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February 2007

Posts from January 2007

City Opens Its Wallet . . . Rochester Seeks to Expand Support for RIJF

If you didn't catch it, the Saturday Democrat & Chronicle carried a story on the front page that Mayor Duffy's administration had requested $250,000 from the City Council to fund the city's role in the 2007 Rochester International Jazz Festival, which has been growing exponentially.  To get an idea of the scope of this request you might recall that the city's spending on the 2006 RIJF was a mere $35,000 and almost non-existent (other than the increased cost for police and other vital services) in the preceding years. 

The crowds at the RIJF have grown from a mere 15,000 for the first festival in 2002 to a staggering 80,000 last year.  It is quickly becoming a player in the international jazz festival scene. The extra money is needed, the city says, to help John Nugent and the festival expand the festival beyond its footprint in the East End. Where these expansions may go is intriguing.  The city's Commissioner of Recreation and Youth Services Charles Reaves is quoted in the article by Jeff Spevak, saying that "I know they're talking about High Falls. I know we're gonna have something in Corn Hill."  I remember hearing during the 2006 RIJF that there would be additional venues for free shows and local talent.  I just hope that—if they're talking about the only jazz venue I know in Corn Hill, Clarissa Room—the travails of that establishment have been resolved by June.  The Council will begin considering the request at a committee meeting on February 8th.  Hope they recognize the potential that this festival has for the city (and the millions it brings into the city each year) and approves the request.

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

New dates announced for Exodus to Jazz series

The folks over at Exodus to Jazz have added some new events to their shows over at VENU Resto-Lounge & Nightclub over the next few months:

  • Thursday, February 8, 2007—YORON ISRAEL CONNECTION
  • Wednesday, February 21 & Thursday, February 22, 2007—DR. LONNIE SMITH w/Melvin Henderson & Yoron Israel  (the good Doctor has had to reschedule the show on the 21st; he will be coming back sometime in August).
  • Thursday, March 8, 2007—DAVID 'FATHEAD' NEWMAN
  • Wednesday, March 21 & Thursday, March 22, 2007—DENISE THIMES
  • Wednesday, April 18 & Thursday, April 19, 2007—VICTOR GOINES
  • Wednesday, April 25 & Thursday, April 26, 2007—KRISTIN KORB
  • Thursday, May 10, 2007;ANTOINETTE MONTAGUE
  • Wednesday, May 23 & Thursday, May 24, 2007—JOHNNY O'NEAL
  • Wednesday, August 15 thru Saturday, August 18, 2007—ROME NEAL :: "Monk" - The Play
  • Wednesday, September 19 & Thursday, September 20, 2007—DENA DEROSE
  • Wednesday, October 17 & Thursday, October 19, 2007—TAMIR HENDELMAN

Check out the Exodus to Jazz site for more information about the series and the shows.  I've also added most of these to the Advance Looks and Out-of-Town Guests.

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

Listings? . . . We don't need no stinkin' listings....

I knew this day was coming.  I saw the signs...announcements of great things to come on the City Newspaper website.  I wondered whether the music listings (I hesitate to call them mine because, face it, they were City Newspaper's) would change.  Well, that day is here; that time is now.  I went in to pull the listings for tonight post and got a Page 404 error as their site address had changed.  That's not the only thing that changed.  The change is major and, as a result, I cannot continue to bring you the Wednesday jazz listings that have drawn many of you to this site. 

Since the beginning of last year, I have been posting the jazz listings, culled from Rochester's City Newspaper with the permission of its music editor Frank De Blase.  The slick, new City Online Edition has completely redone how it presents its music and music listings. I'll leave it to you to decide whether they have improved them, but it has made it very difficult to draw out the jazz listings and present them to you.  The new event calendar focuses on venues and artists. You cannot filter by genre. If you know who you want to hear or where you are going, I think you'll like them.  Those of us that wake up and say "I want to go hear some [jazz/blues/Tibetan throat singers] tonight....who's playing?" are SOL (that's shit-outta-luck for the uninitiated and, yes, I can say that...it's my blog). 

Really, I'm not bitter. The truth is that I was freeloading and they have probably done some research to figure out what the majority of their readers want in music and event listings.  More power to 'em.  However, being able to pull a fairly complete listing of jazz gigs around town, organized by day and present them in these pages with minimal recoding made it possible for me to do those posts.  As I have stated before, this blog is mostly a hobby (although I also doing blog consulting as part of the business I am building with my wife, Dianna). 

