"Finale" of last year's RIJF on WXXI tomorrow, hosted by Tom Hampson
As we count down to the festival . . . it's time for the jazz in town before RIJF

My festival plans for June 16th, Day Five of the XRIJF

XRIJF logoThere are a couple of "must sees" for me on Day Five of the Rochester International Jazz Festival. Here's how my Tuesday, June 16th seems to be working out for me:

  • I'm heading into Kilbourn Hall at 6:00 pm to catch the Dafnis Prieto Sextet. This young Cuban-born drummer has had a major effect on jazz and Latin music and I can't get enough of Afro-Cuban jazz, traditional Latin music and other Latin jazz. On top of that, this guy tears it up on drums. While you wouldn't know it from the RIJF's page for Prieto, there is quite a lot for you to check out to find out more about him. Here's his website, his MySpace page, and a video of a blazing drum solo from a drum festival in Montreal in 2006.
  • At 7:30, I may head over to the Lutheran Church of the Reformation for Nordic Jazz Now's presentation of Norwegian singer Sidsel Strømnes. Read the material on the RIJF site as her website is in Norwegian (and there isn't an "English" link that I could find).
  • On the other hand, I may mosey into the Eastman and catch some of ukelele sensation Jake Shimabukuro's big night in the Big House (Eastman, of course) at 8:00 pm, appearing there with Carolyn Wonderland. Last year, Jake was a sensation at the RIJF, playing hastily organized extra sets and spending some time at the after hours sets as well (that's the only time I heard him last year), and Wonderland wowed the crowds in her appearance as well. Then again, I may wait until 8:45 and head over to Christ Church and catch Welsh jazz woman Paula Gardiner Trio with Huw Warren.  Here's Gardiner's MySpace page where you can listen to some of her music.
  • The other "must see" for me on the 16th is Lionel Loueke Trio, who I will be catching at Max of Eastman Place at 10:00 pm. This guitarist's music is unique, full of African, blues and other influences. I think will be one of my highlights of the jazz festival.  One reason that I am leaving my "mid-zone" more, shall we say, flexible this night is to gauge the line at Max and make sure I get in to hear Loueke. To give you a taste, check out this video of Loueke doing his thing. See what I mean?

The Rochester International Jazz Festival is full of choices.  There's a lot more every night than what I'm setting out here in this and the other "pick" posts, so check out the entire artist lineup for each night here.  We have to make hard choices (I'm missing someone I really want to see, local drummer Sean Jefferson with a 5tet & Marcus Strickland because he's appearing only at 6:00 and 10:00). Also note that while I'm selecting a time in coming up with my itinerary, most of the venues will have two sets, many around 6:00 and 10:00 pm.  There will be a mix of times in between those two main set times. Some artists are appearing on more than one day.

Again, Jazz@Rochester is on Twitter and I have created a widget, which has its own page to help you follow the conversation about jazz and the XRIJF on that popular micro-blogging platform. For those who want to begin the conversation now, start using #XRIJF as a hash tag (if you're on Twitter, you'll know what I mean) and help me spread the word to use that tag during the festival. If you'd like to access Jazz@Rochester on your smart phone, please try the new mobile site.

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This post was originally published on JazzRochester.


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