Buffalo is Alive with Music

Buffalo has its scene – but it also has a sound.

 

It’s the gritty guitar chords of a city always grinding, with fledgling musicians flicking strings through punk sets or intricate progressions in the corners of dive bars and dance halls. It’s the drum thump of an ethnically diverse population, packed together in rock clubs once host to jazz greats, alt rock gods and every performer in between. It’s the amplified exuberance of a region still rising from the ashes of its Rust Belt past, but now blooming from the artistic fervor that’s always kept it pulsating.

 

Buffalo’s music is its heartbeat, and every night, it’s unleashed to illuminate this once-heralded City of Light.

 

Popular Music Venues

 

Step into Asbury Hall @ Babeville and find downtown’s most angelic venue, set inside a converted 19th century Gothic Revival-style church. Catch a touring show inside the lower bowl of the historic Town Ballroom, then shuffle across the street to the Tralf for blues, jazz or the spirit of Prince—who famously played a surprise set in the place in 2002. Pack into Mohawk Place for genuine rock club grit, or find the city’s answer to Austin, Texas within the alt-country, honky tonk confines of Sportsmen’s Tavern. Walk up to a collaborative evening within the Colored Musicians Club; stroll in and get situated within the jazz-infused ambiance of Pausa Art House; or head to bohemian cool of Nietzsche’s, whose exterior artwork states its position quite clearly: Without music, life would be a mistake.

 

Rick James found his funk on these streets. The Goo Goo Dolls went from sweat-drenched local club shows to eventual pop radio stardom. Snapcase’s homegrown snarl influenced every fledgling hardcore act for decades—including fellow Buffalonians Every Time I Die, who tore up local spots before rising to a now flagship act of its genre. Ani DiFranco, Willie Nile and Weezer’s Patrick Wilson grew up here; and before its swirling jams moved summer festivals, Aqueous, Moe. and Soulive were born on these blocks.

 

But the venues and lineage are only part of the sound. The rest lies in the region’s ongoing need for that beat, and how it reverberates from musician to resident across all corners of Western New York.

 

Tireless local artists. Visiting Canadian quartets. Hip-hop poets and purveyors of glittering synth pop. Their rhythms roll through venues small and large, suburban or city. In the winter, it echoes between frost-covered windows of neighborhood taverns and intimate enclaves. In the summer, it moves into every park, headlines every waterfront festival, and entertains thousands, seven nights a week.

 

Finding Buffalo’s Nightlife

 

Regardless of season, it’s always a working-class communal experience, shared by locals who’ve lived it, and visitors who want to check the pulse of this city. And with every song or sold-out show, that vibrancy is here—and it’s the sound of Buffalo.

 

With many watering holes waiting until 4 a.m. for last call, you could say Buffalo knows a thing or two about nightlife. From old-school taverns and hopping bars to craft beers, casinos and live music, the Nickel City parties from dusk to near dawn.

 

You’ll find nightspots all over town, from Allen Street, Elmwood Avenue, University Heights and Hertel Avenue  to the Chippewa Entertainment District in the heart of downtown. Chow down on innovative food at Local Kitchen & Bar and SoHo, soak in the city on Skybar’s rooftop terrace and dance the night away at 67 West. The drop-down menus on the listings below will help you hone in on the nightlife and locations that fit your mood. Spend and evening in some of Buffalo’s classic taverns. Or fellas: plan a guy’s night out with these suggestions!

 

Ready to hear it? Scroll down to see our list of venues, or explore our events calendar for upcoming music events.

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A Music Lover’s Guide to Buffalo

Buffalo rocks and you can, too!

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Pausa Art House

The perfect place for your next night out.

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Listen Local. Drink Local.

The abundance of opportunities to combine live music and craft beer for an enhanced experience within Buffalo’s footprint makes WNY a first-class region for live entertainment. This series is presented by 42 North Brewing Company.

Unexpected BUFFALO’S PLAYLIST

Featured Event

First Fridays at the AKG

09/01 – 12/06

Buffalo AKG Art Museum

M&T First Fridays at the Buffalo AKG Art Museum are set to begin again on September 1st, from 10 am…

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Featured Event

St. Patrick’s Day Parade

03/17

Delaware Avenue

Free

The annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade, is Buffalo’s largest celebration of the Irish heritage. The Parade, which begins near Buffalo’s…

Details

Featured Event

Buffalo Porchfest

05/18

Elmwood Village

Free

Buffalo Porchfest is a grassroots music festival that turns porches into stages for local bands and musicians for an afternoon!…

Details

Cavalcade of Cars

03/01 – 03/03

Fairgrounds Event Center

$15 Adults, children under 12 Free

NY’s Hottest Indoor Show!  Rods-Customs-Classics- Race Prepared & Motorcycles. Auto Related Vendors.  Music all Weekend. Pin-Up Contest Sunday. Fri: 4…

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Don Quixote

03/01 – 03/02

Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra

A weekend of fanciful dreams and fantastical escapades awaits when the musical narration of Richard Strauss’ Don Quixote takes the…

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Howard Goldman Vintage Hotel Piano Bar

01/05 – 03/08

Hyatt Regency Buffalo – Atrium Bar and Bistro

Come sing along with pianist and crooner Howard Goldman every Friday.

