9 posts categorized "RIJF 2022"

It's baaack... the Rochester International Jazz Festival comes back to downtown ROC, June 17-25

image from www.jazzrochester.comToday, I joined media from all over Rochester to hear Marc Iacona and John Nugent set out the details of the CGI Rochester International Jazz Festival that is coming back big time after a 2-year hiatus due to the pandemic. Rather than set out everything about the 2022 RIJF here, I'm going to send you to their website to get the skinny and highlight some things about this year's festival. The 19th Edition of the RIJF will run from June 17th through June 25th. You can get all of the details here on the RIJF website.  However, there are a number of items/changes that I want to highlights from today's press conference:

  • It's as big as ever, with 325 shows, more than 1,750 artists, 20 venues.
  • The Club Pass series is full of names you will remember from past RIJFs and new sounds you may not be familiar with. This is as it should be.  
  • There are NO shows in the Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre for the 2022 Edition. The RIJF team used pandemic relief money to make all of the music that would more likely have been set in Kodak Hall to free, outdoor shows at Parcel 5 and the MLK Park. There will be 27 free shows throughout the RIJF, including the following headliners: Chris Botti, Devon Allman Project “Allman Family Revival” with the Dirty Dozen Brass Band & Samantha Fish; guitar virtuoso Tommy Emmanuel, Spyro Gyra, Robin Thicke, Sheila E., Booker T Presents: A Soul Stax Revue, New Power Generation (Prince's band), G Love & Special Sauce, The Bacon Brothers, and Wynonna Judd.
  • The merch and party tent at the end of Jazz Street (Gibbs) will move to Parcel 5, opening up Gibbs for the music at the Jazz Street stage.
  • The Global Jazz Now series returns to the Glory House International church (formerly the Lutheran Church of the Reformation).
  • There will be a new Club Pass venue at the Hyatt Regency Grand Ballroom, which will feature the music found at the Squeezer's stage in early festival.
  • The Little Theatre and the Theater at Innovation Square (the Xerox Auditorium) return as Club Pass venues. 
  • The nightly jam sessions will return in the Hyatt Regency in the space that was formerly Morton's Steakhouse, with parking free in the South Avenue Garage after 10:00 pm.
  • The RIJF will sponsor two events during the festival to celebrate Juneteenth (June 19th), celebrating when the enslaved people of Texas learned of their freedom at the end of the Civil War on June 19, 1865, including the 6th Annual ROC Juneteenth 5K Run/Walk and the Greater Rochester Martin Luther King Jr. Commission Celebration of Freedom. 
  • Although there will be some UK artists elsewhere in the festival, the series at Christ Church will not return this year. 

You can also get all the RIJF goodness by downloading the official RIJF App (available for iOS and Android in April (I'll try to let you know when it is available).  

A limited number of Club Passes are available at the RIJF website, both in the 3-day and for all 9 days versions.  Those hardy souls who purchased Club Pass for the 2020 festival are automatically honored for the 2022 RIJF (and since the Club Pass is a value ticket for a festival series, not a ticket to a specific show on a specific date, if you cannot use your pass in 2022 we are pleased to extend the pass’s full value to 2023).

The line up for the Club Pass series, which is where I focus my time and listening, is full of jazz musicians and groups that I've heard before and those who will be new to me.  It will be a time of music discovery for me and (I hope) for you.  See you on Jazz Street in June!

This post was originally published on JazzRochester.

JazzRochester at the RIJF: My picks for June 25th

Ellinghuntersuperblue_webAfter a two year hiatus from the Rochester International Jazz Festival, getting such a large dose of live jazz and other music is a real tonic for my soul and I'll probably try to soak as much up as possible on this last night. I know ... it'll be back and even good things must come to an end.  On the last night of the RIJF here are my jazz picks for your consideration:

