53 posts categorized "About this blog . . ." Feed

How do YOU want your JazzRochester? Here are the ways to find us...

JazzRochesterPageJazzRochester has gone through a number of changes of the more than 10 years I've been publishing this blog.  I like to try and provide readers with as many different avenues to access what we do here on JazzRochester. To that end, you can get your JazzRochester in a number of ways:

  • Email. Over 350 of you get the posts on JazzRochester delivered via email. In addition to the posts on JazzRochester, I also may send an occasional email (VERY occasional) regarding special projects I launch for the blog or Rochester's live jazz scene. I use MailChimp to manage email subscriptions. To get us via email, click on the link at the top of the blog and fill out the form to get started. Click on the link in the email that you will be sent to confirm your email address and make sure it is not getting put into your spam folder. I will not sell, spam or otherwise use the email addresses entered in there without your permission and you can unsubscribe any time.
  • RSS Feed. A number of you have put the feed for JazzRochester in a feed reader, such as Feedly. To do that, you can click on the orange RSS feed icon at the top of the blog or just paste the URL for the blog into your feed reader and it should be autodiscovered.
  • Twitter. JazzRochester is on Twitter under the handle @jazzrochester. Almost 11,000 Twitter users are following us there from here and all over the world (really, I only need about 15 more as of this posting....). In addition to tweets of every post published on JazzRochester, I occasionally share other information about jazz in Rochester and beyond. I follow as many local jazz artists, artists with connections to Rochester, and folks in the local jazz community as I find on Twitter (I maintain a list). Local Rochester artists and jazz venues should let me know their Twitter handles. You'll also find that I follow a vibrant jazz community of artists, jazz bloggers and jazz organizations from all over the world. I occasionally share interesting jazz links and information about local jazz and jazz artists, and jazz around the world. You can access the feed on Twitter by clicking on the Twitter icon at the top of the blog.  You can also share individual posts by clicking on the Twitter icon at the bottom of the post.
  • Facebook. About 770 folks have "liked" the JazzRochester page on Facebook.  The posts published on the blog are posted there, plus I share other jazz links and information about local jazz events. Feel free to add your own two cents about the Rochester jazz scene. Rochester artists can feel free to do so as well and add their events to the page. If you're on Facebook, I'd appreciate it if you'd head over to the page and "like" us there, even if you're getting the content some other way. Click on the Facebook icon at the top of the page to check it out.  Like or share the blog by clicking the links in the right panel under the Search box. Share individual posts by clicking on the icon at the bottom of the post.
  • YouTube Channel. On the JazzRochester channel I'm trying to collect video of Rochester jazz artists performances and performances from the Rochester International Jazz Festival. I also subscribe to several jazz-related video feeds.  Feel free to let me know about video you've found that can be added there.  Not much, but it's a start. Help me out by pointing me to your favorites.
  • Or just come back here. There are some I meet around Rochester who are long time readers, but say "I get your emails" and apparently have never been to the blog itself to see all the other information to find here that don't show up in the other platforms you can consume our content through. I encourage you to visit us here anytime! The site should adjust to fit whatever device or screen size you're viewing it on. 

Here are some other notes on how we roll here at JazzRochester:

  • More about Rochester jazz artists, groups and venues.  So you can find out more about local jazz artists or groups, or even listen to some of their music, I have a page with links to their websites. Just click on the ROC Jazz Artists Links link at the top of the blog. I also link to venues that regularly present jazz in our area.  Anyone missing?  Let me know.  
  • Are you a ROC area jazz artist or venue?  I am trying to reach out directly to local jazz musicians and venues that regularly present jazz through email lists.  You can sign up by clicking on the For Local Jazz link at the top of the blog. 
  • Rochester sounds. I'm trying to hook you up with CDs from local Rochester artists or artists with deep ties here.  Just click on the ROC Jazz CDs link at the top of the blog.
  • Links. Over the years, I've collected a number of links to jazz information, media and other resources here in Rochester and beyond.  I also try to add other resources that feed links to other jazz-related information. 
  • Looking backward. JazzRochester can be searched by using search box in the right panel to find posts that include a particular artist or click on a category or monthly archive link in the right column to browse through posts.
  • Check out the About link at the top of the blog to learn more about JazzRochester and find the "legalities."

Feel free to comment on any post, but keep it nice and try to connect it to the post itself (for example, on the weekly listing posts if you went to see one of the listed gigs, let us know what you thought...). Let me know about what works and doesn't work by sending a question via email through the "Contact Us" link above. If you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask... here, via email, on Twitter, on Facebook, by commenting on a post, or even if you see me at a gig.

So subscribe, "like," or otherwise consume JazzRochester any way that works for you.  I won't judge... I'll just try to focus on getting you more information about live jazz in Rochester and beyond. 

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

Hiccup ...

When I went live with the new design, I told you there might be some hiccups along the way and one suddenly occurred (at least for me) when I updated the last post.  On some browsers the new banner image may be mostly overlaid by the first post.  Looks OK in Safari and appears only to be happening on Google Chrome.  I applied an update to the browser yesterday, so must have broken something...  Just wanted to let you know I'm on it. If this is the only hiccup, I've been lucky!

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

JazzRochester is celebrating its 10th Anniversary with a reboot....

Hard to believe that I started blogging on this URL during the month of September ten years ago (I write "on this URL" because I had been blogging at a different site that no longer exists—Blogsome—from April of 2005, so in reality, I've been doing this for well more than ten years...).  I thought I'd celebrate the 10 year anniversary of this blog by changing the site up a bit. A bit of a reboot or makeover. So what has changed? Here are a few highlights:

  • While I'm keeping the color scheme I've had for the past 10 years, I'm giving the logo and banner a makeover, making it a bit easier to use in other contexts and platforms. You'll see this change incorporated into the other platforms where JazzRochester is found soon. 
  • I am dropping the "@" from Jazz@Rochester.  Thought it was "cute" when I started, but forgot that it could interfere with using the name as a brand on other platforms like Twitter. 
  • I have made the site "responsive."  Awhile back Google made it clear that it would devalue sites that did not have a mobile presence. While Jazz@Rochester had a mobile site, it was through a 3d party and less accessible and than I'd like and didn't really accommodate later changes to posts (which happens sometimes with the listings).  These days the best way to accommodate the types and sizes of screens out there is through using responsive web design, which is is an approach to web design and coding that lets a webpage viewable regardless of the screen size of the device you're viewing it on.  The design of the page should now adapt whether you're looking on your desktop monitor, iPad or other tablet, or smartphone. 
  • I'm moving links to other pages and platforms on which JazzRochester operates to the top ribbon. In mobile, you'll find the same in the menu behind the horizontal lines you'll see on your smartphone.
  • I'm removing the advertisements. While the Google ads did bring in a tiny trickle of $ (I get a $100 from Google, which is the lowest before a check is cut, around every other year), it's not enough to keep using the best real estate in the blog.  
  • I hope that this reboot will also include an expansion in the amount and types of content published on the blog. More on that later as try them out (and, frankly, after I return to Rochester from helping to take care of my father in Kansas). 

As this reboot may help JazzRochester be even more accessible to more people, I'm hoping the makeover will help more Rochesterians, and those visiting the Rochester area, find live jazz in and around our fair city. I also hope that it can become more of a hub for building a community around live jazz in Rochester.

I expect there will be some hiccups along the way as I implement this reboot.  Please let me know if it creates any issues with the way the blog is working for you (happy to hear good things too...). Just click on the Contact Us link in the top ribbon to let me know. Make sure you let me know what device and browser you're using to access the site.

The images below are from early archived pages from both versions that I found on the nifty site The Wayback Machine to show you how the blog has looked over the years.

 

Wayback_April2005 JazzRochester in October 2006
This post was originally published on JazzRochester. © Gregory V. Bell. All rights reserved.

Changes are a'comin to Jazz@Rochester, but there will still be ... live jazz music in Rochester, NY, September 1-7

Andy's Chicago jazz club sign

I've been working on some changes to the look and feel of Jazz@Rochester. I hope to go live with them over the Labor Day weekend if I can find the time here in Wichita to finish the work. After the switchover, the site will be "responsive" and should be easier to navigate in whatever device that you're checking us out on. One thing you'll notice off the bat is that I'm losing the ampersand. I'll be removing some of the gunk that has built up over the years, too, including the adverts for now (they don't make me much scratch anyway), focusing on the links and other material that help you find new ways to experience jazz here in Rochester and elsewhere. I expect there will be some hiccups along the way, so bear with me. More about the changes later.... let me know what you think!

Wish I was in town to get over to The Bop Shop for their Groovy Sidewalk Sale, September 1st through the 10th. There's always some great jazz sounds for cheap....

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 "Changes are a'comin to Jazz@Rochester, but there will still be ... live jazz music in Rochester, NY, September 1-7" »

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.

