Geneseo Jam Kitchen: Sunset Concert Series at the Homestead

Story and photos by Lauren Chamberlain

The Village of Geneseo is a historic landmark destination for its Victorian architecture and charming atmosphere. That is what Jeremy Grace, Chuck Salvaggio – both Geneseo-based musicians – and Joanna Walters – a Geneseo-based art director and gallery owner – were inspired by. Their goal was to make Geneseo not only a historical destination but a cultural one. They believe that music is the way to achieve this and created Geneseo Jam Kitchen.

The group dedicates itself to uplifting the music culture in Livingston County to increase musical diversity, community involvement and artistic expression. It does this by organizing live, diverse music on a regular basis that is of excellent quality and affordable.

This year, the organization created the Sunset Concert Series “Live at the Homestead.” The concerts occur on the first and third Thursday of the month and run through the end of September on the lawn of the Wadsworth Homestead. Not only are there diverse and talented bands highlighted, but food by Homestead Grill and Cosmic Charlie is available, in addition to local artists and craftspeople pop-up shops and lawn games.

On August 17, I attended their Sunset Concert Series featuring Tommy Brunett Band with Blue 22 as their opener at the Wadsworth Homestead. It was hands down one of the most beautiful grounds for a local concert I have ever experienced. The Wadsworth Homestead is the only country estate in New York that has been continually owned by the original family since 1804. It has stayed enchanting for over 200 years, and it was a wonderful place to watch an outdoor concert.

Right before the show began there was a light rain burst, the mood was not dampened, unlike the audience from the downpour. The sun reemerged and Blue 22 took the stage – or, in this case, the porch. They got the crowd ready with a mixture of classics from Oasis, The Beatles and The Who, along with their original songs from their debut album, Where the Music is Loud. I look forward to seeing this band perform again as they are an extraordinarily talented group.

After about an hour of playing, they introduced the Tommy Brunett Band. Their band has opened for other incredible artists such as ZZ Top, Ted Nugent and Kellie Pickler. They have performed both locally and nationally, including the Today Show and Late Night with Conan O’Brien. Brunett was the touring guitarist for Modern English back in the 80s. He is also known as the co-founder of Iron Smoke Distillery in Fairport with his partners Ron Kirshner and Steve Brown. Their inspiration began in a backyard in 2011  when they first came up with the idea of combining great whiskey and apple wood BBQ smokiness. Today the inspiration lives as Rattlesnake Rosie’s Apple Pie Whiskey. The Tommy Brunett Band lived up to their hype – and so did their whiskey. 

The Tommy Brunett Band is country-rock fusion who have an encore-inducing, unique sound. By playing a good balance of originals and covers as well as many humorous interactions with the crowd created a comfortable and enjoyable evening. They even take song requests – all you must do is write the song on a twenty-dollar bill and throw it toward the band!

Geneseo Jam Kitchen hopes to continue and build on this Sunset Concert Series each year. I highly recommend going out and attending one of the shows. Even with summer coming to its imminent end, you still have a chance to visit the grand Wadsworth Homestead and see what the Geneseo Jam Kitchen has to offer. They have two remaining shows on September 7 featuring The Probables, with Adrianna Noone and September 21 featuring Dirty Blanket. Grab your lawn chairs, go visit and enjoy.

Lauren Chamberlain, originally from Irondequoit, NY, is double majoring in Writing & Communication Arts and Visual Communications Design at Keuka College. She will graduate in 2024. Lauren is a long time lover of reading and writing. At Keuka College she has created two publications including Who is Penn Yan? Volume 8 and the school’s literary magazine, Crooked Lake Collections.


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