I have already written about being in a quandary about how Jazz@Rochester will cover the Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival this year. Now that I've had some time to digest the rich smorgasbord of new and familiar artists who are going to be playing during this year's XRIJF, I'm ready to get started.
In my "quandary" post, I noted that the XRIJF had really stepped it up this year in their artist pages for the festival, regularly including links to the artists websites, and to their music on YouTube videos, Soundcloud or Spotify. These links have also been incorporated into the new Discover functionality in this year's XRIJF App for iPhone and Android. In prior years, these pages often seemed more or less slapped together and I often found myself filling in some of the missing material, at least for the artists that I had picked to be in my posts of Picks for each day of the festival, to give my readers something more to go on in choosing who they would be hearing during the festival.
This year, I will share a complete list of the artists I'm thinking about checking out during the festival (soon) and then I'll pick out some of them to delve into a bit more deeply, adding some more to what is available on their XRIJF artist pages. As I write them, if you want to check them out, you'll find them by clicking on the XRIJF Picks category in the middle column.
I want to make a couple of things clear here in this post about these picks:
- My XRIJF Picks, for the most part, reflect my very eclectic approach to music in general and jazz in particular. I want to expand my ears and the XRIJF gives me a great opportunity to find new sounds and new artists and, more importantly, to hear them live. Most will fit within the "jazz" genre, but any who know me and follow this blog should be aware that I define that genre pretty broadly. As I noted before, there are not as many "bucket list" artists at this year's festival, artists who I must hear. This frees me ... I love that. As festival music producer John Nugent always says, "it's not who you know, it's who you don't know...."
- My Picks this year will not include any of the great local artists and groups who will be appearing during the 2015 XRIJF. I want to make it clear why. I go to gigs and support local jazz artists throughout the year in this blog and I will be checking out as many of them as my schedule will allow (and the above mentioned freedom will allow more of that this year). I will also have coverage of the local acts who are at the XRIJF and continue my Wednesday posts listing the live jazz that will continue to be heard outside the confines of the XRIJF footprint during its nine days. However, the XRIJF offers me a unique opportunity to hear music from artists and groups beyond the Western New York area. I encourage you to check out as many of our amazing local artists during the festival and then continue to go out and here them after it is over.
Let us know what you think about the lineup and whatever else you want to discuss about the coming XRIJF in the comments below, on other posts as I publish them, or on Twitter and Facebook. I've also started an Instagram account and, while there's nothing there today, I will begin adding images to it soon. I’d love to have a conversation with you here, there … or you can talk amongst yourselves!