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Karl R. Josker | all galleries >> Buffalo >> This Was Buffalo > Kubera's Music Store
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Kuberas Music Store
29-APR-2005 Karl R. Josker

Kubera's Music Store

910 Fillmore Ave. Buffalo

Is now The Buffalo Lutheran Employment Service.

In the late 50's, this was known as the Art Kubera Accordian Studio. How cool is that? I didn't always appreciate the accordian, probably dating back to my first high school dance in the fall of 1963, when the band was Big Steve and the Bel-Airs. My class was born and raised on rock and roll, and here we had a polka band. But I learned to appreciate music, all kinds, and more than that, I learned to appreciate the many cultures and backgrounds found in Buffalo. Art Kubera and Big Steve, among many others, came to represent to me the several generations that came to Buffalo who worked hard, building homes, schools, and monumental houses of worship; they built this city. They played hard too, bringing their music with them. And it has become a part of me. That's why I remember.

I think Art Kubera is still around; Big Steve Krezeminski passed away in 1999. I've always wondered if he ever noticed that 13 year old kid, watching him fly with that accordion.

11-21-13 Note: Sadly, Mr. Kubera passed away on 11-19-13.

Canon EOS 20D ,Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM
1/400s f/11.0 at 40.0mm iso400 full exif

other sizes: small medium original
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CatherineK02-Mar-2016 05:03
My 1st husband got his drum heads there. Or sent me. I bought him a snare for Christmas one year, had it on layaway. Good people, great store.
Mike H 06-Oct-2015 02:42
I grew up next to Kubera's music store on Fillmore Ave from the late 60's til I left long after the store closed. It was sad when the neighborhood went down hill and the store had to close. I only recently found out about Mr Kubera's passing and it truly was a moment of sadness for me. I now know what a truly great and humble man he was after reading about his accomplishments and the people who have commented on how he touched their lives. He would help out my family as well and I never had any idea how he touched the life of so many people. I only wish I could have thanked him for all he did for us. May God bless him and keep him.
Guest 22-Nov-2013 18:20
Bless you Art!! You will be missed by many!! He is a saint in my eyes. Purchased a 1968 Marshall full stack in November 1969. $873.00!! I still have the receipt!! Art and I walked back to the side garage with a hand truck and loaded it up in my aunts '67 Chevy station wagon. Was in original cardboard boxes. Put $500.00 down. Art said "Farmer---pay it off in a few months". Paid him off in a few weeks!! I will NEVER, EVER forget his kindness. WE ads a music community lost someone dear and we must never forget him. Thanks again Art. My condolences and prayers to his family. ---Don Farmer
STEVE MICHAELS 21-Nov-2013 15:42
I grew up on Fillmore Ave down the block from Art's store.For 9 yrs I took accordion
& guitar lessons in the back studios.My first Gibson guitar was bought there.It was years
later I finally figured out how a 16yr old kid could get a loan from M&T Bank.Art co-
signed it for me and never said a word!I'll miss you.
Kurt Schaefer (KurtPlaysBass) 20-Nov-2013 20:19
Art passed away a couple of days ago. 11/18/2013.
He will be fondly remembered by all of the Musicians he touched and helped during the years. RIP Art Kubera.
Joey 13-Mar-2012 21:35
Glenn - My grandfather knows very well what he did to start off Lonnie's career, and I've actually become good friends with Lonnie over the last few years because of their connection. Along with my grandfather, I think Lonnie is one of the absolute most wonderful people alive. To this day, no matter where he is on tour, Lonnie STILL calls Art on Father's Day, and he refers to him as his "Angel". Both of them are such amazing people.
Gary I 05-Jan-2012 22:19
In 1970, My Dad and I went to Kubera's and he bought me a Fender Super Reverb Amp....played in a band call " Buffalo Forge"....wish I had the amp today!
Charles Carter 02-Jul-2011 04:25
