22 posts categorized "XRIJF 2013"

Rest, Mordecai, rest . . . the end of festival week will never be the same

As you may already know, Mordecai Lipshutz, former WXXI radio host and for Rochester jazz listeners, the voice that traditionally has closed the late night jam sessions during the Rochester International Jazz Festival with "We'll Be Together Again," passed away on Sunday following a long illness.  

Here's his last festival closing performance last year:


A couple more, made available by WXXI:

Friends and WXXI listeners are invited to celebrate his life and share memories this Sunday, March 16 from 1 to 3 p.m. at ARTISANworks, 565 Blossom Road, Suite L, Rochester, New York 14610. For more information, call ARTISANworks at (585) 288-7170.

This post was originally published on JazzRochester.

The song has been sung, another XRIJF ends ... Notes from Day 9 of the Rochester Jazz Festival

It's over. Mordecai Lipschutz has sung the song that traditionally closes the fest. Another XRIJF is over. By the time I found my way to the East End for the last night of the Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival, I had heard enough music from such varied and international sources to fill my head and heart for another year.  Everything on Day 9 was gravy and I just had a couple of spoonfuls although reading some of the other commentary, I wish I had a couple more.

Deciding not to start with Kilbourn Hall (although I love Kurt Elling, I had my quota of singers this year already and have heard him sing over the past 20 years quite a few times). So, a bit later after hanging at Havana Moe's, I started out with pianist Gwilym Simcock in Christ Church. Simcock's compositions and playing invite comparisons to Keith Jarrett and Brad Mehldau among others.  I was sitting close and could see his fingers flying across the keys. While I enjoyed this, I was restless and 9 days of XRIJF had taken enough of a toll that I needed to keep moving. I really enjoyed Jaco & Joe, dedicated to Pastorious, Zawinul and the band Weather Report.

Trombone Shorty's Mile Long Fan Club
Trombone Shorty's Mile Long Fan Club
(Photo by Peter Parts)

I went out on the street and spent some time just drifting, running into friends and XRIJF acquaintances for impromptu conversations, and just people watching (which is one of my favorite past times at the fest). I waded into the sea of humanity who had gathered to wiggle their bums for Dwyane Dopsie and the Zydeco Hellraisers and then headed out to hear the local band Thunderbody and then Monty Alexander Harlem-Kingston Express (the former being a reggae/groove band and the latter connected to Jamaica). Monty Alexander began his set and it soon became clear that he would be playing a straight up jazz set. As the D&C's Anna Reguero notes Alexander's remarkable set was a "huge chance taken by the festival organizers." Presenting jazz at a "jazz festival" should not be a risky endeavor, but I have to agree with Anna. At one of the big outdoor stages on the last night it represented quite a departure from prior XRIJFs and when I left to head into the Montage for my last Club Pass show of 2013 there was a substantial crowd getting into his music; of course no where near the 10,000 or so folks who were a few blocks down the street for Trombone Shorty.

I ended up at the Montage with another risky endeavor at the XRIJF, music that is on the "out" side by Tim Berne's SnakeOil. While there are other venues where this occurs occasionally—the Nordic Series at Lutheran Church of the Reformation; Montage is another—a lot of the music presented at XRIJF, while from locations beyond the standard and played wonderfully by world-class musicians, is not particularly challenging.  As jazz critic Nate Chinen noted in a review of SnakeOil's release on major label ECM in JazzWise, Berne has "embodied a rough convergence" between pragmatism and skepticism, "casting a cold eye on conventional wisdom while endlessly putting theory into practice." SnakeOil is Berne on alto, joined by band mates Oscar Noriega on bass clarinet and clarinet, Matt Mitchell on piano and Ches Smith on drums, vibes and percussion (including what appeared to be a bag full of cymbals on the floor). The music was demanding and uncompromising for both the musicians and the audience. As someone who keeps pushing the envelopes on the music I hear, I hope that XRIJF continues to keep pushing it with bands like SnakeOil. On each piece (and I think there were only two or three) the band played full out, interweaving with each other in structured forms that provided space for more free form playing. All four musicians were playing amost all the time. Sure there were solos, but they were not alone with the others resting or lightly comping; they just arose out of the playing of the whole, which didn't stop. When Berne announced half an hour into the show that "for our last piece, we're going to play..." we weren't sure whether he was joking. He wasn't... A half hour later, they finished. The audience members who remained in the venue jumped up to applaud. Some in the audience, in sort of XRIJF/Rochester tradition, started chanting for an encore. Berne looked at them quizically and said "Seriously?".  And so my 2013 XRIJF ended....

I may have some more posts to wrap things up later. I shared some of my favorites from this year's fest with Jeff Spevak of the Democrat and Chronicle, who added a bit to his review of the final night of XRIJF (thanks, Jeff!). See you on Jazz Street ... next June.

This post was originally published on JazzRochester.

Notes from day 8 of the XRIJF ... There are no notes, just links

Gregory Porter XRIJF 2013
XRIJF Image, Photo by Kelli Marsh

I just had a totally-avoidable mishap in blogging that destroyed a carefully and heartfelt post about my eclectic evening of music on Day 8 of the Rochester Jazz Festival. Instead of saving every so often, I wrote the post quickly and didn't stop to save.  When I went to save, Typepad or my Internet connection let me down and it didn't save.  When I tried to get back to the post, it wasn't there. Anger ... sadness.

Lucky for me there are others covering the three shows, my trifecta, from last night: Gregory Porter at Kilbourn, Youn Sun Nah at the Lutheran Church of the Reformation, and Phronesis at Christ Church. Ron Netsky in City and Jeff Spevak in the D&C have hit all the right notes in extensive reviews describing these three (Ron and I were on the same itinerary, I think; Jeff covers Youn Sun Nah and Porter). 

Due to other commitments, I don't have time to rewrite what I had before heading out for the last night of the XRIJF (I can't believe it is already here, but as usual my body is telling me I'm ready for it to end). This post will have to do. But at least I have my memories of the music (and of the post ... it was a real good one ... really!).

This post was originally published on JazzRochester.