I would like to be responsive in more ways than one....

image from www.jazzrochester.com
Quick note to let you all know that I will be working on redesigning the site to use a more of a responsive design so that it will display better in all manner of screens from big ass monitors to iPhones and Androids (not quite ready for the Apple Watch...). I have been using a separate service for my mobile readers for quite a while and will keep that until I'm happy with how mobile display is working.

As I move things around and try out different design elements, 2 vs. 3 columns, font sizes, etc., I would love it if you would provide feedback on how you're seeing it out there. Just click on the Contact Us button (or link or, whatever it ends up being as I redesign, it should be up top) to send me an email. Wish me luck as these things never go without a hitch! 

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

Listen to 2014 XRIJF artists while you read Jazz@Rochester....

Spotify-logo-primary-vertical-dark-background-rgb_300pxI've set up a Spotify playlist with selected cuts from a number of the artists who will be playing at the Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival (those who I could find on Spotify, that is). Many of them are my picks for trying to hear this year.  I've tried to find cuts from recent work where available (or in the configuration I expect that the artists will appear at XRIJF). 

Listen to a cut to check out an artist you're thinking about hearing; play the list to get a feeling for just how eclectic XRIJF will be (and I'm only just touching the surface). I'll try to add others as I find them or other Spotify users let me know about some more or a cut that highlights the artist more effectively. You can check out the existing playlist for local artists right below if you'd like too.

You can find a box in the middle panel and click on the play button to play while you read (don't leave the page or it will stop, so you may want to open other pages you read in a new page). Or download Spotify and click here (Spotify URI) to add the playlist to your own Profile. Happy listening!

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

Follow the "back story" with the Twitter feed for XRIJF 2014 artists

We've been on Twitter for a long time at Jazz@Rochester, now with over 8,500 followers (more every day). We follow local jazz artists, jazz artists from elsewhere with a local connection and more than a few of my favorite artists, websites, blogs and other jazz information sources.

There are a large number of the artists appearing at this year's Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival who have a Twitter account. Many of them actually tweet themselves ... really!  Thanks to the XRIJF staff, who kindly provided all the Twitter handles, we have them a large number of them in a Twitter list (although I'm sure there are more, so please share if you got'em). Click the "tooting Tweeter" (or is it honking...) to the right to check out our Twitter list page, or add the XRIJF Artists Twitter list to your favorite Twitter client (of course, you can always follow the list directly on Twitter).

TweetFest imageJoin in the conversation with your favorite XRIJF artists.  See what they're saying before, during and after the XRIJF (sometimes it is quite revealing...). I'll be sharing (retweeting in the parlance) up to and during the festival as well, so just watch the Jazz@Rochester Twitter feed (if you want to check that out, click on the blue Twitter bird in the middle column. 

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

Yes, my copy of the email was, shall we say, hard to read...

When I saw it on my phone after it went live at midnight I thought it might just be a mobile issue, but for those of you who receive the posts via email, you saw it was much worse than that. All my lovely bullets and other formatting were gone, leaving a single block of text containing ALL of the listings. My test posts using one of the listings posts worked, so I'm not sure what happened. 

While I'd like to keep using MailChimp to send out the email, I obviously need to go back to the drawing board. I'll figure it out, hopefully before next Wednesday. In the meantime, you'll find a link at the bottom of the text that says Read in Browser. Click on that and come see the post on the blog (looks a lot better there). Or you can click on this link here

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

A change for our email subscribers ...

Freddie_winkFor some of you (right now about 385), getting Jazz@Rochester via email is just how you roll. From some of the comments I get out and about in Rochester, there are some of you who perhaps have signed up and never really visited the website itself. I encourage you to do so as there is much more than the posts on Jazz@Rochester.

Nonetheless, I respect your preference for email and thus try to offer email as one of the ways you can connect to Jazz@Rochester by feeding out posts to the blog to email subscribers over Feedburner, which since I began using them was bought by Google.  While Feedburner has been a pretty good service over the years, there have been too many glitches and they are clearly not really supporting its improvement. In addition, it gave me very little tools to learn how my email subscribers are interacting with the site and how I might serve them better. To that end, I'm switching to using MailChimp for email subscriptions (and thus my friend Freddie to the left). I will temporarily stop the Feedburner email service until I'm sure this is working. 

So, starting with this post, I hope all of my current subscribers will be receiving the post in their inbox via MailChimp. It will look much more like the post on the blog itself and there is much more in the way of options available to my subscribers. Some may not and I encourage them to click on the link in the top of the middle column of the blog and re-subscribe. 

Now, I could use your help to give me a better idea of who my subscribers are and how they interact with the email and the blog. The email subscription form I created for the new service asks for first and last names and requests that you identify yourself as a ROC Jazz Listener, a ROC Jazz Musician, a Venue, or someone from Outside of ROC. The prior service didn't support that kind of interaction, but MailChimp does. At the bottom of this email (I hope) will be a link to a form to update your preferences. I'm hoping that when you select that, you'll be able to fill in your name (if you wish) and select one of the options in the "Who Are You?" field. I am not requiring it, but it would really help me out.  You can also unsubscribe from a link at the bottom of the email. If that's your wish, I'll be sad to see you go, but feel free.

Let me know what you think about the new look in the comments to this post.   

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

Laboring away with "Work Song" ...

Hope you're having a great labor(less) day... Thought I'd celebrate it a bit by listening to a favorite—Nat Adderley's Work Song and share it with you:

 

This post is serving is laboring a bit... double duty to see if my feed is working again. I didn't hear from anyone about my recent travails with the email subscriptions, which may also be that no one is really reading those posts (or that the 359 current email subscribers have a bunch of old Jazz@Rochester posts in their spam folder)...

I am trying to implement a new email suscription option (I hope) using another service that should be more reliable. Some of you may have seen a new box pop up on the blog for a bit. It's gone now until I figure out a few things. If you see it again, you won't have to do anything. Current subscribers will be automatically resubscribed to the new service.

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

Dear email readers ... I had a Feedburner fail that leaves you out in the cold this week

I wrote two posts yesterday: the usual Wednesday listings post and a video commemorating yesterday's 50th anniversary of the March on Washington with MLK's words on the importance of jazz.  Feedburner, a Google product (although I hesitate to say that as they seem to have abandoned it), failed me and consequently those of you who prefer to consume your Jazz@Rochester via email.  It isn't the first time and I'm considering going with another service. I'm afraid despite my efforts at fixing it, I can't make Feedburner go back and send it out again (and I'd prefer not pulling the list of your emails and sending it out under my account for various reasons). 

I know some of you hardly realize there is a blog site behind the emails you get (so many of you write "love your emails..."), but there is and if you're needing your fix of Jazz@Rochester, just click on one or both of the links above to see them.  Of course, there's nothing to say that this post will not suffer the same fate and make it a waste of space. Feeds don't fail me now.... (with a hat tip to Little Feat).

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

Connect with Jazz@Rochester the way you want it ...

Jazz@Rochester imageI like to try and provide you with as many different avenues for you to access Jazz@Rochester and what I hope is useful information about live jazz in and around Rochester.  You can get the content of this blog in a number of ways, including:

  • Visiting the Site Itself. You may have reached this blog by searching for "jazz in Rochester" or for a gig you've heard about, via word of mouth, an image, or merely by accident through your favorite search engine.  You may just check in once in awhile, or check on Wednesday or Thursday to see what's coming in the next seven days. However, it is not the only way to visit. 
  • Jazz@Rochester via Email. About 300 of you get your Jazz@Rochester via email. By doing so, you receive every post that we publish via an email, with links and, usually, the image. If you'd like to receive the posts via an email, enter the email address you'd like to receive it on in the box to the right under "Connect with Jazz@Rochester" that is labeled "Enter your email address:" I do not sell, spam or otherwise use the email addresses entered in there. You will receive an email to confirm your email address. Click on the link and you're subscribed. You can quit your subscription at any time by clicking on a link at the bottom of each email.
  • Jazz@Rochester via a Feed. More than 200 of you have put the feed for Jazz@Rochester in a feed reader, receiving a feed of the posts as they are published. To do that, you can click on the orange RSS feed icon directly under the "Connect with Jazz@Rochester" heading. Choose the reader you use and it will pull the feed as they are published.
  • Jazz@Rochester on Twitter. Jazz@Rochester is on Twitter under the handle @jazzrochester  and almost 5,500 Twitter users are following the blog there. In addition to "tweets" that have a link to the posts published on the blog, I follow the jazz artists locally who are on Twitter (at least those who I know are on Twitter) and others in the jazz community here. They are in the Rochester Jazz Artist Twitter list.  I also have a list of the artists appearing at the 2013 Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival. On my Jazz@Rochester Twitter feed you'll also find a vibrant jazz community on Twitter with artists, jazz bloggers and jazz organizations from all over the world and I try to bring them to you as well. Please let me know if there are other Rochester jazz artists who "tweet" so I can add them to the list and follow them. You can access the feed on Twitter by clicking on the Twitter icon in the "Connect with Jazz@Rochester" area in the center column.
  • Jazz@Rochester Page on Facebook. Over 500 folks have "liked" the Jazz@Rochester page on Facebook. I added this for the many of you who find Facebook your platform of choice, so you could would have access to the posts published on the blog as well as jazz links and for the local artists on FB to let you know what's going on with them. Feel free to add your two cents in about the Rochester jazz scene. I'd appreciate it if you'd head over to the page and "like" us there, even if you're getting the content some other way. You can get to the page by clicking on the Facebook icon in the "Connect with Jazz@Rochester" area in the center column or the link above.
  • Jazz@Rochester YouTube Channel. On this channel I'm beginning to collect video of Rochester jazz artists performances and performances from the Rochester International Jazz Festival. I also subscribe to several jazz-related video feeds.  Feel free to let me know about video you've found that can be added there.  Access it by clicking on the YouTube icon in the "Connect with Jazz@Rochester" area in the center column. 
  • Jazz@Rochester is Mobile. The site is mobile enabled and it should send you to the mobile site if you connect from a smartphone.  If not, point it to m.jazzrochester.com.  Please note that this sometimes does not update as quickly as the page itself.
  • Rochester Jazz Artists & Groups.  I try to link to the websites of local jazz artists and groups. Just click on the tab at the top of this post.
  • Rochester Sounds. I'm trying to hook you up with recent CDs from local Rochester artists.  Just click on the Rochester Jazz Sounds button above.
  • Links. I've collected a number of links over the years to jazz information, media and other resources.  I also try to add other resources that feed links to other jazz-related information. 
  • Looking Backward? You can use the search box just under the "Connect with Jazz@Rochester" to find posts that include a particular artist or click on a category or monthly archive link in the left column to browse through posts.

