JazzRochester at the 2023 RIJF: My picks for June 27th
JazzRochester at the 2023 RIJF: My picks for June 29th

JazzRochester at the 2023 RIJF: My picks for June 28th

JUNE28.CHRISTIAN.SANDS2Wednesday at the Rochester International Jazz Festival will, like most nights be an eclectic mix for me. Just the way I like it.  It was hard to pick the three I can possibly make, but they will be among the following five artists/groups. You do you, but you may want to take your ears to wrap them around one or more of these:
  • At the RIJF over the years, I've watched Christian Sands rise from a young sideman to the likes of Christian McBride and others, to a (still young) leader and composer. One of the songs on Sands' recent CD Be Water, an introspective piece that included strings, was nominated for Best Instrumental Composition at the 2021 Grammy Awards. The title actually refers to (and the CD includes) a quote from Bruce Lee: "Empty your mind. Be formless. Shapeless. Like water. You put water into a cup, it becomes the cup. You put water into a bottle, it becomes the bottle. You put it in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Water can flow, or it can crash. Be water, my friend.” Sands is a brilliant pianist and his compositions range from the quiet stillness implied by the title of his album to more driving tempos so, like water, Sands' music can flow or crash. He is likely to bring some killer players to accompany him to the Kilbourn stage, where the Christian Sands Trio will be appearing at 6:00 pm and 10:00 pm.
  • Trumpeter Ralph Alessi's This Against That is being brought to this year's RIJF, which features some of NYC's most exploratory musicians including veteran bassist Drew Gress, pianist and M-BASE member Andy Milne, and drummer Mark Ferber. The music of This Against That is full of influences from jazz to contemporary classical, and highlights the interplay between the instruments. Alessi's trumpet will resonate around the sanctuary, as brass instruments tend to, adding dimensions to the interplay of instruments that should beautifully fill that space. Ralph Alesia’s This Against That will be filling the sanctuary at Christ Church at 7:30 pm and 9:30 pm. 
  • The Bossa Nova Wave with Diego Figueiredo & Ken Peplowski will explore the famous album Jazz Samba, the album by Stan Getz and Charlie Byrd released by Verve Records in 1962 that launched the Bossa Nova craze in North America including crossover hits like One Note Samba and Desafinado. Both of these musicians are at the top of their game and It will be a treat in the intimate space of the Montage Music Hall, where guitarist FIguieiredo and reedman Peplowski are playing at 6:00 pm and 10:00 pm. They will also be playing the next evening in the even more intimate Hatch Recital Hall at 5:45 pm and 7:45 pm.
  • If you're jonesin for a bit of the Hammond B3, you can't go wrong with the Akiko Tsuruga Organ Group, who will be appearing at the Hyatt Regency Rochester Grand Ballroom at 7:45 pm and 9:45 pm, or Catherine Russell, a vocalist who mines the history of jazz and blues to explore anew and has appeared before adoring RIJF audiences 7 times in the past and will be playing at the Theater at Innovation Square at 6:30 pm and 8:30 pm.
This post was originally published on JazzRochester.


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