Details

Maddie Zahm: Now That I’ve Been Honest Tour

03/01

Babeville

Meet Maddie Zahm, one of America’s most exciting new pop acts, with her debut album ‘Now That I’ve Been Honest’…

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Niagara Renaissance: Art that Moves our Community

03/01

Niagara Falls Underground Railroad Heritage Center

As we continue the celebration and honoring of Black stories, art, leadership, and culture throughout all of 2024, the Heritage…

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The Big Easy in Buffalo Local Series

03/01

Sportsmen’s Tavern

Organ Fairchild and Carina & The Six String Preacher – The Big Easy in Buffalo Local SeriesPlaying Separately AND Together!

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Saturday Mimosas and Minuets

02/24 – 04/27

duende at Silo City

FEBRUARY 24 – Hey Nonny Nonnys of the Royal ConsortA baroque ensemble comprised of Sarah Cole (baroque violin), David Abbott…

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Tanner Usrey with JD Clayton

03/02

Buffalo Iron Works

$20 advance; $22.50 DOS

This Texas-born singer, songwriter, and guitarist pairs straight-shooting storytelling with country grit and rock and roll energy.  Usrey gets his…

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Global Grooves Concert Series: Red Baraat

03/03

Kleinhans Music Hall

Red Baraat is a pioneering band from Brooklyn, New York. Conceived by dhol player Sunny Jain, the group has drawn…

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Blue Monday

08/30 – 12/15

Tacoma Performing Arts Center

Free

Chicago Jack and the Heptones play with weekly Special Guests. Join us in the Grand Room in the lower level…

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First Monday Jazz Jam

02/05 – 12/02

The Gypsy Parlor

Monthly on every first Monday, join Becky Davis for our monthly jazz jam. Bring your instruments or vocals and jam…

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Monday Music and Meals Happy Hour

02/12 – 03/25

Buffalo River Fest Park – Buffalo River Lodge

Buffalo River Lodge invites you to join us for Monday Music & Meals Happy Hour, a delightful evening of entertainment…

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Avenged Sevenfold

03/06

KeyBank Center

Avenged Sevenfold has announced the third leg of their Life is But A Dream  North American tour, featuring Poppy and Sullivan King. The tour includes a…

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Latin Fusion Wednesday

01/03 – 03/06

Days Park Tavern

Join us for a night of rhythm, dance, and love at “RNSM Presents: Latin Fusion Wednesdays!” Let the music move…

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International Guitar Festival

03/08 – 03/10

University at Buffalo – North Campus

ConcertsSolo AdjudicationShowcase Competition (Virtual)Masterclass LessonsWorkshops/PresentationsEnsemble CoachingsCommunity Guitar OrchestraHonors Guitar EnsembleVendor ExpoSee site for additional details of the multi-faceted, multi-day event. …

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Sammy Kershaw

03/08 – 03/09

$65

Turn back the country music time clock with the soulful sounds of this multi-platinum album maker. With hits like “I…

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The Music of Phil Collins and Genesis

03/08

Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra

Bradley Thachuk, conductorFrom In the Air Tonight to Against All Odds, and Turn It On Again to Invisible Touch, Phil…

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First Ladies of Song

03/09

Kleinhans Music Hall

As the lead vocalist with the Count Basie Orchestra, Carmen Bradford is one of jazz music’s most diverse and exciting…

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Path of Miracles

03/10

Our Lady of Victory National Shrine & Basilica

$12.51

Harmonia Chamber Singers performs Path of Miracles, a masterpiece by composer Joby Talbot (known for Wonka, Sing, Sing 2, Hitchhiker’s…

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Swing Street

03/09

PAUSA Art House

Swing Street will present a vocal and instrumental collection of songs which capture the essence of this music, while highlighting…

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The Slocan Ramblers

03/09

West Falls Center for the Arts

As recent recipients of the Canadian Folk Music Awards’ Ensemble of the Year (2023) and the International Bluegrass Music Association’s…

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