Weekly Feature

2016-01-13 / Entertainment

Cardinal O’Hara to host BBC Band, honor alum

James Brucato, a Cardinal O’Hara 1965 alum, will receive the Cardinal O’Hara Fine Arts Lifetime Achievement Award on Jan. 29. James Brucato, a Cardinal O’Hara 1965 alum, will receive the Cardinal O’Hara Fine Arts Lifetime Achievement Award on Jan. 29. The Cardinal O’Hara Alumni Association will present an evening of music topped with honoring James Brucato from the class of 1965 with the Cardinal O’Hara Fine Arts Lifetime Achievement Award.

The event featuring the BBC Band, back by popular demand, will take place at 8 p.m. Friday, Jan. 29, in the school’s Performing Arts Center, 39 O’Hara Road, Tonawanda. All proceeds will benefit continuing restoration of the Arts Center.

The BBC Band features music from The Beatles, Dave Clark Five, The Who, The Kinks, The Bee Gees, The Hollies, The Zombies and much more.

As part of the evening’s festivities, Brucato, a 2015 Buffalo Music Hall of Fame inductee who toured nationally with Maureen McGovern in the 1970s, will be honored for his many years of musical achievement.

Currently, he plays bass with Billy McEwen and the Soul Invaders and performs with The Thirds. He studied jazz composition at the Berklee School of Music.

A native of Tonawanda and the son of professional musician James Brucato, the younger Brucato said his path took him through a number of bands, starting with KTAX, a rock cover band, and later he spent time in west Africa serving in the Peace Corps. Then came Snow Angel, a jazz-pop group that featured Buffalo Music Hall of Famer Louie Marino on drums. The group specialized in close four-part harmonies.

Brucato toured with McGovern for about a year but then returned to Buffalo, where he played with fellow Hall of Fame inductee Dolly Durante in Dolly & the Midniters.

Throughout the years, he has become recognized as one of the best bassists in the region, according to a release from Cardinal O’Hara. The Thirds recorded the LP “Songs From the City Line,” and have continued performing to this day.

After he and his wife, Carol, moved back to Buffalo, Brucato added another longstanding gig in the early ’90s when he joined McEwen’s Soul lnvaders as bass player. He’s also played in Brady & Brucato and the Saints, and his brother, the late Hall of Famer Bruce Brucato.

Brucato has produced or co-produced music for Billy McEwen & the Soul lnvaders and Rick Smith. He also wrote or co-wrote songs for McEwen & the Soul lnvaders’ “No Peace of Mind” CD.

For the past 13 years, Brucato has taught music classes at Erie Community College and is currently a music teacher in Springville where he resides with his family.

Tickets for the event are $20 and may be purchased online at cardinalohara.com or by calling the school at 695-2600, ext. 310.

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