Burchfield Penney and Pappy Martin Legacy Jazz Society co-present three-day Jazz Festival September 21 – 23 celebrating the birth of the renowned saxophonist

The Burchfield Penney at SUNY Buffalo State in collaboration with the Pappy Martin Legacy Jazz Society (PMLJS) today announced it will present a three-day festival September 21 – 23, 2017 at The Center of special performances, screenings and conversations in celebration of John Coltrane’s 91st birthday.

“The PMLJS is honored to celebrate the artistic, cultural and spiritual contributions of John Coltrane for the third consecutive year in partnership with the Burchfield Penney on what would have been his 91st birthday,” said Dawn Martin Berry-Walker. “We are also grateful for the support for some of the programming from the Liberty Partnerships Program at SUNY Buffalo State to commemorate this jazz icon.”

The line-up includes:

Thursday, September 21 – 7 PM LECTURE / DISCUSSION | CHUCK MANCUSO REMEMBERS THE ROYAL ARMS NIGHT CLUB The legendary Royal Arms Night Club located on W. Utica Street hosted live jazz acts seven nights a week. John Coltrane appeared once at the club in the early 1960s. Chuck Mancuso, SUNY Buffalo State American Popular Music professor and jazz aficionado, will present a talk on the iconic night club. Event is free with gallery admission.

Friday, September 22 - 8 pm PERFORMANCE | TENOR SAXOPHONIST J.D. ALLEN AND THE GEORGE CALDWELL QUARTET PERFORM JOHN COLTRANE JAZZ CLASSICS Hailed by the New York Times as "a tenor saxophonist with an enigmatic, elegant and harddriving style," JD Allen is a bright rising light on today’s international jazz scene. Admission: $20, advanced tickets available by call (716) 878-6011. Saturday,

September 23

•1 pm - PERFORMANCE | THE PROGESSIONS QUINTET Experience some of some of Western New York’s finest emerging jazz talent, including a former student of the Love Supreme School. Event is free with gallery admission.

•2 pm - SCREENING | CHASING TRANE: THE JOHN COLTRANE DOCUMENTARY CHASING TRANE is the definitive documentary film about an outside-the-box thinker with extraordinary talent whose boundary-shattering music continues to impact and influence people around the world. Event is free with gallery admission.

•4 PM - LECTURE / DISCUSSION | A CONVERSATION WITH JIMMY HEATH: SIRIUSXM REAL JAZZ RADIO HOST EULIS CATHEY INTERVIEWS INSTRUMENTALIST, COMPOSER AND ARRANGER Eulis Cathey interviews Jimmy Heath who will share his exclusive memories performing with John Coltrane. Heath, also 91-years-old, appears throughout the Chasing Trane documentary. Event is free with gallery admission.

•8 PM - PERFORMANCE | BASSIST CURTIS LUNDY PERFORMS SELECTIONS FROM BAGS AND TRANE Accompanied by Craig Handy (saxophonist), George Caldwell (piano), Eric Kennedy (drums) and Joe Doubleday (vibraphone) Arguably one of the most prolific in-demand bassists on the modern jazz scene. He is a disciple of the mainstream straight ahead hard bop school. Jazz Times calls Lundy “one of the most spiritually uplifting bassists on the jazz scene today.” Admission: $20, advanced tickets available by call (716) 878-6011. “

The festival’s cross-generational line-up tells a powerful story of the history of jazz while presenting emerging artists,” said Renata Toney, Burchfield Penney marketing strategist. “We’re honored to once again collaborate with The Society on this this three-day John Coltrane birthday party. We also thank illustrator Philip Burke for contributing the rendering of Coltrane for our promotion efforts.“

About the Pappy Martin Legacy Jazz Society The Society was created to honor the legacy of the late Pappy Martin, the renowned local band leader and musician. Each year the organization presents a series of events, including the Pappy Martin Legacy- Masten Jazz Festival to honor his musical tradition by continuing and enhancing the awareness, appreciation and celebration of jazz. As a band leader and musician, he played in many famous area nightclubs, including Little Harlem, Pine Grill, Revilot, Royal Arms, Moon Glow, Shalimar, Town Casino, Ontario House, and Blue Note.

For more information, go to www.burchfieldpenney.org About the Burchfield Penney Art Center Established in 1966 on the campus of SUNY Buffalo State, the Burchfield Penney Art Center is dedicated to the art and vision of renowned American watercolorist Charles E. Burchfield (1893–1967) and the distinguished artists of Western New York State


Get Ready To party and Bring The Love!