So subscribe, "like," or otherwise consume the content here any way that works for you.  I'll just focus on getting you information about live jazz in Rochester. 

Feel free to send us a question or information via email by "Contact Us" button at the top of the blog under the banner. If you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask... here, via email, on Twitter, on Facebook, by commenting on a post, or even if you see me at a gig.

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

Jazz Around Town: A thousand ways to make you go hear jazz in the ROC ....

1000 posts imageThis Jazz Around Town post marks the 1,000th post I've done on Jazz@Rochester since September 2006 (actually hit 1,000 awhile ago as I did quite a few on a former site on the now defunct Blogsome platform in 2005).

This blog has become so much more than I thought it would (but so much less than I know it could be). It's a labor of love of the music and the live jazz scene here in Rochester.  There will be some changes coming in the next year that I aim to write about pretty soon. For now, check out the live jazz in town over the next seven days....

Thursday, November 1, 2012

  • The Swooners @ Woodcliff Hotel & Spa, 5:30 pm
  • Jon Seiger All-Stars Trio @ Market Cafe at Wegmans on Calkins Road, 5:30 pm
  • Andy Calabrese Duo @ Bistro 135, 6:00 pm
  • Marc Schwartz Trio @ Acanthus Cafe 337 East Ave, Rochester, 7:30 pm
  • The Djangoners @ Little Theatre Cafe, 7:30 pm
  • Dave Rivello Ensemble @ Village Rock Cafe (E. Rochester), 9:00 pm

Friday, November 2, 2012

  • Bobby DiBaudo Trio @ Bistro 135, 6:00 pm
  • Ted Nicolosi & Shared Genes @ Aamaya Bar and Grill, 6:30 pm
  • Norman Tibbils @ Lemoncello, 7:00 pm
  • Uptown Groove @ Prosecco Italian Restaurant 1550 New York 332, Farmington, 7:00 pm 
  • A Few Bad Apples @ Trinities Restaurant 36 W. Main St., Rochester, 7:00 pm
  • Mel Henderson,Terrance Bruce, Peter Chwazik and John Nyerges with legendary drummer Bernard Purdie @ Eureka Lodge Scholarship and Thanksgiving Ball at the Hyatt Regency, 125 E. Main St., Rochester, 7:00 pm
  • Ted Nicolosi & Shared Genes @ The Pultneyville Grill, 4135 Mill St., Pultneyville, 
  • Tinted Image @ Woodcliff Hotel & Spa, 7:30 pm
  • Fred Costello & Roger Eckers Jazz Duo @ Charley Brown's, 1675 Penfield Rd., 7:30 pm
  • Madeline Forster @ The Little Theatre Cafe, 8:30 pm

Saturday, November 3, 2012

  • Bob Sneider @ Bistro 135, 6:00 pm
  • Day Break @ Prosecco Italian Restaurant 1550 New York 332, Farmington, 7:00 pm
  • Norman Tibbils @ Lemoncello, 7:00 pm
  • Ted Nicolosi & Shared Genes @ Hedges Restaurant 1290 Lake Rd., Webster, 7:00 pm
  • Fred Costello & Roger Eckers Jazz Duo @ Charley Brown's, 1675 Penfield Rd., 7:30 pm
  • Uptown Groove Cd Release Party @ Lovin Cup, 8:00 pm
  • Gregoire Maret with Ferenc Nemeth @ Albright Knox Gallery (Buffalo), 8:00 pm
  • Bill Tiberio & University of Rochester JAZZZZZ concert @ Henry Alvah Strong Auditorium, 8:00 pm
  • The White Hots @ The Pultneyville Grill, 4135 Mill St., Pultneyville, call for info

Sunday, November 4, 2012

  • Bill Slater Solo Piano @ Woodcliff Hotel & Spa, brunch
  • Michael Vadala Trio @ Prosecco Italian Restaurant 1550 New York 332, Farmington, 5:30 pm
  • Joe Santora & Curtis Kendrick @ The Pultneyville Grill, 4135 Mill St., Pultneyville, contact for time

Monday, November 5, 2012

  • Bop Arts presents Deanna Witkowski Trio featuring Rich Thompson and Jeff Campbell @ Bop Shop Records, 5:00 pm 
  • The Westview Project @ Woodcliff Hotel & Spa, 5:30 pm
  • Ben Torres @ Bistro 135, 5:30 pm

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

  • Tinted Image @ Woodcliff Hotel & Spa, 5:30 pm
  • Ted Nicolosi & Shared Genes @ Bistro 135, 6:00 pm
  • Scott Krier @ Prosecco Italian Restaurant 1550 New York 332, Farmington, 6:00 pm
  • Penfield Rotary Big Band Swing Dance @ Penfield Community Center 1985 Baird Rd., Penfield, 7:30 pm
  • Clay Jenkins, ESM Faculty Artist Series @ East Wing Hatch Recital Hall, 8:00 pm

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

  • Tinted Image @ Bistro 135, 6:00 pm
  • Margaret Explosion @ The Little Theatre Cafe, 7:30 pm
  • Vince Ercolamento & Joe Chiappone Jazz Quartet @ Murph's, 705 Titus Ave., Irondequoit, 8:00 pm

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

If you go out to hear a performance listed here, feel free to drop a comment to this post to let us know how it went (see the Comment link at the bottom). I want to hear from you! Please share the post with your friends who love jazz.

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 of the venues are in the right panel). Please forgive 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 "Contact Us" button above). If you go out to hear a performance listed here, feel free to drop a comment to this post to let us know how it went. I want to hear from you!

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

Jazz@Rochester: A menu of choices...

Jazz@Rochester imageI like to try and provide you with as many different avenues for you to access Jazz@Rochester and what I hope is useful information about live jazz in and around Rochester.  You can get the content of this blog in a number of ways, including:

