We had the opportunity to chat with some of the loudest music-making ladies in the Buffalo area for this ongoing series of mini-profiles. Here are their stories, in no particular order. Make sure you give them a listen!

Sophia Howes

Photo by Adie Brit

Her Projects: Lady Lush and the Vinyls, who moved from Buffalo to NYC about 2 years ago and have had amazing opportunities to play historic venues such as Webster Hall, Mercury Lounge, The Bowery Electric, and Symphony Space! Sophia also volunteers with an awesome music production company called, “Sofar Sounds.”

Her Instruments: Vocal folds, but “I also dabble in guitar, piano, and the spoons.”

Sophia says, “I’ve been studying music since I was a baby. My parents totally played into the ‘Mozart for Babies’ parenting trend… and it worked!”

I asked her for a fun fact, to which she replied, “I was kicked off the Wollman Rink Figure Skating Team as a 12-year-old. I’m still bitter.” Watch out. 

What inspires Sophia? “Buffalo City makes expression a PRIORITY. As someone who recently quit their day job to pursue the journey of “musician,” I can’t think of anything more inspiring.”

Sara Rodriguez

Photo by AlanAdeltoArts

Her Projects: The Slyboots School of Music / Slyboots Circus, Buffalo Afrobeat Orchestra, and her solo project Saranaide.

Her Instruments: the flute, guitar, ukulele, and piano.

Sara started playing piano at the age of 4. “My love for music has continued my quest to learn new instruments along the way.” She is far from a one-trick-pony though — “A fun fact about me is that I used to dance in an African dance company. I even had an opportunity to go Ghana to study more in depth.” She is inspired by water. “Water is an important part of my creative process. Whenever I need to finish a song or clear my mind, I always find myself by the water.”

Kimberly Young-Mason

Kimberly Young-Mason (l) and Amanda Markovich-Rabb, Randle and the Late Night Scandals

Her Projects: Randle and the Late Night Scandals. She is also involved in a worldwide mix down project, where she is recording a second alto sax part to a Buddy Rich arrangement of “Groovin’ Hard,” including Dana Heitman of the Cherry Poppin’ Daddies.

Her Instruments: Sax & keyboards, which she’s played for 40 years (to which she adds, “Holy Crap!”)

Kim loves canned raviolis. She is inspired by the summer festival scene. She admits that she hates February and vows to make each winter her last, but forgets all about her winter tantrums when the summer comes around.

Amanda Markovich-Rabb

Her Projects: Randle and the Late Night Scandals. You can catch her sitting in with other local musicians on occasion.

Her Instruments: Vocals, although she can play a mean slide whistle under pressure.

According to Amanda, she “strolled outta my mom’s velvet curtains singing.” She became involved in music in grammar school and continues on to present today. 

Amanda is inspired by the vast food culture of Buffalo and the outdoors. “When I’m in a bad mood or just want inspiration, nothing cures that better than trying something new and stuffing my face with nature.”

Fun Fact: Amanda loves to fish and has a stocked tackle box in her car at all times. Her favorite lure is leeches.