The Big Easy in Buffalo

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The Big Easy in Buffalo2017-06-29T12:45:31-04:00

The Big Easy in Buffalo

Bringing New Orleans Culture to Western NY

The Big Easy in Buffalo is a program of Arts Services Initiative that brings New Orleans and Louisiana music and culture to the Western New York region several times a year for live performance and interaction with local musicians, students, and the community.  Its centerpiece is the annual Mardi Gras Jam held the Friday before Mardi Gras Day.

The Big Easy in Buffalo is made possible in part by Erie County, the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, Sportsmen’s Tavern, Buffalo Iron Works, and Adam’s Mark.




Since 2007 The Big Easy in Buffalo has showcased all genres Louisiana music to the area: trad jazz, funk, zydeco, rock, blues, roots, modern jazz, brass band, Cajun, R&B, and more.  We’ve brought in legendary names like Preservation Hall, Ellis Marsalis, Aaron Neville and Dr. John; as well as those at the beginning of their national careers like Trombone Shorty (at the time of his first national cd release) and Pine Leaf Boys (on their first national tour).  Buffalo stages have been graced by artists as diverse as a Mardi Gras Indian Big Chief and “New Orleans’ premier guitar-washboard-sousaphone trio”.

Through The Big Easy in Buffalo thousands of students, dozens of local bands, and countess audience members in Western New York have been exposed to this unique American culture.  Now with The Big Easy in Buffalo at ASI we will broaden the scope of the program to include multiple artistic disciplines and involve even more local artists.


The Big Easy in Buffalo was founded by Tod A. Kniazuk 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, for an initial series in 2007-08.  Music is Art continued the program until 2013, when it was brought to Arts Services Initiative of WNY.  ASI would like to thank the Regional Coalition, VBN Foundation, and especially Music is Art for their support and dedication to this program.  The Big Easy in Buffalo is one of less than 10% of all programs funded by the NYS Music Fund that is still in existence.

ASI is excited to continue this cultural legacy in Western New York.


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