  • Starting out the night with Kurt Elling "Super Blue" with Charlie Hunter. Back in Chicago years ago, I saw Kurt Elling perform at Andy's shortly after signing to Blue Note with a pick up band of local Chicago jazz guys. I've followed his career as one of the preeminent jazz vocalists since and have seen him perform a number of times.  Like Joe Locke and some other artists, Kurt always brings something new and this outing fits no mold.  Teaming up with the extraordinary guitarist Charlie Hunter to record a socially-distanced album SuperBlue, Grammy-winning Elling goes in a much different direction with Hunter (who co-produced), working with keyboardist DJ Harrison and drummer Corey Fonville from the funk/jazz/hip-hop group Butcher Brown. I've heard the album and am looking forward to hearing them live. Kurt Elling "Super Blue" with Charlie Hunter will be at Kilbourn Hall at 6:00 and 9:00 pm.
  • Next up will be the Sunna Gunnlaugs Trio.  Gunnlaugs hails from Iceland and, while rooted in the sparse and beautiful nature of that land, she and her husband (and drummer) Scott McLemore honed their craft for many years in the NYC jazz scene. She appeared at RIJF in 2012 and 2014. The Sunna Gunnlaugs Trio plays at the Glory House International at 7:30 and 9:30 pm.
  • Next stop after wandering around a bit while storing up some of that live jazz fest vibe for the long winter months, will be Immanuel Wilkins.  As profiled by Ammar Kalia in Downbeat Magazine, "saxophonist and composer Wilkins has established himself as a uniquely thoughtful and empathetic voice in jazz ... [and] weaves lyrical alto lines around the intricate instrumentation of his long-established quartet to produce music that traverses everything from skewed Thelonious Monk melodies to the raw power of Ornette Coleman’s breath."  Wilkins will be appearing at the Temple Theater at 7:00 and 9:15 pm.

Other good jazz choices that I couldn't easily fit into my night included Drum Battle: Kenny Washington vs. Joe Farnsworth in the Theater at Innovation Square at 6:30 and 8:30 pm, the McDonald La Barbera Quintet "Trane of Thought" in The Wilder Room at 6:00 and 10:00 pm, and 3D Jazz Trio in the Spirit of Ray Brown appearing at Max's at Eastman Place at 6:15 and 10:00 pm. 

This post was originally published on JazzRochester.

JazzRochester at the RIJF: My picks for June 24th

Joelocke_webI finally found some time to finish up sharing my picks for the final two days of CGI Rochester International Jazz Festival.  During the festival itself, I focus on getting out to hear the music and being with my friends, rather than writing posts for this blog.  The festival is one of my happy spaces and I try to maintain some balance so it doesn't turn into a job, so focus my sharing about the RIJF through JazzRochester's social channels, including Twitter, the JazzRochester Facebook page, and Instagram (click on the Follow Us... links icons for each at the top of the right panel).  Here are my jazz picks for June 24th at the festival:

  • I think I'm going to start out the night unusually (i.e., not in Kilbourn Hall) by hearing the Parker Trio, which is the first trio outing for Gene Perla, Adam Nussbaum, and Jon Ballantyne, who got together as the pandemic eased in 2021 to record. The conversation between these musicians in that intimate space should be special.   The Parker Trio will be playing at The Wilder Room at 6:00 and 10:00 pm.
  • I'll probably head over to the Temple Theater to hear the Joe Locke Group.  Born and raised in Rochester, Locke always brings something different in the many times I've heard him at the festival, so while familiar it also feels new, all with a reliably killer band backing him up. Joe Locke Group will be at the Temple Theater at 7:00 and 9:15 pm.
  • The next stop on the 24th will likely be the Jonathan Kreisberg Trio featuring Eric Harland and Rick Rosato. You may remember Kreisberg appearing here before with Hammond B3 master Dr. Lonnie Smith, who passed away last year. The Jonathan Kreisberg Trio will be appearing at Glory House International at 7:30 and 9:30 pm.

There are some other choices tugging at me as well on this night, including the Mike Ledonne Trio (6:15 and 10:00 pm at Max's at Eastman Place), Sunna Gunnlaugs appearing on solo piano at Hatch Recital Hall at 5:45 and 7:45 pm, and my Chicago roots are pulling me toward blues master Bobby Rush, who will be appearing at the Hyatt Regency Rochester Ballroom at 7:45 and 9:45 pm.  Who knows where I'll end up?

 

 

This post was originally published on JazzRochester.

While at the RIJF, perhaps select some of our local talent? Yes, you can hear them the other 356 days of the year....

image from www.jazzrochester.comWhile my picks for the RIJF tend to be those who are coming from elsewhere, there are great local jazz and other musicians who gig around Rochester the other 356 days of the year. From the kids starting out in one of the great high school jazz ensembles that play daily on the Jazz Street Stage, to students in the Jazz Studies program at ESM, to working jazz musicians, to nationally-known jazz artists who happen to be living or teaching, there is a lot of talent in town and many of them gig during the rest of the year. In the end, I always catch some as I pass between Club Pass venues or stand in line. But I do make it easy for you to find them by collecting them in one post (and throughout the other 356 days of at the year on this site). Here are the local musicians, jazz and otherwise, who will be appearing at the RIJF this year (let me know if I missed any). 

