Previous month:
May 2016
Next month:
July 2016

Posts from June 2016

Why bother? Despite the XRIJF, there is still [other] ... live jazz in ROC, June 30th to July 6th

Jazz Sign

Before the week covered below ends, the 15th Annual Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival will be history. It looks like it has been fun for those of you who were able to go.  I will continue to watch for special things done by others that I can share here, on Twitter, YouTube and on Facebook (click on the icons in the right in the middle column to check them out).  Also, if you're a Twitter user, you may want to follow my Twitter list for 2016 XRIJF artists. You will not find many listings for the jazz fest here. For that, hit the logo in the middle panel.  

After the "fold" (click the link if there is one for you) you will find the next seven days of live jazz in and around Rochester. As always, let me know if any regular gigs below are no longer happening or if you have heard of anything that's not in the listings. Check back later in the week for stragglers. 

Continue reading "Why bother? Despite the XRIJF, there is still [other] ... live jazz in ROC, June 30th to July 6th" »

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

I'm at the XRIJF in spirit if not body....

image from www.jazzrochester.comAs I've said in previous posts, I am not going to be a the Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival this year.  I'm in Wichita, Kansas, helping to take care of my father, who is on home hospice. While I'll miss the music, I'm there with you in spirit and will continue coverage some ways, including:

  • I will be sharing on Twitter and Facebook throughout the festival. I encourage you to follow the Twitter list I created of this year's XRIJF artists.
  • I hope to post guest posts by some folks who are actually at the festival.  If you'd like to be one of those guest posters, contact me through the Contact Us button above and I'll provide you with the particulars. 
  • Next Wednesday, I will still be doing the post with listings of all the jazz I can find in Rochester that is NOT part of the XRIJF.

Have fun at the festival! I'll see you next year.  If you're looking for more about the festival, check out their website by clicking on the image in the middle column. You can also download their app for your iPhone or Android device.

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

Jazz fest starts day after tomorrow, but look here for some other ... jazz in ROC, June 23-29

Jazz Street scene

Hard to believe it's the day after tomorrow. Hard to believe I'm still in Kansas and won't be joining you at XRIJF this year.  As I noted last week, my coverage during this year's festival will necessarily be limited. I will watch for special things done by others that I can share here, on Twitter, YouTube and on Facebook (click on the icons in the right in the middle column to check them out).  Also, if you're a Twitter user, you may want to follow my Twitter list for 2016 XRIJF artists. You will not find many listings for the jazz fest here. For that, hit the logo in the middle panel.  

After the "fold" (click the link if there is one for you) you will find the next seven days of live jazz in and around Rochester. As always, let me know if any regular gigs below are no longer happening or if you have heard of anything that's not in the listings. Check back later in the week for stragglers. It is especially important during XRIJF as everything changes (and I don't always hear about it...)

Continue reading "Jazz fest starts day after tomorrow, but look here for some other ... jazz in ROC, June 23-29" »

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

Even if XRIJF will be here soon, you can get out and see some ... live jazz in ROC, June 16-22

Jazz 1-way sign

There are fewer than 10 days left until Rochester's streets fill up and the Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival gets underway. I'm still in Kansas with my father, who is on home hospice. I won't be joining you at the festival this year, although due to the reason I'm not going to be in Rochester, I am quite happy about that as it means my Dad is still with us. I'll miss some great music this year. My coverage this year will be necessarily limited.  

After the "fold" (click the link if there is one for you) you will find the next seven days of live jazz in and around Rochester. As always, let me know if any regular gigs below are no longer happening or if you have heard of anything that's not in the listings. Check back later in the week for stragglers.

Continue reading "Even if XRIJF will be here soon, you can get out and see some ... live jazz in ROC, June 16-22" »

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

There is very little ... jazz in ROC (this week), June 9-15

Jazz sign

This happens every year as folks gear up for the Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival.... Part of it is probably that a lot of folks are involved in the festival itself; but for others it may be a time they schedule some time away from ROC as the XRIJF sucks the "jazz" air out of the area. Still some around town, though.... 

After the "fold" (click the link if there is one for you) you will find the next seven days of live jazz in and around Rochester. As always, let me know if any regular gigs below are no longer happening or if you have heard of anything that's not in the listings. Check back later in the week for stragglers.

