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Posts from March 2007

Wanna hear The Spectrum live? . . . Derrick Lucas spins some tunes at the Flat Iron Cafe

Derrick Lucas, Music Director at WGMC Jazz 90.1 and DJ for its show The Spectrum, will be hosting a Jazz Party, spinning jazz, old soul music and afro beat from 6-9 pm tomorrow (Friday) at the Flat Iron Cafe.  Derrick tells me it will be pretty much the kind of set that he does for the weekly radio show, which is heard on Sunday's from 10pm-1am.  I met Derrick back awhile ago at the Joe Locke gig at Water Street.  He wants to see what interest there is in that sort of thing, so come out and support it (and support Jazz 90.1 as well--tomorrow's the last day of their drive).

This post was originally published on JazzRochester.

Live from Chicago...OK Evanston

Live from Chicago...OK  Evanston

The Jeff Marx Quartet at my old haunt Pete Miller's in Evanston, IL, that is.  Around 5 years ago, just before I moved to Rochester, my friend Matt and I went to see Jeff Marx's group play at Pete's.  It was a trip down memory lane last night, complete with an "El" ride from downtown.  Unfortunately, I came down with something just after getting back and I'm flat on my ....cough, hack....

This post was originally published on JazzRochester.

38th Annual Jazz Festival at MCC

Monroe Community College's 38th Annual Jazz Festival will be held at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 18, in the MCC Theater, Brighton Campus, 1000 East Henrietta Road. This year's festival features Hendrik Meurkens, the first major voice on the harmonica since Toots Thielemans. Meurkens will be accompanied by the 10-piece ensemble of Rick Holland/Evan Dobbins. In addition to performing and recording, Meurkens also is an accomplished and prolific composer. He has performed with Ivan Lins, Jimmy Cobb, Charlie Byrd, Herbie Mann, Eric Alexander and many other well-known jazz musicians. Tickets are $10 for the general public and $8 for seniors, children under 12 or with an MCC ID. Get your tickets at the Brighton Campus Center Service Desk, Damon City Campus Bookstore or charge by phone at 585.292.2534. Parking is available in Lot F.

This post was originally published on JazzRochester.

Exodus to Jazz: Denise Thimes

A quick reminder that singer Denise Thimes will be appearing tomorrow night at VENU Resto Lounge and Nightclub as part of the Exodus to Jazz series. She'll do two shows—one at 7 and one at 9:15 p.m. When you purchase tickets in advance through TicketWeb (search: "Exodus To Jazz" or "artist name"), remember to indicate the show you wish to attend. Visit the Exodus to Jazz site ( to find out more.
This post was originally published on JazzRochester.

Live from Chicago . . . Jazz in Rochester this weekend!

I'm blogging from Chicago, where I'm on business.  I will post again when I get out of the meetings and get a chance to see some music (I guess I should write if I get a chance....). Meanwhile, here's some listings for this weekend (artists, if I missed a gig for you here, let me know and I'll add it [new added 3/22 underlined]:

Friday, March 23rd

  • Bill Tiberio Group @ High Fidelity, 5:30pm
  • Ann Mitchell Jazz Quartet @ River's Edge Restaurant, 6:30-9:30 pm
  • DoubleStuff @ Boulder Coffee Co., 8:00 pm
  • Walt Weiskopf @ The Grill at Strathallan, 8:00 pm
  • Squeaky Chair Jazz Trio @ Starry Nites Cafe, 8:00 pm
  • Sabor A Jazz @ VENU Resto-Lounge, 9:00 pm
  • Tommy Hawkins & Friends @ Flat Iron Cafe, 9:00 pm

Saturday, March 24th

  • Walt Weiskopf @ The Grill at Strathallan, 8:00 pm
  • The Mahavishnu Project @ High Fidelity, 8:00 pm
  • Jim Nugent Trio @ Little Theatre Cafe, 8:30 pm
  • Charlie Dye's Frisell Project @ Java's Cafe, 9:00 pm
  • Tumbao @ Tapas 177 Lounge, 11:00 pm

Sunday, March 25th

  • Nazaretth College Jazz Combo, Paul Smoker dir. @ Nazareth College Arts Center, 3:00 pm/li>
This post was originally published on JazzRochester.

Jazz Benefit for Rochester A.B.O.V.E.