June 17th

  • School of the Arts Jazz Band, 4:15 pm (City of Rochester Jazz Street Stage presented by the Community Foundation)
  • Hilton High School Jazz Band, 5:00 pm (City of Rochester Jazz Street Stage)
  • Dave Rivello Ensemble, 5:00 pm (City of Rochester Midtown Stage at Parcel 5)
  • Harold Danko, 5:45 pm (Hatch Recital Hall)
  • Eastman Youth Jazz Orchestra with Herb Smith, 6:00 pm (City of Rochester Jazz Street Stage)
  • All In Brass Band, 6:00 pm (RIJF Big Tent)
  • Sonidos Unidos, 6:00 & 9:00 pm (Avangrid Foundation/RG&E Fusion Stage)
  • Harold Danko, 7:45 (Hatch Recital Hall)

June 18th

  • Canandaigua High School Jazz Band, 4:15 pm (City of Rochester Jazz Street Stage)
  • Webster Schroeder High School Jazz Band, 5:00 pm (City of Rochester Jazz Street Stage)
  • Gary Versace Trio, 5:45 & 7:45 pm (Hatch Recital Hall)
  • ECMS Jazz Combos with Bob Sneider, 6:00 pm (City of Rochester Jazz Street Stage)
  • 78 Rpm Big Band, 6:00 pm (RIJF Big Tent)
  • Bob Viavatine, 7:00 and 9:012:00 PM Max DiBenedetto Central Library of Rochester and Monroe County
  • Robin McKelle, 7:00 and 9:15 pm (Temple Theater)
  • Bad Sneakers, 8:30 and 10:00 pm (RIJF Big Tent)

June 19th

  • Brighton High School Jazz Band, 4:15 pm (City of Rochester Jazz Street Stage)
  • Honeoye Falls–Lima High School Jazz Band, 5:00 pm (City of Rochester Jazz Street Stage)
  • ESM Jazz Honors Unit 1, 6:00 pm (City of Rochester Jazz Street Stage)
  • Penfield Big Band, 6:00 pm (RIJF Big Tent)
  • Cinnamon Jones, 7:00 and 9:00 pm (Avangrid Foundation/RG&E Fusion Stage)

June 20th

  • Marvin Williams, 12:00 pm (Central Library of Rochester and Monroe County)
  • Brockport High School Jazz Band, 3:30 pm (City of Rochester Jazz Street Stage)
  • Palmyra-Macedon High School Jazz Band, 4:15 pm (City of Rochester Jazz Street Stage)
  • Eastridge High School Jazz Band, 5:00 pm (City of Rochester Jazz Street Stage)
  • ESM Jazz Honors Unit 2, 6:00 pm (City of Rochester Jazz Street Stage)
  • Brockport Big Band, 6:00 pm (RIJF Big Tent)
  • Ryan Johnson & Escape Terrain, 7:00 and 9:00 pm (Avangrid Foundation/RG&E Fusion Stage)
  • Bill Tiberio Group, 7:00 pm (City of Rochester Midtown Stage at Parcel 5)
  • ESM-RIJF Jazz Scholarships Performance, 7:30 and 9:30 pm (City of Rochester Jazz Street Stage)

June 21st

  • Max DiBenedetto, 12:00 pm (Central Library of Rochester and Monroe County)
  • Greece Athena High School Jazz Band, 3:30 pm (City of Rochester Jazz Street Stage)
  • Spencerport High School Jazz Band, 4:15 pm (City of Rochester Jazz Street Stage)
  • Pittsford Sutherland High School Jazz Band, 5:00 pm (City of Rochester Jazz Street Stage)
  • New Horizons Big Band directed by Priscilla Todd Brown, 6:00 pm (City of Rochester Jazz Street Stage)
  • Gate Swingers Big Band, 6:00 pm (RIJF Big Tent)
  • The Pickle Mafia, 7:00 & 9:00 pm (Avangrid Foundation/RG&E Fusion Stage)
  • Rochester Metropolitan Jazz Orchestra, 7:30 & 9:30 pm (City of Rochester Jazz Street Stage)

