75th Anniversary Jazz and Art Celebration

The Landmark Society is celebrating its 75th anniversary as one of America’s oldest and most active preservation organizations! As the leading jazz town in upstate New York, what better way to celebrate our past successes and promising future than with landmark jazz greats in the Rochester community? Rochester has been the home of jazz greats from Cab Calloway to Chuck Mangione. In the 1960s and ‘70s, Rochester became known as the leading jazz town in upstate New York, a legacy recalled today by the annual Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival. The music of Rochester’s legendary artists has the power to captivate and inspire just as the physical landmarks in which we live, work, and play. So we thought we’d bring both together for a landmark celebration in one of Rochester’s most unique urban event facilities, Max at High Falls.

Max at High Falls located at 60 Browns Race, is in the heart of the Historic High Falls Brown’s Race Preservation District, amongst a host of successfully adapted historic industrial buildings. The venue reflects the district’s industrial history. The building’s rehabilitation, designed by Durfee Bridges Architects and executed by Javen Construction for the City of Rochester, was the winner of the 1993 Design Excellence Award of the Rochester chapter of the American Institute of Architects.

Imagine an evening listening to the soulful artistry of a few Rochester’s legendary musicians Gap Mangione, Jimmie Highsmith Jr., and Marv Parker Jr. and the Band; captivated by live creative artistic expression right before your eyes; viewing the stunning historic High Falls; while experiencing the distinctive delicious hors d’oeurves delights created by Tony Gullace, one of Rochester’s best known chefs and culinary entrepreneurs.


Born in Rochester, Gap Mangione has been guest soloist with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, and he and the Big Band played at the Blue Note jazz club in New York City with his brother Chuck Mangione as special guest. He regularly appears at New York City’s Knickerbocker jazz club with his own trio. He and Chuck often join musical forces on Chuck’s tours or with Gap’s Big Band.

Jimmie Highsmith Jr., another Rochester native, mixes elements of smooth Jazz, R&B, Gospel, and Funk, culminating into a kaleidoscope of musical textures.  He has also recorded 5 top selling smooth jazz CD’s and recorded as a sideman musician on several others. Jimmie Highsmith Jr.’s sax work represents some of the best in the Smooth Jazz Genre as he takes the listener on a melodic journey through a delightful trek of soulful melodies.


Born in Rochester, NY, David Haygood Jr.’s artistic talents were first recognized at the age of eight when he drew cars, animal and comic book characters. Intrigued by its simplistic yet complicated design, David’s favorite subject is the human form. Believing that everyone has a story or an experience to share, he specializes in painting portraits. This allows him to capture the “spiritual essence” of the individual on canvas; a level of depth and expression that is often overshadowed by the emphasis on the outward appearance. He believes that art should draw the viewer in and cause dialog. His repertoire of medium include air brush, oil, pastels and watercolor. He has just re-opened Gallery One Fine Arts in a new location at 2575 E. Henrietta Road where he will continue to mentor youth who have a gift and passion for fine arts. Professionally David has been employed by the City of Rochester as an Assessor since 1985. David resides in the City of Rochester with his wife and daughter.

Dick Lubey began his fine art career the way many other painters have, though a successful career in commercial illustration. Dick built his career to a nationally recognized level as a founder and owner of Kilburn Studios, one of the largest advertising art studios in upstate New York. After 30 years of success, his portraiture came to the forefront and still remains important in his ongoing career with commissions for many Corporate and private collections. Dick’s extensive travels throughout Europe and Italy have produced many sought after landscapes, scenes and still life’s. As a versatile and diverse artist who continues to reinvent himself, Dick Lubey is currently painting en plein air to better capture the true color in nature. Dick resides in Rochester, New York with his wife Rosemary.

Allison J. Nichols was born in 1974 in Rochester, NY. She graduated from Hudson Valley Community College, in 1994, where she received an Associates Degree in Liberal Arts. She then transferred to Roberts Wesleyan College, where she graduated, in 1996, with Cum Laude honors and received a Bachelor of Science in Studio Art/ Graphic Design. Through her internship, at the Strong National Museum of Play, Allison discovered a love of murals. It was here that she worked on the Kid to Kid exhibit. She was responsible for the design and fabrication of a 14′ x 27′ mural in the Art Studio area of this exhibit and a small mural in the Post Office area. Both of which remain permanent fixtures at the museum.

Allison has enjoyed becoming an active part in the Rochester arts community by being a member of Figurative Fusion, the Artists Breakfast Group, the Rochester Contemporary Arts Center and The Shoe Factory Co-Op. Nichols has already been included in various exhibitions including “The Small Show” at the Center at High Falls Gallery, the “Members Only” Show at Rochester Contemporary Arts Center and “Seasons of Change”, A One Woman Show at the Equal Grounds Coffee House. Upcoming shows include the Arena Group sponsored show at the Black Radish Studio in July and the Artists Breakfast Group show at the Rochester Arc and Flame Center in September. Nichols currently operates her custom framing business and creates artwork,out of her home studio, in the city of Rochester, NY.

Mary Znidarsic-Nicosia is a native of Cleveland, Ohio. 10 years ago, Mary revisited her formal art training under the mentoring of local artist Dick Lubey. Artistically, her primary focus has been plein-air landscapes from the Northeast and Southwest. Much of Mary’s work has been donated to the National Cystic Fibrosis Foundation in a fundraising effort to support her niece Maria who is a young adult living with the disease. Professionally, Mary is a Broker with RE/MAX Realty Group and currently serves and President of the Board of Trustees of Western New York and works in her private studio located in her family home in the City of Rochester. Mary is 48 and lives in the City of Rochester with here husband Ned and sons Luke, age 13 and Tristan age 10.

So what’s live creative artistic expression?
I’m glad you asked! Expressive Arts experiences are just that. It is an experience that emphasizes the creative journey over the product. It’s a creative connection that involves the artist, the audience, and the motivational interplay of music, dance, poetry, or a story that’s being shared or experienced. This creative connection and experience inspires the artist to capture and immediately express his or her feelings, intuition, and/or interpretation constructively channeled through creative forms of art: into dance, music, art, spoken word, or writing. In this case, art on canvas. A free flow of creative energy; influenced by the experience; connecting a captive audience; creating an experience; resulting with inspired imagery. These creative canvases will be available for purchase during the silent auction that evening.

This is an experience you don’t want to miss! So dust off those dancing shoes and get ready to swing and sway to the jazz sounds of Rochester’s greats while intrigued by expressive artistic creation taking place before your very eyes.

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