  • Visiting the Site Itself. You may have reached this blog by searching for "jazz in Rochester" or for a gig you've heard about, via word of mouth, an image, or merely by accident through your favorite search engine.  You may just check in once in awhile or check on Wednesday or Thursday to see what's coming in the next seven days. However, it is not the only way to visit. 
  • Jazz@Rochester via Email. About 300 of you get your Jazz@Rochester via email. By doing so, you receive every post that we publish via an email, with links and, usually, the image. Some of you actually think that I send those emails out, but they are syndicated from the feed for the blog via a service called Feedburner. If you'd like to receive the posts via an email, enter the email address you'd like to receive it on in the box to the right under "Connect with Jazz@Rochester" that is labeled "Enter your email address:" I do not sell, spam or otherwise use the email addresses entered in there. You will receive an email to confirm your email address. Click on the link and you're subscribed. You can quit your subscription at any time by clicking on a link at the bottom of each email.
  • Jazz@Rochester via a Feed. Nearly 200 of you have put the feed for Jazz@Rochester in a feed reader like Google Reader and also receive the feed of posts as they are published. To do that, you can click on the orange RSS feed icon directly under the "Connect with Jazz@Rochester" heading. Choose the reader you use and it will pull the feed as they are published.
  • Jazz@Rochester on Twitter. I tweet under the handle @jazzrochester (go figure...) and almost 3,700 Twitter users are following the blog there. In addition to "tweets" that have a link to the posts published on the blog, I follow the jazz artists locally who are on Twitter (at least those who I know are on Twitter) and others in the jazz community here. They are in the Rochester Jazz Artist Twitter list that I have created. There is also a vibrant jazz community on Twitter with artists, jazz bloggers and jazz organizations from all over the world and I try to bring them to you as well. Please let me know if there are other Rochester jazz artists who "tweet" so I can add them to the list and follow them. You can access the feed on Twitter by clicking on the Twitter icon in the "Connect with Jazz@Rochester" area in the center column.
  • Jazz@Rochester Page on Facebook. Nearly 500 folks have "liked" the Jazz@Rochester page on Facebook. I added this for the many of you who find Facebook your platform of choice, so you could would have access to the posts published on the blog as well as jazz links and for the local artists on FB to let you know what's going on with them. Feel free to add your two cents in about the Rochester jazz scene. I'd appreciate it if you'd head over to the page and "like" us there, even if you're getting the content some other way. You can get to the page by clicking on the Facebook icon in the "Connect with Jazz@Rochester" area in the center column or the link above.
  • Jazz@Rochester YouTube Channel. On this channel I'm beginning to collect video of Rochester jazz artists performances and performances from the Rochester International Jazz Festival. I also subscribe to several jazz-related video feeds.  Feel free to let me know about video you've found that can be added there.  Access it by clicking on the YouTube icon in the "Connect with Jazz@Rochester" area in the center column. 
  • Jazz@Rochester is Mobile. The site is mobile enabled and it should send you to the mobile site if you connect from a smartphone.  If not, point it to m.jazzrochester.com.  Please note that this sometimes does not update as quickly as the page itself.
  • Rochester Jazz Artists & Groups.  I try to link to the websites of local jazz artists and groups. Just click on the tab at the top of this post.
  • Links. I've collected a number of links over the years to jazz information, media and other resources.  I also try to add other resources that feed links to other jazz-related information. 
  • Looking Backward? You can use the search box just under the "Connect with Jazz@Rochester" to find posts that include a particular artist or click on a category or monthly archive link in the left column to browse through posts.

So subscribe, "like," or consume the content here any way that works for you.  I'll just focus on getting you information about live jazz. 

Feel free to send us a question or information via email by "Contact Us" button at the top of the blog under the banner. If you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask... here, via email, on Twitter, on Facebook, by commenting on a post, or even if you see me at a gig. In essence, I've been trying to build a community around live jazz here in Rochester, which has made and is making so many contributions to jazz and will slowly fade away if not supported. I love the music, so I can't sit by and let that happen. I encourage you to join the community.

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

XRIJF mea culpa ... I give up!

IMG_1356I have a confession to make here. I had this grand plan (even wrote it out) about how I was going to get through a bunch of posts for individual artist picks through the last few weeks before the XRIJF began. While I like how they've turned out so far, the production output has been "not so much."  Even today, despite having taken the day off to do some more pick posts, I made the mistake of checking my work email and had to do some final work on a project that I thought I finished yesterday before turning to Jazz@Rochester and preparing for the beginning of the festival (I'm heading out of here in just a couple of hours to head downtown). My approach this year was way too optimistic given my current workload of getting enough of my pick posts out before the XRIJF started.  I'll still get some more picks out while the festival is going on, but my focus is changing to enjoying the festival with my friends and the rest of you. I'll focus on my "must sees".  

Although I've received some great feedback on my new approach, I'm sure you all won't be too worried about getting my "picks". You can make your own choices. My posts were focused on providing you links to more information upon which to make that decision. They are based in part on my very eclectic tastes in music and in part on knowing some of the "must sees" from following the national and international jazz scenes.  This blog is a labor of love of the music and live music in general. As the XRIJF begins I want to really focus it on what's happening in front of me at the festival.  Much of it may be on Twitter or elsewhere. I'm kind of flying by the seat of my pants this year (which can lead to problems as one of my profs in college told me about a paper that exhibited a similar attitude "if you fly by the seat of your pants, at least turn around and look once in awhile).

Tonight I'm starting out with Christian McBride and Inside Straight at Kilbourn Hall (just like old times...), then I'm hitting Goran Kafjes and the Subtropic Arkestra at the Reformation Lutheran Church. Rest of the evening is up for grabs. May go see Get The Blessing, Karrin Allyson, or perhaps even join some friends I know are going to see L'Orkestre Des Pas Perdues.  Say hi if you see my on Jazz Street or elsewhere at the XRIJF.

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

XRIJF 2012: And now for something completely different....

XRIJF logoFor quite a few years my usual practice in the run up to the Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival has been to do an "itinerary" post for each day of the festival, with a list of my "picks" for that day and links to some more information about the artists, including video and audio you can hear to that will not be found on the festival website. In this way, as I do without the year of live jazz in Rochester, I hope to augment what's being done elsewhere and provide you what you need to make your own decisions about who to hear. 

While the aim will be the same, I'm taking a new approach for 2012.  Over the remaining days before June 22nd, I'll be posting a post for each of Jazz@Rochester (i.e., my) picks for this year's XRIJF, including the artists who I might miss due to not being able to fit them in, but will be regretting it. I'll also be doing some other posts, such as one focusing on local favorites who will be playing the festival. 

It will mean there will be a lot more coming at you over the next few weeks, but I hope that it will make it easier for those looking up a particular artist to find it here. Plus I welcome your thought and input and hope that readers will leave comments on individual artists/group posts with additional links and with your own thoughts on the artist (or my pick). 

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

Don't worry, time isn't going backwards...

RSS iconA reader just alerted me that some or all of my subscribers may have received the post from December 1st in their inboxes, allowing you to review Rochester jazz past.  In fact, so did I (I am a subscriber to catch these types of things, but hadn't seen it until this morning after reading the email from a reader).  Sorry about the apparent glitch with Feedburner, which handles the email distibution for those who subscribe to this blog that way. A glitch apparently caused it to resend a post that should have been sent out to all of you December 1st just after 1:00 am.  

I do want to know, however, if part of this glitch resulted in any of my email subscribers not receiving the post at all on December 1st, so either comment to this post or send me an email if that happened to you.  

 

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

The "flavors" of Jazz@Rochester

Jazz@Rochester imageI like to try and provide as many different avenues for you to access Jazz@Rochester and what I hope is useful information about live jazz in and around Rochester and jazz.  You can get the content of this blog in a number of ways, including:

  • The site itself. You may have reached this blog by searching for "jazz in Rochester" or for a gig you've heard about it, via word of mouth, or merely reached it by accident through your favorite search engine.  You may just check in once in awhile or check on Wednesday or Thursday to see what's coming in the next seven days. 
  • About 250 of you get your Jazz@Rochester via email. By doing so, you receive every post that we publish via an email, with links and, usually, the image. Some of you actually think that I send those emails out, but they are syndicated from the feed for the blog via a service called Feedburner. If you'd like to receive the posts via an email, enter the email address you'd like to receive it on in the box to the right under "Connect with Jazz@Rochester" that is labeled "Enter your email address:". I do not sell, spam or otherwise use the email addresses that are entered in there.
  • Nearly 200 of you have put the feed for Jazz@Rochester in a feed reader like Google Reader and also receive the feed of posts as they are published. To do that, you can click on the orange RSS feed icon directly under the "Connect with Jazz@Rochester" heading. Choose the reader you use and it will pull the feed as they are published.
  • Jazz@Rochester is on Twitter at @jazzrochester (go figure...) and over 2,600 people are following us there. In addition to "tweets" that have a link to the posts published on the blog, I follow the jazz artists locally who are on Twitter (at least those who I know are on Twitter) and others in the jazz community here. They are in the Rochester Jazz Artist Twitter list that I have created. There is also a vibrant jazz community on Twitter with artists, jazz bloggers and jazz organizations from all over the world and I try to bring them to you as well. If you'd like to join the conversation and discuss Rochester jazz. Please let me know if there are other Rochester jazz artists who "tweet" so I can add them to the list and follow them. If you're not on Twitter and want to follow these two streams, you can click on the "Jazz@Rochester on Twitter" button at the top of the page under the banner. You can access it on Twitter by clicking on the Twitter icon in the "Connect with Jazz@Rochester" area in the center column.
  • Jazz@Rochester is on Facebook with over 425 people fans who have "liked" us there. I was hoping that this would be a place where those of you who find Facebook your platform of choice would have access to the posts published on the blog as well as jazz links and for the local artists on FB to let you know what's going on with them. Feel free to add your two cents in about the Rochester jazz scene. I'd appreciate it if you'd head over to the page and "like" us there, even if you're getting the content some other way. You can get to the page by clicking on the Facebook icon in the "Connect with Jazz@Rochester" area in the center column.
  • There is also a Jazz@Rochester YouTube channel where I'm beginning to collect video of Rochester jazz artists and performances from the Rochester International Jazz Festival. Feel free to let me know about video you've found that can be added there.  Access it by clicking on the YouTube icon in the "Connect with Jazz@Rochester" area in the center column. 
  • Feel free to send us a question or information via email by "Contact Us" button at the top of the blog under the banner. 
  • You can use the search box just under the "Connect with Jazz@Rochester" to find posts that include a particular artist or click on a category or monthly archive link in the left column to browse through posts.