June 22nd

  • Amanda Ashley, 12:00 pm (Central Library of Rochester and Monroe County)
  • Webster Thomas High School Jazz Band, 4:15 pm (City of Rochester Jazz Street Stage)
  • Fairport High School Jazz Band, 5:00 pm (City of Rochester Jazz Street Stage)
  • Grupo Ife, 5:00 pm (City of Rochester Midtown Stage at Parcel 5)
  • New Horizons Jazz Ensemble directed by Don Sherman, 6:00 pm (City of Rochester Jazz Street Stage)
  • Prime Time Brass, 6:00 pm (RIJF Big Tent)
  • Jimmie Highsmith Jr., 7:00 & 9:00 pm (Avangrid Foundation/RG&E Fusion Stage)
  • Music Educators' Big Band, 7:30 & 9:30 pm (City of Rochester Jazz Street Stage)

June 23rd

  • Latriste Fulton, 12:00 pm (Central Library of Rochester and Monroe County)
  • Bloomfield High School Jazz Band, 4:15 pm (City of Rochester Jazz Street Stage)
  • Pittsford Mendon High School Jazz Band, 5:00 pm (City of Rochester Jazz Street Stage)
  • ESM Wednesday & Saturday Jazz Combos, 6:00 pm (City of Rochester Jazz Street Stage)
  • Syndicate Jazz Band, 6:00 pm (RIJF Big Tent)
  • Judah Sealy Band, 7:00 & 9:00 pm (Avangrid Foundation/RG&E Fusion Stage)

June 24th

  • Elliot Scozzaro Quartet, 12:00 pm (Central Library of Rochester and Monroe County)
  • Harley School Jazz Band, 4:15 pm (City of Rochester Jazz Street Stage)
  • Gates Chili High School Jazz Band, 5:00 pm (City of Rochester Jazz Street Stage)
  • ESM/ECMS Groups, 6:00 pm (City of Rochester Jazz Street Stage)
  • Greece Jazz Band, 6:00 pm (RIJF Big Tent)
  • Moho Collective, 7:00 & 9:00 pm (Avangrid Foundation/RG&E Fusion Stage)
  • Julia Nunes, 7:00 pm (City of Rochester MLK Park Stage presented by Wegmans)

June 25th

  • Victor High School Jazz Band, 4:15 PM (City of Rochester Jazz Street Stage)
  • West Irondequoit High School Band, 5:00 pm (City of Rochester Jazz Street Stage)
  • ESM Jazz Honors Unit 3, 6:00 pm (City of Rochester Jazz Street Stage)
  • Melody Masters Big Band, 6:00 pm (RIJF Big Tent)
  • Red Hot & Blue Band, 7:00 & 9:00 pm (Avangrid Foundation/RG&E Fusion Stage)
  • Majestics, 7:00 & 9:15 pm (Little Theatre Roots & Americana Series)
  • Danielle Ponder, 7:00 pm (City of Rochester Midtown Stage at Parcel 5)

Additionally, Bob Sneider and Karl Stabnau will be leading the Squeezers Jam Sessions every night starting at 10:30 pm at the Hyatt Regency Rochester's Main Street Gallery, often attracting other artists appearing at the RIJF to sit in for a song or two. 

 

This post was originally published on JazzRochester.

JazzRochester at the RIJF: My picks for June 22-23

Arturoofarrill_webI'm sharing my picks for another two days of the Rochester International Jazz Fest for what it's worth.  For someone who promotes Rochester live jazz, you'll notice that my picks usually don't include anyone from Rochester. It's not because local artists not worthy of attention (I will devote a whole post to the local artists who are appearing at RIJF this year before the week is out). We have world class jazz artists (and some who are likely to become so...) in the Rochester area, so I don't include them in my picks because we all have access to many of these artists the other 356 days of the year. You just have to come to JazzRochester to find out! So here are my picks for Tuesday and Wednesday of the RIJF, June 22-23....