Continue reading "There is very little ... jazz in ROC (this week), June 9-15" »

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

Paul Smoker: "In his playing there was a fierce beauty, and in his person a helpful, generous guy"

Having heard Paul Smoker play a number of times since moving to Rochester, I knew the intensity and beauty of his playing and compositions. I felt that his recent passing on May 14th should be noted here in these pages, but I didn't know Paul and there had been some thoughtful pieces on Paul and his music by Jeff Spevak in the D&C and Ron Netsky in City and didn’t feel I had anything more to contribute myself. But Tim Sullivan, Professor Emeritus in the Music Department, who did know Paul, responded to my call out to my email list of local musicians about writing a guest post. Tim's guest post is below:

image from www.paulsmoker.com“A musician is one who travels with $5000 worth of equipment in a $500 car, 100 miles for 50 bucks.” That aging quip is one that many musicians and their spouses know, one to which they respond with grins and grimaces. Paul Smoker was known as a tough traveler, and as a strong player. Those aspects of his presence traveled quickly to our town when he moved here from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, largely to be closer to two members of his band who, by 1990, lived in New York.

What traveled more slowly was a certain deep beauty of his playing and person. Paul and his pianist wife Beverly decided that they would move to the place that provided work for one of them, and that place was Rochester, and that person was Beverly, who became the chief professor of piano at the Music Department of Nazareth College. Paul’s drive to play necessarily directed his energies toward “the city” and as the faculty of the college came to hear the reach of his musical thought we were glad to have him in town, when we could.

It was, I think, during the third year of the Smoker’s life here, the Spring semester of 1992, when an opening of particular beauty appeared: the college big band needed brass players and Paul was asked to identify trumpet students who might play. At the end of a phone conversation he said “well, of course, I could play….” And, when word got out that Paul would be in the band, players emerged from goodness knows where in a sort of re-enactment of the miracle of the loaves and fishes. That semester the band wailed, the band was fun, and Paul, I think relaxing in an environment where his fierce new music drive would not be under scrutiny--after all, one thinks of the Biblical question “What … could come out of Nazareth…?” (paraphrased here)--played for us from his gorgeous cornucopia of the knowledge of bebop. It was bebop superb, bebop beautiful, bebop flowing, bebop nourishing the band. And he was IN the band, swinging, inspiring, and illuminating all.

Around then one discovered a further virtue of the man, his generosity. If one wondered, as I would, about a particular piece of new-music by a composer such as Karlheinz Stockhausen, a cassette of the work would soon appear on one’s desk. (Yes, a cassette, this was during the last millennium … later, CDs, of course). That generosity, an inclusive one, flourished when Paul became the director of the jazz ensemble at Nazareth, as he wrote parts to fit kids into the band. Generous and provident he was.

Yes, effectively and rather famously, he presented the tough guy face. But a lot of us knew better. In his playing there was a fierce beauty, and in his person a helpful, generous guy.

Please feel free to add your own thoughts about Paul Smoker and his music in the Comments.

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

As we slide toward the jazz festival, there is still ... live jazz in Rochester, NY, June 2-8

Jazz signHighlighting the jazz at Fairport Canal Days Friday-Sunday, but you won't find it below as it has it's own post below with all the deets. There's not a lot of new stuff out there. As I noted last year the pickins get a little slim in June as we get closer the XRIJF. Some of the repeating gigs below may no longer be around, but I've not heard otherwise, so you should check before heading out the door. I'm hitting the RiverFest here in Wichita on Friday to get a bit of the festing I'm missing out of my system and get a few hours of respite, but no jazz that I know of, although I may catch the Violent Femmes....

Did you hear that Jazz 90.1 is going to start a new streaming station featuring Blues and Big Band. Go here for more on that.  Also, the Pythodd Jazz Room now has it's own website, although I'm afraid as of publication time they haven't updated it to June.  We'll let them get their web-legs... 

After the "fold" (click the link if there is one for you) you will find the next seven days of live jazz in and around Rochester. As always, let me know if any regular gigs below are no longer happening or if you have heard of anything that's not in the listings. Check back later in the week for stragglers.

Continue reading "As we slide toward the jazz festival, there is still ... live jazz in Rochester, NY, June 2-8" »

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