Jazz lives in Rochester, New York. Rochester hosts a jazz festival every year that, due to intriguing programming and innovative use of indoor and outdoor venues, is quickly becoming one of the great jazz festivals in the United States. There are also a number of clubs where jazz is played throughout the city and its metropolitan area. In addition, the jazz faculty and students from the Eastman School of Music, Hochstein School of Music and Dance, and other universities in town provide a fertile ground and seed for growing jazz and live music in the community. This weblog will attempt to tie all that together.
Your humble guide, Gregory Bell, is not really an aficionado of jazz music, who will preach to you about what is and isn't "jazz" or ruminate on whether the alternative take of a particular session is better than the one on a CD. I just don't have the encyclopedic knowledge necessary to be a critic, although I know what I like. I am a recovering lawyer, happily married to the beautiful Dianna, and working as an editor for a legal publisher that has offices here in Rochester. At heart, I am just a regular guy who loves all kinds of music, and has a special place in his heart and ear for jazz—from Fats Waller and Louis Armstrong, through Coltrane and Miles, to Brad Mehldau and Nicholas Payton, to the Bad Plus and e.s.t. I think jazz is more about an attitude towards music and life than a definition or a category. It's always evolving, always changing, just like life itself. You're welcome to join me on the journey.
This weblog will always be a work in progress, but my aim is to to do the following:
- List upcoming jazz sounds here in Rochester and providing links and background for exploring.
- Review performances by jazz artists and groups, both local and national, and the venues in which you'll catch their gigs.
- Link to information and updates on the Rochester International Jazz Festival.
- Blog from the RIJF and making connections to others who are so you can get as much information as possible as you plan your festival activities.
- Make connections between the various jazz communities in Rochester and its environs
- Provide links to other blogs, websites, and other information about jazz music and artists, both in Rochester and throughout the world.
- Advocate for increased opportunties to hear live jazz (and other music) in Rochester.
I started in April 2005 Jazz@Rochester (the first incarnation), a few months before the 2005 Rochester International Jazz Festival, and after a few years of taking some advantage of the great opportunities to see and hear live music here in my adopted hometown, Rochester, New York, I've moved it to its new location to support some new directions I intend to take it in the future. Until I can port the contents of the old blog over to this site easily, I will leave the first incarnation up and alive (it's free).
I simply want to see and hear more jazz in my new hometown. I hope that you will provide me with feedback on where I’m going or what I’ve written.