Notes from Day 7 of the Rochester Jazz Festival ... The new normal and finding a way to hear more

As I've reported here in my other Notes posts, there is a "new normal" in the lines that causes some difficulty for us jazzheads who are trying to hear and soak up as much of the music of this festival as possible. Necessary changes to the number of festivalgoers that are allowed inside of the Montage have made getting to that line early more important if you want to be in that intimate setting with the world class acts that tend to play there (by the way, those changes were the result of negotiations with the City's fire marshal and were for patron safety reasons). My "sweet spot" for Kilbourn has eluded me more often than not this year and while if you're in a line all the way to East Ave., you're likely to get in, I have reasons for wanting to get in line early).  If I have "must sees" in both Kilbourn and the Montage (which is sometimes the case, given my musical tastes), my new normal is that I'm going to have to make some hard choices in the middle between the 6 and 10 pm shows. In the end, I may only go to two shows, which in the past was unheard of during the 9 evenings of the Rochester Jazz Festival.  But as I'm saying, that appears to be the new normal (hat tip to Bob [not John],, who runs the Montage venue for that phrasing....) and I'm willing to live with it. When I'm only going to Kilbourn OR Montage in an evening, then a whole lot else opens up. That's what happened on my Day 7.

I was in line for Ravi Coltrane by 4:00 pm, having spent about an hour hanging at Havana Moe's and then thinking "perhaps I should head over to see how the line's doing". When I came around the corner, I saw that it was indeed, by 4:00 pm, nearly 1/3 of the way down the Alley by Java's.  By 4:30 it was on Swan Street. After dutifully (and with the help of some liquid refreshment) whiling away the 1.5 hours in line, I got in my "sweet spot" row and sat down. Ravi Coltrane was joined by the killer lineup of guitarist Adam Rogers, drummer Johnathan Blake (in one more of several appearances at the fest), and bassist Dezron Douglas. Launching into Ravi's composition 13th Floor, which rose up until it boiled over, the group also played a Bird tune Segment, One Wheeler Will by Ralph Alessi that was written for Ravi Coltrane's son, and a new tune The Change off Coltrane's new CD on Blue Note Spirit Fiction (affiliate link). That's at least what I got down in my notes. I should be forgiven my memory lapse as I was transfixed. Coltrane's playing was intense and full of unexpected and lightening fast changes that were deeply satisfying.

Since there was no Montage in my planned evening, I hoofed over to the Lutheran Church to catch Jacob Karlzon 3. Before playing, Karlzon announced that was the first leg of a now much reduced US tour (then saying that the last leg was the second set at 9:30 pm). This was another power piano trio which we've seen before at XRIJF (even in this year's fest), but they were exceptional and I really enjoyed the driving beat and groove of the first one "Running". However, shortly after the second or third piece, I felt the wanderlust tugging at me and pulled up stakes to head out into the threatening skies for something else.

Rudresh Mahanthappa's GAMAK
XRIJF Image: Photo by Marcie Ver Ploeg
Again with the lines determining actions. I had heard from a number of people that the line at the first set by Rudresh Mahanthappa’s GAMAK project had been long and I would need to get there early. I got over to the Little Theatre by 8:00 or so, a full hour before the set was scheduled to start.  While the Little would fill up before 9:15, I ended up first in line (and I wasn't trying to get up front). This was one of the shows I didn't want to miss at this year's XRIJF.  Mahanthappa is touring for his new album of the same name(affiliate link) with Screaming Headless Torsos guitarist David "Fuze" Fiuczynski, drummer Dan Weiss and, in this outing, bassist Rich Brown. I really enjoy arists like Mahanthappa who fuse jazz with the traditional music of India and music of other peoples from around the world.  The music was raw and uncompromising, with torrents of notes coming out of Mahanthappa's alto saxophone and Fiuczynski's double-necked guitar. There were little escape from the searing heat and attack of the playing, with one notable exception being Slendro, which refers to a scale in Javanese gamelan music.  Another Indian-American artist (Rudresh is second generation in the US) is Vijay Iyer who grew up around here and drew me down this path of music discovery when I heard him at Max at a RIJF years ago (an aside, Vijay's parents were sitting behind me in the Little last night). The second set was killing and that would have been enough to just pack it up and go home, but....

I went to Max to see if I could get in and hear some of Carmen Souza's 10pm set. As I walked in, she was singing Soldade, a well known song that I love on my CD of legendary Cape Verde singer Cesaria Evoria, which then morphed into My Favorite Things and finished up with a chant. Souza was a delight. She sings in a distinctive style that worked up and down the scale from gutteral lows to falsetto highs (sometimes all in the same phrase). She had an easy banter with the audience, who was just eating her up. I left Max thoroughly satisfied by the broad smorgasbord of music I had just consumed and ran out into the rain.

See you on Jazz Street....

This post was originally published on JazzRochester.

From chanteuse to organ grinding ... Notes from Day 6 of the XRIJF

XRIJF image (Facebook) of Gretchen Parlato (and Taylor Eigsti
XRIJF Image by Kelli Marsh

My day started out familiar enough ... in line at Kilbourn Hall.  Good thing I got under the large awning facing "Jazz Street" as the skys opened up for a short downpour. I was in line to hear vocalist Gretchen Parlato. I had heard some of her CDs and had heard that other jazz musicians really dug her (which is not always the case with vocalists...), so jumped at an opportunity to hear her live in the great acoustical space that is Kilbourn. That concert hall was perfect for her as her singing is subtlety personified. She breathes the lyrics with a quiet power that carried her voice above her killer trio (Taylor Eigsti on piano, Burniss Earl Travis on bass, and Mark Guiliana on drums), but didn't overshadow them, making her voice just another instrument interweaving with the others. Moving from 1990s band Simply Red's Holding Back the Years, Herbie Hancock's Butterfly, and Wayne Shorter's JuJu, through more of a samba where all were playing percussion and Parlato was filling in the Brazilian drum head rubbing sound and standing there with two percussion instruments involving balls and string that reminded me of the old "Clackers" toy, which was long ago banned. Of course there were more in in her set of 9 songs in the over an hour she was on stage, but that's all I got written down as I began to "lean forward to listen" as Jeff Spevak noted in his review the D&C.

Leaving Kilbourn Hall after 7pm, I was again faced with a Montage 10pm show, which makes choices in the "middle" of the evening.  I found myself with numerous choices in the Clubs and on the street. I went to Christ Church as I thought I could catch some of Soweto Kinch's early set rather than the unlikely prospect of catching part of his 9:00 pm set. Kinch was on my picks as I enjoyed him so much when he was here in 2011, but came in toward the end of his shortened set, catching a beautifuly played piece followed by a freestyle rap based on audience-suggested words. He ended the shortened set by rapping out his URL. I couldn't hit his later performance due to my 10pm "line duties" at Montage. But I have my memories from 2011 ...

