BATAVIA -- The Skiffle Ministrels, a popular country and western swing band from Buffalo, will make its Jackson Square debut this summer.
The quintet is among 10 concerts scheduled for the downtown venue, a converted alley between Jackson and Center streets.
Concerts begin June 29 with the Celtic/folk sounds of Penny Whiskey and run on consecutive Fridays through Aug. 31 when country artist Craig Wilkins returns to close out the season.
Concerts begin at 7 p.m. and usually finish by 9 p.m. Rain location is City Centre on Main Street. Nearby restaurants also have concessions available for Jackson Square.
More than 5,800 people attended the venue's 10 shows last summer.
Wilkins, who last played Jackson Square in 2009, is among many familiar names -- long-time regulars such as the Ghost Ridgers (July 20) and recent favorites such as Bonnie & Collide (July 6) -- who will be making appearances during Jackson Square's 13th season.
Skiffle Ministrels is the only newcomer this summer.
The quintet is led by Paul Todaro on bass, fiddle and vocal. Todaro says he is a devoted follower of Hank Williams "and all the other Hanks of country music."
Other members include Phil Knoerze on rhythm guitar and harmonica, Maggie Zindle on fiddle and vocals, who has been playing with the group for four years; Gary Meixner on lap steel guitar, and drummer Randy Bolam.
Skiffle Ministrels won best country act in ArtVoice's Best of Buffalo Awards five times and in 2010 was chosen best new original band in the Buffalo Music Awards.
Reviewers have praised the band for energetic performances and music that encourages all kinds of dancing, from country and Cajun two-step to swing and waltz.
- June 29: Penny Whiskey, Celtic/folk.
- July 6: Bonnie & Collide, rhythm & blues.
- July 13: Skiffle Ministrels.
- July 20: Ghost Riders, country.
- July 27: 78 RPM, big band.
- Aug. 3: Kelly's Old Timers, country.
- Aug. 10: OHMS Band, rock.
- Aug. 17: John Cole Blues Band, blues.
- Aug. 24: Jack Civiletto, with his Frank Sinatra tribute show.
- Aug. 31: Craig Wilkins, country.
Jackson Square will also host The Ramble Arts & Music Festival on July 7, a show that is not part of the regular summer series.