Civic Music

ladysmith black mambazo

January 31, 2017, marked my entrance onto the Rochester Civic Music advisory board (a volunteer role), giving me an opportunity to contribute positively to the music scene here. I have some first impressions I am happy to share.

The City of Rochester has a very hardworking and dedicated team of employees who tirelessly strive to bring excellent music to our fair city. Most residents here probably don’t even realize there is a group of city staffers fully focused on booking music of all types, although many have attended one of their events, I’m certain. For example, there is the Riverside Concerts Series, bringing in a variety of performers such as Ladysmith Black Mambazo, whom we saw last night. Thanks to Janet for grabbing some nice photos to share on her camera :0)

ladysmith black mambazo
Ladysmith Black Mambazo

Civic Music also brings in musical talent to the Down by the Riverside summer series, and to two stages of Thursdays on First and Third.

My role on the Committee is to be both a listener and an advocate. I’ll listen to my neighbors and fellow citizens for what sorts of performers they’d like to see and hear . I’ll advocate with my elected city leaders and seek their support for the Civic Music programs. You’ll also see me passing the hat at the Down by the Riverside shows, or staffing a table at concerts. I’m appreciative for being selected for this role, and look forward to contributing.

I’ll offer a final word about the LBM show last night. Besides enjoying their distinctive style of singing, I was moved by several of the key messages and songs. “Tough times never last, but strong people do” was a timely sentiment. They also invited the men in the audience to be sure to give the message to their wives, mothers, or daughters that “all women are beautiful.” The age of the members of the group range from one of the founding members now in his seventies, to the youngest member who is in his twenties. I was moved how the younger members introduced their elders with honor, respect, and gratitude.

Two more concerts are on the books for later this spring: Run Boy Run is a string band (playing a mix of jazz, folk, bluegrass, and more) who will play in the Rochester Arts Center on March 4, 2017, and on April 28, 2017, watch for a show called Under the Streetlamp, featuring past cast members from the Jersey Boys. They’ll perform a mix of doo-wop, early rock, and Motown.

I’ll have more to say about Civic Music in future blogs, I’m sure. Hope to see you at one of our events.

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