After Soweto Kinch finished his set, I floated around hearing some Djabe on the Jazz St. Stage and some of local Jimmie Highsmith Jr. at the LeDestri/RGE Spirit stages before heading over to get into line at the Montage for the organ trio composed of three veteran top-drawer jazz players—Larry Goldings holding down on the Hammond B3 organ, Bill Stewart innovating in the pocket on drums, and the consumate guitar work of Peter Bernstein. Having them play together in Rochester (where Goldings and Bernstein met in their teens in 1984 at an Eastman Summer Jazz "camp") was special as I get the feeling they don't venture out together, so I didn't want to miss their set. They were tight and seem to have a natural ability to lock in to each other's playing that probably comes with years of playing together in NYC at the legendary Village club Smalls. Goldings has a more subtle and inventive style to playing the B3 than others, coaxing and sometimes grinding out different sounds from the B3 than one hears traditionally, which was an extra treat. People walked out of the Montage with big smiles on their faces as they knew they had just heard something that happened only that night and could take that home with them.

This post was originally published on JazzRochester.

Taking my time and floating around... notes from Day 5 of the Rochester jazz festival

Rather than rush down early to get in line, I took my time on Tuesday at the Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival. I came down after 4pm and just hung out at Havana Moe's for a bit before heading out to get something to eat and get to my first venue. 

There was a lot of buzz on Twitter and elsewhere around Anat Cohen Quartet's performance at the Xerox Auditorium, the first stop on my perambulations around the fest.  I knew it would be good knowing her constant appearance on the Jazz Journalist Associations top lists and having heard her music quite a bit. The set was outstanding with Anat Cohen pulling out great licks of notes from her clarinet and, a couple of times, soprano sax. She can be both soul-pulling and playful within the same song and was, especially on an extended "themes and variations" approach to the classic La Vie En Rose. Her quartet, rounded out by Jason Linder on piano, Joe Martin on bass, and drummer Ullyses S. Owens (who Exodus to Jazz fans will note was here in April last year with his band, including XRIJF Friday opener Christian McBride), was locked in tight to her playing (and each others') throughout an hour, which flew by. Many others had the same experience, case in point Mr. Spevak at the D&C. WXXI recorded one of her tunes to give you a taste:


I was going to try to catch at least some of the David Byrne/St. Vincent performance in Eastman Theatre, but apparently now had to get on a list to get into the theatre as media. My bad for not asking... but it resulted in a lot more music (although hearing all the buzz about their performance last night I have some regrets).

After leaving Eastman, I floated around the rest of the night.  First up was Julian Arguelles Quartet at the Made in the UK Series at Christ Church. Although I didn't stay for the entire set, I enjoyed the half that I heard. Arguelles filled the church to its ceilings with his sax, which I think is an instrument that works well in that soundspace.  The sound was contemporary and incorporated a number of influences (some had tweeted that it was free form, but it was quite composed).

Moved from there to the Lutheran Church of the Reformation for Eero Koivistoinen Quartet from Finland. Although lightly attended, the second set was good, with the quartet putting out a beautifully played if not exceptional performance. Although I left early, I was not hearing African influences others had noted. Koivistoinen's bassist got a nasty cut on his hand part way through. I thought he was just drying the sweat off his hands in the sanctuary, which was still quite warm, but then the towel started showing rather large amounts of blood and he ultimately left the stage with the drummer and church staff to see to it. As Koivistoinen played a duo with his pianist while first aid was administered, I moved on out into a light shower that had developed outside.

I ducked out of the rain into Max to catch some of Michael Wollny Trio. Wollny is German and was here with bassist Tim LeFebrve and Erich Schaefer on drums. Wollny is another great pianist with a killer trio, like Rafael Zaldivar earlier this week. He uses all of the piano, reaching in and manipulating strings while playing, which was modern and muscular, with Wollny hunching so low on the piano sometimes that his hair seemed to also be playing keys (he couldn't be getting all of them with his fingers, could he?). Wiped from the last 5 days, I headed home for some very needed sleep to make it through the rest of the week.

See you on Jazz Street.... 

This post was originally published on JazzRochester.

Only saw two, but they were a good two ... Notes from Day 4 at the Rochester Jazz Festival

Day 4 I arrived early as my misses for getting my "sweet spot" in the Kilbourn in the first two days of the Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival were getting tiresome. I thought it might be safe to come after 4:00 pm since it was a weekday, but came at 3:30 anyway.  If I had come at 4:00, I would have just eked into the "sweet spot" on the street before the line turns into the alley between Eastman and Java's. I was in line for the Alfredo Rodriguez Trio. Another of Quincy Jones' protegés (who calls the young Cuba-born pianist "[o]ne of the most prolific and gifted jazz pianists of the 21st century"), I had heard from a number of people, including XRIJF Music Director John Nugent himself, that this was one that couldn't be missed.  He was right....

Alfredo Rodriguez XRIJF 2013 image
XRIJF Photo by Mark Druziak
Alfredo Rodriguez Trio was the best musical experience I've had so far at the festival, especially as I didn't really know what to expect. It was over 1 hour of intense and ecstatic playing by Rodriguez and his band mates that, when it was over, left me buzzing for quite awhile ... wandering Jazz Street and restoring my bearings. Rodriguez attacks the keys and uses the entire keyboard, hunching over it while driving down each chord and key he plays deep into the Steinway grand. At times he unleashes a torrent of keys, just falling in sheets like a downpour during a thunderstorm. Throughout the concert in Kilbourn Hall, Rodriguez was locked into the pocket created by his band mates (I'm sorry, but I couldn't get their names), who provided inspired rhythmic foundations for Rodriguez's explorations. After playing one of his compositions Silencio, he turned a Cuban jazz standard, Vente Anos inside out and created something new. Next Rodriguez introduced electronics midway through (I didn't catch the name of the tune), but he was not using it in place of his playing, but as another instrument while playing even more intensely on the Steinway. During this piece, Rodriguez incorporated a Peter Frampton-style vox tube and synth to get voice into the electronics, but there was no "Do you feel like I do" here. This put others off, I'm sure, but I just saw it as another instrument and voice ... trying something new. Not that one was needed in this intense, thoroughly satisfying performance.... The trio finished with Guantanamera, but of course it was not your (grand)mother's Guantanamera.