My friend and local saxman, Jimmie Highsmith Jr. has let me know that the Rochester A.B.O.V.E. organization is presenting its annual Spring Jazz Bash on Friday, March 23rd, from 7-9 p.m. at The Verridian club featuring Jimmie Highsmith Jr. The club is located at 470 Central Ave in Rochester. Doors open at 6:00 pm. Admission $5.00. For more info or advance tickets contact Mrs. Sonya Sizer at (585) 802-9268. Proceeds will help fund a scholarhship. Rochester A.B.O.V.E. is an organization that was formed to build unity, pride, and self-esteem among African-Americans living in Rochester and Western New York, by means of cultural education and awareness and to foster a sense of cultural unity among all people of African origin.
This post was originally published on JazzRochester.

Give early, give often . . . Support 24/7 jazz radio

Our local 24/7 jazz station, WGMC Jazz 90.1, has announced its 2007 upcoming spring 2007 membership campaign.  They have set a goal of $60,000 for the drive, which runs March 21-30.  WGMC is one of the last 24-hour jazz radio stations in the country and relies on donations to survive financially (in fact, their streaming has just become much more expensive after the recent decision by the Copyright Royalty Board). All donations are tax deductible.  The pledge drive will feature a variety of guest DJs and listeners are also invited to an open house at the Jazz90.1 studios, located inside the new library media center at Olympia High School, 1139 Maiden Lane, where you can drop in from 4 and 7 p.m. on Friday, March 23 to make a donation in person and tour the new studios. You can also make pledges by calling (585) 966-5299, 1-800-790-0415, or pledge securely on line at, where you can listen live any time, anywhere. Your support will help keep 24-hour jazz available in Rochester.

This post was originally published on JazzRochester.

So you think you can dance . . . ?

If you can box step or even if you can't, there are some swing dance events that will provide you an opportunity to hear some good music and hoof it with your significant other (or a complete stranger) AND help raise money for the "Kilimanjaro for Cancer" team of 40 climbers set to take on the journey next February. Two opportunities, actually:

  • Steve Greene & the White Hots will be playing on March Fri Mar 23rd 8-11 PM at the Harmony House, 58 E. Main St. Webster. Tickets: $15 at the door Free lesson at 7:30. Raffle at band break.
  • Jon Seiger and the All Stars Tickets will be playing on Apr 29th 5-8 at the Clarion Riverside Hotel Grand Ballroom (2nd floor), 120 E. Main St., $15 at the door Free lesson at 4:30 Raffle at band break. Fragrance-free attendance please.

Get out there and Lindy Hop....

This post was originally published on JazzRochester.

A rich source of all things Rochester . . .

Recently, I found out that Richard Shade Gardner over at, an online cyberjournal about Rochester and its people, history, etc., had told my business partner that he wanted to link swap (and he has, in fact, linked to Jazz@Rochester).  I had come across Richard's blog awhile ago and had always meant to take a closer look, but hadn't.  You see, Richard writes....a lot and I've been having trouble recently doing the one thing required to follow someone like him . . . reading. But once I took the time, I found a rich source about all things Rochester. Once a week for several years he has written a long form article and published it on the blog. The articles span a gamut from a topless protest on Cobb's Hill to H.O.G. (House of Guitars for the uninitiated). 

In looking back into Rochester's past, he even touches on its history of jazz, including a wonderful article on happening upon a plaque in the Swillburg neighborhood commemorating:

In the middle of a small grassy square, encircled by Avon Place, Fountain Street, and Sycamore Street - tiny streets lined with small hundred-year-old homes - I spot a modest granite monument. I step across the grass and read the bronze plaque:

Dedicated to Cabel "Cab" Calloway the king of "Hi-De-Ho" - An internationally known band leader, singer, dancer, actor and composer. Cab, an African-American, was born in Rochester, New York on December 25, 1907 and once lived at 14 Sycamore Street.

As I've said many times before, Rochester has a rich jazz history and Cab Calloway is a big part of that history.  I really enjoyed reading and hope to find more of that history. Check out this short movie Hi-De-Ho with Cab and the band playing in a Santa Fe sleeper and at the Cotton Club (complete with fan dancers...):

This post was originally published on JazzRochester.

RIJF engages in some "ballot stuffing" . . .

RIJF logo Received a newsletter email from the folks at the Rochester International Jazz Festival to let RIJF Fans know about an opportunity to vote for the Rochester International Jazz Festival in a festival smackdown. The announcement says that the RIJF was one of ten nationwide festivals nominated for Best Jazz Festival at music festival site MelodyTrip’s  First Annual Festies, The US Music Festival Awards. The Rochester International Jazz Festival was one of only ten festivals nominated in this category. Cast your vote by March 14 at the MelodyTrip site, clicking on Awards Voting.  Winners will be announced March 15.