Wednesday, June 22nd

  • Like most nights, I'll start at Kilbourn with the Arturo O'Farrill Quintet. O'Farrill is a  pianist, composer, and educator, who was born in Mexico and grew up in New York City. He began his career in jazz with the Carla Bley Band and has performed with  a wide spectrum of artists including Dizzy Gillespie, Lester Bowie, Wynton Marsalis, and Harry Belafonte. He is the founder of the Latin Jazz Alliance, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the performance, education, and preservation of Afro Latin music. O'Farrill is playing at Kilbourn Hall, 6:00 pm and 9:00 pm
  • Another day, another Finn.  I'll next turn out to hear the Joonas Haavisto Trio.  Haavisto has been playing with this trio of renowned Finnish jazz artists for 15 years and I believe it is their first time at RIJF.  Reading the descriptions of Haavisto music we're in for the usual atmospheric and mesmerizing sounds we've come to expect from jazz artists from the northern European climes.  The Joonas Haavisto Trio will be appearing at Glory House International at 7:30 pm and 9:30 pm.
  • I think it's high time I hear a vocalist and the first of those at this year's festival will be Samara Joy. She has been appearing recently in Buffalo, backed by the Pasquale Grazzo Trio (and will likely appear with them here at the RIJF). Samara Joy is a winner of the 2019 Sarah Vaughan Jazz Vocalist competition. Although just 21, Joy has already performed in many of the great jazz venues in NYC, including Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola, The Blue Note, and Mezzrow, and worked with Christian McBride, Kirk Lightsey, Cyrus Chestnut, and Barry Harris. Joy will be appearing at Max at Eastman Place at 6:15 pm and 10:00 pm.

Thursday, June 23rd

  • Surprisingly enough, my first stop on the 23rd will be to hear the Wayne Escoffrey Quartet in Kilbourn. I have enjoyed his playing the several times I've heard him with the Tom Harrell Quintet, but don't think I've heard him yet as a leader. In addition to Harrell, Wayne Escoffrey has played with the Ron Carter, Ben Riley, Abdulah Ibrahim, Eric Reed, Carl Allen, Al Foster, Billy Hart, Eddie Henderson, Rufus Reid, Wallace Roney and Herbie Hancock among others. Escoffrey and his quintet play Kilbourn Hall at 6:00 pm and 9:00 pm.
  • And again over to the Global Jazz Now series to hear the Jochen Rueckert Quartet. He has played and recorded with  the Marc Copland, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Marc Turner, John Abercrombie, Sam Yahel, Pat Metheny, and others.  There was one line from drummer Rueckert's bio that sold it: "Jochen's deliberate avoidance of formal music education, albeit initially for budgetary reasons, provides a great lack of erudite nonsense in his writing." No shade on the Eastman School of Music. I love watching the budding careers of former ESM students who I saw play in their "infancy" (see the next bullet...). The Jochen Rueckert Quartet will appear at Glory House International at 7:30 pm and 9:30 pm.
  • I'll make my way over to the Innovation Theater to hear Lioness, which is new collective of female jazz instrumentalists with a mission to inspire and educate the community at large by sharing music created by women in jazz, both past and present. There are (and should be) more women in jazz today.  Included in the group is reed player Alexa Tarantino, who graduated from Eastman School of Music a few years back. It's been great to watch her career, playing and composing develop after leaving Eastman and moving into the NYC jazz scene. Lioness appears at the Innovation Theater at 6:30 pm and 8:30 pm.
  • I'll try closing out with the Itamar Borochov Quartet. This is an international jazz festival and Borochov is creating a new musical hybrid by bringing the sacred sounds of Sephardic Judaism of his upbringing to a jazz quartet setting. Saby Reyes-Kulkarni writes that Borochov's latest recording, Blue Nights draws from an array of elements including bebop, rock, pop, Arabic maqam scales, the Gnawa patterns of North Africa’s Hausa people, and sounds that Borochov encountered in a local Yemenite-Jewish synagogue in his native Jaffa, Israel. What is surprising is the way the band manages to introduce changes without disturbing the silken flow of the music." Now that's international...  The Itamar Borochov Quartet will be appearing at the Wilder Room at 6:00 pm and 10:00 pm.
This post was originally published on JazzRochester.

JazzRochester at the RIJF: My picks for June 20-21

Jeremypelt_webI always start these picks posts too late. With the Rochester International Jazz Festival starting this coming Friday, I'm again running out of time, so I will need to kick this up a gear and give you my picks for Sunday and Monday. I had to leave town for a wedding, which put a crimp in my schedule.  But, a couple more like tis and I'll have this done before the RIJF starts 

So for Sunday and Monday, although some of my picks over these two days are well-known to me, most will be new to my ears.  Looking forward to that...

