So, do you wanna hear some ... Live jazz around Rochester, July 18-24, 2024?

Neon jazz club sign

JazzRochester aims at providing you with the most comprehensive listings for live jazz gigs in and around our fair city.  I've gathered them for the next seven days immediately below, but also for the rest of July, August and a few beyond that.  Please continue to let me know when you hear about any gigs that I've may have missed or if I have anything wrong (see the Contact Us link above to send an email if that's how you roll). I'm going to be out of service for a bit (getting a new knee...) starting next Wednesday, so let me know about anything new or wrong by next Monday.

Continue reading "So, do you wanna hear some ... Live jazz around Rochester, July 18-24, 2024?" »

This post was originally published on JazzRochester.

It's summertime and there's more ... live jazz around Rochester, July 11-17, 2024

Black and white jazz sign

I know it. You're jonesin again for some live jazz.  So get out there and get some!  JazzRochester aims at providing you with the most comprehensive listings for live jazz gigs in and around our fair city.  I've gathered them for the next seven days immediately below, but also for the rest of July, August and beyond.  Please continue to let me know when you hear about any gigs that I've may have missed or if I have anything wrong (see the Contact Us link above to send an email if that's how you roll).  

Continue reading "It's summertime and there's more ... live jazz around Rochester, July 11-17, 2024" »

This post was originally published on JazzRochester.

JazzRochester at the 2024 RIJF: That's a wrap!

RIJFMediaPassNow that I've recovered from the nine days of the 2024 Rochester International Jazz Festival, and gained a bit of distance, I thought it was high time for me to out a wrapup post. I'm very happy with how the RIJF turned out, both for me and my listening and for JazzRochester. As I anticipated, the fact that I had heard a number of the artists in this year's lineup in past RIJFs and there were few "bucket lists" artists/groups this year freed me up to stretch my ears to new sounds. My picks for the festival did not fail me once (I made a choice not to hear one of them, but heard all the rest), and the timing occasionally let me slip in something from my "also check out" picks.

People kept asking me during the festival, "which show did you like the most"?  Can't pick one.  The standouts for me in this year's RIJF truly show the eclectic nature of the festival for those of us willing to try out new things. while also providing an opportunity to hear some of jazz music's major players, including:

  • Bill Charlap Trio is who I hear in my head when I think "piano trio". Charlap's selection of music was eclectic and their playing was sublime.
  • I had wanted to hear Edmar Casteneda play since I saw the YouTube video of his NPR "Tiny Desk Concert" in 2010. Castaneda's music, his lightning fast hands and his personality made the next hour a delight.
  • Although he has played in ROC before, I had not heard Joe Lovano's Trio Tapestry project so this was one of my "must hears". Lovano played with a rich and soul filled tone, always taking the music in unexpected directions. Pianist Marilyn Crispell’s playing was stunningly beautiful.
  • One unanticipated delight was the Jonathan Scales Fourchestra. I recounted in my post a steel drum band that played at the San Diego Wild Animal Park in my pick post, but their music was far from Trinidad or Mr. Buffet, and the band played a burning jazz set with Scales' pans that singing in and merging with drums and bass until it was like one sound. 
  • One thing this year was that the RIJF programming included some jazz players who are more "out" than the standard RIJF band. There have always been some, but this year it just appeared to be more than usual and I welcomed the opportunity to stretch my ears. One standout on this was East Axis. Their music had a lot going on if you listened closely or just let it wash over you in waves. I was entranced as the sounds cascaded around the space in Christ Church.
  • I was up on my feet with the rest of the crowd at Montage for Harold López-Nussa: Timba a la Americana after a burning set of this quartet with the piano of Lopez-Nussa and harmonica of Gregoire Maret.
  • Although I was familiar with Steve Bernstein and some of his players individually, he promised the second set of Steve Bernstein's Millennial Territory Orchestra was going to be more "dangerous" than the first, but the only danger was what music lay around the corner with Bernstein playing circus master and a slide trumpet as he and the MTO blew through their set that included originals and a triptych of Armstrong followed by the Grateful Dead, followed by Mingus, forming a "perfect Pythagorean balance."
  • Ghanaian drummer Paa Kow's Afro-Fusion Orchestra made it impossible to not move in my seat during their explosive, joyous and infectious 2 set. Sounded like a number of folks in the SRO crowd were also at the early set (and possibly the next day's sets as well).

In addition to hearing some great music and finding some new artists to check out more deeply, JazzRochester got some great exposure during this year's festival. The RIJF's social channels were sharing JazzRochester and during the festival I was interviewed by Dan Kushner of City Magazine for a online profile of me and JazzRochester in City News, The Jazz Concierge, which was published on July 2nd. Given that our purpose is to help build the community around jazz music the other 356 days of the year, that's a good thing and I hope that the support continues to guide jazz listeners (and musicians) to JazzRochester and live jazz around Rochester.

This post was originally published on JazzRochester.