A block club party on Jefferson Avenue Friday evening August 25th will usher in The Annual Rick James Funk Fest taking place in Lasalle Park on Saturday August 26th ! 

The 13th Annual Funk Fest in honor of “The King of Punk Funk,” Buffalo’s own Rick James will kick off this year with a free Block Party on Jefferson Avenue between East Utica and Glenwood Avenue Friday August 25 from 6 to 10 p.m. The idea is the brainchild of Funk Fest coordinator and co-founder Marnetta Malcolm. “We just want people to come down and listen to some great music and have a great time!" She told The Challenger. “There will be a Soul Train Line from East Utica to Glenwood and we’re just going to party! It’s time to get together and love each other. So don’t be enraged – get engaged!” Ms. Malcom promises that it will be a “party like no other!”

Some original members of Blue Magic, who will be performing at the Funk Fest the next day, will also be at the Block Party. The Merriweather Library will have activities for the kids and the Beverly Gray Business Incubator will be open for tours and information. Mike’s Lounge will be open to help make the party an official Jefferson Avenue event. “Today our kids are caught up in ‘chaos by design' " lamented Malcolm. “We want to show them how we used to do it (without shooting or killing or maiming one another) and we’re still here because of it. We just partied and we had fun! So you can be mad and hate on someone or show some love! And we know that love conquers all!”

The block party will usher in the main event, the Funk Fest in LaSalle Park on Saturday August 26 from 2 to 10 p.m. In addition to an exciting all local line up, Blue Magic and LA Sky’s Tribute to Rick James (back by popular demand) will be the featured entertainment. Since his passing in 2004, Marnetta has been involved with the celebration of Rick’s legacy. At the very first impromptu event in MLK Park, where the entire city turned out, she said that she “just bought food.” That next year she, along with Joyce Wilson Nixon and Wade Hawkins produced, formed and introduced their first Funk Fest in 2005. The rest is history!

See you on the Avenue Friday and in the park on Saturday! (Marnetta would like to thank all her special sponsors this year. At press time the list was not available)

Performing In Buffalo's Key Bank Center THIS FRIDAY!

Earth Wind & Fire's Verdine White on 'The 2054 Tour'

"The Audiences Are Having A Great Time...!"

With over 90 million records sold worldwide, seven Grammy wins and inductions into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the NAACP Hall of Fame and the Songwriter’s Hall of Fame, Earth, Wind & Fire are easily one of the most successful groups of all time. Yet their pioneering fusion of funk, soul, jazz, rock and world rhythms have not only transcended commercial and artistic success, it’s also established the group as a genre unto itself and most importantly a soulful, syncopated and all encompassing way of life. Earth, Wind & Fire and the groundbreaking Nile Rodgers and Chic are co-headlining this summer’s greatest party: “The 2054 Tour” which stops at The Key Bank Center Friday, August 11. “It’s going really good,” says bassist Verdine White, whose inimitable musical and personal style has been a key element of the group since its inception, regarding the tour when reached by the phone. “We’re having a great time and both bands are great.

The audiences are having a great time and we’re seeing a lot young people.” That unity or conscious party, if you will, is key in helping define the Earth Wind & Fire experience which is imbued with spirituality, optimism and love as envisioned by the late-Maurice White when he formed the band in Chicago in 1970. “We have to thank my brother Maurice for his enlightenment, encouragement and his insight in all of those areas,” concurs White when prompted about the group’s uplifting message. Indeed, indelible hit songs like “Shining Star” “Sing A Song” and “September” or landmark albums like That’s The Way Of The World, Spirit, and I Am still seem timely and timeless four decades after the fact while E,W&F anthems that were directed towards the African- American community like “Keep Your Head To The Sky,” Mighty Mighty” and “Devotion” share universal truths with which all cultures could identify.

Let’s also not forget about “Reasons” or “Love’s Holiday” which surely spike a population increase nine months after couples play or stream them. Not to mention E,W&F’s sonic imprint which helped shape modern Black pop and the last half century of American popular music influencing the likes of Prince, Outkast, Beyonce, Keith Sweat and Phil Collins among many others while also proving fertile sampling ground for A Tribe Called Quest, The Fugees and Public Enemy to name a few. They also continue to offer musical inspiration in troubled times and in this era it’s something that’s needed more than ever. Prompted for his thoughts on whether the current political climate has made the group’s music more relevant, White notes that, “I think a lot of people are coming to the concerts for a feel good experience and what it does is re-enforces our message and how much people love it and appreciate it more.”