This post was originally published on JazzRochester.

This year's Woody . . . Jerry Lee Lewis

Like last year's early announcement of Woody Allen's appearance, this year the folks over at the Rochester International Jazz Festival have sent out a press release letting us know that Jerry Lee Lewis, "an American music legend and pioneer of piano rock," will be performing at the Festival on Saturday June 9 at 8 p.m. at the Eastman Theatre. Tickets for Jerry Lee Lewis and The Killer Band go on sale Friday March 9 at 10 a.m. at all Ticketmaster locations (585-232-1000) and on the RIJF site.  Tickets are $80, $65 and $49 plus service charge. They may also be purchased at Ticket Express, 885 E Main St, (585) 222-5000, where the service charge is a lower $1 per ticket. The Rochester International Jazz Festival’s Sixth Edition runs from June 8th through June 16th. The full lineup and schedule will be announced April 5, 2007.

OK, it's not jazz, but we've had this conversation before.  The RIJF is not about being a purist, it's about getting new people out to hear live jazz music.  Jerry's part of that.  You gotta admit, he can tickle the ivories.

Leave a comment and let me know what you think...

This post was originally published on JazzRochester.

Here's some more options for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday

Here's some listings, such as they are (this is what City Newspaper has listed or that I know about), for this weekend.

Friday, March 9th

  • Bob Sneider & Paul Hofmann @ The Grill at Strathallan, 5:00 pm
  • Bill Dobbins/Mike Kaupa Quartet @ The Grill at Strathallan, 8:30 pm

Saturday, March 10th

  • Chris Ziemba @ The Grill at Strathallan, 5:00 pm
  • Dave Mancini & Friends @ Downstairs Cabaret Theatre, 8:00 pm
  • Jazz Dawgs @ Starry Nites Cafe, 8:00 pm
  • Second Saturday Jazz Session @ Daily Perks Coffee House, 8:00 pm
  • Jim Nugent Trio @ Little Theatre Cafe, 8:30 pm (this trio will be playing throughout March at the Little on Saturdays
  • Bob Sneider Quartet @ The Grill at Strathallan, 8:30 pm

Sunday, March 11th

  • Jimmie Highsmith @ Flat Iron Cafe, 5:00 pm (see post from yesterday)
This post was originally published on JazzRochester.

Where's Jimmie Highsmith these days?

If you want to catch my friend Jimmie Highsmith Jr. in and around town this weekend, he has let me know about a couple of gigs coming up:

  • With Neo-Soul group Black August, Friday March 9, 2007 8:00pm to midnight at the new McCools Music Nightclub, 38 Seneca Street, Geneva, NY 14456 Phone: (315)719-0159.  McCools is new to the Finger Lakes area and focuses on jazz and blues. 
  • With his Jazz Trio, Sunday March 11, 2007 5:00pm to 7:00pm at the Flat Iron Cafe 561 State St Rochester, NY 14608 Phone: (585) 454-4830. 
This post was originally published on JazzRochester.

David "Fathead" Newman at VENU

José DaCosta's Exodus To Jazz series continues on Thursday with the soulful sax sounds of the David "Fathead" Newman Trio, who will be performing two shows (7:00 & 9:15 PM) at VENU Resto-Lounge & Nightclub. Newman will be leading a quartet including Mel Henderson on guitar, Bruce Katz on organ and Ralph Rosen on drums.  Newman is touring to support his new album "Life" on HighNote Records.

Tickets purchased in advance for The David “Fathead” Newman Quartet are $17.00, available through TicketWeb  (search for “David Fathead Newman” or “Exodus To Jazz”). Tickets at the door or by calling 585-325-9162 are $20.00.

This post was originally published on JazzRochester.

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.

Tom Pethic returns to the airwaves with Artistry in Jazz

Tom Pethic has built a new model of what for some of you will be a comfortable, old "shoe,"—the Artistry in Jazz radio show has returned after an over one year hiatus (an earlier version was on WGMC for 21 years) to radio on Legends 990 AM WLGZ and streaming at on Saturdays from 1-5 pm. While it is on AM radio, which is not known for its high fidelity, it is broadcast in "high-definition," which is touted as making AM OK for music again (if you have a high def radio that is).  I listened to the first show on Saturday.  I don't have high def radio, but the sound was OK (Jazz 90.1 doesn't come in that well here in the Park Ave area either), although the local commercials were cheesy.

