Yes, me and my alter ego JazzRochester, along with some good friends from out of town, will be hitting the 2022 CGI Rochester International Jazz Festival, coming June 17th through the 25th. All 9 days, baby! I'm going to try to put out some relatively short posts on my choices for this year's RIJF. While there are few "bucket list" concerts this year, that's not a bad thing in my book. I've seen plenty of bucket list jazz artists and groups over the years of attending the festival (and elsewhere). I keep going back to Music Producer John Nugent's oft repeated adage . . . "It's not who you know, it's who you don't know." It's that possibility of discovery that often makes this festival for me. While I do have some favorites, you will see me trying to stretch it a bit across the nine days. So, my initial thoughts on the first night of the 2022 RIJF are:
The Cookers are Billy Harper, Cecil McBee, George Cables, Eddie Henderson, and Billy Hart, a septet of veteran jazz players, all leaders of their own bands, who jazz critic Nate Chinen calls a "dream team of forward-leaning hard-bop". They are touring again after recording their sixth album as a group, Look Out! (Gearbox). Here's Ted Panken's profile in Downbeat to get some more about this super-group. The Cookers are likely going to live up to their moniker and blow the roof off Kilbourn Hall at 6:00 pm and 10:00. pm.
Depending on my companions' thoughts on the matter, I may catch the virtuosity of the California Guitar Trio, who I saw in the 2009 edition of the RIJF, and who will be playing at the Innovation Theater at 6:30 pm and 8:30 pm. However, at the moment I'm leaning toward finally catching the country swing of the Hot Club of Cowtown, I group I've managed to miss the 3 times they've been at the fest, most recently in 2017. They sound like a lot of fun. This year is their 25th anniversary as a band. Hot Club of Cowtown be at the RIJF Big Tent at 8:30 pm or 10:00 pm. They'll also be at the new venue at the Hyatt Regency Rochester Ballroom on the 18th at 7:45 pm and 9:45 pm.
As sh*t sometimes happens, I always try to have a few alternatives in my back pocket for the night, which on the first night might be the Lew Tabackin Trio, who will be appearing in the Wilder Room at 6:00 and 10:00 pm, and jazz vocalist Tessa Souter, who will be appearing at the Glory House International Global Jazz Now Series (the former Lutheran Church of the Resurrection), at 7:30 and 9:30 pm. However, who knows, I may end up somewhere else altogether . . . .
I'll take a break to send out the local listings post tomorrow, but look for these fairly often over the next week.