Live jazz in and around Rochester ... the Pandemic Edition

There is no denying that the COVID-19 pandemic has been a kick in the head for the jazz scene in Rochester.  I haven't published a listings post since March 11th.  However, some limited live jazz gigs have begun appearing as we enter Fall 2020, so I'm going to try something new to get them in one place until we get back to a place where hearing jazz live is not a health decision.  It's a bit different than the way things have been done around here.  

I'll try to add new gigs as I hear about them. If you hear about something that I haven't added below, please drop me a line (using the Contact Us link above or otherwise), give me the details, and I'll add it to this post. If you're receiving JazzRochester by email, you won't see the updates in a new email, so check back here if you want to know what's out there. Some will not be live jazz, but streaming by local jazz musicians. Others may not be jazz at all, but this is about supporting our local musicians and the venues that are taking an expensive risk by trying to create a safe space, pandemic-wise (including the cover charge you're likely to pay). For now, this post will be locked to the top of the front page of the blog so you can easily find it.  

If you can and feel safe, get out and support live jazz (and jazz musicians) and other music. Otherwise, click on the Livestream tab (or follow JazzRochester on Facebook where I also share livestream jazz) and listen from your own digs!

UPDATE: As we try to bend the curve again and enter another period of restriction it changes the calculations for venues and there are already cancellations starting. Please check with the venue before heading out to any of the gigs. I'll try to keep up with them here.

January 2021

  • 8th: Very Hairy January with Tyler Westcott: Banjo Juice Jazz Band @ The Virtual Little Theatre Cafe, 7:00 pm
  • 13th: Trio East @ Wine Down Wednesday at The Penthouse at One East Avenue (Doors open at 5:00 pm, music 6:00-9:00 pm.  Get more info and reserve your table here)
  • 14th: Higher Ground Quartet with Joe Chiappone @ Thursday Night Jazz at 75 Stutson Street, Charlotte (Doors open at 7:30 pm, music from 8:00 pm to 10:00 pm. There is a $20 suggested donation.)
  • 14th: Kinloch Nelson @ The Virtual Little Theatre Cafe, 8:00 pm
  • 20th: Jimmie Highsmith Jr. @ Wine Down Wednesday at The Penthouse at One East Avenue (Doors open at 5:00 pm, music 6:00-9:00 pm.  Get more info and reserve your table here)
  • 20th: The Ted Perry Trio @ WGMC Jazz 90.1 on air and streaming online, 7:00 pm
  • 21st: Hanna and the Blue Hearts @ Thursday Night Jazz at 75 Stutson Street, Charlotte (Doors open at 7:30 pm, music from 8:00 pm to 10:00 pm. There is a $20 suggested donation.)
  • 23rd: Annie Wells @ The Virtual Little Theatre Cafe, 7:00 pm
  • 27th: Paradigm Shift @ Wine Down Wednesday at The Penthouse at One East Avenue (Doors open at 5:00 pm, music 6:00-9:00 pm.  Get more info and reserve your table here)
  • 28th: Uptown Groove Quintet @ Thursday Night Jazz at 75 Stutson Street, Charlotte (Doors open at 7:30 pm, music from 8:00 pm to 10:00 pm. There is a $20 suggested donation.)
  • 29th: Very Hairy January with Tyler Westcott: Paper Roses @ The Virtual Little Theatre Cafe, 7:00 pm

Ongoing Live Streams

This post was originally published on JazzRochester.

Happy New Year from JazzRochester!!!

image from www.jazzrochester.comNow that the dumpster fire that was 2020 is behind us, I thought I'd write and let you know we're still here and wish everyone a 2021 full of hope and opportunity, a year that at least starts to bring back a sense of a normal life and, I hope, more live jazz. 

There is still some live jazz around Rochester during these dark days, as well as livestreams by local jazz artists. I'm trying to share these in the Pandemic Edition post that I published awhile back and keep updated as I hear about new events and livestreams. I'm also sharing other jazz livestreams on Facebook and Twitter. For my email followers, it has been pretty much radio silence (the post doesn't go out via email when I update it, so you need to check it out from time to time). 

The past year has been rough and full of pain, loss and anxiety for so many. Let's push through the next few, dark months and then, I hope, slowly we'll begin coming out the other side, get together to hear live jazz and, perhaps, rebuild support for a better jazz scene here in Rochester. If you have any ideas on that last bit, please leave a comment.

This post was originally published on JazzRochester.

There is actually some live jazz... inside ... at 75 Stutson Street in Charlotte

image from lh3.googleusercontent.comNo, it's not streaming... it's live!  Opening just before the pandemic caused closures of jazz venues throughout the area, the 75 Stutson Street multi-event facility, located in an old church at that namesake address in Charlotte, is dipping its toes into presenting jazz regularly on Thursdays.

So far the owners have scheduled a series of mostly jazz and blues bands, many who have not had a chance to gig before a live audience in quite some time. Here is who will be playing in the next few weeks:

  • Bill Tiberio Band (September 24th)
  • Soul Chameleon (October 1st)
  • Jimmie Highsmith Jr. (October 8th)
  • Laura Dubin October 15th)
  • Uptown Groove Quartet (October 22nd)
  • Blonde Over Boo (October 29th)
  • Bill Schmitt and the Bluesmasters (November 5th)
  • Paradigm Shift (November 19th) 

There are other concerts scheduled into December as well... well one can hope. Of course, Covid-19 guidelines will be in-place. The venue is limited to 50 patrons, seated in a HEPA filtrated Auditorium, cabaret style and socially distanced as you can see in the image. Masks are required unless seated at a table. 