You can check out my Google calendar of Advance Looks and Out of Town Guests to see who's coming to town and find other highlighted jazz events. I will continue to highlight venues and artists as I have before, and post about events when I can, but there's a lot of jazz out there every week and I simply cannot aggregate it all here without spending time I just do not have. I commend you to their listings and hope you find what you need.

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

Music loses another venue . . . Clarissa Room

Clarissa_closedYes, it's true.  The Clarissa Room in Corn Hill has closed.  I had to drive by to make sure what I'd heard was true and, as you can see, as of Friday evening it was boarded up.  For those of you that had never graced its inside, the Clarissa Room was in the space that was formerly Shep's Paradise in the Corn Hill neighborhood, an area of Rochester that has a rich tradition in jazz and blues. 

The Clarissa Room was all about the music.  That's what made it special.  Although jazz was prominently featured, it also carried on the blues, R&B and other traditions of its location.  The Clarissa Room was the one club in Rochester that reminded me of the jazz clubs I grew to love in Chicago in an earlier life.  The club was not pretentious. Your drinks were always served in a wide variety of free glassware from the liquor distributors.  I've spent some time there (see here, here, and here).  After Shep's closed following 3 decades in business due to back taxes, John Starr took over the building and transformed it into the Clarissa Room.  A year later, Starr was dead and, as I understand it, his family took over running the club.

The website for Clarissa Room now has an indication that this may be temporary.  It notes that the  club is "currently closed due to legal matters within the family" and provides a telephone number if loyal patrons would like to help. They also suggest you can show your support by patronizing Smokin Joe's over at 425 Lyell Avenue.  Perhaps it isn't their swan song; just a hiatus while they hash out the estate.  It'll be a shame if Rochester loses this venue to see live music as it was unique. 
Good luck, Starr family!

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

It's cold outside, but there's some hot jazz in town . . . .

A whole week's worth of listings, served up hot, courtesy of the City Newspaper:

Thursday, January 18

  • Alex Collins The Grill at Strathallan, 550 East Ave, 461-5010, 5:30-7:30 p.m. free
  • BaZaHa-LaLa Little Theatre Café, 240 East Ave, 258-0412, 7:30 p.m. free
  • Danny "Knuckles" Sullivan Tournedo's, The Inn On Broadway, 26 Broadway, 269-3888, 9 p.m. free
  • Deborah Branch & Harold Pannell Flat Iron Café, 561 State St, 454-4830, 8-11 p.m. free
  • Fred Costello Fedele's Brookhouse Restaurant, 3590 W Ridge Rd, 723-9988, 6-9 p.m. free
  • John Sinclair w/ Dream Engine Daily Perks Coffee House, 389 Gregory St, 271-2340, 7:30 p.m. free
  • Mike Cottone & Chris Ziemba Beale Street Cafe, 689 South Ave. 271-4650. 7:00 p.m. Free.
  • Friday, January 19

  • Bill Dobbins/Mike Kaupa The Grill at Strathallan, 550 East Ave, 461-5010, 9:30 p.m., free
  • Bob Sneider/Paul Hofmann Jazz happy hour The Grill at Strathallan, 550 East Ave, 461-5010, 5:30-7:30 p.m., free
  • Kerry Hoffman Trio New York Wine & Culinary Center, 800 S Main St. 394-7070. 7 p.m. Free.
  • Margaret Explosion Starry Nites Cafe, 696 University Ave. 271-2630. 8 p.m. free.
  • Mark Casey Little Theatre Café, 240 East Ave, 258-0412, 7:30 p.m., free
  • Roger Eckers Quartet w/Kimberly Wescott River's Edge Restaurant, 31 Paul Rd, 235-3630, 6:30-9:30 p.m., free
  • Sammy Naquin Daily Perks Coffee House, 389 Gregory St, 271-2340, 9-11 p.m. $7
  • Spoken word w/BADEA. Mood Makers Books, 274 N Goodman St. 271-7010. 6:30 p.m. free.
  • Saturday, January 20

  • Bill Dobbins Trio Little Theatre Café, 240 East Ave, 258-0412, 7:30 p.m., free
  • Chris Ziemba The Grill at Strathallan, 550 East Ave, 461-5010, 5-8:30 p.m., free
  • Danny "Knuckles" Sullivan Tournedo's, The Inn On Broadway, 26 Broadway, 269-3888, 9 p.m., free
  • Eastman Jazz Students Jack Lavere's, 682 Park Ave, 244-4060, 6:30 p.m. free
  • Fred Costello Fedele's Brookhouse Restaurant, 3590 W Ridge Rd, 723-9988, 6-9 p.m., free
  • Jazz Dawgs Starry Nites Cafe, 696 University Ave. 271-2630. 8 p.m. free.
  • Open Jam w/Thatt Groupp & Eddie Israel Café Underground Railroad, 480 W Main St, 235-3550, 9 p.m., free
  • Rochester Classic Jazz Band Nazareth College Arts Center, 4245 East Ave, 389-2170, ww.naz.edu. 8 p.m. $34-$38.
  • Willis Prudhomme w/Redline Zydeco Bop Shop, 274 N Goodman St. 271-3354. 2 p.m. free.
  • Willis Prudhomme w/Redline Zydeco Harmony House, 58 E Main St. 586-0476. 8 p.m. $12-$15.
  • Sunday, January 21