If you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask... here, via email, on Twitter, on Facebook, by commenting on a post, or even if you see me at a gig. In essence, I've been trying to build a community around live jazz here in Rochester, which has made and is making so many contributions to jazz and will slowly fade away if not supported. I love the music, so I can't sit by and let that happen. I encourage you to join the community.

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

A new look for Jazz@Rochester....

image from www.jazzrochester.com I think I finally have come to the place that I can "unveil" a new look for Jazz@Rochester. It will be coming along a bit later today, I hope.

Things are in different places (check out the buttons, for example) and I've tried to modernize the look and, hopefully, help the content to load faster. Just wanted to let you know before I "flip the switch" as there may be some issues over the next few days....

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

Only one month to the Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival? The Jazz@Rochester coverage begins ...

XRIJF logoIt's getting warm outside (finally!) and the mind of Jazz@Rochester turns to thoughts of nine days of live jazz and other music in downtown Rochester—the Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival, which in about one month will begin its June 10-18 run.

It's high time we start our coverage here...This post previews what's coming here over the next weeks until June 10th when the XRIJF begins. As I can't possibly cover it all (and there are others who cover it), my usual course each year prior to the festival is to lay out my own itinerary for each of the days. I will write a series of posts with my picks for each of the nights, the ones I wish I could work into the schedule, etc., and expanding on the material regarding these artists found at the Festival's own site. In addition to setting up a handy guide for myself during the festival, I hope to provide you with some opportunities to hear and find out more about the artists to guide your own choices during the festival. I will gather these posts into a set of links that will be displayed under the XRIJF logo in the panel to the right to make them easy to find.  I should get going on these shortly after Wednesday's live jazz listings post. 

Let's get to talking about the 2011 Jazz Fest! I encourage you to be vocal in the comments to this and the following XRIJF posts (although please be nice...). What do you think about my choices and what are you going to try to see?  I hope also to start conversations about this year's lineup and artists on the Jazz@Rochester page on Facebook and on the Jazz@Rochester Twitter account (use the hashtag #xrijf to help us all to follow the conversation on the latter). I will be gathering as many of the artists coming to the festival who have Twitter accounts onto a XRIJF 2011 Twitter list (follow the list between now and the festival and please let me know if you know of any I have missed, although I'm just getting started with that). If you're going to be writing about the festival on your own blog, let me know so I can give you some link love and further expand the conversation.

So, go ahead... talk amongst yourselves... We'll see you later on these pages and on Jazz Street!

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

There are so many ways to get Jazz@Rochester ....

Jazz@Rochester imageI know that the folks who like to see what's up on Jazz@Rochester have their own ways of accessing the blog and I try to provide many different avenues for you to access what I hope is useful information about live jazz in and around Rochester and jazz in general.  In case you're not familiar with all the ways, let me count the ways...

  • The site itself. You may have reached this blog by searching for "jazz in Rochester" or for a gig you've heard about it, via word of mouth, or merely reached it by accident through your favorite search engine.  You may just check in once in awhile or check on Wednesday or Thursday to see what's coming in the next seven days. 
  • Over 200 of you get your Jazz@Rochester via email. By doing so, you receive every post that we publish via an email, with links and, usually, the image. Some of you actually think that I send those out, but actually they are syndicated from the feed for the blog via Feedburner. If you'd like to receive the posts via an email, enter the email address you'd like to receive it on in the box to the right under "Get Posts by Feed, Email, or Mobile" that is labeled "Enter your email address:". I do not sell, spam or otherwise use the email addresses that are entered in there.
  • Others (over 100) have put the feed for Jazz@Rochester in a feed reader like Google Reader and receive the feed of posts as they are published. To do that, you can click on the orange RSS feed icon directly under the "Get Posts by Feed, Email, or Mobile" heading. Choose the reader you use and it will pull the feed as they are published.
  • Jazz@Rochester is on Twitter at @jazzrochester (go figure...) and over 1,300 people are following us there. In addition to "tweets" that have a link to the posts published on the blog, I follow the jazz artists locally who are on Twitter (at least those who I know are on Twitter) and others in the jazz community here. There is a pretty vibrant jazz community on Twitter with artists, jazz bloggers and jazz organizations from all over the world and I try to bring them to you as well. If you'd like to join the conversation and discuss Rochester jazz, or if you'd like to become part of a list I'm creating of people in Rochester who love jazz, send us a message.
  • Jazz@Rochester is on Facebook with over 235 people who have "liked" us on that platform (it was fans before...). I was hoping that this would be a place where those of you who find Facebook your platform of choice would have access to the posts published on the blog as well as jazz links and for the local artists on FB to let you know what's going on with them. If you're on Facebook, I'd appreciate it if you'd head over to the page and "like" us there, even if you're getting the content some other way. You can click on the badge in the left panel to get there. If you "liked" us before using the button and ended up on a different "Jazz@Rochester" page, that one isn't the official page and you should move over to the one at the link above.
  • You can send us a question or information via email by clicking on the link in the left column. 
  • You can use the search box in the right column to find posts that include a particular artist or click on a category or monthly archive link in the left column to browse through posts.

I encourage you to explore the site and let me know what you'd like to see more of, less of (yes, I know there are some of those...). If you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask... here, via email, on Twitter, on Facebook, by commenting on a post, or even if you see me at a gig. In essence, I've been trying to build a community around live jazz here in Rochester, which has made and is making so many contributions to jazz and will slowly fade away if not supported. I love the music, so I can't sit by and let that happen. I encourage you to join the community.

 

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@Rochester on your phone... just add "M" for mobile

click here for the mobile siteWe're all accessing the web in different ways. We've had Jazz@Rochester mobile for awhile, using the fine service of the folks at Mofuse (and it's free for blogs... free is good). I wanted to let you know that I made the address for accessing the mobile site with your iPhone or other mobile phone browser much easier to remember... Just add "m"!  

m.jazzrochester.com

If you're accessing the site and want to switch to the mobile interface (which also provides links to Jazz@Rochester on Facebook and Twitter), just click on the link that looks like an iPhone in the right panel (or the same image in this post). 

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

Join the conversation on Jazz@Rochester's Facebook page

While I've been on Facebook for awhile, I focus my activities there on friends and family.  Recently, I've seen a lot of local jazz artists (and other jazz artists) moving over to Facebook from the former "musician" hangout du jour of MySpace.  I had a Jazz@Rochester page on MySpace, but never could get that interface and it was just too much work to maintain. So, I've now created a page on Facebook for Jazz@Rochester. More of you are finding it and signing on, so I thought I'd let you know here.

This page is intended to be free-form improvisation so we'll see how it develops. Share links, start discussions, brainstorm ideas for promoting jazz here in Rochester, tell us stories about gigs you have played or heard, share your photos or video of live jazz in and around Rochester, etc. We're just getting started, but you all are welcome. Just keep it civil and focused on the music and we'll be straight. I'll contribute where I can, but it is mostly for readers of Jazz@Rochester to have their own conversations about jazz in and around Rochester, NY.

Jazz@Rochester on Facebook
This post was originally published on JazzRochester. © Gregory V. Bell. All rights reserved.

Jazz@Rochester is "going mobile" ... We have a site for your smart phone or iPhone

mobile Jazz@RochesterMy iPhone is becoming an increasingly important tool in my work and play and as technology marches on and an increasing number of you may want to access Jazz@Rochester on your smart phone, iPhone or cell.  Working with the site Mofuse, I've created a mobile version of the blog (both for regular smart phones and iPhones) to make it easier to get to the content.  You'll still have to go to the regular address to get to the links.

So get on your cell and go to http://jazzrochester.mofuse.mobi to check it out.  You can also navigate your smartphone to the site at its regular address and then click on the link in the right panel to be taken to the mobile version of Jazz@Rochester (there is a separate, optimized iPhone version as well which will automatically be served). Can't set it up right now to automatically detect and serve up the mobile site if you are accessing it from a phone.

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

As if I didn't have enough ways to annoy you, Jazz@Rochester is on Twitter too ....

Twitter logoYou may have noticed I've installed a funky little widget in the left panel, which will be calling attention (like this post) to the fact that Jazz@Rochester is on Twitter (and we have been for quite awhile). Although some of the "tweets" will be familiar sounding (they are links to my posts from this blog), I have found a growing jazz community on Twitter—artists, listeners, and people in the music industry—and hope to tap into it as a way to share some of the great conversations about jazz music and musicians going on out there.

You may see me change widgets occasionally as I try them on for size. Watch soon for some other uses for Twitter I'm cooking ....

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

Get an automatic shot of Jazz@Rochester ...

