Let's get this party started ... My picks for June 10th of the Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival
Here's the first of nine posts in which I'll outline my "itinerary" for the nine days of the Tenth Anniversary version of the Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival. As I noted in the kickoff post for this year's coverage, I encourage you to add your thoughts on each night's choices, as well as your own choices, in the comments on the post itself or on Twitter and Facebook (although I request some degree of civility please). Just remember that I fully subscribe to RIJF musical director John Nugent's favorite chestnut: "It's not who you know, it's who you don't know..."
The links below on the artists' name in bold will take you to the artist's page on the XRIJF site. Where available, I've mined a few additional sources and video of the artists from the Interwebs to help you decide whether you want to join me (figuratively, that is...). I'll add a set of links to these posts in the right panel under the XRIJF logo after I get a couple published.
So on June 10th, the first day of the Tenth Anniversary of the Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival, the following gigs will be where you'll probably find me (but not necessarily...):
- Kevin Eubanks @ Kilbourn Hall, 6:00 pm (also at 10:00 pm): After years as the band leader (and designated laugh track) of the Tonight Show, which he left about this time last year, Kevin Eubanks is back on the road supporting his 2010 disc Zen Food (Mack Avenue). He has played with icons including McCoy Tyner, Art Blakey, Roy Haynes, Dave Holland and Ron Carter. Kevin's concert at XRIJF in Kilbourn Hall will be one of the ones filmed by WXXI. This is the first time in a few years that I will be going back to my "roots" and starting the festival in Kilbourn (that was my pattern for years). For some more insight into Eubanks and his career, check out this interview on Jazz Inside and one on AllAboutJazz.com. Check out Eubanks' channel on YouTube, as well as these two videos of recent gigs at Birdland and Yoshi's Oakland.
- Mark Murphy @ Harro East Ballroom, 7:15 pm (also at 5:30 pm): Born in Syracuse and a graduate of SU, Mark Murphy is a six-time Grammy nominee who has been singing jazz for over forty years, recording 40 releases. Murphy received the nod in the 1996, 1997, 2000, and 2001 Downbeat Magazine Readers Jazz Poll for Best Male Vocalist of the Year and is has six Grammy Award Nominations for Best Vocal Jazz Performance under his belt. For more about Mark Murphy, check out this article in AllAboutJazz.com Celebrating Mark Murphy!, 2nd Annual Mark Murphy Love Fest, Set for Mon. Nov. 15 at Yoshi's (Oakland) from October 2010 and Mark Murphy: Inside the Mystery from 2009. Get the real deal with this 2009 video of Murphy singing Miles' All Blues at Kitanos and with the Misha Piatigorsky Trio in November 2008 at the Blue Note, both in NYC.
- Soweto Kinch Quartet @ Christ Church (Made In The UK Series), 8:45 pm (also at 6:45 pm): Reminding me of Robert Glasper in how he fuses jazz with hip hop and other contemporary sounds, Soweto Kinch is one of the exciting new British artist coming to the Made in the UK Series at XRIJF. Kinch is described as a "jazz-hip hop alchemist" in a review of his most recent disc The New Emancipation in the JazzWrap blog, which later decided the CD was one of the best of 2010. To dive a bit deeper, check out Nate Chinen's 2005 profile in JazzTimes, a concert review from December 2010 in the jazzbreakfast blog, a profile The Pride of Birmingham in the UK's The New Black magazine, and a 2004 interview in JazzNation v. 2.0: The Best of British Jazz site. For some sights and sounds, there is a short documentary Jazz Is Gangster, and live sets at Duc des Lombards and another documentary with the group live in Birmingham.
- Matt Wilson Arts & Crafts @ Montage, 10:00 pm (also at 6:00 pm): The drummer Matt Wilson has been an integral part of bands led by Joe Lovano, John Scofield, Charlie Haden, Lee Konitz, Bob Stewart, Denny Zeitlin, Ron Miles, Marty Ehrlich, Ted Nash, Jane Ira Bloom and Dena DeRose and has performed with a wide variety of jazz greats, including Herbie Hancock, Dewey Redman, Andrew Hill, Bobby Hutcherson, Elvis Costello, Cedar Walton, Kenny Barron, John Zorn, Marshall Allen, Wynton Marsalis, Michael Brecker, Pat Metheny, Bill Frisell and Hank Jones. Wilson has appeared on 250 CDs as a sideman and has released 9 as a leader for Palmetto Records as well as co-leading 5 additional releases. He was featured on the covers of both Downbeat and JazzTimes magazines in November 2009 and for five years voted #1 Rising Star Drummer in the Downbeat Critics Poll. In 2010, the readers of JazzTimes recently chose him as one of the top 4 drummers in the 2010 Readers Poll. All I know is that his previous RIJF appearance at Montage was one of my surprise musical finds that year (further enhanced in 2009 by catching him and his Quartet live at the Green Mill in Chicago). To get some more on him, check out Jason Crane's podcast interview of Wilson on The Jazz Session and a 2010 post about a gig at the Artist Quarter in the Jazz Police blog, as well as videos of Matt Wilson's Arts & Crafts live at that same AQ gig, at the 2008 Monterrey Jazz Festival, and at the 2007 Elmhurst Jazz Festival.
If I can somehow fit it in, I'll catch some of the old school of Mingo Fishtrap at the Jazz Street stage on Gibbs, perhaps only in working my way through the crowd to get from one venue to another.
Additionally, as this blog exists to highlight the great jazz talent we have here and around Rochester, I'm also going to be highlighting the local and regional artists for each day. You can find some of their links on my Rochester Jazz Artists page):
- Rochester Area High School Jazz Bands @ City of Rochester Jazz Street Stage Presented by The Community Foundation, 4:30 and 5:15
- Bob Sneider & Friends @ Verizon Wireless Festival Big Tent, 6:00 pm
- Vince Ercolamento Quartet @ The Rochester Club (Viva Italia Series), 6:00 pm
- Filthy Funk @ RG&E-Xerox Stage, 7:00 & 9:00 pm (this is a new stage in the parking lot on East and Chestnut next to the RG&E building that will be having free music by local and regional artists).
So whattayawaitinfor? Let me know what you think! If not, I hope to see you on Jazz Street....