Monday, June 20th

  • I missed the memo, but my initial pick Sammy Miller & The Congregation was replaced in the schedule by the Melissa Aldana Quartet. While I was looking forward to something new, the replacement will give me a chance to hear how Chilean saxophonist Aldana has developed as she moves into the "big house" of the Club Pass venues and arrives at Blue Note Records with her latest album 12 Stars.  The Melissa Aldana Quartet will be appearing at Kilbourn Hall at 6:00 and 9:00 pm.
  • I always try to catch the Finns when they come to the RIJF.  Finnish bassist Kaisa Mäensivu's Kaisa's Machine is described in the NYC Jazz Record as "Energetic bebop that could have just easily wafted out of a hole-in-the-wall NYC bar." They are coming to RIJF directly from playing Smalls in NYC, which is, of course a hole-in-the-wall NYC bar (and a great place to hear jazz in NYC). Kaisa's Machine will be playing Glory House International at 7:30 pm and 9:30 pm.
  • Although I've heard many of the jazz artists with whom guitarist Dan Wilson has played as a sideman or collaborated, including Joey DeFrancesco, Christian McBride, Monty Alexander, Jimmy Cobb, Russell Malone, Les McCann, Lewis Nash, John Clayton, Terri Lynne Carrington, Rene Marie, Sean Jones, and Nicholas Payton. Starting in the church in his native Akron, OH, Wilson's musical identity has been shaped by everything from gospel, blues and traditional jazz through to hip-hop. Dan Wilson will be playing in Max's at Eastman Place at 6:15 pm and 10:00 pm.

Tuesday, June 21st

  • I will be starting out Monday with trumpeter Jeremy Pelt and his quintet. I've seen Pelt perform a number of times here in Rochester, including sitting in with some ESM students after a post-gig cigar at my "office" Havana Moe's years ago. As Ron Wynn in JazzTimes wrote about an earlier album, "Pelt is a technical marvel. He executes intricate solos with ease, plays gorgeous ballads in a tasteful manner, and never lacks flair or sensitivity." He always brings it...  The Jeremy Pelt Quintet will be in Kilbourn Hall at 6:00 pm and 9:00 pm.
  • Swedish trumpeter Oskar Stenmark will be the next stop on my Monday. With a musical legacy dating back to the mid-1700s in his native Sweden, Stenmark's music tries to fuse the traditional Swedish music with contemporary jazz.  The Oskar Stenmark Trio will be playing at Glory House International at 7:30 pm and 9:30 pm.
  • You may be saying, what's with all the horns on Monday?  Believe it or not, I am planning on ending my evening with horn man Nabate Isles. This trumpeter is new to me. Not sure why given who he's played with and the acclaim he's received. Reading a New York Times review of an outing by Isles in NYC in 2018 after release of his album Eclectic Excursions sealed it for me as one of the pieces his quintet did was described as a "a trippy, motivic original composed around a set of 12-tone harmonies from Alban Berg’s experimental opera, 'Wozzeck'." Not that he will be playing that at his set at the RIJF, but that he composed it at all compelled a listen for me. Isles will be playing at Max's at Eastman Place at 6:15 pm and 10:00 pm
  • While I usually only hit three shows a night, I may also try to hoof over to hear Peter Bernstein after Oskar. I've heard Bernstein play several times, with a special treat being the organ trio he was in with Larry Goldings and Bill Stewart, but not as a leader. Plus, I just must leaven the trumpets with some guitar. Bernstein will be playing at the Innovation Theater at 6:30 pm and 8:30 pm.
This post was originally published on JazzRochester.

JazzRochester at the RIJF: My picks for June 19, 2022

Ravicoltrane_webAt the Rochester International Jazz Festival you are often confronted with many options, pulling you in different directions musically, but you do have to choose. Some of these choices are imposed on you by timing, some by lines, some by the kismet of hearing raves about an artist you didn't even have on your radar. The third evening of the RIJF is one of those nights. My picks on this night are mostly focused on seeing some artists who I haven't heard, plus one I've heard multiple times.  For the third night, coincidentally, they are all trios....