RSS iconEither by email or through a RSS feed reader like Google Reader or Bloglines (or many others), you can keep up-to-date with new posts from Jazz@Rochester. I just found out that for a little while my email box in the right panel has not been functioning. It's all fixed up and spiffy now, so if you'd like to get the new posts to Jazz@Rochester via email then put your email address in the box and follow the directions (including verifying it through the email you'll be sent). Although in the future I may from time to time send an extra email to my email subscribers, I will not sell, share or spam your email without your prior consent.

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

Survey says . . . a few of my readers' thoughts on the 2008 Rochester International Jazz Festival (Part Two)

This second post on the RIJF survey is a bit more difficult as the responses were so diverse that I think it's best to paint it with a broader brush, highlighting some of the areas where several people had something to say, but not providing a verbatim account (I will use quotes where I am, however). As far as the question about suggestions for the RIJF to see, I will be sending the full responses on to the RIJF staff, both positive and negative (so as not to lose any of their, shall we say, direct and sometimes earthy expression).  I appreciate the kind words many of you had about Jazz@Rochester and will take to heart some of your suggestions regarding our RIJF coverage.

If you would change one thing about the RIJF, what would it be?

QuestionnaireWhile some couldn't limit themselves to just one suggestion, there were some themes in the responses to this questions, including:

Comments on the strategy of selecting artists:

  • I liked the response from one reader who wrote that the RIJF should "...keep balancing the old and the new...need big names for the draw, and build a reputation as the "Cannes" of new discoveries who are just turning the corner into notoriety."
  • Several people thought there should be more local talent included in the festival. More than one suggested a secondary series of shows, like the Nordic Jazz Now series, dedicated exclusively to Rochester area musicians. As one wrote, "[i]f this were the Chicago Int'l Festival, say, then most likely there would be many Chicago-based musicians on the bill.The RIJF is a fantastic opportunity to put some of our best local musicians in the spotlight."
  • Several spoke to specific artists or genres of artists they'd like to hear at future RIJFs. One was looking for more "elite" headliners, naming Herbie Hancock, John McLaughlin, Joni Mitchell, Chick Corea, Asleep at the Wheel, or Taj Mahal and adding "hang the expense." Another spoke to the lack of emphasis on "contemporary jazz & R&B artists such as Lee Ritenour, Fourplay, Bobby Caldwell, Ivan Lins, Patti Austin, Dave Grusin ,Brian Auger, Tower of Power. Another, a fan of artists like John Hollenbeck and John Zorn and the more abstract scene felt there was virtually nothing from that area to check out this year and would like to see more.
  • One reader thought there should be bands roving the streets a la New Orleans. 
  • Another reader wrote of wanting to know the artist roster much more earlier than just one month before the festival begins. The reader wrote that "once the artists have been secured then the blog and various media could start the buzz around Rochester and choices could be made well in advance as to what shows are the most interesting to prospective patrons" (this comment was really on the Jazz@Rochester question, but I thought it fit here).

Comments on the sound:

  • "Fix the sound at Christ Church--it was a nearly unlistenable venue this year"  (I have to agree with this assessment).
  • One reader questioned whether all venues or artists need amplification, including Kilbourn Hall (recalling hearing an acoustic set of the Phil Woods Quartet at Red Creek without mikes years back finding the sound great). Also had words about the tent. Another found that Harro East's sound so bad that "the music suffers greatly."

Comments on the Club Passes, food & other logistical issues:

  • There were some who thought that RIJF should try different types of Club Passes, including passes good for the weekends to make it easier for someone visiting from out of town to get all there was to get out of the fest for a particular day and day passes.
  • Several had suggestions regarding the food and other offerings of vendors at the RIJF, including: providing more vegetarian options ("vendors were too meat centric and we ended up eating dinner before we left for the festival.  If there was a good veggie alternative we would have spent more money at the festival and just ate there"); serving beer brewed by Rochester's High Falls Brewery (OK, the reader said Genny...); and a wider wine selection at Max's.
  • Of course, there were issues with the lines and scheduling conflicts (although on the latter, the reader noted that this is a good problem to have).  One reader suggested that the times for performances be alternated so that there is no dead/down time; for example 6:00, 7:30; 9, 10 or 10:30.  Another suggested having more artists appear on more than one day.
  • There was a suggestion for more afternoon concerts.
  • One reader says that RIJF needs to "[g]et a different artist to do the poster. What was originally artistic has become a series of cliches."

Comments on the jazz vs. non-jazz:

  • On reader wrote that "[m]y worst memories of this year's festival are leaving a wonderful jazz concert and stepping into the street to hear blasting, pounding non-jazz. From the sublime to the ridiculous, literally. It's the RIJF, for crying out loud, not some drunken East End Fest." He also had a problem with the "slobs putting their feet up in Kilbourn Hall."
  • Another reader wrote "[p]lease leave the Jerry Lee Lewis shit at home. There's no justification for that as he and others (FS jr. for ex.) are not showing up at the hipper more revered jazz fests across the land and certainly not in Europe."
  • However, another wrote "I would like RIJF attendees to stop whining when there are 'other than mainstream jazz' acts at the fest. The RIJF allows us the opportunity to come together as a community and experience musical art that we may not otherwise be exposed to during the course of the year. Just like TV there are some 800 channels to choose from—if you don't like one channel then change it."

What kind of coverage would you like to see more of in Jazz@Rochester during the festival?

QuestionnaireWhile a lot of responses to this question were complimentary, there were several observations and suggestions for coverage of future RIJFs that I'd like to share and solicit your further comment:

  • Several spoke to wanting to see more daily coverage and to hear more voices. One reader wrote "[m]ore contributors so broader and timely daily coverage is achieved." Another wrote "[i]t would be neat if you had multiple reporters feeding live updates of various performances so, for instance, someone could've written a rave at the first set of Timo Lassy  and folks could rearrange their plans to catch the second set." Another suggesetd that "[I] could rely on more local musicians, especially younger people, for guest reports and things of that nature. I noticed that happened a bit before the festival on your site, but during, you seemed to be flying solo... [] more opinions=better coverage to me." The more voices I was working on, but just didn't get it in place beforehand. I recognize the need for more help and will be recruiting some more during the year so we're prepared next RIJF. Let me know if you'd like to contribute.
  • One reader remembered an earlier interview of pianist Geri Allen from last year and suggested doing more of that. Interviews are hard work and I just couldn't swing a credible shot at them this year, but perhaps more next year?
  • Someone suggested more "DaJazz" podcasts (our inaugural issue from last year is here). Seth, Ken and I just didn't get to it this year. We tried to record one, but it sounded pretty lame, so we didn't inflict it on you.
  • Someone suggested more video. I don't have a camera, but I'm happy to post more of it if someone else takes some quality footage and wants to send it my way (or send me a link on YouTube or other video aggregator).  There is quite a lot of video of the RIJF available out there and I have been thinking of doing a series of posts highlighting them.
  • One person suggested there be less promotion of alcohol. This was one of the surprise comment, but in looking back over my posts, I can see the reader's point. Jazz is often found in close proximity to the stuff, and I do like my beer and other spirits. While I don't like the idea of censoring myself, there is no need to waive the stein in people's faces quite so much.

So there it is.  I really got a lot out of this exercise and intend to do this every year.  As I noted in the companion to this post yesterday, if you missed adding your voice to the poll itself, feel free to add your two cents in the comments below on this post (I'd ask that you add it to the one that includes the questions you want to comment on). 

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

Tell us about your RIJF...One week left

questionnaireA few weeks ago, I let you know about a survey I'd created to give us your thoughts on the 2008 Rochester International Jazz Festival to find out what you liked about the RIJF and where there was room for improvement in both the festival and in this blog's coverage.  The answers of a growing number of my readers have been recorded over the past few weeks and and I'll compile them and share them with you (and with the producers of the RIJF where appropriate) soon. You can fill the online questionnaire is here. Do so soon as I will only be keeping the link open until Sunday, July 27th. Please take a few minutes to fill it out!

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

What you say? My comment policy needs restating....

comment image

My comment policy on this blog is pretty simple and has been stated in a previous post.  It's simply:

No spamming, stay on topic, play nice, and only put in links to guide my readers to relevant resources or information.

In the past, I have let my comments publish automatically because most of them have fallen well within this simple policy, but for the time being I'll be moderating them. If you're going to post a comment, please try to place your comment on a post that is relevant to that topic. I realize that in some cases there won't be a post relevant to what or who you want to comment about. I take that into account when moderating. I'm glad that people are using the comments, but their purpose is to start conversations, not to engage in promotion.

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

I wish I'd thought of that earlier....

You may notice in the right column that there is a new space with the heading RIJF Preview Posts with links to the posts that I created last week highlighting my "picks" (i.e., what I'm intending to see) during the 2008 Rochester International Jazz Festival.  Not that you care what I think .... but at least now they'll be easier to find.  Just wish I'd thought of it before the RIJF began.... 

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

The comment box . . .


