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Posts from May 2010

The 2010 Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival: Guess it's time to begin Jazz@Rochester's coverage ....

XRIJF Jazz StreetThis post kicks off a number of posts that will be published over the next couple of weeks highlighting each night of the 2010 Edition of the Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival, which is quickly approaching on June 11th to 19th.

As there is a wealth of information on the festival's own site about lineup of artists each night (as well as coverage elsewhere), I'm again going to focus these posts on the artists or groups I am planning to catch each day (partly it serves as a way for me to organize my own thoughts and schedule). Where available, I will try to provide some additional links to learn more about my picks and their music and mention some of the other available possibilities if you're finding my choices odd. During the festival itself, as I did last year, I'll add links to others who are covering it in the local mainstream media and blogger community.

Of course, as anyone who has been to the festival will confirm, you have to be flexible as you make your way through its nine days—the inevitable changes will sometimes lead to new discoveries or musical moments you will never forget. John Nugent, Music Director at XRIJF, has been using the phrase "...it's not who you know, it's who you don't know" to describe what he and fellow festival producer Marc Iacona are trying to do with XRIJF. I even bought the T-Shirt last year as I think it is a spot on description. Nugent programs in a wide variety of jazz and other music genres to draw a wider and more diverse audience. While it often leaves the "jazz police" scratching their heads as to why it is called the "Rochester International Jazz Festival," it is always an enjoyable voyage of musical discovery for me. If there was just straight ahead jazz presented, you'd have a couple of thousand people milling around for perhaps a night or two, but not 120,000+ (it will clearly top that this year) on the streets of downtown Rochester for 9 days. Some of those people who are listening to the wide variety of music will catch some of the majority of the shows that are jazz and come away with a desire to hear more. That's how you strengthen the jazz listening community throughout the year.

I have first heard scores of artists at the RIJF over the past 7 years (it had been going on several years before I arrived in Rochester), artists who I continue to listen to and who I likely would have never heard of otherwise. For people like me who hit "Jazz Street" (which Gibbs Street between East and Main is renamed each year) on all nine nights of the festival, it is a constant state of movement between venues, sometimes taking an unexpected detour to accompany friends to what they had on their list or sometimes because the line for the venue on my list is too long and I'll likely not get in. In each of these cases I often find out that it was the better choice anyway. That has happened time and time again.

The timing of the Club Pass shows allow you to hear up to 4 separate acts a night, 2-3 if you opt for one of the big shows at Eastman (or more if you go to the after hours).  What's great about XRIJF is you can come in for one, as many as you can fit, or just come down and sit in the evening air catching some of the free shows and great local talent in the outdoor venues. There will be a large number of local artists playing this year and, as every year, the very talented jazz bands from some of the areas high schools.

If you're on Twitter, you can follow my tweets during the festival (or follow me now) and add your commentary through replies. I am also trying to collect XRIJF artists who are also on Twitter into a Twitter list. Not much there now as I've got to find more artists (only one right now really is a major tweeter). As I have with past jazz festivals, I may try some moblogging (although admittedly, if I do, I have to work on the content) and other avenues of communication as well.

A number of the next posts (except for Wednesdays) will be setting out my initial stab at an itinerary through each of the nine nights of the XRIJF. Take them as you find them. I'm not a musician or an expert in jazz (although I play one on the Internet) and I like to challenge my listening by checking out some very eclectic sounds.  You may find more of that this year, as RIJF has programmed a number of artists who have been to the festival before and I'll usually opt for something new (although there are exceptions). I encourage you to add comments to the post for each night about your picks, what you think of mine, etc.  See you on Jazz Street....

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

Jazz Around Town: We apologize for the interruption in service....

I had a good reason.... I'm in Kansas, helping my parents move into a new house and there is so much to do here and in supporting my day job that I just couldn't fit another thing in. Not as much going on this week as it is. Again, I apologize (especially to those folks who had Thursday, and now Friday, gigs. Well, my Mom's calling me ... gotta go.

