The "work" week begins and the jazz continues: My picks for June 13 of the XRIJF
D&C's "Jazz Stories" begin for the 2011 XRIJF

If it's Tuesday, this must be my picks for Day Five of the Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival

june 14 picks imageTuesday at the XRIJF includes  some familiar returning names and some new to me...just another night at the festival. This evening will be one that I float through and perhaps make changes midstream (for me, that can also be just another night at the festival). I'm keeping my main picks to 3, but it is not because there are slim pickings. As you will see below there is just too much to choose, at least when you're trying to soak up as much as you can. 

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 for you to explore so you can decide whether you want to join me (figuratively, that is...) during my perambulations during the fifth evening of the Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival on June 14th:

  • The Trio of OZ @ Harro East Ballroom, 5:30 pm (also at 7:15 pm): The Trio Of Oz is pianist Rachel Z ( Rachel Nicolazzo), drummer Omar Hakim, joined by Maeve Royce on bass. Rachel Z has been to Rochester and festival several times before. The trio builds its sets on interpretations of the compositions of a wide variety of pop and jazz artists, including Duke Ellington, Depeche Mode, Wayne Shorter, Joni Mitchell, Judy Garland, Sting, Peter Gabriel, The Killers, Coldplay, Stone Temple Pilots, and Björk. The group is tight. In addition to video on the XRIJF site, you can check them on this additional video from the Langnau festival in Switzerland last year, and a performance of Coldplay's Lost in Edinburg. The group starts early so I may cut out and catch some other stuff around after hearing some of the set. 
  • Phronesis @ Nordic Jazz Now at Lutheran Church Of The Reformation, 7:30 pm (also at 9:30 pm): Phronesis is the creation of Danish bassist Jasper Høiby after graduating from the Royal Academy of Music in London, UK in 2005. The group has been described in a profile in Jazzwise magazine as "the most exciting and imaginative piano trio since E.S.T." However, while there are some similarities, Phronesis has its own sound and these guys have chops (I've been listening to some cuts from an earlier album and the material I have found on the Interwebs and some of Høiby's nice driving bass lines are more similar Avishai Cohen, I think). I found a review from last year on the JazzWrap blog. You can also get your ears around this video of a live performances of Smoking the Camel, Abraham's New Gift, and Eight Hours. You can also listen to some of Phronesis's music on Høiby's site.
  • Marcus Strickland Quartet @ Montage, 10:00 pm (also at 6:00 pm): I'm ending up with a bit of hard bop with saxophonist Marcus Strickland and his Quartet. Strickland has been hailed as a rising star in Downbeat twice in the past few years. With his identical twin E.J. on drum, Strickland has usually opted for the saxophone trio, but for his next project to be released this summer, he's added a piano and will also be playing alto in addition to his usual tenor. To break him and his music down a bit more for you, I've located a 2008 interview on and several videos (although all of the trio), including live at the Falcon, a gig last year at Duc des Lombards, and the Part 2 to the Firehouse gig found on the XRIJF site.  

I've only set up three Club Pass gigs in the picks for June 14th and might use the "extra" time to drop in on some local acts or see some of Béla Fleck & the Flecktones in The Big House (Kodak Hall).Two of the Club Pass gigs on Tuesday involve local jazz artists, including Harold Danko Group at Max (Danko is currently Chair of the Jazz Studies & Contemporary Media Department at Eastman School of Music and had long associations with Chet Baker, Gerry Mulligan, Thad Jones/Mel Lewis, Lee Konitz and Woody Herman) and the Vitale Brothers at the Viva Italia Series at the Rochester Club (by the way, local bassist Dan Vitale pictured in the XRIJF page is not mentioned in the text of the page, which is from Dan's trumpeter brother Richie--here's a video from an earlier RIJF after hours meetup of the brothers). I'd like to catch the Brazilian sounds of Jovino Santos Neto, Paula Gardiner/Huw Warren at the Made in the UK Series at Christ Church, and Curtis Stigers in Kilborn Hall. Just had too much to choose from....

As Jazz@Rochester's main focus throughout the year is to promote and get you out to hear the great jazz talent we have living and working in and around Rochester (you can find some of their links on my Rochester Jazz Artists page), I'm highlighting the local artists appearing on stages around XRIJF each night. I may not  list them in the "Picks", but that's because I get to see most of them throughout the year and focus during the festival on the artists who come from elsewhere (sometimes not only in terms of distance, but also in terms of being "way out there..."). I encourage you to check them out and find out what great stuff we have to listen to in Rochester all year round (and of course, you know where to find out where and when they're playing....). Here are the local and regional artists for Tuesday, June 14th:

  • Mambo Kings @ Central Library of Rochester and Monroe County, noontime concert. It's a block away from my office, so I'll see if I can slip away...
  • High School Jazz Bands @ City of Rochester Jazz Street Stage Presented by The Community Foundation, starting at 4:30 pm.
  • Gabe Condon Sextet (Eastman Jazz Performance Workshop Honors Unit 3) @ City of Rochester Jazz Street Stage Presented by The Community Foundation, 6:00 pm
  • Grupo Calle Uno @ Verizon Wireless Festival Big Tent, 6:00 pm
  • Jon Seiger and the All-Stars @ The RG&E-XEROX Stage, 7:00 & 9:00 pm
  • CNY Jazz Orchestra Directed by Bret Zvacek @ City of Rochester Jazz Street Stage Presented by The Community Foundation, 7:15 & 9:15 pm

Let me know what you're going out so hear on the 14th in the comments, or on the Jazz@Rochester on Twitter or Facebook.

This post was originally published on JazzRochester.


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