Benefit concert features The BBC Band


UTICA — The BBC Band will perform Thursday, June 21, at 7 p.m. at the Stanley. Tickets are $25. This concert is part of the St. John’s Day weekend events at Masonic Care Community, 2150 Bleecker St., Utica, and funds raised benefit The Masonic Medical research Laboratory.

Featuring the music of The Beatles, British Invasion, and top hits from the 60s. The BBC is acknowledged as one of New York’s premier vocal bands and showcases these complex vocal harmonies with medleys of other 60s groupls such as The Hollies, The Byrds, The Kinks, The Zombies, The Who, The Four Seasons, The Turtles and other. Band members include:

• Gary Astridge — vocals, drums, percussion. Astridge is the band’s percussive backbone and founding member of The BBC. His musical journey started after seeing The Beatles first U.S. performance in 1964. In addition to The BBC, he has performed locally with Big Wheelie, The Be Bops, and Beatle Magic.

• John Connelly — vocals, bass, harmonica. Connelly is a well known WNY musician, having founded the band SWITCH in the1970s. John became a BBC member in 2003. His passion for music is derived, in part, from his love of the Beatles.

• Frank Grizanti — vocals, guitar, keyboards. Grizanti is a 2007 inductee to the Buffalo Musician’s Hall of Fame, and recipient of the 2004 NCMMA Lifetime Achievement award for Guitar. He is also an accomplished bassist, keyboardist, vocalist, and songwriter. He has played with Oz, Slam,Zola, NRG, the USA Band and Weekend. He is a member of The Falls Street Rockers, The USA Band, and Anatara. 

• Bob Volkman — vocals, keyboards, percussion, harmonica. Volkman has been performing with various bands in and out of Western New York since the 1970s. He spent most of the 80’s as a studio keyboardist at Select Sound. He was a member of the classic rock band “Slam” for 18 years, and currently has his ownband, the “Bob Volkmanband,” that performs locally. He also performs with Frank Grizanti in the “Rockers.”

• Russ Thomas ­— vocals, rhythm guitar. Thomas joined BBC in 2002. His Lennon-like voice and driving rhythm guitar make him a valuable asset for a Beatles tribute and The BBC band. Thomas is also the founding member of BeatleMagic, a band performing sets of Beatle music in full costume. 

Tickets are available at the box office, 259 Genesee St., Monday-Friday from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.; by calling 315-724-4000, or online at


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