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 regular Wednesday listings post since March 11, 2020.  However, a number of limited live jazz gigs began appearing in Fall 2020 and there is some livestreaming going on, so I tried something new to get them in one place until we return to a place where hearing jazz live is not a health decision.Call it "The Pandemic Edition"....

I'll try to add new gigs as I hear about them. I'm adding both live events and livestream events.  Please let me know 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  all of the updates in a new email as usual, 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. This post will be locked to the top of the front page of the blog so you can easily find it. Please check with venues before heading out to any of the gigs as you know sh*t happens giving the current times.

If you can and feel safe, get out and support live jazz (and jazz musicians) and other music. Venues are doing their best to keep you, the artists and their staff safe.

April 2021

  • 8th: Soul Chameleon @ 75 Stutson Street, 8:00 pm (livestreamed on their Twitch channel, see link below)
  • 10th: Greg Wachala @ Ventosa Vineyard (Geneva), 5:30 pm
  • 12th: The Swooners @ 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)
  • 15th: Paradigm Shift @ 75 Stutson Street, 8:00 pm (livestreamed on their Twitch channel, see link below)
  • 16th:  Jon Irabagon Quartet, live streamed concert, Front Row at the Bop Shop, 8:00 pm
  • 17th: Greg Wachala @ Ventosa Vineyard (Geneva), 5:30 pm
  • 21st: Jimmie Highsmith Jr. Jazz Trio @ 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)
  • 24th: Greg Wachala @ Ventosa Vineyard (Geneva), 5:30 pm
  • 24th: UofR Jazz combos followed by the Ted Perry Quartet with Evan Hyde, Ben & Bill Tiberio @ 75 Stutson Street, 7:30 pm (livestreamed on their Twitch channel, see link below)
  • 26th: Riverside Soul Jazz @ 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)
  • 29th:  Harold Danko, live streamed concert @ Front Row at the Bop Shop, 8:00 pm

May 2021

  • 1st: Greg Wachala @ Ventosa Vineyard (Geneva), 5:30 pm
  • 1st: Jimmie Highsmith Jr. @ 75 Stutson Street, 8:00 pm (livestreamed on their Twitch channel, see link below)
  • 5th: Bob Sneider Trio @ 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)
  • 6th:  Jamal Damien Group, live streamed concert, Front Row at the Bop Shop, 8:00 pm
  • 8th: Greg Wachala @ Ventosa Vineyard (Geneva), 5:30 pm
  • 10th: Honeoye Central School District presents the Glenn Miller Orchestra @ Hemlock Fairgrounds, 1 Fair Street (Hemlock), 7:00 pm (limited to 200 tickets, so they may go fast and can be ordered by credit card here)
  • 13th: The Rita Collective @ 75 Stutson Street, 8:00 pm (livestreamed on their Twitch channel, see link below)
  • 13th:  Enciso, Gordon, & Staebell Trio, live streamed concert, Front Row at the Bop Shop, 8:00 pm
  • 14th: Bill Tiberio Band @ 75 Stutson Street, 8:00 pm (livestreamed on their Twitch channel, see link below)
  • 15th: Greg Wachala @ Ventosa Vineyard (Geneva), 5:30 pm
  • 20th: Higher Ground @ 75 Stutson Street, 8:00 pm (livestreamed on their Twitch channel, see link below)
  • 22nd: Greg Wachala @ Ventosa Vineyard (Geneva), 5:30 pm
  • 29th: Greg Wachala @ Ventosa Vineyard (Geneva), 5:30 pm

Ongoing Live Streams and Recordings

This post was originally published on JazzRochester.

Jazz Journalist Association announces 2021 Jazz Heroes, and much to my surprise...

image from www.jjajazzawards.orgSee anyone you know (hint, lower corner...)?  Yes, as announced yesterday by the Jazz Journalist Association, I've been honored to have been named a 2021 Jazz Hero by the JJA this year for my work over the years and during this pandemic, doing what I can with JazzRochester to keep jazz alive and try to build a community around live jazz here where I live.  Although I feel a bit of "imposter's syndrome" as there are so many people who are doing so much for the music in and around Rochester, I am proud of what I've done with JazzRochester since starting it as a blogging/writing project way back in 2005. 

You can read the way too kind JJA Jazz Hero profile by our own Derek Lucas at Jazz 90.1, who nominated me along with Ed Trefzger of JazzWeek (... thanks guys). Just look for my ugly mug and Rochester, NY and click. Now let's  get back to work to keep being worthy of this honor....  Hope to see you out at some live jazz as soon as possible in our crazy new normal!

This post was originally published on JazzRochester.

There will be a Rochester International Jazz Festival in 2021 ... just not in Rochester

image from www.jazzrochester.comIn case you haven't heard elsewhere, Marc Iacona and John Nugent, producers of the CGI Rochester International Jazz Festival, t0day announced that planning is underway to present the RIJF's 19th edition this year from July 30th to August 7th at Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) in Henrietta. 

Iacona and Nugent noted that as everyone’s collective health is the top priority, the move this year to RIT from downtown Rochester allows them more flexibility to accommodate anticipated health guidelines that will likely dictate increased audience spacing. Moving it later in the summer also will allow for more people to be vaccinated and give the festival optimal use of RIT’s space since it will be in-between semesters.

Of course, all plans are dependent on New York’s public health guidelines being favorable for travel and large gatherings. The decision to move forward will be made in spring and the line up and venues at RIT will be announced at that time as well.

You can read the whole press release and a new FAQ document about the 2021 Festival on RIJF's website.

So, what do you think about moving to RIT?  Let us know in the Comments or on the Facebook page.

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 order direct from Z2 Comics or your favorite online content provider.

This post was originally published on JazzRochester.