While XRIJF begins this week there still are local artists playing ... live jazz in ROC, June 22nd-28th

Jazz 1-way sign

Despite being "in residence" at the Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival for the nine days starting on Friday, I still try to do these listing posts during.  However, you won't find listings here for the festival, only for those who are playing outside the festival.  For local jazz musicians who will be playing the XRIJF, see the post I published yesterday, XRIJF 2017: A chance to hear the music you can hear the other 356 days of the year…. Let me know of anything outside the XRIJF that you hear about by using the Contact Us tab above.

Check out tonight on 13 WHAM TV at 8:00 pm. They're doing a preview of XRIJF taped last week at the Radisson Hotel Rochester Riverside with The Karl Stabnau Quintet, featuring Bob Sneider, Dan Vitale, Mike Melito, and Mike Kaupa (plus a special guest TV anchor on clarinet.  You might see someone with a hat in the "audience".... 

Would you like to help grow a more vibrant jazz community for live jazz here in Rochester the other 356 days of the year?  Please give me a hand in helping out with that and share this post or this site. Use the buttons! Sign up to receive our posts via email! Find out all the ways to get you some JazzRochester goodness by checking out my post laying it out for you.  

As always, let me know if any gigs below are no longer happening, if I got something wrong wrong, or if you have heard of something that's not in these listings so I can add it.  You can get more information about the venue by following the links in the right column of the site (if I have one... if I don't I'll try to provide one or an address). The next seven days of jazz in and around Rochester are below....

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This post was originally published on JazzRochester. © Gregory V. Bell. All rights reserved.

So far the draft plan has held ... Day 3 at the XRIJF

IMG_6175This one is going to be short.  I may start sounding like a broken record. Again on Day 3 at the XRIJF  I hit all my draft plan for the night. Started out in Kilbourn Hall with Bill Frisell and Thomas Morgan.  Frisell was his usual palette of sounds pulled out of his guitar, relaxed and somewhat free at times.  Thomas Morgan was a monster on the bass, moving up and down the fretboard, but especially in the high register of the instrument. They were completely in sync. It was the mesmerizing music that had been promised.

Moved on to the Jochen Rueckert Quartet Lutheran Church. This group of NYC cats were great although they played a more relaxed set than I expected after listening to some of their music online. Playing mostly the music of Rueckert, the band was excellent all around if not especially Nordic (only Lage has a connection, Rueckert is German), but even he has been in the States for quite a while. 

After a brief respite for some Marty's Frisket and some time at the "office," I finished the night in the Wilder Room with Holophonor. This band is made up of members of a class of the Thelonious Monk Institute from about 5 years ago, one of whom was Rochester native and Eastman grad trumpeter, Mike Cottone.  The members of the band lived and played together for the two years they were at the Institute.  As Mike said, somehow they managed to stay friends, too.  The years playing at the Institute and since have created a very tight sound as they played compositions of the band's members. Glad I finally had a chance to catch them playing here. 


This post was originally published on JazzRochester. © Gregory V. Bell. All rights reserved.

Oh what a night... of music at Day 2 of the XRIJF

IMG_4620Started out the second day of the Rochester International Jazz Festival at my first Kilbourn Hall concert this year and one of my 2017 Picks, the Billy Childs Quartet. Childs and his stellar quartet of Dayna Stephens on saxophone, Ben Williams on bass and Ari Hoenig on drums. Childs started the set with a burner and barely came up for breath for the rest of the set.  Playing older and some from his new Mack Avenue disc Rebirth. It was one of those performances where at the end, the entire audience spontaneously jumps to its feet in a standing O... amazed at what they just experienced.  Damn. Good. Music.  Mike drop.  As for new experiences, this was my first with the new line system for the first performances at Kilbourn and Max's. Showing up sometime after 3 pm, I got my purple wristband and then came back about 5:15. The lines for those with wristbands are inside and color-coded.  Finally found my way to the purple line just before the line started to go in.  Much like it was under the old system, I was guzzling my beer before getting to the door... All in all, it works for me and let me go write my first post after getting my wristband at my "office."