After the Cuban music, I had a powerful urge to have a cigar. I heard a bit of the CNY Orchestra and then moved went to Havana Moes to indulge that urge and continue to calm down. Then I went over to Montage to get in line early for Eric Alexander with Harold Mabern, which was another "must see" for me. One of the best tenor saxophonists out there and hailing from Illinois and Chicago (my former home town), Eric Alexander, with his teacher and mentor Harold Mabern, kicked off the second set at the (now again air-conditioned) Montage with a scorcher by Mabern. Although they played a few ballads to let themselves and the audience get a breather, the band was burning all the rest of the time with Alexander drenching us in his rich, soulful sax and Mabern playing big, aggressive chords and lightning fast romps on the keys. Mabern was a hoot. After a exposition on the intelligence of jazz musicians, he decided to sing a down and dirty blues number. John Farnsworth had several drum solos during the set that left the audience hooting and clapping, even half way before it was over.

So, while I missed a third, I gained two very special musical experiences... not unusual at XRIJF and, I think, I'll take it... See you on Jazz Street.

This post was originally published on JazzRochester.

Local guitarist lets you in on a little XRIJF secret ...

Sam Nicolosi dropped this over my transom...

Psst! keep it to yourself, but we're meeting in the "Garden" on Wednesday. That's the day, June 26th, during which the two science guys (and acoustic-jazz guitarists), "Ted Nicolosi and Shared Genes" hit the stage behind the Central Library (that's across the street from the Rundel building). High noon, 90 degree temps, situated in the middle of an enormous heat sink comprised of concrete, asphalt and brick: A "Thermodynamic Scenario" for sure. Ladies: permission granted to bring hats! The guitar necks will be expanding causing the strings to go sharp, the coefficient of friction will rise along the frets, linear speed may be affected and power amps will loose efficiency. Shared Genes

Oh well, that's what goes through the mind of the very first Xerox Product Design Engineer to perform in the "Xerox-RIJF". Yup, sorry to disappoint you, but that's me, Sam Nicolosi, the elder of the duo. In many years of service I have had the privilege to develop mechanical designs and patents for several Xerox products, including the new Xerox iGen Production Printer.

I will be joined by my ace side-man and son, Ted, a guitar virtuoso in his on right. Ted, however, is off in a different science direction, he is a fourth year Biomedical Sciences major at the Rochester Institute of Technology (my alma mater), "premed as they say". So if you have the time and "curiosity', stop out to see us on Wednesday at noon, to see the R.I.T. "science" connection to the Xerox-RIJF. Ladies, remember the hats!

Note from Greg: I would love to have more personal experiences of XRIJF 2013 from the many local artists who are playing. Contact me through the email in the middle panel to get the ball rolling.

This post was originally published on JazzRochester.

From the bayou to abstractions on standards... Notes on Day 3 of XRIJF

I haven't ever had a chance to catch Beausoleil (avec or no avec Michael Doucet) before, around here or in Chicago, and really enjoyed this quintessential Cajun band at Harro East early show. Despite loving that music, I was glad to hear the way that they expanded beyond that and brought in other influences and ideas.  Couldn't keep the leg from moving no matter what they were playing (and it wasn't RLS...). The Harro's sound has really stepped up this year (although this is my only show so far, I've heard similar from others).

I joined some friends to go catch the Sneider Brothers at the Little Theatre's XRIJF venue, which is the largest of their theatres at the complex. The band and the venue was a welcome break from the heat and the crowds.  Local guitarist and Eastman faculty member Bob Sneider was joined by his brother John on trumpet, Mike Melito on drums and the great Gary Versace on Hammond B3 (with Mike Teitelbaum sitting in on sax for a number of tunes). The music was straightahead (with a bit of "schwing," a reference to a story about a trip to Germany by John) and well-played and it was so nice sitting in those comfy seats in the dark and cool of Theatre 1.  I think the Little could be a great jazz venue for special shows throughout the year if they can fit them in and it is definitely a great new addition to XRIJF.

XRIJF Image: Rafael Zaldivar
XRIJF Photo of Rafael Zaldivar by Tim Fuss
Sitting in the coolness and , I found myself not motivated to get up early and go to hear Christian Wallumrod Ensemble at the Nordic Jazz Now series in the Lutheran Church (seems that it was a very interesting set for those who waited to hear it all, according to Jeff Spevak at the D&C, although Ron Netsky has a different opinion over at City). After leaving the Little very hungry, I picked up a Brisket Banh Mi sandwich from the BrickNMotor food truck (by the way, the food trucks are a great idea to include in the festival and have provided much more variety of food available without needing more real estate in the fest). Went into the Big Tent to eat it and watch a bit of local salsa band Ritmo Seis while scarfing down the sandwich. 


Headed over to Max to get a good seat for Rafael Zaldivar. This Cuban (now Canadian) pianist's music was innovative and more abstract than I expected (which is not a problem as I enjoy it edgy). He played with an intense concentration with his trio mates and his trio mates Rémi-Jean LeBlanc (bass) and Louis-Vincent Hamel (drums). In addition to his own compositions included some great reimagining of standards like What Is This Thing Called Love and Blame It On My Youth. I'd have to agree with some of Ron Netsky's comments, who in the post linked to in the previous paragraph noted that Rafael didn't seem to think too much about how he structured his show at XRIJF, starting out with an 18-minute abstract piece (in reality two) in an hour set.  However, it isn't the first time we've heard longish abstract pieces, although most of the time we're sitting in the pews at the Lutheran Church for those. There is nothing that sours XRIJF audiences than when they feel that the performer is not playing for them, but at them. However, I don't think Zaldivar's audience felt that way and most stayed for the whole set and kept clapping out on the down beat throughout another longish piece, after which Zaldivar announced that he might be replacing his mates (sure....).

Overall a great evening out at the festival.  See you on Jazz Street....

This post was originally published on JazzRochester.

The heat also rises ... Day 2 of XRIJF

As the heat rises outside, the heat generated by all these people and great music continues to rise as well. Here's some notes on my second evening at the Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival. I missed the "sweet spot" again to get in line for Dr. Lonnie Smith Trio, but this time remained in line and had a great time listening to the good Doctor hit a groove early and he and his killer trio of the two Jo(h)nathans (they spell it differently, I think) with Jonathan Kreisberg on guitar and Johnathan Blake on drums kept it in the pocket well past the 7:00 stopping time. I love watching him play the Hammond B3 as his face often shows the emotion that the sounds he's creating out of that B3 are trying to evoke. He was having some fun playing with some sampled instruments and sounds, including percussion, strings, film noir sounding music, etc. and working it into the groove.

