
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July 8, 2021 - 1:19pm

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Glenn Adams shared these photos of yesterday's concert in Centennial Park by the Batavia Concert Band.

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July 4, 2021 - 1:51pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in KISS THIS, arts, music, entertainment, The Ridge NY, Le Roy, video.
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June 26, 2021 - 9:15am

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Batavia Downs Friday night summer concert series brought Steve Augeri (formerly of Journey) in town last evening.

Augeri and his band performed classics like “Open Arms,” “Stone in Love” and “Separate Ways” that highlighted some greatest hits in the '80s that are still played today.

Next Friday’s show features Molly Hatchet at Batavia Downs.

Photos by Steve Ognibene Photography.

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June 25, 2021 - 11:15pm

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Penny Whiskey kicked off this summer’s Friday Night Jackson Square concert series. The band features a mix of Celtic, folk, rock and bluegrass all rolled into a hilarious show. Members play a variety of instruments like banjo, bodhran, whistles, mandolin, acoustic and electric guitar and flute.

Penny Whiskey offers the best in music from both Ireland and Scotland along with homegrown bluegrass, folk and rock influences and that touch of crunchy electric guitar that gets you on your feet.

Executive Director for the Batavia BID, Beth Kemp said, “The Batavia Business Improvement District is so thrilled to be able to host Jackson Square Summer Concert Series this summer! It has been a tough last year for our businesses and community and we are happy to be providing events and opportunities for people to come together again in our Downtown!”

For a complete list of Friday night concerts in the square, click here.

Photos by Steve Ognibene Photography.

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June 14, 2021 - 4:49pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in stumblin' inn, arts, entertainment, music, elba, news, notify.

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Jim Goff, an icon of the local music scene for decades, passed away this weekend, according to an announcement by his family on The Stumblin' Inn's Facebook page.

Goff and his brother Stephen "Stork" Goff owned and operated the famous bar and music venue for nearly four decades, until a fire destroyed the 150-year-old building in Elba in July 2018.

Stork passed away in March.

An obituary about Jim Goff is not yet available.

According to his family's statement, Goff succumbed to cancer.

It reads, in part, "The Goff family has suffered so much loss this year but this one is the hardest to swallow. My dad was so incredibly kind, caring, compassionate, and selfless. He supported so many local bands and charities, he brought together so many friends and families, creating unforgettable memories for all of us."

Photos: File photos from a 2018 benefit for the Goffs

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June 12, 2021 - 9:14am
posted by Howard B. Owens in almost queen, Batavia Downs, music, arts, entertainment, news.

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The Rockin' The Downs concert series opened Friday evening with a performance by the Queen tribute band, Almost Queen.

Photos by Philip Casper.

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June 11, 2021 - 2:53pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Claudia Hoyser, music, arts, entertainment, batavia, news.

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Claudia Hoyser is a country music social media sensation whose career just keeps expanding.

Besides entertaining 354,000 followers on Facebook with weekly music videos along with 13,000 followers on YouTube, Hoyser has her own line of coffee being sold at Tops along with other retail outlets around the nation and now her name is on a new whiskey-coffee blend.

On June 25 she headlines a concert at The Ridge NY in Le Roy, which will also be a release party for her debut album (it's also her birthday).

The Rochester-based singer and songwriter said the endorsement deals for the coffee and whiskey are a one-thing-leads-to-another tale that involves fans loving her music and bringing her ideas.

"So the story of the coffee whiskey goes that we've been creating these videos every week and on Monday we put them out on Facebook, a classic country cover," she said. In the videos, we put a little vintage espresso pot in all of them. Coffee has always been one of my things. It's always been one of my manager's things. We never start the day without it at the studio. The videos went viral. We've had over 120 million views on the video series on my Facebook page."

At a show in Rochester, Hoyser could see her manager, Tony Gross, and the bar owner, Bucky Montrois, in the back of the room with their heads together like they were planning something. Hoyser said she was so curious about what they were scheming, it was hard to concentrate on the words of her songs. After the show, Montrois told her besides the bar, he owned a coffee business.

He asked if Hoyser would like her own brand of coffee.

"The next week he came out to the studio with beans from all over the world and we taste-tested different blends of different roasts," Hoyser said. "We came out with this for the country coffee, which I thought was going to be a short-lived product, you know, for the merch table. But it just went crazy and started shipping into 15 countries and selling Tops Markets took it in 120 Tops stores and a whole bunch of local retailers. Now it's on Amazon now and everything. So people just love the coffee."

That includes a couple of Hoyser's fans in Idaho who own a distillery. They suggested the whiskey-coffee blend.

Hoyser was at Mr. Wine and Liquor on Thursday to promote Hoyser Country Drunken Bean Classic Coffee Whiskey.  

"It has just taken off (since its release) four weeks ago," Hoyser said. "It's already in 125 retail locations and we've been out doing some sampling. These things are going really well. It's been fun."

For more about Claudia Hoyser, click here. For tickets to the concert at The Ridge, click here.

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Hoyser at Mr. Wine and Liquor with Batavia resident Sally Bleier.

The video for Hoyser's first single off her new album, "Wicked."

May 21, 2021 - 6:08pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Dave's Ice Cream, music, entertainment, batavia, news.
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As COVID-19 restrictions ease, more and more local venues are hiring, once again, musicians to perform live for patrons.

Thursday, the Sky Cats performed an outdoor show at Dave's Ice Cream.

VENUE OWNERS: If you are scheduling live music, send the time, date, location, and name of the music act to [email protected] and we'll include the date on our calendar. If we get enough participation, we'll post upcoming shows on a weekly basis on Thursdays.

