If the Pre-Pine Grill event featuring the incomparable Marsha McWilson  is any indication of what to expect for the upcoming event in MLK Park this weekend – it’s going to be awesome! 

Ms. McWilson performed an outstanding  one-woman  show to a standing room   only audience last Friday in the Paul Robeson Theatre at the African American Cultural Center,  sponsors of the Pine Grill.

This year marks the 33rd annual gathering August 7 and   14, and organizers have worked hard to make it one of the best with nationally known artists and outstanding local performers who will entertain with all genres of music from Gospel, R&B, Jazz, Blues and Fusion to Hip-Hop and Soul!  

Although the entertainment starts at 3 p.m., for the first time this year reunion-goers are invited to visit with vendors  who will be set up  in the park  as early as  1 p.m.  before the show.  

The Pine  Grill is always a FREE EVENT.

However to show their appreciation to supporters, according to the Cultural Center’s  Director Jackie Mines, this  year there will be a special section for patrons and sponsors who donate $10 or more to   support the work of the African American Cultural Center. It will be on a first come first serve  basis and seats  are  limited.

-The Lineup –

This Sunday’s lineup will feature Tee Nyce, Serena Young, DaMarka Wheeler, Lady Kathy Bowman, Jacqueline Cherry, Nicole Campfield, Marsha McWilson, Wendy Cox, Taveem Gibson and Vibrant Strings.

Yao Kahlil Newkirk,  Artistic Director at The Paul Robeson Theatre of the African American Cultural Center, is producing and hosting  the first show.

On Sunday,  August 14, well known promoter Eric Martin has  stepped to the plate to lend his decades of promotional skills  and experience to produce the second show which will feature  national acts Tom Browne and Danny Clay  also,  the All Star Band, Intuition, Next Level and Juke Boxxx. 

According to Yao, the intent is to make the event   inclusive musically and while respecting tradition, build on what was; ranching out  to   others so they can appreciate  the Pine Grill experience and continue to support the legacy.

The Pine Grill was a nightclub located on the corner of Jefferson and E. Ferry  that was   bursting with music   during the heyday of  Buffalo’s jazz scene – attracting some of the biggest national acts in music in the 50s and 60s. 

The spot where it once stood is now a parking lot next door to a drug store.

We give thanks  to the visionary late George K. Arthur, who  founded the Pine Grill Jazz Reunion in 1989 and the dedication of the late Agnes Bain of the African Cultural Center who “held it down” for decades.        

The memories are in the people and the music, and the people and the music return every year to MLK Park to reunite, remember and give thanks.

See you in the park!

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