IMG_4629After a hiatus, I headed over to the Christ Church for the Neil Cowley Trio.  Neil Cowley just attacks the keyboard, repeating chords or figures with a crescendo of intensity until he's pounding them to pieces.  I wondered on Twitter whether there was anything left of that Steinway for the rest of the week? Their hard-driving set was not all fury, there were moments of humour (the UK spelling, of course) and introspection ... which gave us a needed aural break from the onslaught. Again... Damn. Good. Music.  Mike drop....

IMG_4631I had to stay to the end of Neil Cowley ... just couldn't leave.  That meant that Max's was full-up by the time I walked up for the Igor Butman Quartet.  One-in-one-out. Was inside within 10 minutes.  Got a place to stand in back and listen (which was all I could do given that there was a post between me and the band). But that's what I was there for (saw the band play with the Moscow Jazz Orchestra on Day 1 and could remember what they looked like anyway).  What I heard was fantastic, but after the first two I was musically spent....

Took a chance on the after-hours jams at the Radissson Riverside Hotel.  It's a new venue this year for the jams.  All I can say now is that it is different.  I like the fact that they've added a new  jam, coordinated by local sax player Karl Stabnau, that gives those that are not at XRIJF to play jazz a chance to participate. I'll let it steep a bit more and check it out again later next week.

This post was originally published on JazzRochester. © Gregory V. Bell. All rights reserved.

A variety of great music on the first night of XRIJF

IMG_4619Hit all my itinerary on the first night of the Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival.  It was a great night of music and I went home last night feeling sated.  Started off with the solo piano of Gwilym Simcock at Made in the UK series at the Christ Church. He's a beautiful player, full of inventive interpretation. Walked around for awhile, taking in the crowds and the sounds of the first night and seeing all my "jazz fest friends" as I walked around the festival footprint. Headed over to the Xerox Auditorium for the Moscow Jazz Orchestra.  I wish I could have stayed for what ended up as an hour and half (I hear that they just kept playing). This large ensemble was fantastic, full of energy and tight arrangements of the music of Director Igor Butman (whose quartet I'm hoping to hear tonight) and others.  Headed over to Montage Music Hall for the 10pm show of The Huntertones.  Their set was killing with hard driving originals and interpretations of some interesting choices, like the theme of Jurassic Park and a beatbox by their trombone player that made me think it was the bass causing my chest to pound before I realized that the bass player wasn't hitting the same notes ... it was the beatboxing.  Montage now has music hall seating rather than tables.  Although it makes hanging with friends before the set difficult, it was a great way to see the music (and I was alone last night, so got to talk with some of the people around me). 

Now on to the second night.  You know where I intend to be...

This post was originally published on JazzRochester. © Gregory V. Bell. All rights reserved.

Where do I find JazzRochester during the XRIJF?

Image by Studio Michaelino, http://www.studiomichaelino.com/As I pointed out in a post in early June, during the 2017 XRIJF I intend to focus as I have in more recent years on hearing the music, sharing the great coverage that others are doing and trying to make connections between the artists and festival goers. I’m also going to focus on doing what I can during the XRIJF to raise awareness of JazzRochester and what it does throughout the other 356 days of the year to get people out to hear the great live jazz in and around Rochester.  Where? 

  • Here on the JazzRochester blog, of course.  However, as I'm focused on hearing music and not on writing during the festival, my posting here may be limited.  You know where I'm heading (or at least the "draft" plan).  I'm not sure where I'll end up, but I may write some posts highlighting what I've heard. If you see me on Jazz Street or elsewhere at the XRIJF, introduce yourself and, if you wish, I'll sign you up to receive JazzRochester's posts throughout the year in your email.
  • JazzRochester on Twitter: I hope to use Twitter to share posts from other media and folks attending the festival, plus the posts of musicians playing the festival.  If you're playing XRIJF, don't forget to mention @jazzrochester and let me know so I can add you to a list of XRIJF artists I'm building during the festival.  
  • JazzRochester on Facebook: I'll be sharing here as well.  Please like the Page!
  • JazzRochester on Instagram: I'll share images from the festival here (you can also check them out in right panel of the blog if you're not on Instagram).