Reflecting on the passing of his older brother Maurice last year from Parkinson’s disease at age 74, White says, “You’re always going to have to deal with it. We were pretty much ready for it and our shows are dedicated to him and we do a certain part of the show for him. We’ll always love him.” Currently comprised of Philip Bailey (who joined in 1972), Verdine and Ralph Johnson, Earth, Wind & Fire remain a vital force on the road and in the studio having released Now Then & Forever to acclaim in 2013 and their first ever Christmas release Holiday in 2014 while further demonstrating their versatility and universal appeal by closing this year’s Country Music Awards with a performance of “September” and appearing on CMT Crossroads with Country Artists Rascal Flatts, Martina McBride and Darius Rucker.

Of the worlds of Country music and Earth, Wind & Fire colliding White says, “They’re big on songs and we’re big on songs and they did a poll and they wanted to sing our songs with us. It was very beautiful and it was an honor too, to show how our music has translated.” “We’ve just grown and we’ve done a lot of different things and we’ve obviously had the opportunity to be part of the culture changes and the technological changes” says White of the group’s longevity. “We’ve done some really interesting things.”


2017 Barber of the Year JERRY F. DANIELS 

Jerry F. Daniels, Sr. is being celebrated this week with two major honors.


In addition to being named the Challenger’s 2017 Barber of the Year, a brunch is being held in his honor on Sunday, July 16 at the new Landmark on Pearl Street. The recognition is well deserved. Jerry has been barbering for 60 years!  He will be 85 years young on August 11, and the handsome Grand Master appears to be far from slowing down.

A native of Cordele, Georgia,  he spent most of his childhood in Florida.  He attended Florida A&M College where he majored in English and minored in Humanities. At one point, he said, he wanted to be an electrical engineer.  But he was drafted into the Army. After receiving an honorable discharge he found his way to Buffalo “My Pastor was Peter Trammell (the father of former Judge Wilbur Trammell). At that time young men would go to him and ask him about jobs.”  

Jerry was one of them. “He told me ‘boy! Why don’t you go into barbering?' I told him I didn’t know anything about barbering and he told me to go to school and encouraged me to apply.  “I had just got out the military and had my GI Bill so I enrolled In the Roberts School of Barbering,  which at that time was located on Washington and Huron in downtown Buffalo."

The rest is history. 

Jerry, who has been barbering since 1957, said he started   out with his   cousin, Richard Daniels in 1966at the Tabernacle BarberShop on Jefferson near Broadway.  He said in an interview with The Challenger several years ago, that he remembers charging .50 for children and eventually $1 for men back in the day. He eventually opened his own shop – the Carl-Jeff Barbershop at 851 Jefferson on corner ofCarlton.  

 Jerry later purchased his current location at 859 Jefferson Avenue.

 He has been the recipient of a number of community awards including the Black Achieversin IndustryAward, an MLK Award and others. He has had streets and a small park near the barbershop named after him and is held in high esteem by his customers, co-workers and his community.

He takes it all in stride.

Several times a week Jerry goes to nursing homes and hospitals to cut hair for Vets, the sick and elderly.  “Barbering is more than an occupation,” he said. “It’s a ministry. You really connect with people. Sometimes you become a sounding board for them. Many times people come in and they may have a problem…you allow them to vent.  Then other times people just want to talk and once they leave they feel better. “ He continued: ”Barbering is also educational because you have all types of people come in from every walk of life and you have to learn how to adjust as much as you can.”

He said his parents were very inspirational throughout his life.  His father was a Minister and his mother was a Missionary in the church. “They always encouraged me(by telling me)   You can do it’. “  There were others who inspired him along the way. But the Lord and His goodness, he said,  has been his greatest inspiration and help in times of need.

“Sometimes the job is not easy, but with God, itis always doable.” First and foremost you have to keep the Lord in your life," he said then quoted Philippians 4:13: “‘I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”  For many years he was a member of Cedar Grove. He now attendsShiloh Baptist Church.

“I would like to thank my customers for their loyal support," he said humbly. “I tell people, ‘through our doors walk the finest people in all the world.!  Everyone who comes in is a celebrity!"


We proudly salute

Jerry Daniels, our 2017 "Barber of the Year!"