April 28, 2021 - 3:29pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in poetry, GO ART!, video, arts, entertainment.
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Gregory Hallock, executive director of GO ART!, reads poems by Annette Daniels Taylor for National Poetry Month.

April 23, 2021 - 5:56pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in poetry, video, arts, entertainment.
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Batavia resident Dan Crofts reading "The Dark Night" by John of the Cross for National Poetry Month.

April 20, 2021 - 10:57am
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S. Shade Zajac, conductor and musical director for the Genesee Symphony Orchestra, reading "Power" by Jim Morrison for National Poetry Month.

April 16, 2021 - 4:06pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia HS, batavia, arts, entertainment, news.

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Batavia High School's Production Club presents the musical comedy "Sister Act" this Saturday, April 17, in both a limited in-performance and an on-demand video, which will be available April 24.

For this Saturday's live performance, each member of the production is allowed to distribute only two tickets due to COVID-19 restrictions. The performance will be recorded and available for a limited time starting a week from tomorrow.

The stage production is based on the 1992 movie with original music by Tony- and eight-time Oscar winner, Alan Menken. The musical was nominated for five Tony Awards.

To purchase tickets for the recorded performance, click here.

Photos by Howard Owens, except full cast photo at bottom, by Steve Ognibene.

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April 16, 2021 - 3:08pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Yngodess Shop, news, Batavia Players, arts, entertainment.

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Jilian Helwig won a large, wine-filled gift basket in a drawing yesterday in a drawing at The YNGodess Shop as a fundraiser for Batavia Players, which is moving its theater on Harvester Avenue to a Main Street location in City Centre in Downtown Batavia.

YNGodess owner Chris Crocker drew the winning ticket.

The raffle raised $5,800 for Batavia Players.

April 14, 2021 - 6:21pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in poetry, arts, entertainment, video.
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For National Poetry Month, David Reilly reads "Nostalgia" by Billy Collins.

April 13, 2021 - 3:37pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Dianna Spiotta, music, arts, entertainment, batavia, news.

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Batavia native Deanna Spiotta moved to Nashville, Tenn., in 2013 to try and make it as a recording artist but found, she said, that she was unprepared for the music business and felt alone in trying to navigate it.

But that experience didn't diminish her drive nor dampen the dream of making music her career.

She returned to Western New York in 2015 and started renewing and building connections locally and as a result, this week released her first EP, "The In Between," a collection of six songs she wrote and arranged.

It was produced by Dave Drago in Macedon. Spiotta sings and plays guitar and piano on the tracks. She is joined by Drago on bass, electric guitar, and backing vocals, Alex Northup on keyboards, and Javi Torres on drums.

"It is my hope to share this music with our community and that it will resonate with people and help them feel through difficult emotions," Spiotta said.

This is Spiotta's debut release. She said it was tough making connections in Nashville without any professional recordings under her belt. She hopes the EP is a step toward realizing her dream of writing and performing music for a living.

Her influences include, she said, The Beatles, Shawn Colvin, Miranda Lambert, and Leslie Odom Jr.

She provided a Spotify link to music that inspired and influenced her.

"I'm also inspired by Motown, which makes sense as The Beatles and Shawn Colvin were heavily influenced by Motown artists and Black artists who founded rock 'n' roll and country music," she said.

"Miranda Lambert was very influential to me at the beginning of my career about 10 years ago, and now I find myself growing from her style to create my own. Leslie Odom Jr.'s album, Mr, serves as a big inspiration to me.

"Our sounds don't sound anything alike, but I love that he fuses many different styles, genres and sounds to make something unique. I find it fascinating to fuse all of the musical experiences in my life into my own unique sound."

Her EP is available on Apple Music, Spotify, and her own website, DeannaSpiotta.com.

Photos by Taylor Rambo Photography. All rights reserved. Used with permission of Deanna Spiotta.

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April 9, 2021 - 2:05pm
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For National Poetry Month, we asked several local school superintendents to read a poem for us. The first submission comes from Matthew Calderon, superintendent of Pembroke Central schools. He's reading "Sick" by Shel Silverstein.

March 25, 2021 - 10:11am
posted by Press Release in oakfield-alabama, musical, arts, entertainment, news.

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Press release:

As with all things this year, everything is different because of COVID-19. Some activities cannot currently run and those that can happen look much different than in past years.

Although many aspects of a live stage performance had to be adjusted, we were very excited to still be able to provide this opportunity for our students. In an attempt to remain as healthy and safe as possible, while also following the regulations, we were able to get our students on stage (and on screen) using masks and as much social distancing as possible while interacting with each other.

We, unfortunately, had to make decisions to have a smaller cast, have our ensemble prerecorded, and scale down much of our sets and props to less than normal. However, it allowed our actors and actresses to focus more on their emotions and character portrayal in order to bring this touching musical to both our live audience and our supporters online.

It has been amazing to work with our students this year – to see their passion and joy, to take them beyond what they thought was possible, and to have them shine on stage. It is truly wonderful to still be able to create opportunities and live performances with our talented students.

Our cast and crew put on three amazing performances. And although most of the general public could not attend the performances in person, there is still an opportunity to catch these outstanding performers.

The performance has been uploaded online and is available to watch through April 18th. You can purchase access to the performance by going to www.OACSDramaClub.weebly.com and following the link on our homepage. From there you can either purchase single viewer access for $10 or access for the entire household for $25.

All money helps to offset the cost of rentals and royalties for producing the musical. You can purchase the access at any time before April 18th, an email link will be sent to you, and once you hit play you will have 48 hours to view the entire performance before your access runs out. Please sit back and enjoy the show from the comfort of your home.

Photos by Kristin Smith. For more, click here.

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