Doors open at 7:30 pm. The concert will be from 8:00 pm to 10:00 pm. There is a $20 suggested donation. Call 615-4551 for reservations, which are suggested due to the limited seating. 

This post was originally published on JazzRochester.

A graphic tale of Charlie Parker and his art, Dave Chisholm's Chasin' the Bird

ChasinTheBirdcover_postDave Chisholm straddles a number of arts. He is an accomplished trumpet player, composer, and educator who lives and gigs in several genres around Rochester (well, pre-pandemic, that is...), where he received his doctorate in jazz trumpet from the Eastman School of Music in 2013. He is also a talented cartoonist who uses that art, combined with music, to tell stories that can draw you in and teach you something about something few outside the world of music or jazz could reach on their own. In 2017, I wrote here about his graphic novel Instrumental that followed jazz trumpeter Tom as he seeks to reach the next level in his art ... at a dear cost. This month, Chisholm is publishing a new graphic novel Chasin’ the Bird: Charlie Parker in Californi, 144 pages commissioned by the Charlie Parker estate with Instrumental’s publisher Z2 Comics in celebration of the Centennial of Bird’s birth. It explores the period beginning in 1945 during which Parker traveled to California with a band put together by his friend Dizzy Gillespie for a residence at a well-known club in LA.

Through recollections of those who crossed his path during this time on the West Coast, interviews with Bird, biographies, and other real and imagined situations and conversations, Chisholm builds a story that tries to capture this time in Bird’s life, the effect of his obsessions and the drugs, and sources of Bird’s musical genius. As Chisholm recounted in a recent interview with Publisher’s Weekly:

A huge part of the Charlie Parker story is the myth-building, legends, the impossible tall tales that could not be true, but could be true, and all the different versions of the same story—like a Rashomon kind of storytelling…. So there’s the legend side of Charlie Parker, versus the reality of Charlie Parker. So that angle led me to the storytelling method used in the book, where there’s a series of vignettes; each one from the point of view of someone whose life intersected with Charlie’s during that time.

As with Instrumental, I sat down and consumed a PDF of Chasin' the Bird in one sitting with a soundtrack of Bird playing on the stereo to accompany the images (Chisholm had written and performed a soundtrack for Instrumental). Again, I was lost in the story and images. A hour or so (and a few LP sides…) later I had learned so much about Parker's short life and felt like I had peeked behind a curtain to get some understanding of his compositions and playing. Each vignette is drawn in a different style and through these changes in style, Chisholm explores Bird’s life and his music and through this approach tries to fulfill the reason that the Parker estate had commissioned him, again as told to Publisher’s Weekly: "to reach people who wouldn't otherwise find Charlie Parker’s music” through a medium that he thought would help to synchronize the "temporal aspect of music, versus the temporal aspect of a still drawing.”

Chasin the Bird will be published in mid-October and I encourage you to get a copy of Chasin' the Bird, slap a Parker LP or disk (or stream) on your ears and dive in. It’s worth the ride. Here’s a link on Chisholm’s site for more info and links or you can pre-order direct from Z2 Comics or your favorite online content provider.

This post was originally published on JazzRochester.

RIJF makes a hard choice ... the jazz festival will be postponed to 2021

image from www.jazzrochester.comMarc Iacona and John Nugent, producers of the CGI Rochester International Jazz Festival, announced today that the RIJF's nine-day 19th edition, first rescheduled from June 19-27 to October 2–10 because of thepandemic, will now be postponed to June 18–26, 2021. As the coronavirus rages throughout the U.S., most who I've talked with thought this decision would come, although some hoped for some vestige of the festival to remain.    

"This is the decision we didn’t want to make,” said Iacona and Nugent. “We held out hope for as long as possible even as most major festivals and concert events around the world were postponing. But as we have now arrived at a critical junction, needing to finalize artists and logistic arrangements, reality has prevailed."

There is much more about why in the festival's announcement on their website and details for next steps for those who already have tickets to the Eastman Theatre shows and Club Passes.

This post was originally published on JazzRochester.

Silenced, but not forgotten... Jazz in June is gone

29D20A64-5ABE-4797-BFFB-0F586CBCD964JazzRochester, the blog at least, has been on "radio silence" for over 2 months.  Of course, I don't need to tell you why.  I've been sharing global live streams from AllAboutJazz on a tab above, and other global and local content on Facebook and Twitter (if you haven't "liked" or followed, there are links at the top of the right panel), but with everything else that was going on in the world I just didn't see the point? But today I would have started recovering from the nine days of live music, friends, street food, beer, crowds, lines and more live music that is the Rochester International Jazz Festival, which would have ended yesterday had the pandemic not caused its cancellation.  I couldn't let that pass without comment here.  

For Rochester jazz fans of all stripes the RIJF is a chance to discover new sounds, to meet new friends and reconnect with our old "jazz fest" friends, and to soak up the scene of thousands of other fans from all over the world experiencing these things together.  I sorely missed Jazz in June and expect many of you did, too. I'm wondering what is coming?  Will RIJF happen in October as it is currently scheduled?  Should it?  If it does come in October how will it be different in these times? How are you getting your jazz fix?  As live jazz in the other 356 days of the year starts up, will you be getting out to hear any?  

What do you think? Leave a comment to this post and let us know ... I hope to see you on Jazz Street again! 

This post was originally published on JazzRochester.