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Posts from July 2006

About the Blog and its Editor

Jazz lives in Rochester, New York. Rochester hosts a jazz festival every year that, due to intriguing programming and innovative use of indoor and outdoor venues, is quickly becoming one of the great jazz festivals in the United States. There are also a number of clubs where jazz is played throughout the city and its metropolitan area. In addition, the jazz faculty and students from the Eastman School of Music, Hochstein School of Music and Dance, and other universities in town provide a fertile ground and seed for growing jazz and live music in the community. This weblog will attempt to tie all that together. 

Your humble guide, Gregory Bell, is not really an aficionado of jazz music, who will preach to you about what is and isn't "jazz" or ruminate on whether the alternative take of a particular session is better than the one on a CD. I just don't have the encyclopedic knowledge necessary to be a critic, although I know what I like. I am a recovering lawyer, happily married to the beautiful Dianna, and working as an editor for a legal publisher that has offices here in Rochester. At heart, I am just a regular guy who loves all kinds of music, and has a special place in his heart and ear for jazz—from Fats Waller and Louis Armstrong, through Coltrane and Miles, to Brad Mehldau and   Nicholas Payton, to the Bad Plus and e.s.t. I think jazz is more about an attitude towards music and life than a definition or a category. It's always evolving, always changing, just like life itself. You're welcome to join me on the journey.

This weblog will always be a work in progress, but my aim is to to do the following:  

  • List upcoming jazz sounds here in Rochester and providing links and background for exploring.
  • Review performances by jazz artists and groups, both local and national, and the venues in which you'll catch their gigs.
  • Link to information and updates on the Rochester International Jazz Festival.
  • Blog from the RIJF and making connections to others who are so you can get as much information as possible as you plan your festival activities.
  • Make connections between the various jazz communities in Rochester and its environs
  • Provide links to other blogs, websites, and other information about jazz music and artists, both in Rochester and throughout the world.
  • Advocate for increased opportunties to hear live jazz (and other music) in Rochester.

I started in April 2005 Jazz@Rochester (the first incarnation), a few months before the 2005 Rochester International Jazz Festival, and after a few years of taking some advantage of the great opportunities to see and hear live music here in my adopted hometown, Rochester, New York, I've moved it to its new location to support some new directions I intend to take it in the future. Until I can port the contents of the old blog over to this site easily, I will leave the first incarnation up and alive (it's free).

I simply want to see and hear more jazz in my new hometown. I hope that you will provide me with feedback on where I’m going or what I’ve written.

This post was originally published on JazzRochester.

For Local Artists and Clubs...

As one of the main aims of this blog is to promote the expansion of live jazz music in Rochester and its environs, I welcome the opportunity to interact with and support the many and diverse local artists who play jazz music here, and the club and restaurant owners, music promoters, and other people involved in the live music and jazz scene here.  I would like to have a conversation with you in these pages to learn (and help my audience to learn) more about jazz in Rochester, its current state, its history, connections with other artists, and thoughts on the future of live jazz in Rochester. 

Additionally, as you can see from a number of posts in the  archives, I am willing to put up announcements of upcoming gigs, especially those that are not being promoted, benefits, or even advance notice of a particularly interesting jazz event (for example a lecture or master class at Eastman). Also, I wish to encourage venues to present live jazz.  However, I wanted to lay out a few ground rules for this blog that are specific to my interactions with you:

  • I will attempt to cover as much of the live jazz in Rochester and the surrounding areas by looking to a number of sources (See the Finding Live Jazz Here in Rochester links).  I am most interested in gigs that are not being advertised or listed in these sources, so please let me know about them when you don't see them in these pages.
  • I want to form connections to live jazz that may be heard in all the diverse communities in Rochester, most importantly the African-American community in which much of this city's rich jazz history is firmly rooted, and in which many of jazz music's truest fans reside.  I realize that venues and the media in Rochester often ignore these communities and want to provide whatever small voice this blog can to increase the range of their voices.
  • This blog is a personal journey and more in the nature of a hobby than a job (I have one of those). It is not a listing service. I reserve the right to refuse to post announcements for gigs or other information you provide when I begin to feel that it conflicts with the aims I have for this blog.  When I do this I will try to be up front with you, but please don't take it personally.  Instead I encourage you to explore all of the avenues for promoting your gigs and will continue to try to identify and share connections that you can make to jazz listeners in the community, such as when I have previously noted the Yahoo Group that is sponsored by Jazz 90.1 WGMC, which I think has over 700 members.
  • I have a day job and life and it is possible that sometimes I'll just miss getting an announcement into the blog.  It will happen and, when it does, it is inadvertent.
  • I may edit any announcements sent for posting on my blog to correct any grammatical, typographical, or other errors and to highlight the information my audience needs. I may also edit information that you provide to tone down or eliminate self-promoting language. While my blog is far from objective, my goal is to let my readers draw their own conclusions about the music. When I post a statement about an artist, group, or venue, I want my readers to know that I wrote and/or edited it.

OK, enough with the "rules".  I may have already started the conversation with you at a gig.  If not, please feel free to use the email link in the left sidebar to contact me and start the conversation. 

This post was originally published on JazzRochester.