PRESENTED BY BUFFALO MUSICIAN AND NURSE, PATTI PARKS; GRAMMY-NOMINATED KENNY NEAL HEADLINES STRONG LINEUP
The Nurs’n Blues Music Fest takes place at The Cove, 4701 Transit Rd., Saturday, May 25. Showtime: 3pm to 10pm. Tickets: $20. Donation in advance, $25. at the Door. Info: (716) 870-3600 or visit https://www.musicisart.org. Proceeds benefit Nurs’n Blues Therapy Program, that uses Blues Music Therapy for those struggling with chemical dependency. Presented as a non-profit collaborative by the Blues Society of Western New Yorkand Music Is Art.
Nurs’n Blues Music Fest features two stages with continuous music all day long, headlined by Grammy nominee, blues guitar great, Kenny Neal. Also performing: Robert “Freightrain” Parker; Jeremy Keyes Band; Grace Stumberg and Grace Lougen; Hanna PK; 12 Pack Jack McArdle; Sheila Connors; and the Patti Parks Band (Parks, from Buffalo and a member of the Buffalo Music Hall of Fame, is the creator of the Nurs’n Blues Music Fest).
Patti Parks, creator of the Music Therapy program, is also a member of the Buffalo Music Hall of Fame.
Now in its fourth year, the program has served over one-thousand clients and families. Each week, a Board-Certified Music Therapist creates a plan of care that includes music interventions. During these sessions the therapist makes a correlation examining influences of Blues American History, lyrics or particular music format or rhythm which help insight feelings or touch upon thoughts opening critical pathways to the brain.
This past March, the Music Therapy Program visited Kids Escaping Drugs and Horizon Village, both located in the Buffalo area, where they’ve been providing sessions every week for the last three years. At a 2018 press conference, Music Is Art founder, Goo Goo Dolls’ bassist Robby Takac, formally endorsed the Music Therapy program.
“The Blues was chosen as a beautiful art form and positive affect on improving communication,” explains Parks, who felt helpless as her own son was affected by struggles with chemical dependency. “The Blues genre was a perfect means of communicating deep-rooted feelings and mirrored Blues American history, while serving as a positive influence on those struggling with chemical dependency and their families,” Parks adds. “Over one-thousand people within three years from ages thirteen to adult have been helped. We currently provide services at Kids Escaping Drugs and Horizon Village in Sanborn, (New York). We have also expanded services to colleges, and see a need in other community settings.”
In 2016, Parks was invited by the Blues Foundation to speak at their “Blues As Healer” symposium in Memphis about her Music Therapy program along with famed guitarist Walter Trout, Dr. Marie Trout, blues journalist Don Wilcock and the aforementioned Neal, whose performance this year was donated by a family whose child was affected in a positive way from the program. At the symposium, Parks shared dramatic stories illustrating how the Blues has helped young people, veterans, and performers in their road to recovery.
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