Events Share Tweet


Lecture / Discussion  |  John Coltrane Birthday Celebration: Chuck Mancuso Remembers The Royal Arms Night Club

In collaboration with the Pappy Martin Legacy Jazz Society, a three-day festival of special performances, screenings and conversations in celebration of the jazz icon's 91st birthday

Thursday, September 21, 2017, 7 pm

This event is free with gallery admission. Admission costs are:

Adults: $10
Seniors (62 & over): $8
Students (with ID): $5
Children (age 10 & under): FREE when accompanied by a paid adult/senior admission
SUNY Buffalo State Students, Faculty & Staff: FREE
United States and Canada Active Military and their families: FREE
Erie County Veterans: FREE
Burchfield Penney members: FREE (click here for all the benefits of membership)

Advance tickets can be purchased by calling 716-878-6011 during gallery hours.


In the early to mid-1960s Buffalo was a true jazz town. The legendary Royal Arms Night Club located in on West Utica Street, a half block from Main Street, was one of a series of local establishments that hosted live jazz acts seven nights a week. John Coltrane appeared once at the club. “Coltrane’s “classic” quartet played only one gig in Buffalo in the 1960s. It was at the legendary club called The Royal Arms in September of 1963,” wrote Buffalo News music critic Jeff Simon who attended the performance. “Coltrane was amazing. His solos were long and self-evidently physically exhausting.”

Chuck Mancuso, SUNY Buffalo State American Popular Music professor and jazz aficionado, will present a talk on the iconic night club. Mancuso frequented The Arms and for decades chronicled its importance to local and national jazz scenes. In 1963 he wrote: Live jazz in the city of Buffalo is considerably nil so we can thank our lucky star for hopefully healthy existence of the Royal Arms. The talent which comes in each week is tops in the field of jazz and popular entertainment.” 

In 1963, business partners Max Margulis and Lou Galanter bought the Royal Arms restaurant and transformed it into a jazz club. With a steady diet of local performers, they began building their audience and later booked the best in jazz through the ABC Talent Agency run my Louis Armstrong’s manager, Joe Glaser, Van Alexander and record labels like Columbia.

Other jazz greats that graced the stage included Mark Murphy, Stan Getz, Horace Silver, Cannonball Adderley, Jimmie Smith, Jack McDuff, Thelonius Monk, Woody Herman, Oscar Peterson Miles Davis, Sammy Davis, Jr., Mel Torme, Jack McDuff, Jimmy McGriff, Three Sounds, Les McCann and Jazz Crusaders to name a few.

The sixties opened the gate for the reestablishment of the blues. The location of the Queen City made it an ideal stopover as jazz musicians rambled across the United States in humble travel accommodations. In cars and vans with trailers pulling their instruments the major players would set up for weeklong engagements in Buffalo as they moved westward from New York City.

The Royal Arms Night Club had a memorable run as a jazz club. For five years (1963 -1968), Galanter and Margulis brought the Queen City the very finest in jazz entertainment.

Chuck will be accompanied by George Caldwell who will bring the music of the Royal Arms to life!

 About Chuck Mancuso

Chuck Mancuso has made an indelible impression on the faculty and students of SUNY Buffalo State. By mixing a lifetime of research and scholarship with his groundbreaking, multimedia approach to teaching, Professor Mancuso has come to define how American popular music, film, and culture are taught—not just in the SUNY system, but across the country. Since joining Buffalo State in 1976, Professor Mancuso has taught courses on the elements of American popular music, modern jazz, urban blues, rock 'n' roll, American folk music, country music, Hollywood musicals, and film noir. His diverse and extensive knowledge, coupled with an intuitive ability to reach and inspire students, has made Chuck's courses among the most popular the college offers.

In addition to his classwork, Professor Mancuso is a popular local lecturer, writer, and commentator on numerous radio and television shows. In 1996 Professor Mancuso published the landmark book, Popular Music and the Underground: Foundations of Jazz, Blues, Country and Rock (Kendall-Hunt, 1996). When it comes to publications that cover American music with both depth, breadth, and a voice that is equal parts historian and unabashed fan, there is simply no equal. In 1997, he was awarded the Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Research, Scholarship, and Creativity.

Free with gallery admission;  admission free for BPAC and Pappy Martin Legacy Jazz Society (PMLJS) members.