  • Bill Slater, solo piano Horizons at the Lodge at Woodcliff, Route 96. 381-4000. 11:30 am. Free.
  • Jimmy Highsmith Jr. Flat Iron Cafe, 561 State St. flatironcafe.net. 5 p.m. $10.
  • Maria Gillard Band Little Theatre Café, 240 East Ave, 258-0412, 7:30 p.m., free
  • Open Jazz Jam Clarissa Room, 293 Clarissa St. 325-5350. 7:30 p.m. free. 21+.
  • Monday, January 22

  • Tell me why... jazz don’t like Mondays . . . .
  • Tuesday, January 23

  • Or Tuesdays for that matter . . . .
  • Wednesday, January 24

  • Jazz Jam Daily Perks Coffee House, 389 Gregory St, 271-2340, 9-11 p.m. free
  • Trio East Little Theatre Café, 240 East Ave, 258-0412, 7:30 p.m., free
  • Note: There's one item above listed for the Clarissa Room that I have crossed out.  I was told today that the Clarissa Room is closed and boarded up.  I will confirm and have something more on this later, but wanted you to know.

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

    Jazz 90.1 Salutes African-American History Month

    Jazz90.1 (WGMC-FM) has announced that it will be saluting influential African-American jazz musicians throughout the month of February.  The radio station will be honoring a different African-American jazz musician on Monday through Friday during the entire month. A biographical vignette of the featured artist will be broadcast four times each day at 7:40 A.M. and 12:40, 4:40, and 8:40 P.M. Vignettes will also be repeated during weekend programming. The vignettes will be followed by a selection of that artist's music. The station reports that the:

    [A]rtists selected represent a variety of instruments, ages, and levels of achievement, but each has a story to tell and each has contributed significantly to the growth and enhancement of jazz music. Jazz90.1 hopes listeners will take this opportunity to learn  more about and recognize the significant contributions of individual African-American jazz musicians.

    Featured musicians will include Wynton Marsalis, Lee Morgan, Sarah Vaughan, Charlie Parker, Nina Simone and Lester Young. For a complete list, listeners can visit their website

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

    January Jazz at Hochstein

    Hochstein Music School has announced a couple of jazz events:

    • On  Saturday, January 27 at 7:00pm there will be an "All That Jazz" concert with faculty and students, featuring Evan Dobbins, Rich Felice, Fred Stone, Dick Delaney, Paul Gaspar, the Youth Singers, John Wiesenthal and the adult guitar ensemble and selected students. The performance will be at Hochstein Performance Hall and will be free.
    • On Wednesday, January 31 at 7:30 7:00 pm, there will be a Jazz Concert by the Friday and Saturday Jazz Ensemble students of Richard DeLaney. The performance will be at the Hilda D. Taylor Recital Hall and is free. For more information call 585-454-4596 or visit Hocstein's website.
    This post was originally published on JazzRochester. © Gregory V. Bell. All rights reserved.

    Chicago to Upstate NY . . . Rochester Classic Jazz Band at Nazareth

    Over at Nazareth College, they are continuing a journey in jazz that started last year with a "jazz journey with From Chicago to New York" interpreted by Rod Blumenau and the Rochester Classic Jazz Band, narrated by Michael Lasser, a lecturer, writer, broadcaster, critic and teacher, at the Nazareth College Arts Center, Saturday, January 20, 8 p.m. Tickets are $38 ($34 for subscribers and group sales of 10 or more). For tickets or more information, call the Nazareth College Box Office at (585) 389-2170, or visit the Nazareth website. The Nazareth College Arts Center is located at 4245 East Avenue, Rochester, N.Y., 14618.  Chicago is my now fading "home town" (feeling that I'm a Rochesterian now).

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

    It's time for some listings . . .

