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Some exciting developments for the Exodus to Jazz Series!

If you've reading this blog for the past couple of years, you'll know that I'm a big supporter of the great Exodus to Jazz series of shows brought to you over the past two years by Jose DaCosta, who brings in top notch artists, both new and established. Jose has made a major announcement about the 2008 Season for this exciting Series and I wanted to share it with you now.

Exodus to Jazz Series of concerts logo After one more show at the VENU Resto Lounge and Club, beginning with the March 14th show, the Exodus To Jazz series will be moving to the Clarion Riverside Hotel downtown! Jose has made the move to accommodate anticipated growth while providing with several enhancements for patrons of the series, including:

  • Free parking with access through sheltered pathways between the garages and hotels.
  • "ETJ Value Packages" will be made available, including tickets to the show and overnight hotel accommodations.
  • Buffet dinner options served by hotels at each show (at a reasonable additional cost).

Jose has also announced the Winter/Spring lineup of jazz and its got both new names (well, new to Rochester) and old friends:

  • February 29, 2008: Harold Danko’s Eighth Quadrennial Leap Year Event, will be the last show at VENU. Jazz pianist and composer Harold Danko will be playing with a quintet of stellar musicians, with guest saxophonist Rich Perry and fellow Eastman School of Music professors Clay Jenkins (trumpet), Jeff Campbell (bass) and Rich Thompson (drums).
  • March 14, 2008: The Freddy Cole Quartet (The Clarion Hotel Riverside). Pianist and jazz vocalist Freddy Cole will be inaugurating the new ETJ venue with Curtis Boyd on drums, Randy Napoleon on guitar and Elias Bailey on bass.
  • March 28, 2008: The Helen Sung Quartet (The Clarion Hotel Riverside). Recipient of the 2007 Mary Lou Williams award, Helen Sung showed us her chops on the piano as part of Denise Thimes trio in a December 2007 ETJ performance.
  • April 12, 2008: Dr. Lonnie Smith Trio (The Clarion Hotel Riverside). Can you say Hammond B3 with a growling (and whispering and everything in between) Leslie box? The good Doctor comes back to Rochester and ETJ with guitarist Mel Henderson and drummer Ulysses Owens. Check out his recent cover story in Down Beat.
  • April 25, 2008: Cyrus Chestnut Trio (The Clarion Hotel Riverside). Chestnut will be featuring tunes from his newest JazzWeek chart topper recording “Cyrus Chestnut plays Evis Presley," with Dezron Douglas on Bass and Neal Smith on drums.
  • May 16, 2008: Bobby Watson & The Live and Learn Sextet (The Clarion Hotel Riverside). Watson a former member and later musical director of Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers from 1977 to 1981 bops into town.
  • May 23, 2008: The Andy Bey Quartet (The Clarion Hotel Riverside ). Andy Bey arrives in Rochester on the crest of his popular CD “Ain’t Necessarily So," which marked his returned to the jazz scene after a 22 year hiatus.
  • The Fall Season: The ETJ 2008 fall season, which will be announced in March, will run from September and through December with shows at the Hyatt Regency Hotel on September 19th and September 26th. I've heard some of the possibles and it is going to be hot!

Jose believes that the new venues represent an opportunity to enhance the live jazz experience for both partrons and artists.  I hope you check out these shows and support this series. Knowing Jose, he's only getting started!

This post was originally published on JazzRochester.


I saw Cyrus Chestnut last May at the Blue Note. He was fabulous. I would love to see him again. I did use the link you have provided to go to his website, but that gig is not on his calendar. Maybe it's too soon, and he hasn't updated. So, I'll check again in a week or two.

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