Around 1968, my cousin Jim and I used to hang out at Art's store on Folmore Avenue and admire the Ventures Model Mosrite guitars Art had in his store. It would always be the same, come in, try one out, then leave. Finally one day, Art said "when are you two going to buy something?" I answered, "When I can afford it Art". Art said to me, "How much money you got in your pockets?" I was holding a candy apple metallic red model at the time when I said "Twenty Dollars Art" ..."SOLD!" he said. Art put the fear of God in me setting up a payment schedule, and like clockwork, every payday, I'd rush down to Art's store to make my payment. Then it was Jims turn. Jim was holding a blue model and Art again asked "When you going to buy something?" Jim answered, "When I can afford it Art" Art asked, how much money you got in your pockets?" Jim answered "Twenty Dollars Art" ..."SOLD! he said. Art put the fear of God in Jim too and together wwe had a good relationship with Kubera Music. Later, our drummer Bob came in to buy his drums and then we bought our Fender Deluxe Reverb amps answering the same question, "How much money you got in your pockets?" And again, we set up a payment schedule. Later on, when I went to buy my first new car, the Dodge dealer where I signed papers for my new dodge had asked me for a credit reference and all I had at the time was Kubera Music, and gave him Art's phone number. The salesman called me back into the officce after calling the store and said Art had given me the best reference he had ever heard. Thanks Art. Thanks for the wonderful memories. Godd Bless buddy. We enjoyed our music up until I was drafted and sent to Vivetnam. Bob went off to Harrison Radiator and the others went off to college. Although our music equipment is long gone, the memories are a fresh as ever.
Charles Carter
Dennis Schooley 19-Jan-2011 20:23
I got scouted out in my very amature band in 1962 by guys in the Buffalo band "The Buffalo Jaguars"...asking me to play rhythm guitar with their band. They were big time...had actual gigs! The only stipulation was that I had to buy a Fender Jaguar guitar and a Fender Concert amp as the lead player, Chuck Wright, had that equipment...and the bass man had a Precision with a Fender Bassman. My parents took me to Kuberas Music Store and Art sold me the guitar and amp...about $700 worth of equipment with nothing down. He had a small file box full of musicians names and how much they owed him written on cards. He put me in there and told me to come in every week with as much as I could to pay off what I owed. I did that for a couple of years until it was all paid off. He was not only a smart business man but a great human being.
lenrif30-Nov-2010 21:04
I posted a picture of Art Kubera and myself (only because it's the only picture I have of him) on the Pbase gallery. I don't know how to put it up here, but I ran into him at the Buffalo Music Hall of Fame dinner at the Tralf on October 9 2008. I think he told me then he's living on the west coast of Florida. He was in great shape, funny as ever, and acted really happy to see me. Of course, I got all my drum stuff from him, even after I moved to San Francisco in 1970. He was happy to ship anything anywhere. None left like him.
Ted May 05-Nov-2010 17:04
Just picked up a 1981 Gibson ES-347 in St.Petersburg, Florida... It still had the signed registration in the case with Kubera's Music Store on it. I guess the guitar got tired of the cold winters and moved to Florida. Back in the 50's,60's, and 70's all music stores were "mom & pop". They were a place to meet other musicians and talk about music...sadly they are gone replaced with megastores selling Chinese guitars.
Glenn 05-May-2010 04:34
Joey - As Mark Trayner noted, tell your grandfather that he's responsible for kicking off the career of one of the greatest modern jazz organists.
Bob Maas 12-Mar-2010 01:06
Not to mention 40% off or more if he sensed you were there with the bucks.Whaaat?
Guest 13-Aug-2009 16:24
This picture brought tears to my eyes. Growing up in Olean, NY in the 60's & 70's Kuberas was "the music store" you had to go to. My first visit was an unforgetable experience and every visit thereafter a treat. I often wonder what happened to this special "shrine" . God Bless Art and thanks for the memories Karl!
Billy Sheehan 16-Jul-2009 14:19
I'd love to see a photo of the original storefront with the sign.
Art was a saint! I bought my first bass there.
Billy Sheehan
Mark Trayner 30-Dec-2008 18:51
The wonders of the internet!