Friday, May 28, 2010

  • Bobby Dibaudo @ Bistro 135, 6:00 pm
  • Ryan T Carey & El Rojo Jazz Band @ Thali of India, 7:00 pm
  • Bill Dobbins Quartet @ The Grill at Strathallan, 8:30 pm
  • Madeline Forster @ Little Theatre Cafe, 8:30 pm
  • Mark Cassara @ Bistro 135, 9:00 pm

Saturday, May 29, 2010

  • Andy Stobie & the Greater Finger Lakes Jazz Orchestra @ All Things Art (Canandaigua), 7:00 pm
  • Ted Nicolosi and Shared Genes @ Jasmine's Asian Fusion, 7:30 pm
  • Bob Sneider Quartet with John Sneider @ The Grill at Strathallan, 8:30 pm
  • Gap Mangione & The New Blues Band @ The Lodge at Woodcliff, 8:30
  • Kinloch Nelson Trio @ Little Theatre Cafe, 8:30 pm
  • East End Jazz Boys @ Havana Moes, 9:30 pm

Sunday, May 30, 2010

  • Bill Slater @ The Lodge at Woodcliff, 11:30 am
  • Troup Street Jam Session @ Beale Street Cafe, 6:00 pm
  • Moondance @ Lovin' Cup, 7:00 pm

Monday, May 31, 2010

  • The Bowties @ Little Theatre Cafe, 7:30 pm

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

  • Generations Jazz Combo @ Bistro 135, 6:00 pm

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

  • John Beck Trio @ Bistro 135, 6:00 pm
  • AMP Margaret Explosion @ Little Theatre Cafe, 7:30 pm
  • Paradigm Shift @ Pomodoro's Grill & Wine Bar, 8:00 pm

We've compiled these listings from information obtained from the performing artists themselves and other sources. The aim is to give you a one stop place to find all your jazz in Rochester.The aim is to give you a one stop place to find all your jazz in Rochester. Only start times are listed, visit or call the venue for more details (the sites for many are in the right panel). Please forgive me for any discrepancies with reality and feel free to let me know what the problem is, and I'll get the corrections up on the site as soon as possible (click on the "Send an email to Jazz@Rochester" link). If you go out to hear a performance listed here, feel free to drop a comment to this post about how it went. I want to hear from you!

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

A quick note from Kansas...

It is a rare occurrence, but I'm going to be a bit late with the listings (sorry to those who have Thursday gigs). I will get them out tomorrow as early as I can, but I'm just too focused on the tasks at hand here in Wichita, where I'm helping my parents get settled in their new digs, and on the day job (which I'm unfortunately still doing while on "vacation"). Back next week....
This post was originally published on JazzRochester. © Gregory V. Bell. All rights reserved.

Jazz Around Town: Missing a lot while out of town, but you don't have to....

Still in Wichita, Kansas, helping my parents move, but thinking of what I'm missing at home, especially my wife, but also getting out to see some music.... 

I recently checked out the videos submitted by the mostly young artists to the Rochester Jazz Star contest. Geez there's a lot of talent out there. According to the RocJazzStar tweeter, over 98,000 votes were cast during Round 1! Round 2 started on May 17th and continues through to the 28th. There will be a gala awards presentation on June 9th (you can buy tickets on their site). Check out the semi-finalists on their site.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

  • Jazz Dawgs @ Bistro 135, 6:30 pm
  • Art Loves Jazz 2010 to support Jazz 90.1 @ Artisan Works, 6:30-9:30 pm
  • New Horizons Big Band and Brasso Profundo @ Kilbourn Hall, Eastman School of Music, 7:00 pm
  • Mike Allen & the Avatars @ Beale Street Cafe, 7:00 pm
  • DjanGoners @ Little Theatre Cafe, 7:30 pm
  • Dawn Thomson Duo @ The Grill at Strathallan, 8:00 pm

Friday, May 21, 2010

  • Dave Savine Quartet @ Bistro 135, 6:00 pm
  • The Revelers, Jazz Contingent @ Abilene, 6:00 pm
  • Ryan T Carey & El Rojo Jazz Band @ Thali of India, 7:00 pm
  • Mark Cassara @ Pane Vino, 7:00 pm
  • Paradigm Shift with Mark Collins @ Immanuel Baptist Church, Park Ave., Rochester, 7:00 pm
  • Bop Arts presents the Penfield High School Monday-Wednesday Jazz Ensemble at the Bop Shop Atrium, 274 North Goodman Street in the Village Gate, 7:30 pm (Facebook event)
  • Jim Nugent Trio @ Boulder Coffee Company (Alexander Street), 8:00 pm
  • Bob Sneider Quartet @ The Grill at Strathallan, 8:30 pm
  • Madeline Forster @ Little Theatre Cafe, 8:30 pm