Photo by Garry Geer

I floated around for awhile, listening to some of Robin McKelle and others who were playing free concerts.  I took a side trip into the Rochetester Contemporary Art Center to finally check out their 6X6X2013 sale. They're trying to sell 2,000 6x6 inch art works that have been created by artists and other folks. Some great stuff in there. Only a $1 to go in and look around (airconditioned, too).  You'll have to check it out yourself, it's right on East Ave.  I walked out of the gallery and just happened to be at the end of the line for YolanDa Brown, who had got some buzz after her first performance. Longest line I've seen for a Made in the UK series show.  While Ms. Brown's music was not my personal cup o' tea, it was very well played and the capacity audience was clearly eating it up.

I left early (much to the delight of one of the patrons waiting to get into the Christ Church for YolanDa Brown) and headed over to Montage for Terell Stafford Quartet.  As in the past, Terell didn't mess around. He and his young band of former students at Temple University in Philly, where Stafford teaches, just ripped into one piece after another. I was lucky to get in as the Montage venue is being very strict about the number of people allowed into the music room at a time. I was in the last four who got inside. Adds another calculus into when and where you go as lines become more of an issue.

As a friend said they'd be there, I headed over to the after hours at the Rochester Plaza Hotel.  The hotel opened up its bar area into the lobby and that has made the after hours much more enjoyable. There's room to get around even when the playing gets hot with artists coming up to sit in and give Bob Sneider, Dan Vitale and/or Mike Melito a break. After XRIJF Music Director John Nugent came in and hopped on stage to play a number, he drew up Terell Stafford and Mike Cottone (well known to Rochester audiences after playing here during his time at Eastman before moving to NYC). Quite a few artists came up while I was there (and I expect after I left as it usually gets the hottest before last call). 

See you on Jazz Street!

This post was originally published on JazzRochester.

One day of XRIJF down, 8 to go... Notes from the festival

Trondheim Jazz Orchestra at XRIJF
Photo by Jim Dolan

A few notes about Friday, the first night at the Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival. Although I missed my "sweet spot" on the corner by just a few minutes (even I didn't think that the line would be around the corner into the alley off Gibbs by 3:45), I got a pretty good spot in line for Christian McBride and Inside Straight. While I stoof there for the first half hour of more than 2 hours of waiting, I started to get itchy.  

First night of XRIJF and here I was stuck down the alley. Then I thought, I saw Christian McBride and a good bit of the band when they were here last year under his drummer Ullysses S. Owens' group's appearance here for Exodus to Jazz. Finally, after finishing my beer to help further my contemplation, I decided to get out of line and get out into the world that is the opening night of the XRIJF. Good decision...

In the end, I found the very small line for NYC saxman Noah Preminger and his quartet, which included guitarist Ben Monder. I had heard some of Mr. Preminger's work and had heard some good things about him, but had resigned him to the "wish I could fit it in" group of my picks. Preminger's music was a great mix of more modern post-bop and some ethereal work on the guitar by Monder was also a treat.  Freed from the shackles of my self-imposed itinerary, I had found something new to listen to.  

Trondheim Jazz Orchestra, part of the Nordic Jazz Now series at the Lutheran Church of the Reformation, was a treat—funny, crazy, incredible musicianship. Finished up the night with Patricia Barber, who as a Chicagoan who I used to hear in and around that great city when I lived there, holds a special place. Her singing and her music were beautiful and quirky, I always expect something different from her and in over 1 and a half hours of playing she and her killer band only played one song from her older albums (it was a request).

This is likely to be my approach throughout the festival.  Although there are some artists and groups that I definitely won't miss, I want to keep my mind and ears open to opportunities to hear something new. See you around Jazz Street...

This post was originally published on JazzRochester.

There's more than movies at the Little Theatre.... Local ROC talent at the Freed Maxick Jazz Tent

Little Theatre image

In addition to being an official Club Pass venue, during Jazz Fest the Little Theatre will have free live jazz under The Freed Maxick Jazz Tent in the Little parking lot on Winthrop Street. Two local musical acts will perform nightly. The Little will have food and beverages for purchase, including Rohrbach, Brooklyn and Michelob Ultra beers. Salena’s Mexican Restaurant is cooking up meals as the official food sponsor under the tent. The Little Café will provide snacks like popcorn and cheese and cracker trays, and will sell Eat Me Ice Cream Sandwiches. Eat me whipped up two special flavors just for us - the Black and White, which is sea salt ice cream with a chocolate cookie, and the Technicolor, which is a variety of fruit ice creams with a sugar cookie. See the WXXI Jazz site for more information.

Here is a rundown of the performances:

  • Friday June 21st 5:30-7:30: Josh Netsky
  • Friday June 21st 8:30-10:30: GRR Band
  • Sat June 22nd 5:30-7:30: Connie Deming
  • Sat June 22nd 8:30-10:30: Annie Wells
  • Sun June 23rd 5:30-7:30: Stoney Lonesome & The House of Lights
  • Sun June 23rd 8:30-10:30: Harmonica Lewinski
  • Mon June 24th 5:30-7:30: Maria Gillard
  • Mon June 24th 8:30-10:30: The Jane Mutiny
  • Tues June 25th 5:30-7:30: Steve Grills and The Roadmasters
  • Tues June 25th 8:30-10:30: Significant Other
  • Wed June 26th 5:30-7:30: The Russell Fielder Trio
  • Wed June 26th 8:30-10:30: Margaret Explosion
  • Thur June 27th 8:30-10:30: The Pickpockets
  • Fri June 28th 5:30-7:30: Josh Netsky
  • Fri June 28th 8:30-10:30: GRR Band
  • Sat June 29th 5:30-7:30: Mikaela Davis
  • Sat June 29th 8:30-10:30 Annie Wells

Drop in for awhile and see some of the local artists who play the Little throughout the year, then come out and see them throughout the year.


This post was originally published on JazzRochester.

You can get jammed up at the XRIJF ... the "after hours" party

GVB Bell imageEvery night of the Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival, after the last concert is over and they're packing up the stages for overnight, some XRIJF patrons who are not yet ready to call it quits head over to the Rochester Plaza Hotel where there is an opportunity to watch (and more importantly hear) music "magic" happen, which can be the result when an eclectic and naturally improvisational group of musicians get together and, at time, imbibe some beverages and are backed by some consumate professionals. 