I run a Hammond organ rental company in Scotland. A few years ago I had a few rentals to a guy that blew me away called Dr. Lonnie Smith. He is now my favorite Hammond player. He is now probably the last of the great Jazz Hammond players.

I was reading a page about Dr. Lonnie....and came accross this:

"I used to sit in Art Kubera's music store in Buffalo every day until closing time. One day he said 'Son, why do you sit here until closing time every day?' I said 'Sir, if I had an instrument I could make a living.' One day he closed the store and took me in the back, and there was a Hammond B-3 organ. My eyes lit up. He said 'If you can get this out of here, it's yours.' I didn't know how to play it. This man took a chance on me. Whatever he saw, he saw it. And I had this brand new Hammond which cost thousands of dollars then. And I was doing all of this by ear, 'cause I didn't read. I just picked up the instrument naturally."

I just did a search for Art Kubera's music store in Buffalo....and found this page.

I've only ever been to "Buffalo" once....well...when I say "been"...I mean on the outskirts....when our tourbus broke down :)

I think i would have liked to have me Art back in the day....and hope someone as nice as he with the foresight to see talent at a young age is doing well.

Now doesn't the internet make the world just one big neighborhood?
Guest 10-Dec-2008 06:15
I trekked upstate in 1972 to join the Rainbow Kitchen band in Salamanca, and Kubera
Music was where we got all our gear. I bought my beloved Fender Precision there along
with an SVT to knock down walls. Art always had the good stuff, and he was really
helpful with deals, tradeins, etc. I brought that bass out to California with me, had
it modded at Stars, only to have it stolen years later. Seeing this picture really
brings back a good feeling.
J. Dobbs 04-Aug-2007 14:36
My dad always bought his equipment from there and I got my first bass (a 1978 Fender Precision) from there in 1983. Indeed this was [b]the[/b] place for musicians.
Charlie O'Neill 03-Jun-2007 04:17
I used to teach guitar at Chimes Music in West Seneca in the late 1960's. None of the guitar teachers ever bought our equipment from Mr. Chimes, we'd always trek over to Art's because that was the best music store in Buffalo, and Art was a wonderful guy!
Guest 05-Apr-2007 13:21
I also bought my first drum set from Art. A three-piece set of Kent drums (also a Buffalo legend) Art greeted me and my dad by telling us he was "fine and dandy, just like candy"
Randy in LA 26-Nov-2006 11:32
To serious musicians in the 60's, this place was the ONLY place to go. "Going to see Art" was always exciting, cuz Art would give great deals and always had the coolest stuff crunched into this little storefront. He was also a fine gentleman, and always treated long-haired punks like myself with respect. This photo is awesome!

George L- Mom and Pop bought me a Ludwig Hollywood kit from Kubera's in '68, raspberry sparkle; I sold my girls in '84 like an idiot! I'll bet your drums that Ringo never played a 5 piece set in The Beatles-- he always played a 4 piece.

Great site, Karl. Thank you!
Joey 21-Sep-2006 03:50
On this site you mention that you think Art Kubera is still around. I'm his grandson, and he in fact is still around. He's not playing anymore, but he's doing well. I printed this site out to show it to him, as I'm sure he'd be interested to know that he's on the Internet.
George Lambert 11-Jun-2006 23:29
I bought my first brand new drum kit there.A vintage 5pc. Ludwig Hollywood Black pearl in 1970( like the set Ringo played [in the Beatles] ;circa '64)BTW I still have " the Girls"
Gene S 12-May-2006 16:35
I used to walk by Kubera's every day on my way to St. Nicholas Ukrainian Catholic school at 995 Fillmore.
Guest 04-Feb-2006 03:50
I took accordion lessons there! Started in 1961 and studied for 5 years, entering "competitions" as a soloist and part of a duet! What great memories I had of that place and "Mr. Art"!
Guest 07-Jan-2006 16:47
My nephew took guitar lessons there.