Saturday, May 22, 2010

  • Sofrito @ Bistro 135, 6:00 pm
  • The Westview Project with Nick Brust @ Pomodoro Grill & Wine Bar, 7:00 pm
  • Ted Nicolosi and Shared Genes @ Jasmine's Asian Fusion, 7:30
  • Mike Kaupa Quartet @ The Grill at Strathallan, 8:30 pm
  • Kinloch Nelson Trio @ Little Theatre Cafe, 8:30 pm
  • The Po' Boys Brass Band @ Lovin Cup, 9:30 pm
  • East End Jazz Boys @ Havana Moes, 9:30 pm

Sunday, May 23, 2010

  • Open Jazz Jam Session with Mike Allen with Troup Street Band @ Beale Street Cafe, 6:00 pm
  • Nick Finzer Quintet @ Boulder Coffee Co-Brooks Landing, 7:00 pm
  • Ryan Barclay Quintet @ Lovin' Cup, 7:00 pm

Monday, May 24, 2010

  • New Horizons Concert Band, Symphonic Band and Combined Bands @ Kodak Hall, Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre, 7:00 pm
  • The Bowties @ Little Theatre Cafe, 7:30 pm

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

  • Ted Nicolosi and Shared Genes @ Bistro 135, 5:30 pm  

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

  • Music Makers Big Band, Al Bruno Trio with Tom Monte @ Roger Robach Community Center, 6:00 pm
  • Todd East @ Bistro 135, 6:00 pm
  • Eastman Community Music School Jazz @ Boulder Coffee Co-Brooks Landing, 7:00 pm
  • Margaret Explosion @ Little Theatre Cafe, 7:30 pm
  • Paradigm Shift @ Pomodoro's Grill & Wine Bar, 8:00 pm

We've compiled these listings from information obtained from the performing artists themselves and other sources. The aim is to give you a one stop place to find all your jazz in Rochester.The aim is to give you a one stop place to find all your jazz in Rochester. Only start times are listed, visit or call the venue for more details (the sites for many are in the right panel). Please forgive me for any discrepancies with reality and feel free to let me know what the problem is, and I'll get the corrections up on the site as soon as possible (click on the "Send an email to Jazz@Rochester" link). If you go out to hear a performance listed here, feel free to drop a comment to this post about how it went. I want to hear from you!

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

Jazz Around Town: Live (jazz) from Kansas....

As I sit nursing my aching back and knees after working all day getting my parents ready for their move tomorrow from the small town of Fredonia, Kansas to the city of Wichita (about the size of Rochester), I'm still thinking of you all and getting the jazz together for the listings (although sometime miss Wednesday...I realize it's Thursday), I've almost never missed the listings post. Hope you find some time to get out and hear live music, especially live jazz, over the next seven days:

Thursday, May 13, 2010

  • Jazz Dawgs @ Bistro 135, 6:30 pm
  • DjanGoners @ Little Theatre Cafe, 7:30 pm
  • Dawn Thomson, Bob Sneider Duo @ The Grill at Strathallan, 7:30 pm

Friday, May 14, 2010

  • Bobby Dibaudo @ Bistro 135, 6:00 pm
  • Ryan T Carey & El Rojo Jazz Band @ Thali of India, 7:00 pm
  • Chet Catalo & the Cats @ School of the Arts, Rochester, 8:00 pm
  • Gap Magione New Blues Band @ The Lodge at Woodcliff, 8:00 pm
  • Groove Juice Special: Battle of the Sexes, featuring DJs Jesse Hanus and Sam Copeland @ Tango Cafe Ballroom, 389 Gregory St. Rochester, 8:00 pm
  • Bill Dobbins Quartet @ The Grill at Strathallan, 8:30 pm
  • Madeline Forster @ Little Theatre Cafe, 8:30 pm
  • Todd East and Friends @ Bistro 135, 9:00 pm

Saturday, May 15, 2010

  • Mark Cassara Trio "Just for Dinner" @ Bistro 135, 7:00 PM
  • Ted Nicolosi and Shared Genes @ Jasmine's Asian Fusion, 7:30 pm
  • Exodus to Jazz presents Four80East @ Radisson Hotel Rochester Riverside, two shows 8:00 & 10:00 pm
  • Bop Arts presents The Britton Brothers Band CD Release Party @ Bop Shop Atrium, Village Gate, 8:00 pm (check out the videos starting here)
  • Mike Allen & the Avatars @ Pomodoro Grill & Wine Bar, 8:00 pm
  • Coda Combo @ Towpath Cafe, Fairport, 8:00 pm
  • Gap Magione New Blues Band @ The Lodge at Woodcliff, 8:00 pm
  • Bob Sneider Quartet @ The Grill at Strathallan, 8:30 pm
  • Kinloch Nelson Trio @ Little Theatre Cafe, 8:30 pm
  • East End Jazz Boys @ Havana Moes, 9:30 pm

