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'Big Easy in Buffalo' announces plans for 2019

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Wed, Nov 14th 2018 09:25 am
New nonprofit organization; 'Mardi Gras Jam' on tap
"The Big Easy in Buffalo" announced its new status for 2019 as a not-for-profit organization under the direction of founder Tod A. Kniazuk. It also announced its 12th annual "Mardi Gras Jam" will take place Febr. 13 at Buffalo Iron Works with New Orleans headlining band Galactic. A local opener and community activities will soon be announced.
In addition, The Big Easy in Buffalo will celebrate its new era with a Dec. 5 "booster night" at Dick & Jenny's on Grand Island. That night, 20 percent of all proceeds will be donated to the new organization's 2019 programming.
Information on The Big Easy in Buffalo, "Mardi Gras Jam" and booster night can be found at www.thebigeasyinbuffalo.org.
Since 2007, The Big Easy in Buffalo has brought in New Orleans and Louisiana music and culture to the Western New York region several times a year for live performances, as well as music education and professional development for local musicians, students and the community. Through The Big Easy in Buffalo, thousands of students, dozens of local bands, and countless audience members have been exposed to this unique American culture.
"The Big Easy in Buffalo has been a passion project of mine for over a decade now, and I'm thrilled that so many have and continue to support the vision of connecting these amazing Louisiana musicians to local professional and student artists and audiences," Artistic/Executive Director Kniazuk said. "We've given bands like The Buffalo Brass Machine their first-ever paid gig, and had students studying New Orleans music learn directly from masters of that music direct from Louisiana - not to mention all the incredible musicians who have graced our local stages."
The Big Easy in Buffalo was founded by Kniazuk for an initial series in 2007-08 under the leadership of the Niagara Erie Regional Coalition and the Visit Buffalo Niagara Foundation (through a grant from the New York State Music Fund). Music is Art continued the program until 2013, when it was brought to Arts Services Initiative of WNY. It became a 501(c)(3) earlier this year. The Big Easy in Buffalo is one of less than 10 percent of all programs funded by the New York State Music Fund that is still in existence.
The organization will continue the tradition of The Big Easy in Buffalo with a board of directors that includes:
  • Alison Burke - director of marketing, WNYmedia and BuffaloFM
  • Darren E. Kempner - treasurer, manager, grants and government affairs, Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority
  • Kniazuk - ex officio, artistic/executive director, The Big Easy in Buffalo
  • Mark McGovern - secretary, director of construction and infrastructure, Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus
  • Miranda Morales - event planner, United Way of Buffalo & Erie County
  • Erin Neff - vice president, electrician, IBEW Local 41
  • Rachel M. Olszewski - program director/director of rentals, Niagara Arts and Cultural Center
  • Susan Sherman - retired educator
  • Jennifer Stergion - president, administrative law judge, New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision
  • Van Taylor - CEO, Van Taylor Productions/Music On The FrontLines
The Big Easy in Buffalo is made possible in part by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, Sportsmen's Tavern, Buffalo Iron Works, Adam's Mark and Dick & Jenny's.
"A sincere thank you to our new board, and to everyone along the way who have empowered The Big Easy in Buffalo to fulfill its mission," Kniazuk said. "The best is yet to come with Galactic at the 'Mardi Gras Jam' and so many more great shows and workshops in 2019 and beyond."

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