  • As I do many nights at the RIJF, first stop will be the Kenny Werner Trio at Kilbourn Hall.  I love hearing trios in Kilbourn Hall with its acoustics allowing you to hear all the intricacies woven by trio artists as they play off each other. Kenny Werner, whose career spans over 40 years as a player, leader, and educator, and his trio are known for that. The Kenny Werner Trio will be playing at Kilbourn at 6:00 pm and 9:00 pm.
  • I hope to also hear the Ravi Coltrane Freedom Trio. Ravi Coltrane is the son of John Coltrane and Alice Coltrane. He has both followed his father's (and mother's) giant footsteps and forged new paths for himself, probably incorporating more of his mother's approach to music, but his father's instrument (he was only 2 years old when is father died). If I can make the timing work and get to Innovation Theater for this concert, it'll give me a chance to see how smaller acoustic groups sound after it's recent renovations.
  • I may also hear the Bill Frisell Trio. Frisell has played the RIJF something like 8 times.  I've heard most, if not all of Frisell's appearances at the festival. One reason I keep going back is that Bill Frisell brings something different every time. Frisell is appearing at the Temple Theater
  • However, because I've heard Bill Frisell so many times, I may instead work in hearing the Dutch trio Under The Surface for something completely different as the trio, which spans 3 generations, are said to have a improvisation language that combines jazz, folk, ethnic and electronic music. Anyone who reads this blog knows that I enjoy challenging my ears and often found those challenges at the Nordic Jazz Now series. Unfortunately, one of the effects of the pandemic apparently was to thin out the artists from that series, often whom were appearing in the U.S. for the first time at the RIJF. Under The Surface will be appearing at the newly-christened Global Jazz Now Series at the Glory House International church (formerly the Lutheran Church of the Reformation) at 7:30 pm and 9:30 pm.

Given that three seems to be the theme here, I expect I'll have to make some choices.  So what else is new at the RIJF.

This post was originally published on JazzRochester.

JazzRochester at the RIJF: My picks for June 18, 2022

Ranky Tanky bandThe second day of the Rochester International Jazz Festival presents new sounds and some sounds that will be more like comfortable shoes.  While I've selected three that I can see during the night, as always I will be open to have my ears lead me elsewhere.  Here's my thoughts on what I'm going to try to hear on the second day of the RIJF:

  • My first stop is likely to be Ranky Tanky.  You might think that Ranky Tanky is what I'm talking about above, but think again.  While this Charleston, SC quintet mines the rich musical heritage of the Gullah culture, the members of the band deep jazz roots as well. Their first album climbed to #1 on several jazz charts. The term “Gullah” originates from West Africa and means “a people blessed by God.” Apparently, “Ranky Tanky” translates loosely as “Work It,” or “Get Funky!” This is precisely the reason I keep coming back as I get the chance to hear music that broadens my perspective (and I like funky...). Ranky Tanky will be hitting the stage at Kilbourn Hall at 6:00 pm and 9:00 pm.  They will also be performing at the new venue at the Hyatt Regency Rochester Ballroom on Sunday, June 19th at 7:45 pm and 9:45 pm.
  • I believe I'll head over to hear the Champian Fulton Trio. I heard only part of her last set at the 2015 RIJF, and I believe she was playing solo. Fulton mines the standards and has performed with jazz royalty such as Lou Donaldson, Frank Wess, Scott Hamilton, Buster Williams, and Louis Hayes. Champian Fulton Trio will be playing at 6:30 pm and 8:30 pm at the Innovation Theater. She will be playing solo piano on June 19th at Hatch Hall at 5:45  pm and 7:45 pm.
  • I plan on closing the night out with the Tiberi & Garzone Quartet. I'm not sure whether this will be the comfortable shoes or new sounds. Veteran jazz saxophonist George Garzone is the creator of the triadic chromatic approach, and many saxophonists I enjoy have studied with him (including Joshua Redman, Seamus Blake, Danilo Perez and drummer Antonio Sanchez). Garzone is joined by Frank Tiberi, who is a reed all-star who has played with the masters since 1969 when he started in Woody Herman band, ultimately leading the group since 1987. The Tiberi & Garzone Quartet will be appearing at the Montage Music Hall at 6:00 pm and 10:00 pm. 

The shows in my "back pocket" might be Gary Versace Trio (where/when) and some fun with Dwayne Dopsie & Zydeco Hellraisers (where/when).  While I'm unlikely to go out for the Devon Allman Project, I might sneak over for the Dirty Dozen Brass Band who open for it...

 

This post was originally published on JazzRochester.

JazzRochester at the RIJF: My picks for June 17, 2022

TheCookers_webYes, 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.
  • I also plan on catching Bahamian trumpeter Giveton Gelin, a rising young player and composer. Listening to some cuts from his debut album True Design, I think it will be a great way to cap off the first night of the festival. Gelin will be appearing at Max at Eastman Place at 6:15 pm or 10:00 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.
This post was originally published on JazzRochester.