I didn't hear Pethic's most recent prior version and wasn't living in Rochester for the version on WGMC.  The slightly compromised sound quality of the new incarnation of Artistry in Jazz was more than overcome by having another good jazz radio program to choose from in Rochester.  Pethic likes to focus on local artists and defines that widely to include a lot of Western New York. His thoughtful commentary is evident both on the radio and on his site (I hesitate to call it a blog, although Tom does).  As Pethic told Ron Netsky, "[t]here's a lot of history in this area and I don't want people to forget this important piece of the jazz pie." I'm looking forward to it and look forward to listening to Pethic's show next Saturday and regularly thereafter.  Good luck, Tom!

This post was originally published on JazzRochester.

Jazz fodder for your Nano . . . Jason Crane

Jazzsession_itunes Local broadcaster (formerly with WGMC Jazz 90.1), AllAboutJazz writer, Green Party candidate, labor organizer, and podcaster Jason Crane launched a new jazz interview podcast this week. Called The Jazz Session, the podcast features conversations with musicians, writers, broadcasters, podcasters and more. Jason has been doing jazz podcasts over at The Jason Crane Show for awhile. Jason is a good interviewer who likes to bring listeners behind the scenes and into the lives of the people who play and love jazz. I've been meaning to add links to him for awhile.  May need to add a new category of links . . . jazz podcasts?

I listened to the inaugural show featuring tenor saxophonist Grant Stewart, who recently appeared here at the Strathallan with Bob Sneider, Mike Melito, et al.  I saw one of Stewart's sets at the Strath and listening to Jason's interview provided me an in depth view of the artist and his musical background. The Jazz Sessions podcast is also available on iTunes and where other fine podcast products are found.  It's going in my iPod Nano.

This post was originally published on JazzRochester.

Tag . . . You're It! Five Reasons I Do This

My friend and business associate Yvonne Divita over at Lip-Sticking has tagged me to let you all know "5 Reasons Why I Blog."  It's my first opportunity to participate in this now familiar meme that I've seen around the blogosphere. It's good for "business" and I'd love to share why I do this with my readers, so let's get going:

  1. I blog because I've always been about making connections between people and information that they find of interest or need to better their lives. That's one of my biggest strengths at the day job and a big part of what drove me into the law and publishing.  The development of blogs and other social media has fascinated me as it gave us mere mortals tools and the opportunity to publish to the world,  and share the connections we make with others.
  2. As a result of blogging, I realize that one of the reasons I blog is the connections it helps me make WITH people, real people in the real world, whom I likely never would have met, much less formed a relationship.  Those who have read these pages for a while have first hand knowledge of these connections.  If I didn't blog, I would never had much of an opportunity to meet Jimmie Highsmith Jr. and Wycliffe Gordon, much less see them record tracks for Jimmie's new album, other than going up after a gig to lamely say "great set!" If I didn't blog, I wouldn't have met Seth and Ken, my Rochester International Jazz Festival blogging compadres (and others the links to whom are or will be revealed in these pages).  Also, I wouldn't know a number of those in the jazz music scene here.
  3. I blog because I find this tool and reading the blogs of others a wonderful way to find information that feeds  my wide universe of interests, of which jazz is only one, and to expand my mind in ways I couldn't have imagined. By reading blogs that interest me and see who they are reading, I'm  building a network of reliable sources of information that sustain my work and my everyday life.
  4. I blog because it gives me a platform to highlight my skills and build an understanding of how blogs can meet the needs of clients and potential clients of the new business in which my wife and I are engaged, as well as the business of our partners.
  5. I blog because it allows me to share my love of jazz and live music, and to use the skills I have to promote it here in Rochester, a city that I'm growing more attached to since arriving in 2002 from Chicago.  It allows me to share information I find out on the Internet relating to jazz with people here and throughout the world (I get a number of hits from around and outside the US).

Plus, it's fun!  Now's the time in all good "tag" posts to say "Tag. . . you're it!" to Ken, Seth, Annie, and  Peter.  You're on....

This post was originally published on JazzRochester.

Jerry Jazz Musician . . . It ain't pretty, but it sure has a lot of information

I've been meaning to link to Jerry Jazz Musician since I found it a few months ago, but it kept slipping off the pile.  It ain't pretty, sort of an online magazine with a wild jumble of links and content about jazz and American civilization. The site was nominated in 2006 by the Jazz Journalists Association for "Best Website Concentrating on Jazz," so they're doing something right.  Go, explore . . . . dig it!

This post was originally published on JazzRochester.