For 12 years, guitarist and Eastman prof Bob Sneider has emceed and led the festival's nightly jam session at the Rochester Plaza State Street Bar & Grill, usually joined by bass man Phil Flanigan and drummer Mike Melito. Bob keeps the music flowing until last call, even when the artists are not yet "ready" to join in (Bob lines up a talented set each night of Eastman students and amateurs to let them get some experience, and many of them have some real, if still to be developed chops). Festival producer John Nugent, himself an accomplished jazz saxman, has not missed sitting in at the jam session in 10 straight years.

When the magic happens, several musicians from disparate groups playing (or about to play the next day) can create some great musical moments and have at time brought down the house. Musicians from UK saxman Soweto Kinch (pictured here and coming back in 2013), George Benson to Jake Shimabukuro, Swedish saxman Jonas Kulhammar to Wynton Marsalis have all taken the stage.

You need to arrive early to sit or be near the stage, but if they have it set up like recent years there will also be seating outdoors on the patio and the music will be piped out there (at time there is even video). Although it can happen at any time, the musicians playing at the festival often don't start until later (the aforementioned imbibing and, usually, dinner must precede). 

This post was originally published on JazzRochester.

OK, enough with Jazz@Rochester... Where else can I get XRIJF info?

XRIJF logoSo, tired with my blather?  Be gone with ya! (just kidding...)  There's lots of coverage and information out there about this festival.  In addition to the official site for the Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival, there are a number of other media and other outlets covering the fest, including:

I'm sure there are others, but will start with these. Check back as I'll add them if folks let me know. 

This post was originally published on JazzRochester.

Picky, picky, picky ... a look at Jazz@Rochester's 2013 XRIJF

What's Different This Year?

XRIJF logoIn the past I've gone into much detail, over numerous posts, about my pickes for each day of the Rochester International Jazz Festival. I worked pretty hard on those posts as, earlier in the festival's history, there was very little coverage in the mainstream media and, for the artists I thought were notable or was planning to hear, I wanted to provide my readers with more information than was being provided by the festival's own site and other sources.  In addition to the fiasco of last year where in the end I had to do a "mea culpa" post in my utter failure to meet my own goals on the picks, the XRIJF and local media have really stepped up their game over the past few years (and especially this year). Moreover my traffic stats for those posts shows that they were not exactly burning up the interwebs in popularity (thus confirming my own feeling that "who'd care what Greg Bell is planning on hearing anyway").  So this is the only post on my picks this year before the fest.  I am not going to do any wrap up posts for each night of the festival either. Why?  One because over the past couple of XRIJFs I increasingly have changed focus during the festival to listening to the music and having a good time with my many friends and "jazz buddies" (the folks I only see during this nine days in June). Another factor is that while I will be taking half days from work during the festival, my workload at the day job is going to need more of my time than anticipated.

Jazz Street imageSo, what can you expect during th festival? I hope there will be more shorter posts from "the field" during the festival as the above measures will free me up.  There will be a lot on the Jazz@Rochester Twitter feed as I retweet those posts by XRIJF artists and fellow festivalgoers that I think others might want to see. There will be different stuff on the Jazz@Rochester Facebook page. If my readers let me know that they've uploaded a video, I'll add it to the Jazz@Rochester YouTube channel.

Well, here's what I hope to try to hear during the festival.  Using the XRIJF's iPhone (and now Android) app to set up my "wanna sees" for each day and sending myself an email with the picks, I have listed them below. I may or may not be able to work them all in, but the ones listed should be possible (at least for a portion) and there are some that are not even jazz (oh no!). There are usually several others that I'd like to hear each day that are not on the list (but still may be later as my picks "evolve"). Please let us know what you're looking forward to in the comments. 

Finally, the Picks...

Friday, June 21

  • Christian McBride's Inside Straight @ Kilbourn Hall
  • Nikki Yanofsky @ Harro East Ballroom
  • Trondheim Jazz Orchestra @ Lutheran Church of the Reformation
  • Noah Preminger Quartet with Ben Monder @ The Rochester Club
  • Patricia Barber @ Max at Eastman Place

Saturday, June 22

  • Dr. Lonnie Smith Trio @ Kilbourn Hall
  • Terell Stafford Quartet @ Montage
  • YolanDa Brown @ Christ Church
  • Delbert McClinton @ City of Rochester East/Chestnut Stage

Sunday, June 23

  • Louis Armstrong Society Jazz Band @ Kilbourn Hall
  • Rafael Zaldivar @ Max at Eastman Place
  • BeauSoleil avec Michael Doucet @ Harro East Ballroom 
  • Christian Wllumrod Ensemble @ Lutheran Church of the Reformation

Monday, June 24

  • Alfredo Rodriguez Trio @ Kilbourn Hall
  • Kurt Rosenwinkel New Quartet @ Xerox Auditorium 
  • Geoffrey Keezer @ Hatch Recital Hall
  • Eric Alexander/Harold Mabern Quartet @ Montage

Tuesday, June 25

  • Anat Cohen @ Xerox Auditorium
  • Eero Koivistoinen Quartet  @ Lutheran Church of the Reformation
  • David Byrne & St. Vincent @ Eastman Theatre (college in the early 80s... what can I say?)

Wednesday, June 26

  • Gretchen Parlato @ Kilbourn Hall
  • Soweto Kinch @ Christ Church
  • Trio Globo with Howard Levy @ Xerox Auditorium
  • Goldings-Stewart-Bernstein @ Montage

Thursday, June 27

  • Ravi Coltrane Quartet @ Kilbourn Hall
  • Rudresh Mahanthappa's GAMAK @ The Little Theatre
  • Carmen Souza @ Max at Eastman Place
  • Dirty Dozen Brass Band @ Harro East Ballroom

Friday, June 28

  • Gregory Porter @ Kilbourn Hall
  • Phronesis @ Christ Church
  • Youn Sun Nah @ Ulf Wakenius @ Lutheran Church of the Reformation 
  • Hilario Duran Trio @ Max at Eastman Place

Saturday, June 29

  • Kurt Elling @ Kilbourn Hall
  • Torben Waldorff  @ Lutheran Church of the Reformation
  • Tim Berne Snake Oil @ Montage
  • Gwilym Simcock @ Christ Church
  • Monty Alexander's Harlem-Kingston Express @ City of Rochester East/Chestnut Stage

I will also be taking numerous side trips throughout the festival to hear our own local Rochester artists and groups who are playing (there will be a separate post later about that) and the great high school bands that  are playing throughout the festival (great for listening while in line at Kilbourn Hall).  