Hope to see you on Jazz Street or at one of the Club Pass venues! Enjoy XRIJF 2017!

This post was originally published on JazzRochester. © Gregory V. Bell. All rights reserved.

A “draft” plan for 2017’s XRIJF … Oh the music I’ll hear!

XRIJF logo While I’ve already posted about my picks this year, I’ll be hearing a lot more during the next nine days of the 2017 Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival. It is theoretically possible for me to hear them all. However, once the festival begins there are many things that may end up causing me to change my choices. I try to be fluid, taking in what my “jazz fest friends” and others are raving about or just deciding that I’m in the mood for something other than my earlier choice. I encourage you to do the same. Test your ears! Listen to the “street”! This is what XRIJF is about. The oft-repeated XRIJF motto of “it’s not who you know, it’s who you don’t know” is really one to live by during the festival. My choices are a mix of both. But I can’t say how many times that I’ve changed my mind due to lines or other issues and found a new band that I add to my list of “favorites” of the festival. That’s how some of the folks on the following “itinerary” ended up on my list.

Links in the choices below are to those artists for whom I’ve written separate “Pick” posts. Remember that these artists often play two separate sets and sometimes are appearing on more than one day.

Friday, June 23rd

  • Gwilym Simcock @ Christ Church (6:45-7:45 pm)
  • Moscow Jazz Orchestra @ Xerox Auditorium at Xerox Center (9:00-10:00 pm)
  • Huntertones @ Montage Music Hall (10:00-11:00 pm)

Saturday, June 24th

  • Billy Childs Quartet @ Kilbourn Hall (6:00- 7:00pm)
  • Neil Cowley Trio @ Christ Church (8:45-9:45 pm)
  • Igor Butman Quartet @ Max at Eastman Place (10:00-11:00 pm)

Sunday, June 25th

Monday, June 26th

  • Miguel Zenon "Tipico" @ Kilbourn Hall (6:00-7:00 pm)
  • Ikonostasis @ Lutheran Church of the Reformation (7:30-8:30 pm)
  • Jae Sinnett’s Zero To 60 Quartet @ Montage Music Hall or Marquis Hill Blacktet @ Max at Eastman Place (10:00-11:00 pm)

Tuesday, June 27th

  • Kendrick Scott Oracle @ Xerox Auditorium at Xerox Center (6:30-7:30 pm)
  • Charlie Hunter Trio @ Anthology (7:45-8:45 pm)
  • Ole Mathisen Floating Points @ Lutheran Church of the Reformation (9:30-10:30 pm)

Wednesday, June 28th

  • Marcia Ball @ Harry East Ballroom (5:30-6:30 pm)
  • Shauli Einav Quartet @ Max at Eastman Place (6:15-7:15 pm)
  • Klabbesbank @ Lutheran Church of the Reformation (7:30-8:30 pm)
  • Charles Pillow Large Ensemble Feat. Tim Hagans & Clay Jenkins: ”Electric Miles” @ Xerox Auditorium at Xerox Center (9:00-10:00 pm)

Thursday, June 29th

  • Walt Weiskopf Quartet @ Xerox Auditorium at Xerox Center (6:30-7:30 pm)
  • Phronesis @ Christ Church (8:45-9:45 pm)
  • The Wee Trio @ Wilder Room (10:00-11:00 pm)

Friday, June 30th

Saturday, July 1st

  • Donny McCaslin Group @ Xerox Auditorium at Xerox Center (6:30-7:30 pm)
  • Gard Nilssen's Acoustic Unity @ Lutheran Church of the Reformation (7:30-8:30 pm)
  • Tessa Souter @ Christ Church (8:45-9:45 pm)

One thing I have noticed this year is that I will have more time to just wander around, listen to free music, eat and drink than in past years. I won’t always be running from one venue to another. This will make discovery easier … I like that.

This post was originally published on JazzRochester. © Gregory V. Bell. All rights reserved.