It's easy on East tonight at the XRIJF ....
And now for something completely different on Monday at the XRIJF....

A light night for me on Day 3 of XRIJF, but not light on music

Nils Berg CinemaScope

As I noted before, I gave my blistered foot a rest last night, but still got in a lot of great music. Started at the 4 pm premiere of the new Lyric Theatre venue on East Ave with Joey Alexander. As the Democrat & Chronicle's Jeff Spevak noted last night, you really don't need to add "11-year old" in front of his name as the kid plays jazz piano like a seasoned veteran many decades beyond his years. His playing of Thelonious Monk's challenging Epistrophy was off the hook. Myself, Spevak and the crowd of @1000 were having a bit of trouble keeping our jaws from hitting the high pews of the former Christ Scientist church. I'm really looking forward to the music, including jazz, that we hear that XRIJF promoters John Nugent and Marc Iacona are intending to program throughout the year in this hall and in the smaller theatre that sits behind it.

After resting a bit at my East Ave. haunt Moe's, I managed to get in and get a seat pretty quickly for Kneebody's 1st set at Max. This band's members are familar with Rochester as they met while studying at the Eastman School of Music. Their high energy and eclectic set of originals written by members of the band (both there and absent) was a highlight.

My final stop on Sunday night was at the Lutheran Church of the Reformation's Nordic Jazz Now to check out Nils Berg's CinemaScope project. This idea really captures the essence of both this series and of the XRIJF. An outfit of musicians from Sweden playing their first gig in North America (other than the bassist, who was in the previous two bands in the church) improvising over video captured from YouTube and Vimeo from all over the world, from an Afghani boy singing, to a banjo player from Maryland, to music and dancers from Chennai in Southern India and beyond. As the early show at the church is in the middle of the schedule, there is often a large exodus during the set, but CinemaScope was clearly captivating the audience, who gave the band a rousing standing O at the end of the set.

I then caught a bit of the Made in the UK Series group Brian Molley Quartet at Christ Church before deciding to go back to my haunt for a nightcap and head home. Before heading home, however, I stood with a large group of people in the park at Christ Church watching the mesmerizing lights of the RoCo art gallery's presentation of Cubes, an interactive light sculpture using technology developed by Alexander Green and Symmetry Labs. The LED lights that were embedded in metal cubes stacked about 15 feet hight were connected via this technology to (what else) techno music being "spun" on the computer.


This post was originally published on JazzRochester.


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