See you on Jazz Street!

This post was originally published on JazzRochester.

Get some of the backstory with this year's XRIJF artist Twitter list...

TweetFest imageWe've been on Twitter for a long time at Jazz@Rochester, with over 5,800 followers (more every day), and following local jazz artists, jazz artists from elsewhere with a local connection and more than a few of my favorite artists, websites, blogs and other jazz information sources.

There are a large number of the artists appearing at this year's Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival who have a Twitter account. Many of them actually tweet themselves ... really!  Thanks to the XRIJF staff, who kindly provided all the Twitter handles, we have them all (although I'm sure there are more, so please share if you got'em). Click the "tooting Tweeter" (or is it honking...) to the right to check out our Twitter list page or add the XRIJF 2013 Artists Twitter list to your favorite Twitter client (or of course follow it directly on Twitter).

Join in the conversation with your favorite artists.  See what they're saying before and after the XRIJF. I'll be sharing, too, so just watch the Jazz@Rochester Twitter feed (if you want to check that out, click on the blue Twitter bird in the middle column.

This post was originally published on JazzRochester.

Some things will never change, but what's new at XRIJF in 2013?

XRIJF logoWe know that some things aren't changing... It'll still be "not who you know, but who you don't know..." I will still be there all nine days, seeing a growing number of those who are also taking the week off for the Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival. There will again be more artists from around the world and locally (more than 1200 this year), who will perform in 280 concerts (which includes more than 75 free shows). We will probably see an increase in the amount of people from around the globe and across the country milling around downtown Rochester for nine days, up from last year's 187,000. Yes, it will not all be "jazz", but even I listen to other music (across many genres) and there will be something at this year's festival for everyone. It will be nine days of excellent artists and eclectic music.  For me ... both exhausting and exhilirating.

So what's new at the 2013 Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival? Well, let's start with:

  • Jazz Workshops for Aspiring Music Students: This new series of five structured jazz workshops will be hosted by Bob Sneider, Eastman School of Music Assistant Professor of Jazz Studies and Contemporary Media and Senior Instructor of Jazz Guitar, and led by five visiting international musicians performing at XRIJF. The new series is sponsored by Wegmans (a new sponsor).  More details in my post on XRIJF learning opportunities.
  • Free Shuttle Service Added: Throughout the festival a new free shuttle service will be available connecting festival fans with City parking garages and making it easier to get to some venues. The route will include multiple stops. The free service is being sponsored by AAA Horizon Club Tours and Simcona Electronics. The route and schedule will be announced in June. 
  • Free Concert Added on First Friday on East Ave & Chestnut Stage Featuring Dr. John: Dr. John, the universally celebrated living embodiment of New Orleans and its music will perform on June 21 at 9 p.m. with Joshua Panda & The Hot Damned, a rising star in the music world from Vermont will open at 7. This new free concert is sponsored by Wegmans. 
  • New Venue: Getting their feet wet last year, the Little Theatre (Theatre 1) has been being added as a new Club Pass Venue with 18 concerts during the festival. 
  • New Venue Name: The stage at the corner of Chestnut Street and East Ave will be the same, but the name has changed to the RGE-LiDestri Spirit Stage, featuring free concerts June 23 - 27.
  • The Library Series is Back: There will be jazz at noon Monday June 24th through Friday June 28 with local artists Mike Kaupa, Nick Finzer, Ted Nicolosi and Shared Genes, Herb Smith, and Karl Stabnau. 
  • Android Festival App:  In addition to the iPhone app introduced last year, this year the Festival will launch an app for Android users. The iPhone app is improved as well (I'm going to like the feature that allows you to email your favorites). Again, there is a more detail in my earlier post on these XRIJF smartphone apps

What's new on Jazz@Rochester during this year's XRIJF? I really don't know and do not want to be forced into another "mea culpa" admitting defeat in my grand plans for this blog.  As in the past, Twitter will be one place you'll find me during the festival.  I hope to be writing more during the festival as well, but not at the expense of hearing great music or having fun (or annoying my seat/table mates...). Other than that, let's just see how it develops... See you on Jazz Street!

This post was originally published on JazzRochester.

Jazz Around Town: I won't be, but plenty of jazz going on and coming up....

Image: XRIJF

I won't be around town, that is... heading out soon for another trip to Kansas (hopefully free of tornadoes) and some time in Chicago for my 30th Reunion at the University of Chicago.  So what's going on around here?

"Snaps," the first retrospective of images from the Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival opens tomorrow, May 23rd at the Center at High Falls Fine Art Gallery downtown. The exhibit features almost 200 select works of 13 photographers who have covered the festival from 2002 to 2012 , including: Frank DeBlase, Jim Dolan, Mark Druziak, Tom Flint, Tom Frizelle, Tim Fuss, Garry Geer, Kelli Marsh, Peter Parts, Michael Riebesehl, Fred SanFilipo, Don Ver Ploeg and Kelley Yost. More here.  "Snaps" runs though June 30th and is free and open to the public. The Center at High Falls Gallery located at 60 Brown's Race in Rochester, NY is open Wednesdaythrough Friday from 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Saturday from 12 noon to 5:30 p.m. and Sunday 1-5 p.m. It is closed Monday and Tuesday.

I'm going to the opening tomorrow, I hope, along with the Art Loves Jazz benefit at Artisan's Loft too (I managed to procrastinate on tickets and the online purchase option was eliminated while I was trying to checkout).  No I don't get free tickets... It's a benefit for Jazz 90.1. Hope to see you there! Update 5-23: Unfortunately, something came up and I'm going to miss both, but the images and jazz (and, I hope the benefit in $ to Jazz 90.1 radio, will go on).  