Sunday, May 16, 2010

  • Bill Slater @ The Lodge at Woodcliff, 11:30 am

Monday, May 17, 2010

  • Dick Ames' Bearcat Jazz Band @ Green Lantern Inn, Fairport, 6:30 pm
  • The Bowties @ Little Theatre Cafe, 7:30 pm
  • The Meta Accord @ Boulder Coffee Co. (Alexander St.), 8:00 pm

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

  • Amanda Ashley @ Bistro 135, 6:00 pm

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

  • Jim Nugent Trio @ Bistro 135, 6:00 pm
  • Margaret Explosion @ Little Theatre Cafe, 7:30 pm
  • Paradigm Shift @ Pomodoro's Grill & Wine Bar, 8:00 pm

Heads Up ... Look for these Jazz Gigs and Special Events in the Future

We've compiled these listings from information obtained from the performing artists themselves and other sources. The aim is to give you a one stop place to find all your jazz in Rochester.The aim is to give you a one stop place to find all your jazz in Rochester. Only start times are listed, visit or call the venue for more details (the sites for many are in the right panel). Please forgive me for any discrepancies with reality and feel free to let me know what the problem is, and I'll get the corrections up on the site as soon as possible (click on the "Send an email to Jazz@Rochester" link). If you go out to hear a performance listed here, feel free to drop a comment to this post about how it went. I want to hear from you!

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

Jazz Around Town: Listen amongst yourselves.... I'm leavin on a jet plane

Going to help the parental units move starting next week, so will be out of town for awhile. But that has never stopped me from doing the Wednesday post, so don't fret. You'll find it here, although I cannot promise when (Internet may be spotty where I'm going).

A shout out to two Eastman School of Music jazz guitarists, senior Graham Keir and freshman Gabriel Condon (who is a past recipient of the Rochester International Jazz Festival/Eastman Scholarship) as it was just announced that they received DownBeat honors in the magazine’s 33rd annual student music awards issue, which is due on the stands May 18th. Congratulations, guys...

Thursday, May 6, 2010

  • Simon Fletcher @ Bistro 135, 6:00 pm
  • Mike Allen & the Avatars @ Beale Street Cafe, 7:00 pm
  • DjanGoners @ Little Theatre Cafe, 7:30 pm
  • Dawn Thomson Duo @ The Grill at Strathallan, 7:30 pm

Friday, May 7, 2010

  • Bobby Dibaudo and Jon Sieger @ Bistro 135, 6:00 pm
  • Bill Dobbins Quartet @ The Grill at Strathallan, 7:00 pm
  • CD Release Party for Jimmie Highsmith Jr & Funkbox "Drive Me the Funk Home" with Wycliffe Gordon @ Gallery One Fine Arts, 36 W Main St, Rochester, 7:00 pm
  • Ryan T Carey & El Rojo Jazz Band @ Thali of India, 7:00 pm
  • Canandaigua Academy Jazz at the Academy "Night Club Night" with saxophonist Dean Keller guest artist, with the Canandaigua Middle School Jazz Band, New Jazz and Jazz Ensembles, 7:30 pm
  • Madeline Forster @ Little Theatre Cafe, 8:30 pm
  • Gap Mangione and the New Blues Band @ Woodcliff, 8:30 pm

Saturday, May 8, 2010

  • Cabo Frio @ University of Rochester, Hoyt Auditorium, 7:30 (cancelled)
  • Madeline Forster @ Bistro 135, 7:00 pm
  • Ted Nicolosi and Shared Genes @ Jasmine's Asian Fusion, 7:30 pm
  • Mike Allen & the Avatars @ Pomodoro Grill & Wine Bar, 8:00 pm
  • Bob Sneider Quartet @ The Grill at Strathallan, 8:30 pm
  • Kinloch Nelson Trio @ Little Theatre Cafe, 8:30 pm
  • Gap Mangione and the New Blues Band @ Woodcliff, 8:30 pm
  • East End Jazz Boys @ Havana Moes, 9:30 pm

Sunday, May 9, 2010 (Take yer mama out for some jazz!)