    There's a bit of jazz going on the next seven days, although there are no listings for Wednesday and Thursday. If you have something to fill those wholes let me know and I'll put them in.  Without much further ado, hear's the listings, courtesy of City Newspaper:

    Thursday, January 11

  • BaZaHa-LaLa Little Theatre Café, 240 East Ave, 258-0412, 7:30 p.m. free
  • Deborah Branch & Harold Pannell Flat Iron Cafe, 561 State St, flatironcafe.net, 8 p.m. free
  • Mike Cottone & Chris Ziemba Beale Street Café, 689 South Ave, 271-4650, 7 p.m. free
  • Standard Jazz Band Starry Nites Café, 696 University Ave, 271-2630, 8 p.m. free
  • Friday, January 12

  • Craig Snyder Fusion Group VENU Resto-Lounge, 151 St Paul St, 232-5650, 7 p.m. free, dress code enforced
  • Gap Mangione New Blues Band Horizons @ the Lodge at Woodcliff, 199 Woodcliff Dr, 248-4825, 7:30 p.m. free
  • Geoff Smith Group New York Wine & Culinary Center, 800 S Main St, 394-7070, 7 p.m. free
  • Love Notes Revue w/SOTA Singers School of the Arts, Ensemble Theatre, 45 Prince St, 324-3535, 7 p.m. $9
  • Mark Casey w/Jones & Kemp Little Theatre Cafe, 240 East Ave, 258-0412, 7:30 p.m. free
  • The Phat Kats Pineapple Jacks, 485 Spencerport Rd, 247-5225, 5:30 p.m. free
  • Saturday, January 13

  • Eastman Jazz Students Jack Lavere's, 682 Park Ave, 244-4060, 6:30 p.m. free
  • Gap Mangione New Blues Band Horizons @ the Lodge at Woodcliff, 199 Woodcliff Dr, 248-4825, 7:30 p.m. free
  • Love Notes Revue w/SOTA Singers School of the Arts, Ensemble Theatre, 45 Prince St, 324-3535, 7 p.m. $9
  • Second Saturday Jazz Jam Daily Perks Coffee House, 389 Gregory St, 271-2340, 8 p.m. $3
  • Sonny Miles and Smiles Organ Trio Café Underground Railroad, 480 W Main St, 235-3550, 9 p.m. free
  • Sunday, January 14

  • Bill Slater, solo piano Horizons @ the Lodge at Woodcliff, 199 Woodcliff Dr, 248-4825, 11:30 a.m. free
  • Love Notes Revue w/SOTA Singers School of the Arts, Ensemble Theatre, 45 Prince St, 324-3535, 5 p.m. $9
  • Monday, January 15

  • No jazz, I’m afraid....
  • Tuesday, January 16

  • None here either. . . .
  • Wednesday, January 17

  • Jazz Jam Daily Perks Coffee House, 389 Gregory St, 271-2340, 9-11 p.m. free
  • John Sinclair Verb Café @ Writers and Books, 740 University Ave, 473-2590, 7:30 p.m. $3-$6
  • Trio East Little Theatre Café, 240 East Ave, 258-0412, 7:30 p.m. free
  • This post was originally published on JazzRochester. © Gregory V. Bell. All rights reserved.

    I'm not alone . . . St. Louis Jazz Notes

    In meandering around the web in relation to finding some new Best of 2006 lists, I ran across the blog St. Louis Jazz Notes, which includes news, reviews, commentary and links related to jazz, improvisation and creative music in St. Louis, Missouri.  While few of us here in Rochester are likely to get out to St. Louis, I encourage you to take a look at Dean Minderman's blog.  He and I take a similar approach and, coincidentally, have been at it about the same length of time. Moreover, he linked to the first version of this blog a month before we switched to the new version. Like Rochester, St. Louis appears to have a vibrant jazz scene. 

    I will from time to time highlight other jazz blogs like St. Louis Jazz Notes to provide you with some resources in case you are traveling to another city and want to read up on what's going on in jazz at your destination city.  I'm starting with Mr. Minderman's blog as he has already collected a great number of links, from which I hope he doesn't mind if I pull some from time to time (as well as some of his other ideas in organizing and collecting information on his blog). However, I hope he updates his link to me sometime!