One of the goals of Jazz@Rochester is to get you all talking to each other about live jazz in Rochester. As you may have noticed, I have been bringing other voices to write guest posts on the blog for awhile. What you may not have noticed is that some of you are also talking . . . in the comments to posts. Recently, we've had some great comments and I wanted to point them out to you, in case you missed them:

  • After I published "Another voice from Rochester jazz . . . Drummer Mike Melito" on April 10th, a conversation developed in the comments.  Following Mike, bassist Fred Stone wrote about the jazz scene in Rochester in the 60s and leaving the city at 20 to find new ideas and ways to express himself on the bass and finding it in Boston at the Berklee School of Music.  He returned to Rochester and continues to explore those new ideas, although finding the city a pretty lonely place for his brand of progressive jazz. Fred's comment drew a replies from Mike and from Bob Sneider (perhaps it was the "Blue Note buddies at the Strathallan" aside"?) and even Tracy at Rochester Scene (and Heard) chimed in at the end.
  • Some time after I posted Ian Kloss's review of Henderson-Owens Trio featuring Dr. Lonnie Smith,  Sean Jefferson, drummer for Paradigm Shift and The Jazz Mad Lab wrote a second review of the show in a comment (we may hear more from Sean in the future).

A blog (at least this blog) is intended to be a social media, to create, feed and join in on conversations that are going on out there. They serve this purpose mostly through comments and through linking to other bloggers; in short, interacting with the conversation. I think they add to the knowledge and the community of jazz here.  For me, these comments are an example of this blog serving that purpose.  I've had over 100 comments in the past 2 years, but there are few instances where they start resembling that conversation. I want to encourage that.

How do you do it yourself?  To read or leave a comment, just click on the Comments link at the bottom of each post. If you're leaving a comment, it is simply a matter of filling in the "boxes" and hitting the button (you'll have to fill in a captcha after that). If you're reading, I hope you feel compelled to join the conversation. My comment policy is pretty simple (for a recovering lawyer, that's saying a lot...):

No spam, stay on topic, play nice, and only put in links where you're guiding my readers to relevant resources or information.

I may expand on this in the "I Told You So..." page, but there it is.  Let's get on with the conversation!

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

Jazz@Rochester gets Blogged (Blogged.com that is)

Jazz@Rochester at BloggedSince I don't play any horns, I thought I'd toot mine a bit. I recently received an email from an editor at the new blog directory and social networking site Blogged.com, letting me know that Jazz@Rochester had been selected and reviewed by the site's editors, who gave it an 8.2 score out of 10 in the Entertainment/Music category.  Checking out my companions in the jazz sub-category, I'm in good company, many of whom are represented in the links in my panels (and some who will be in the future).

Right now we're No. 16 out of 33 jazz blogs and No. 200 out of 2,366 blogs in the Music category.  Feel free to go out and add your own 2 cents....

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

So it's not Amazon, but every little bit counts right? . . . The Jazz@Rochester store

So, you may have noticed a new badge I created in the left column. Click on it and you'll be magically transported to the Jazz@Rochester online store. The store has been there for awhile and a few of you have found it through the text link I used to have there. This post is really a shout out to the local artists out there to send me some links and album art for your new releases so I can add them to the store.   

CDI tried the Amazon A-Store thing for awhile, but it really wasn't doing it for me, and I'd rather give local artists the chance to link to the online source that provides them the biggest payback (I know that Amazon doesn't).  I may add an Amazon link (if one exists) to give people who prefer to buy from them the opportunity to do that. 

Artists and groups . . . SEND ME YOUR STUFF!  I need something to replace some of the current occupants, which are now not really "new releases".

I reserve the right to take my own damn time in getting a particular CD up on the Store and in deciding whether or not to put one up there.

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

Testing out a new Jazz@Rochester calendar . . . tell me what you think

Before I install it permanently, I'm posting a link here to a Jazz@Rochester Calendar widget that I created using this great little widget building site, Sprout. It's a work in progress and I don't have a lot of content in it yet, but it is a lot more customizable than earlier things I was able to create to interface with the Google Calendar I was previously using on this site.  At least for now this calendar will not be replacing my listings post, but we'll see how it works.  I'll be putting listings for upcoming gigs in and around Rochester by out-of-town artists and groups, some choice gigs elsewhere in some other Western, N.Y. , and jazz events that may warrant more advance notice than you might get in my weekly listings post.

Check it out and let me know what you think by leaving a comment. If there isn't much in there now, wait a few days and check it out again.

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

Oh no, you didn't . . . Why you're seeing ads

As you may have noticed, I recently placed a small Google AdSense ad block and created an "aStore" on Amazon.com.  I'll keep this to a minimum, but wanted to explain my reasons:

  • The obvious one is that I need some scratch to pay my bar tab at the various jazz clubs I try to frequent (although I don't get out as much as I want, I do so much for frequently than the average Joe).  I will NOT be making much scratch from the level of advertising and "monetization", probably enough for a few beers here and there.  Everyone needs some filthy lucre now and then.
  • One part of the business my wife and I are building involves building blogs for businesses and other organizations. This blog itself was started to help me learn about blogging; I turned one of my passions into a fairly strong local blog.  Adding Google Adsense ads and building an Amazon aStore is now teaching me some lessons on how these aspects of blogging can be implemented, how the tools to build them work, etc.
This post was originally published on JazzRochester. © Gregory V. Bell. All rights reserved.

Hey . . . where did it go?

A few (very few) of you may have noticed that the link to a Google Calendar where I was keeping track of upcoming out-of-town artists and events has disappeared from the blog.  Due to the lack of traffic going to that page, I decided that it just wasn't doing it for my readers.  I'm looking into a similar thing using the Eventful calendaring site, but will have to decide whether what I can do with it is worth the effort.  Let me know what you think in the comments. 

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

What Just Happened Here? Some Thoughts On RIJF 2007

As I said in an earlier post, I have quite a lot to say following this year's Rochester International Jazz Festival, which was a watershed for me and for this blog. This will be one of several posts exploring my thoughts and feelings.

This year's RIJF was my introduction into being part of "media" and this blog's introduction to so many new readers (over 1200 unique visitor dropped in during the nine days of the festival). It was about hanging out with my friends and fellow new media folks Ken, Seth, Jane, and Jason.  It was about seeing my friends on Jazz Street and in the clubs, including those who I only really meet during the RIJF. It was about meeting new friends. It was about finding new sounds, dancing and clapping, and hearing world class musicians play compelling, innovative music. Mostly, this year's RIJF was a blast!

I haven't disclosed it before in the blog, but this year the publicity staff at RIJF (thanks, Jean!) gave Jazz@Rochester and I a media pass and contact information for a list of artists whom I hoped to interview. This access provided me the cred, I guess, to set up an interview with Geri Allen and get pretty far in sitting down with Fred Hersch, Trio Beyond, and others (by the way, the I hope to have the results of the interview with Ms. Allen up here soon as a podcast). It was a wonderful opportunity, but ultimately it was one that I used somewhat sparingly for a number of reasons. After I sat down with Ms. Allen (with my wife Dianna), I realized how much work it is to do interviews (and gained some respect for those who do it in a more professional capacity).  I didn't want to ask the usual questions, I wanted to get the artist to talk about their music in a new way (at least from what I was hearing) and found out in that first interview how much work it was to be prepared enough to find the way to that result.  In addition, there was a lot of legwork involved just in setting up the interviews.  I plan on doing more of it in the future, but decided this time not to waste the artists' time and keep others from getting the limited time with them. Before this year I had been only an observer, a fan. Now I was a participant. I wasn't entirely ready for that, especially given the need to continue to try to keep to my 9-to-5 job (OK, I was on Jazz Street at 4:30 most days).

That said, the media pass represented something else that I had felt was already happening before this year's RIJF--the arrival of Jazz@Rochester as something more than a hobby.  Although last year had seen some toes dipped in the water, this was also the year that a community of those who are using new media like blogs, moblogging and podcasts came together and formed a community focused on bringing the Rochester International Jazz Festival to Rochester and the world in new ways. I plan on exploring this some more later.

Nearly 1,200 people came to my site during the nine days of the festival and many of them found the RIJF site through Jazz@Rochester, which is a lot for a site like that focused on one narrow subject in a limited market. I'm sure Ken, Seth and Jason experienced a major uptick in their traffic as well. I received a number of emails and comments from people who had never been on the site before. In line at Kilbourn or elsewhere, when I told my line-mates about Jazz@Rochester I often heard "Oh . . . I've been on that site!" or "You're the one who does that...?" or "Oh . . . you're a blogger...." While I felt that I wasn't able to fully realize some of the promise these new technologies have to offer, my missteps and the things I was able to accomplish provided guidance for what worked and what didn't that I'll be using in next year.

Blogging really is about conversation.  Really.  In addition to a conversation between bloggers, this thing works best when there is a conversation between the person publishing a blog and those who read it. So, tell me what you think of what went on in these pages during for the 9 days of the RIJF. What worked for you?  What didn't?  What was helpful?  What was just plain old lame?  What would you like to see more of in the future?  Leave a comment by clicking on the comment link below and tell me what you think.