  • Bill Slater @ The Lodge at Woodcliff, 11:30 am
  • Ted Nicolosi and Shared Genes @ Bistro 135, 2:30 pm
  • "Sunday Serenades" Concert Series with Nick Finzer Quintet @ Brighton Memorial Library (2300 Elmwood Ave, Rochester NY), 2:00 pm
  • Latin Jazz Jam @ Tango Cafe, 4:00 pm
  • Westview Project @ Bistro 135, 5:00 pm
  • Rick Holland LIttle Big Band @ Lovin' Cup, 7:00 pm

Monday, May 10, 2010

  • The Bowties @ Little Theatre Cafe, 7:30 pm
  • A little sparse in here folks...

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

  • Brad Batz @ Bistro 135, 6:00 pm
  • Ditto!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

  • New Horizons Orchestra and String Orchestra @ First Unitarian Church, 11:00 am
  • Ted Nicolosi and Shared Genes @ Bistro 135, 6:00 pm
  • Jack Allen Big Band, Al Bruno Trio with Tom Monte @ Roger Robach Community Center, 6:00 pm
  • The Margaret Explosion @ Little Theatre Cafe, 7:30 pm
  • Paradigm Shift @ Pomodoro's Grill & Wine Bar, 8:00 pm

Heads Up ... Look for these Jazz Gigs in the Future

We've compiled these listings from information obtained from the performing artists themselves and other sources. The aim is to give you a one stop place to find all your jazz in Rochester. Only start times are listed, visit or call the venue for more details (the sites for many are in the right panel). Please forgive me for any discrepancies with reality and feel free to let me know what the problem is, and I'll get the corrections up on the site as soon as possible (click on the "Send an email to Jazz@Rochester" link). If you go out to hear a performance listed here, feel free to drop a comment to this post about how it went. I want to hear from you!

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

But wait ... there's more! Deadline extended on the Rochester Jazz Start contest

calendar imagePerhaps since the original deadline was getting close and there were only about 17 entries and to give bands and artists some more time to add their videos into the mix, the folks at the Rochester Jazz Star contest have extended the deadline for submitting videos to May 14th.  There were 20 up there at the time I posted this.

I've been watching some of the videos and there is a wide variety of talent from around Rochester, including some folks you see around town (and in my listings) and others you may not have heard of ... yet.

The contest is brought to us by Rochester International Jazz Festival sponsor Xerox in conjunction with the festival.  You can read more about the contest in my earlier post "Jazz festival sponsor Xerox brings jazz 'Idol' to Rochester in Jazz Star contest)".

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

You'll have to pass on the Club Pass at the Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival

XRIJF logoIn an omen of another possibly large jump in the number of people coming out for the nine days of live jazz and other music at the Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival, the Club Pass sold out on Thursday. This is the earliest point that that the Pass has sold out; the last two years it sold out just days before the festival, which this year runs from June 11-19, began its nine day run.

The Club Pass is the best way to experience the festival as it provides you entry into hundreds of performances. As you might expect I use mine to the hilt (and get it soon after it goes on sale in November). Don't despair. You can still buy individual tickets for performances you want to see in the Club Pass venues (and for many of the performances in Eastman) and there are still a lot of great free music by local and other acts to be had.

That it sold out so early seems to support the the approach taken by XRIJF jefes John Nugent and Marc Iacona—growing attendance by bringing in people who otherwise are not jazz listeners through eclectic programming that presents a wide variety of jazz and other music. While this leaves some scratching their heads or muttering "that's not jazz!" while harrumphing to the next venue, if it was all jazz, you wouldn't be seeing 120,000 people on the streets of Rochester in mid-June. The fact that the Pass sold out so soon is proof to me that some of those who come for the free or "non-jazz" programming may have caught some of the "jazz" programming and decided it was worth plunking down some hard earned dollars to hear some more. That's growing the audience for jazz in general (and I hope for live jazz). If they're from out of town, it means that more of them are staying overnight and leaving some more of their doubloons in Rochester.

This development leaves this veteran XRIJF attendee (all nine days, baby!) with one question... is it going to lead to making it even more difficult to get into the venues? It might and for certain acts you may very well need to get to the venue quite early to secure a place. However, in my experience there are two factors that, I hope, will mitigate this possibility. First and foremost is that when you are barred by crowds or otherwise from getting in to hear an artist you'd put on your list, it can lead to you discovering another artist that you may not have found otherwise. Some of my most memorable musical experiences at the Rochester Jazz Festival have been through this serendipitous manner of discovery. Additionally, there are more venues and options this year (more about that as I start my coverage of the XRIJF soon). Of course, the proof will be in the pudding...

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