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

    More "Best of 2006" Jazz

    I'll send you out to look at some others' lists, but won't make them myself.  Why?  In 2006, I did buy the new disc of the Dave Holland Quintet, Critical Mass, and I picked up the new one by Joe Locke/Geoffrey Keezer Group while at their gig at Water Street, and I just recently downloaded a couple of tracks from Ornette Coleman's new album Sound Grammar (on many of the 2006 lists this year) to add to my new IPod Nano (Christmas present to myself...).  What I didn't do is hear enough of the new jazz albums out there this year to realistically give you a top 10. This blog is mostly about live jazz anyway.  So here it goes, a few more top 2006 jazz lists:

    Dan Ouellette over at Billboard noted that at least when looking at the charts, jazz had an "unadventurous year," writing:

    But for jazz aficionados who like their music melodically sublime, harmonically sophisticated and rhythmically alert and jarring, the death knell for the idiom rings prematurely. There's still vibrancy in a feast of 2006's forward-looking jazz projects -- none of which charted.

    So, they didn't chart?  Big deal.  We've heard some great new jazz in 2006.  Again, I invite you to leave a comment and let us all know which albums and/or new jazz artists really hit with you this year.

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

    New jazz for a new year. . .

    Happy New Year!  My pre-New Years festivities kept me from posting much around the new year, but here we are in 2007 with a new batch of jazz for the next seven days, courtesy of the City Newspaper:

    Thursday, January 4

  • Alex Collins The Grill at Strathallan, 550 East Ave, 461-5010, 5:30-7:30 p.m., free
  • BaZaHa-LaLa Little Theatre Café, 240 East Ave, 258-0412, 7:30 p.m., free
  • Blue Fuse Starry Nites Café, 696 University Ave, 271-2630, 8 p.m., free
  • Danny "Knuckles" Sullivan Tournedos, The Inn On Broadway, 26 Broadway, 269-3888, 9 p.m., free
  • Deborah Branch & Harold Pannell Flat Iron Café, 561 State St, 454-4830, 8-11 p.m., free
  • Fred Costello Fedele's Brookhouse Restaurant, 3590 W Ridge Rd, 723-9988, 6-9 p.m., free
  • Mike Cottone & Chris Ziemba Beale Street, 689 South Ave, 271-4650, 7-10, free
  • Friday, January 5

  • Bill Dobbins/Mike Kaupa Grill at Strathallan, 550 East Ave, 461-5010, 9:30 p.m., free
  • Bob Sneider/Paul Hofmann Jazz happy hour The Grill at Strathallan, 550 East Ave, 461-5010, 5:30-7:30 p.m., free
  • Fairport High School Jazz Combo Martha Brown Middle School, 665 Ayrault Rd, Fairport, 421-2111 x62724, 7 p.m., $5
  • Gap Mangione New Blues Band Horizons @ The Lodge at Woodcliff, 199 Woodcliff Dr, 248-4825, 7:30 p.m., free
  • Mark Casey Little Theatre Café, 240 East Ave, 258-0412, 7:30 p.m., free
  • Roger Eckers Quartet w/Kimberly Wescott River's Edge Restaurant, 31 Paul Rd, 235-3630, 6:30-9:30 p.m., free
  • Saturday, January 6

  • Bill Dobbins Trio Little Theatre Café, 240 East Ave, 258-0412, 7:30 p.m., free
  • Chris Ziemba The Grill at Strathallan, 550 East Ave, 461-5010, 5-8:30 p.m., free
  • Danny "Knuckles" Sullivan Tournedo's, The Inn On Broadway, 26 Broadway, 269-3888, 9 p.m., free
  • Eastman Jazz Students Jack Lavere's, 682 Park Ave, 244-4060, 6:30 p.m., free
  • Fred Costello Fedele's Brookhouse Restaurant, 3590 W Ridge Rd, 723-9988, 6-9 p.m., free
  • Gap Mangione New Blues Band Horizons @ The Lodge at Woodcliff, 199 Woodcliff Dr, 248-4825, 7:30 p.m., free
  • Phil Marshall & Friends Daily Perks Coffee House, 389 Gregory St, 271-2340, 8-11 p.m., free
  • Sonny Miles & Smiles Organ Trio Café Underground Railroad, 480 W Main St, 235-3550, 9 p.m., free
  • Sunday, January 7

  • Bill Slater Horizons @ The Lodge at Woodcliff, 199 Woodcliff Dr, 248-4825, 11:30 a.m., free
  • Maria Gillard Band Little Theatre Café, 240 East Ave, 258-0412, 7:30 p.m., free
  • Monday, January 8

  • No jazz? Say it ain’t so....
  • Tuesday, January 9

  • Oh no, not again!  This has gotta stop...
  • Wednesday, January 10

  • Jazz Jam Daily Perks Coffee House, 389 Gregory St, 271-2340, 9-11 p.m., free
  • Trio East Little Theatre Café, 240 East Ave, 258-0412, 7:30 p.m., free
  • This post was originally published on JazzRochester. © Gregory V. Bell. All rights reserved.