Blue Thursdays will have expanded lineup of concerts in Medina

Photo courtesy of Chris Busch: Maria Aurigema rocks a crowd of more than 800 at the 2022 Blue Thursdays Grand Finale performance.

Posted 17 June 2023 at 8:04 am

Series kicks off on Thursday at State Street Park

Press Release, Orleans Renaissance Group

MEDINA – Following a highly successful inaugural run last summer, Blue Thursdays is back with an expanded lineup of concerts in 2023.

The Print Shop, working in partnership with the Orleans Renaissance Group/, will grow the series this year with two additional nights of music, for eight altogether.

The free summer blues concert series takes place at the State Street Park Pavilion in Medina, June through August.

The Print Shop of Medina is the primary underwriter of the event and is the driving force behind the series. They have partnered with the Orleans Renaissance Group, Inc./ in booking a stellar lineup of bands. Together, they are bringing top regional blues talent from Buffalo and Rochester for a spectacular summer music series.

The series begins this Thursday, June 22, and runs for eight Thursday evenings through Aug. 10. The event will feature eight bands, with Medina’s own Dave Viterna Group opening the series.

Photos courtesy of M. Fuller: A big crowd gathers comfortably at State Street Park in Medina to enjoy a blues band.

Last year, concert goers enjoyed food by Cusimano’s Pizzeria, Parker’s Pit BBQ and Catherine Street Bakery, with refreshments provided by Leonard Oakes Estate Winery and 810 Meadworks. Those vendors will be back along with WNY Empanadas and food trucks Greenlief’s On The Go and Blue Groove Coffee. North Ridge Distillery will also be joining Leonard Oakes and 810 Meadworks.

In 2017, ORG facilitated the construction of a 24′ x 20′ timber-frame bandstand/pavilion in State Street Park as an outdoor venue for music events.

“The community didn’t really have a good outdoor venue for music events like this,” said Chris Busch, president of ORG. “This pavilion has proven to be a great facility in a perfect setting to enjoy bands on a summer evening.”

ORG facilitated the construction of the bandstand/pavilion with funding obtained through a private benefactor along with some donated materials and labor.

“For some time, The Print Shop and ORG had been planning a great summer blues series until Covid interrupted our efforts,” said Ken Daluisio, owner of the Print Shop in Medina.

“In 2022, it finally happened, and it’s been successful beyond our wildest expectations. The crowds have been amazing, and the feedback has been nothing but positive.”

The Print Shop is a full service, commercial printing, publishing and graphic arts operation in Medina.

“We decided that it was time we put our expertise and financial backing to work here at home to benefit the community,” said Daluisio. “Blue Thursdays brings an average of eight hundred people from across WNY to Medina every Thursday night, some of whom have never been here before. We know for a fact that many of those folks have returned on other days to explore what Medina has to offer. This event has been absolutely great in so many ways.”

ORG, a local arts and culture not-for-profit, has been promoting and executing world-class music events locally since the late 1990s.

“The result has been a great partnership that has produced a first-class music event featuring outstanding bands and professional promotion,” Daluisio said.

The Jeremy Keyes Band strikes a pose in Medina by the canal after their Blue Thursdays gig. Keyes, considered one of the best blues harp players in the country, returns for a concert on July 20.

The bands booked for the event are well-known award-winning blues bands from the Buffalo and Rochester area.

“Once again, we wanted to book top-tier spectacular talent that people here may not have had a chance to see anywhere locally,” Busch said. “We’re excited to bring these bands to Medina.”

The 2023 Blue Thursdays line-up includes:

  • Opening night on June 22: Dave Viterna Group
  • June 29: Bill Schmitt and the Bluesmasters
  • July 6: Steve Grills and the Roadmasters
  • July 13: Growlers Blues Band
  • July 20: Jeremy Keyes
  • July 27: JJ White and Mojo Sauce August 3 – Frank Grizanti Band
  • Grand finale on Aug. 10: Tommy Z Band

“We want to give a big shout out to Dave Viterna who last year opened the doors to many of these bands for us,” Busch said. “Dave was instrumental in helping us get Blue Thursdays off the ground. He’s a local music legend in Medina, and the series just wouldn’t be right without DVG on stage.”

Additional sponsorship for this event has once again been generously provided by Modern Mercantile and Main Liquor, Medina.

“We owe a huge debt of gratitude to Gloria Brent, owner of Modern Mercantile and Main Liquor for sponsoring the bands,” said Busch. “We really appreciate her investment in the community and support of great live music in Medina.”

All the concerts are free and open to the public. Shows run from 6 to 8 p.m. There are no rain dates.

“The public is encouraged to start arriving at 5:30 in time to get a great spot on the lawn and grab a bite to eat or refreshment from the great vendors on site,” Dalusio said. “We want people to enjoy a fantastic summer evening of food, drink and the best blues music in WNY. Weekends start in Medina at Blue Thursdays Summer of Blues.”

“For gig updates, any cancellations and venue information, people should go primarily to the ‘blue thursdays medina’ Facebook page,” said Busch. “Further information and details can also be found on the web at and from weekly ads on The Orleans Hub.”