JazzRochester at the 2023 RIJF: My picks for June 28th
For those who can't get enough live jazz at the fest there is ... Live jazz around Rochester, June 22-28

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

JUNE29.LionelJUNE29.Loueke& GretchenParlatoAs the Rochester International Jazz Festival nears its frenetic last couple of days, with the accompanying crowds for the free shows on Parcel 5 and elsewhere, in the Club Pass venues there will be some great choices to wrap your ears around on Thursday. Again, you do you, but here are a few options for you to check out:
  • In 2023, twice Grammy-nominated vocalist and arranger Gretchen Parlato and Lionel Loueke collaborated to bring to our ears Lean In, an album that documents their twenty years of connection and partnership as musicians and friends (Loueke calls them "musical soulmates"). Parlato's voice is beautiful, both precise but fluid. Her arrangements are inventive. Born in the West African nation of Benin but long time denizen of NYC, guitarist-vocalist Lionel Loueke uses his mouth to add a layer of percussion to his beautiful guitar work through clicks inspired by the South African Xhosa and other "click" languages and scat-singing. Lean In draws its songs from a wide range, including bossa nova/samba, songs from Loueke's native Benin, an 80s power ballad by Klymaxx, and a cover the rock band Foo Fighters. Parlato and Loueke are appearing at Kilbourn Hall at 6:00 pm and 9:00 pm.
  • Nick Finzer was one of those students attending Eastman School of Music years back who I knew was going to "make it" when I saw him play, heard his compositions, and saw the drive he had. And succeed he has.... After getting an advanced degree from Juilliard, he has really made a mark on the jazz scene. Finzer has been nominated for a Grammy nomination as part of Anat Cohen's Tentet, named a "Rising Star Trombonist '' in the Downbeat Magazine 2020 Critics Poll, and received an ASCAP Young Jazz Composer Award. Finzer has released seven critically-acclaimed albums as a leader, the most recent being Dreams Visions Illusions, which recently hit the top 10 in the JazzWeek radio charts (not his first to reach that high in the charts). Oh, and he founded a successful artist-focused record label and media company Outside In, which focuses on rising young stars in jazz. The Nick Finzer Sextet will be appearing at Max at Eastman Place at 6:15 pm and 10:00 pm.
  • The music on the most recent album of drummer Mark Guiliana, the sound of listening is built around an eclectic mix of jazz tradition and innovation. Mixed here and there are elements of electronic music rooted in jazz improvisation that characterizes his project BEAT MUSIC! BEAT MUSIC! BEAT MUSIC! Mark Guiliana's collaborators are from a spectrum across jazz and other genres, including Brad Mehldau, Avishai Cohen, Meshell Ndegeocello, Donny McCaslin, Matisyahu, and on David Bowie's final album. Guiliana will be a busy man if he's also doing percussion with his wife Gretchen Parlato and Lionel Loueke when they play at Kilbourn (see above). [nope!] The Mark Guiliana Quartet appears at the Christ Church at 7:30 pm and 9:30 pm.
  • If your preference is aimed more straight ahead, then David Hazeltine Quartet might be a better fit. Pianist, composer, accompanist and educator David Hazeltine has over 35 albums as leader and has collaborated on piano with James Moody, Eddie Harris, Jon Faddis, Joe Henderson, Pepper Adams, Jon Hendricks and many more on hundreds of other discs. David Hazeltine Quartet will be appearing at the Montage Music Hall at 6:00 pm and 10:00 pm. Another option is Ms. Lisa Fischer, who was a sleeper hit with the RIJF crowd last year, or at least that's what I heard on Jazz Street in 2022, so if the above aren't your cup of tea, go see her. Ms. Lisa Fischer is appearing with the great pianist Taylor Eigsti at the Temple Theater at 7:00 pm and 9:15 pm.
This post was originally published on JazzRochester.


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