It's the penultimate night of the festival and by this time I'm running on fumes. My choices below are both affected by that and should be taken with that in mind. This evening is complicated somewhat by scheduling and by the presence of the major free shows.
Here are my picks for the eighth night of the Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival, Friday, June 18th:
- I may start out this evening catching some local talent first (see below) and then head on over to the Xerox Auditorium for ....
- Little Red Suitcase @ Xerox Auditorium at Xerox Plaza, 6:30 pm.. This duo mixes improvised music, cabaret and theatre live on stage. The JazzWrap blog described Little Red Suitcase in a recent post The Intersection: Little Red Suitcase, writing:
With the abstract, quirky beauty of Robyn Hitchcock mixed with the delicate romanticism of Blossom Dearie, Jane Siberry and Kate Bush and a last dash of early Kronos Quartet, Denmark's, Little Red Suitcase is a blast of refreshing cool air in 2010. Hard to categorize, Little Red Suitcase span the spectrum of jazz, alternative and avant garde. Utilizing unfamiliar song structures and vocal dynamics, the duo layer their music with delicate touches of both improvisation and straight forward emotion--all resulting in an amazingly interesting and different listening experience.Although I'm sure they're quite different, I am connecting Little Red Suitcase in my mind with midaircondo, also a female duo who layered their sounds and used visual and other elements as well. Not sure whether they're here as a duo or with a band as seen in video from last year's Copenhagen Jazz Festival (there's also a video of them as a duo from the same festival). There is a website (although it appears to be a bit under construction) and the MySpace page to hear some of their music.
- Bryan Lee & The Blues Power Band @ Roots & Americana Stage at Abilene, 7:45 pm. Like other years, my last couple of nights of the XRIJF often mix up the genres and moods. Moving from Little Red Suitcase to Bryan Lee may cause some cognitive dissonance, but I look forward to hearing this bluesman from NOLA who loves that Chicago blues sound. I've probably seen him before, in Chicago, but when is lost in the mist of time. Lee and the band are also playing in the Big Tent on Saturday. You can find out more on his website and his MySpace page. I've selected a video of him playing Killing Floor in a Wisconson club and at Teddy's Juke Joint in Zachary, LA.
- Booker T & the MGs @ City of Rochester East Ave. & Chestnut St. Stage, 9:00 pm. It's Booker T & The MGs and I'll have a bit of time on my hands. I'll hang with the crowds for a bit, unless there is a major line building for ....
- Jane Monheit @ Kilbourn Hall, ESM, 10:00 pm. I'll end Friday (if I don't go to the after hours) with this singer. Like an earlier group, I saw her sing at Montage a few years ago and will enjoy catching how she's developed since that time. Some standards (or something else, perhaps?) in Kilbourn Hall will get me all relaxed before heading out into the night. Ms. Monheit, as a popular jazz singer these days, has quite a lot of material out there to help you get to know her better, including her website, MySpace and Facebook pages, and of course videos. I've selected a duet with John Pizzarelli on Legends of Jazz last year, and a longer one from 2008 with her singing I Wish You Love & Twisted. Finally, I found a podcast interview of Monheit from last year. There's much more out there, of course.
You might want to catch a show by Joyce Moreno (Max at Eastman Place, 6:15 and 10:00 pm) or the Nils Landgren Funk Unit (City of Rochester East Ave. & Chestnut St. Stage, 7:00 pm opening for Booker T) if you missed them before. Others you may want to catch include Brad Shepik (Montage, 6:00 & 10:00 pm), Gwyneth Herbert Quartet (Made In The UK Series, Christ Church, 6:45 & 8:45 pm), and perennial RIJF favorites Djabe (Verizon Wireless Big Tent, 8:30 & 10:00 pm). Unless you have tickets, by the time this publishes it is unlikely you'll be getting tickets to headliner Jeff Beck (but give it a try if you must). Rochester does love it some guitar gods....
In addition to the great high school jazz groups that appear on the Jazz Street Stage starting around 4:30 pm, other Rochester-area jazz artists (most of whom have a link on my page for local artists) and Eastman School of Music events that will be occurring on Friday include:
- Herb Smith @ Central Library of Rochester and Monroe County, Noon
- ECMS Latin Jazz & Saxology with Jose Encarnacion @ City of Rochester Jazz Street Stage, 6:00 pm
- Gap Mangione Sextet @ The Rochester Club - Viva Italia Series, 6:00 & 10:00 pm
- New Energy Big Band @ Verizon Wireless Festival Big Tent, 6:00 pm
- Po Boys Brass Band @ City of Rochester Jazz Street Stage, 7:15 & 9:15 pm