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

Tomorrow I'll Be Rested and Ready to Blog, But Today . . . .?

OK, fatigue and trying to maintain the rest of my life in some semblance of normality (OK, that's a load of crap . . . there's no normality, but it's so much fun!) finally had the better of me (and apparently Ken and Seth). Hence no podcast for June 12th's meanderings at the RIJF (my own recorded notes from last night ended up on the cutting room floor). While I've managed to keep up with seeing more than one act each night, my ability to keep up with posting on them has waned. Since there are so many others are writing about the performances, I will wait to do my post(s) on last night's and tonight's explorations of the Rochester International Jazz Festival sometime tomorrow (I will be taking a day off from the day job). Only the one other post out today, but that one was necessary to keep ahead of the schedule for performances.  I may moblog some though, and don't know whether Ken, Seth and I will be getting together for another installment of "Da Jazz" podcast later tonight or not. 

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

What Happened to the Banner...?

I finally have given in to my conscience and removed the banner based on the wonderful image taken by jazz photographer Bob Parent of Charlie Parker and Thelonious Monk performing at the Open Door Cafe, in NYC on September 14, 1953. You can find more about Bob Parent and his photography at this page on Allaboutjazz.com.  Now that Jazz@Rochester is moving into a new era, I thought we could go with a bit of a new look, without all those issues with copyright (...did I tell you I was a recovering lawyer?).  I've done a bit of other re-arranging as well.  Let me know what you think...leave a comment.

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

All things Jazz@Rochester

If you're looking for something specific here on the site, check out the search box toward the bottom of the right panel in the blog.  It's been there for awhile, but I thought I'd point it out again.  It is a Google Custom Search Engine that searches only this and the earlier incarnation of Jazz@Rochester.

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

Yes, I still have a turntable (and a CD player), but what's playing on it?

So, recently I quietly added a new "feature" in the left column, "On the Jazz@Rochester turntable..." that will contain a few of the jazz albums I'm currently listening to on the turntable (yes, I still have one and several hundred jazz, classical and rock albums).  These will include those that are in my collection (or ones I wish were in my collection)—new and old.  I'll change them periodically (a little less often than I change the CDs in my car or albums on my turntable). 

Click through and buy one and I'll make a few pennies.  Now this is my first foray into the commercial side of the blogging.  I'm not quitting my day job anytime soon, though, that's a fact....

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

One hundred and counting . . .

Laptop_pilebooks Since I recently wrote about why I blog, I thought I'd write one about a milestone in that blogging.  This is the 100th post on this incarnation of Jazz@Rochester!  I'm starting to see some real traffic on this blog and that is gratifying.  Back when I started the blog, I counted my readers in the 10s a week.  Some days I didn't have any at all.  We're now close to 1,500 page views a month and it is growing exponentially.  Through February I have already counted almost half of the total page views I had for the whole of 2006.  Now I realize that page views often are merely "hit and run" people who stumble upon Jazz@Rochester by accident and move on, but the number of folks who visit and return has risen from nine in the first month of April 2005 to 374 last month.  Additionally, I've added almost 20 subscribers to the feed. 

On the occasion of this 100th post, I'd like to solicit your thoughts on what you'd like to see in these pages in the future or what you're missing that I used to do (yeah, I know I didn't get any listings up there for last weekend).  Just use the comments to this post to let me know.  Can't make any promises, but I want to know.

Speaking of comments, I also want to encourage you to use the comment tool that is included in almost all of my posts.  Part of why I enjoy blogging is its ability to create a conversation or community around an idea or commonly shared passion.  Use comments to let me know what you think of something I post.

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

Readers . . . I need some guidance!

For those of you who come back to this blog for information on what's going on around town, you've found less of that here due to the City Newspaper's changes discussed here.  In addition to keeping you apprised of gigs by out-of-town artists and highlighting others in the Google Calendar, which by the way has been updated to include a number of gigs at the Strathallan and Bop Shop, I want to know how I can help you. Due to the amount of other things on my plate, I really cannot compile all of the possible live jazz out there on a weekly basis, but I want to replace the former Wednesday listings with something. 

My traffic showed me that people used the listings, but I can't be sure if they're missed THAT much.  I do this blog out of my love for live music and jazz, but cannot devote much more time to it than I have in the past.  So how can I help you get out there and hear some good jazz here in Rochester.  Please use the comment link below and let me know what YOU want and I'll see if I can accommodate or find a way to do it. 

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.

A new calendar for Jazz@Rochester. . . .

I previously lamented Trumba's unfortunate (at least for me) decision to start extracting filthy lucre from what was a free calendar.  I'm still milking it for what it's worth, but as I noted elsewhere, I have created a Google Calendar to take its place.  I have created it on a separate page to get a "bigger picture."  Right now it doesn't have the breadth of functionality (nor the ability to embed my banner image), but I'm sure the functionality will increase as Google develops it out of beta.  Please use the comments to let me know what you think.

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

Trumba, Schmuba....

For those of you that have been hanging around the new blog, one addition that I thought was nice was the integration of the Trumba calendar into the site.  While I have no idea of how many of you actually took advantage of the calendar's many nice features (like sending you an email or SMS reminder), it helped keep the upcoming shows in order and gave me a way to list those coming from out of town earlier and then post about the show either before or after the fact.  In classic case of bait and switch, although perhaps because I was a late arriver, I recently received notice from the folks at Trumba that I had only 90 days to go on my free calendar account.  After 3 months of enjoying the benefits of the new Trumba, I will have to pay a rather exhorbitant fee (by Web 2.0 standards) to keep using it.  Google Calendar, here I come?  Watch these pages for the changes....

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

Al Dimeola, VIP wrist band and all...

Back on the 27th, I got a chance to catch the guitarist Al di Meola at Water Street Music Hall.  The last time I saw AD was back in the 80s while at the University of Chicago where he played a show with John McLaughlin and Paco De Lucia after the release of their Friday Night in San Francisco album.  Opening for them was Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey, who appeared at the 2006 Rochester International Jazz Festival last year.  Both sets were great and, except for a few glitches with the sound and some of the ambient noise in the hall, Water Street appeared to do a pretty good job putting on the jazz (albeit toward the rock end of the spectrum).

Al di Meola and his band were toward the beginning of a tour for his new album The Consequences of Chaos and there was much of that album in supply during the evening, along with some others from Casino and his other 20+ albums, as well as an quieter, acoustic set on nylon and steel string guitars.  Sticking mostly to a beautiful hardbody electric, AD did not disappoint those there who were there to see his guitar pyrotechnics. It was an interesting crowd.  Di Meola is a guitar god, so it skewed toward a sausage fest, there were few women in attendance, and we were mostly quite a ways past 40 (myself included).  There was a group of apparent AD fan club members at the front of the crowd where I was who were more like a group of tweenage girls at a Teddy Geiger show.

My path to the AD gig bears some further exposition.  I was there as a guest conguero and all-around percussionist, Gumbi Ortiz, who has been playing with Di Meola for 17 years.   Gumbi has recently released an album, Miami (see an All Music Guide review of the album here) as a leader.  His promoter ran across the blog out there contacted me to see if I'd like to hear the album and, later, to see the show.  He put me on the guest list, which got me in gratis and secured a seat in the front row with the members of the aforementioned fan club and some other "VIPs".  I talked with Gumbi between the sets and found him a gracious and interesting man.  He is also a fantastic percussionist.  Gumbi has Rochester ties (as do so many musicians who come to town)—his grandmother came straight to Rochester from Cuba. Although Di Meola clearly "rules," I noticed he turned to his long time collaborator Gumbi more than once for guidance.  There was a lot of interaction between AD and Gumbi as musicians, and between Gumbi and the rest of the band. In fact at the end of the show, after one encore had been played (without the unnecessary clapfest), when the clapfest for another encore began (Rochester crowds never seem to be satisfied), Al looked over to Gumbi with a "should we?" look.  Gumbi shook his head no, I think so that they could get on with the inevitable CD signing for the fans; it was already pretty late.

In some ways, this experience shows one way in which this blog opens up paths to new experiences in my life.  In my "regular" life, this opportunity wouldn't have come my way.  I also had a chance to chat before the show and between JFJO  and AD with another Rochesterian, Steve Kiener (I never did get your name while at the show, but have since figured it out since). He works with the award-winning drummer Steve Gadd, who has played with Eric Clapton and countless others (including AD) over the past 30+ years (and apparently also lives in Rochester), in developing his new website. I hope to hear from Steve some time, as I'd like to continue our conversation.

While I'm perfectly willing to pay my own freight, it was nice to have a bit of the VIP treatment (a green id bracelet and reserved seats in the front row just beneath the stage) for all this work I do on Jazz@Rochester.  I'll keep the bracelet as a souvenir of the serendipity.

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