By Deb Everts
Allegany State Park (ASP) and the Seneca-Iroquois National Museum are partnering this summer to present local musicians from the park’s Artist in Residence program.
From July 10 to Aug. 21., the museum will host the free concerts at the Onöhsagwë:de’ Cultural Center’s new outdoor amphitheater every Wednesday evening from 6 to 7 p.m.
Each performance will last approximately an hour, with a new musician and a variety of genres covered each week. The event is drug- and alcohol-free. It will be held weather permitting.
Among the selected musicians will be Nick Kody of West Valley and Lydia Herren of Springville, who will play a wide range of acoustic rock, blues and country folk music on Aug. 7.
The duo, backed by The Creek Road Band, offers a unique and diverse interpretation of the Americana genre through both their recorded work and live performances. Both musicians are multi-instrumentalists, performing on guitar, violin, harmonica, mandolin, bass and piano, to name a few.
Jennifer Jemison, promotion manager at the museum, said this is the first time the performers from the Artist in Residence program have come to the museum to entertain. She said the museum always does something with the park each summer.
Since the cultural center has the new amphitheater, the park thought they’d come to the museum and entertain people there.
“We strive to make our parks part of the local community,” said Jay Bailey, ASP Regional Director. “In this case, we have partnered with the Seneca-Iroquois National Museum to both expose the community to our Artist in Residence program and expose our campers to this incredible museum and cultural center on the edge of the park. Our Artists in Residence program features various artists serving throughout the summer season who each provide a full week of entertainment to park patrons.”
On July 10, Susie Rozler will open the summer music program with a huge variety of relaxing and fun musical genres. Her 30 years of professional musicianship, vocal performance, voiceover performances for radio and commercials, acting and teaching Pre-K to 5th-grade music gets the audience singing along, moving and enjoying themselves while learning. A teacher of music and nature, she works with Earth Spirit Educational Services at the Niagara Falls Parks Department.
Tyler Calkins, of Marshmellow Overcoat of Bradford, Pa., will be playing July 17. His sounds reflect the songwriting techniques of the 1960s and ‘70s, while also utilizing modern and alternative rock. His unique rhythm guitar, piano, harmonica and vocals have made him one of the most sought-after performers in the Southern Tier. In addition to solo and side projects, Calkins has five albums under his belt with his band.
On July 24, Will Lowery will entertain with his folk, blues and classical guitar music. A native of Ellicottville, Lowry has been writing and recording since the late 1970s. As an acoustic guitarist, his background is both in folk and classical music, while he also spent time as an electric guitarist for both rock and blues bands. He records at Diamond Lake Studios in Cattaraugus.
With a passion for entertaining a crowd, Jamie Haight will play his guitar and sing July 31. A member of the Chautauqua Area Musician Program’s “Fantasy Rock Star League,” Haight was voted Chautauqua County’s best lead guitarist in 2005. Over the last several years, he has done mostly solo work, performing at area venues and recording albums. He has played with such bands as Djava, Sweet Jane and China Phrog.
Ken Hardley, a performer of broad musical taste and perspective, will have tunes for everyone to enjoy Aug. 14. As a musician, entertainer, traveler and socialite from the Jamestown area, Hardley has a unique perspective dedicated to his lifetime of restless exploration of a variety of literary and musical mediums. He is an interviewer and producer whose vision is one of old literacy, love of art in all its forms and curiosity about the human condition.
On Aug. 21, the final evening of the music series, Gregory Zeis and Jess Chizuk of The Rightly So will entertain the crowd with their unique style of captivating acoustic music. The duo from the Buffalo area is comprised of Zeis, an esteemed guitarist and performer, and award-winning singer/songwriter Jess Chizuk who deliver their music in perfectly blended harmonies by voices that have been described as “electric and deeply in tune.”