(The community is invited to come out this Sunday from 1-4 p.m. for Sunday Brunch in honor of Mr. Daniels, ”A stranger to none and a friend to everyone.” The event will take place at The Landmark on Pearl, 318 Pearl St. Tickets are $35. Call 884-1444 for more information.)

2017 Beautician of the Year HARRIETT BLACK

Harriet Black’s customers have nothing but love and admiration for her.

In the nomination entries for the coveted title of 2017 Beautician of the Year they used such words as caring, conscientious, loving and God fearing to describe Harriett, also known as “Duchess.”

The kind of accolades she received speaks volumes about her life and her career. She has owned and operated her own salon “Hair Concepts by Duchess,” for 27 years and has worked in the industry for 36, building a reputation for excellence and dependability.

-Hair Matters-

When she was 8 years old she decided to be creative and streaked her Barbie Doll’s hair with red fingernail polish. “I got a whooping for that,” Harriett said laughing. “But at eight years old I knew this was my calling.” And it remained her passion even after she became a young adult, finished school and attended Bryant and Stratton where she received a certificate in business administration. She ultimately pursued her dream, enrolled In the Continental School of Beauty, and graduated in 1981. That same year she got married and started to work as a professional cosmetologist.    

Her first job, in a local salon, lasted one whole day.“When the owner told me I would get 20% I was out!” recalled Harriett. Work at three other salons followed - Ben’s Coiffeur, Tase’ and Iren’s Beauty Bar on Humboldt Parkway.

Finally in 1990, armed with experience, a God given talent for hair care, a diploma from Continental and a certificate in Business Administration, she opened her own shop, Concepts by Duchess, at 862 E. Delavan next to Woody’s and Manuel’s Afro Styles. The name of the business, she said was in honor of her late father who gave her the nickname “Duchess.” “He passed away in 1988 and I said if I ever got my ownsalonthat name would be involved in it.” She stayed in the E. Delavan Avenuelocationfor 10 years before purchasing hercurrentbuilding at 543 East Amherst in 1999.  In 2013 she burned her 15 year mortgage; a testament to her business savvy, her work ethic, and strong support base .

“I’ve been in the industry for 36 years and in August I’llcelebrate 36 years of being married to awonderfulhusband and supporter,” she said of her soul mate Frank Black, who she also describesas a great inspiration. During thoseearly days it was not unusual for her to work until 2 or 3 a.m. Her husband was always there to help care fortheir two daughters (now age 29 and 33), whileHarriett worked her dream.

She also credits her mother Frances Brownforbeing a great help. “I couldn’t have done any of this without my mom and my husband Frank, “ she said, “Alone I dare not climb; with God and you I reach new heights – because you can’t do anythingwithout other people,” she continued philosophically.  “I wouldn’t bewhereI am todaywithout the support of my clients “she added. “In my 27 years here I have always had people in my chair,” she said humbly.

Ultimately she credits God asher greatest inspiration. She has been amember of Friendship Baptist Church since 1981 (she and Frank were married there). He   serves as a deacon and she is a deaconess.  Rev. Edward Jackson Jr. is the current pastor. “My favorite scripture is Philippians 4:13,” she said, ‘I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

-Attitude of Gratitude-

Over the years, Harriett has never stopped learning. She holds a Bachelor’s from Dudley’s Hair Care and in 2005 was named the UB School of Management, Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership’s Protégé of the Year. She has also received awards from the National Association of Professional Women and this year won Ashtae Hair Products Platinum Award for a High Rank Client of the Year.  She takes education classes from that North-Carolina-based company twice a year.

“The more mature I get in this industry the more thankful I am to people for choosing me,” acknowledged the lovely 56-years young entrepreneur. “A lot of my clients have been with me since I started out, when our kids were babies and now they’re grown. I even have generational customers; grandmother, daughter and granddaughter.”

She expressed sincere appreciation for her current staff as well as anyone who has ever worked in the salon.  “I would also like to thank all my clients – current and former - they have been stepping stones to get me where I am today. You can’t do anything by yourself and I would like to thank them for that and to let them know the door is always open to return.”

Her advice to young beauticians and shop owners today is simple: Save your money! and think retirement.“Your company is you! “ she declared. “So if you don’t preparefor retirement now who will? There’s life after the chair!” She said the industry has changed a lot in the sense that everything is more commercial now. “I’m into the health of the hair,” said Harriett. “I want to get to know you. I want a relationship.  You are more than just a client to me!”

Congratulations Harriett! We proudly salute you as our 2017 Beautician of the Year!