So, here are the live gigs I found in and around Rochester over the next 7 days, plus some things coming up in the near future:

Thursday, May 23, 2013

  • Jon Seiger All-Stars Trio @ Market Cafe at Wegmans on Calkins Road, 5:30 pm
  • The Swooners @ Woodcliff Hotel & Spa, 5:30 pm
  • NightTrane @ Bistro 135, 6:00 pm
  • Deborah Branch @ Lemoncello, 6:00 pm
  • Ted Nicolosi & Shared Genes @ Roncones, 6:00 pm
  • Mike Kaupa Duo Project with Mike Conrad @ Monroe's, 6:00 pm
  • Art Loves Jazz (Benefit for WGMC Jazz 90.1) @ Artisan Works, 6:30-9:30 pm (tickets, if available at the door)
  • EROS Guitar Duo @ The Rabbit Room (Honeoye Falls), 7:00 pm
  • Djangoners @ The Little Theatre Cafe, 7:30 pm
  • The Joe Santora Trio with Cabo Frio's Curtis Kendrick & Emily Kirchoff @ Michael's Valley Grill, 7:30 pm

Friday, May 24, 2013

  • Mark Cassara Band @ Bistro 135, 5:30 pm
  • The Music of Ferrante & Furioso @ Yummy Garden Hot Pot (Brighton), 5:30 pm
  • The Westview Project @ The Mendon House (Mendon), 6:00 pm
  • Brent Bond @ Pane Vino Ristorante, 6:30 pm
  • Ted Nicolosi & Shared Genes @ Pultneyville Grill (Williamson), 7:00 pm
  • The Swooners @ Woodcliff Hotel & Spa, 7:30 pm

Saturday, May 25, 2013

  • Eastman Community Music School Honor Recital by Conrad Ziarniak, jazz saxophone @ Hatch Recital Hall, ESM, 2:00 pm
  • The Music of Ferrante & Furioso @ Yummy Garden Hot Pot (Brighton), 5:30 pm
  • Madeline Forster @ Bistro 135, 6:30 pm
  • White Hots @ Pultneyville Grill (Williamson), 6:30 pm
  • Ted Nicolosi & Shared Genes @ Jasmine's Asian Fusion (Webster), 6:30 pm
  • Roses and Revolutions @ Pane Vino Ristorante, 6:30 pm
  • Ryan T. Carey/Tony Padilla Duo @ Lemoncello, 7:00 pm
  • Special Blend @ Woodcliff Hotel & Spa, 7:30 pm
  • Annie Wells @ Litttle Theatre Cafe, 8:30 pm

Sunday, May 26, 2013

  • Rhythm Dogs @ Schooner's Riverside Pub 70 Pattonwood Dr., Rochester, 3:00 pm
  • Bill Slater @ Woodcliff Hotel & Spa, call for info

Monday, May 27, 2013

  • Sofrito @ Little Theatre Cafe, 7:30 pm

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

  • Tinted Image @ Woodcliff Hotel & Spa, 5:30 pm
  • Ted Nicolosi & Shared Genes @ Bistro 135, 6:00 pm
  • Charlie Mitchell Group @ Flipside Bar & Grill (Rochester), 8:00 pm

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

  • Big Band Dance Spring Series @ Charlotte Beach, Roger Robach Community Center, 6:00 to 9:00 pm
  • The Swooners @ Bistro 135, 6:00 pm
  • Mic Gillette, formerly of Tower of Power with the Aquinas Jazz Ensemble, Greece Jazz Band and the Viavattines @ The Aquinas Institute Auditorium, 1127 Dewey Ave., Rochester, 7:00 pm (see here for more info)
  • Margaret Explosion @ The Little Theatre Cafe, 7:30 pm
  • Vince Ercolamento & Joe Chiappone Jazz Quartet @ Murph's, 705 Titus Ave., Irondequoit, 8:00 pm

Heads Up ... Look for these Jazz Gigs and Special Jazz Events in the Future

  • Fairport Canal Days does its own local jazz festival with Paradigm Shift, John Nyerges Quartet, Mike Melito Quartet, Jeff Mcleod Organ Trio, Westview Project, Sofrito Latin Jazz Quartet, Jimmie Highsmith Experience, Dave Mancini Quartet, John Seiger & The All Stars, Greater Rochester Jazz Orchestra, Mighty High & Dry, and the Bill Tiberio Band @ Fairport Canal Days (Fairport), Friday, May 31st through June 2nd (see the Find It In Fairport site for more info, and watch here for more as well)
  • Bop Arts presents The Mack Goldsbury Quartet @ Lovin' Cup Brews & Bistro, Sunday, June 2d, 8:00 pm
  • International Society of Bassists Convention @ Eastman School of Music (in addition to the concerts below, there may be others open to the public, so check the schedule)
  • International Society of Bassists Concert: Eastman alumni Brett Shurtliffe, Yung-Chiao Wei, and Ron Carter with Russell Malone & Donald Vega @ Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre, Tuesday, June 4th, 8:00 pm
  • International Society of Bassists Concert: Thomas Martin; Jazz Bass Supergroup “Talking Hands” with John Clayton, Rufus Reid, Lynn Seaton and Martin Wind @ Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre, Wednesday, June 5th, 8:00 pm 
  • International Society of Bassists Concert:  Diana Gannett performs new works; Chuck Israels, bassist with the Bill Evans Trio, pays tribute to a master of bebop with “Oscar Pettiford Octet and Beyond” @ Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre, Thursday, June 6th, 8:00 pm
  • International Society of Bassists Concert:  Orchestral and chamber music bassist Szymon Marciniak and Grammy-winning Dave Holland @ Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre, Friday, June 7th, 8:00 pm
  • Michael Formanek Quartet with Tim Berne, Craig Taborn and Gerald Cleaver @ Bernunzio Uptown Music, 122 East Ave., Rochester, Friday, June 7th, 10:30 pm 
  • International Society of Bassists Concert: Joel Quarrington, new principal bassist of the London Symphony Orchestra, and Victor Wooten @ Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre, Saturday, June 8th, 8:00 pm
  • Groove Juice Swing presents Stompology Swing Dances with the The Careless Lovers (Seattle, WA), Friday, June 7th, 8:00 pm; The Low Down Sires (Asheville, NC), Saturday, June 8th, 8:30 pm and June 9th, 7:30 pm
  • Tessa Souter with John Nyerges Trio @ Lovin Cup, Saturday, June 8th, 9:00 pm
  • Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival, Friday, June 21st to Saturday, June 29th

If you go out to hear a performance listed here, feel free to drop a comment to this post to let us know how it went (see the Comment link at the bottom). I want to hear from you! Please share the post with your friends who love jazz.

We've compiled these listings from information obtained from the performing artists themselves and other sources. The aim is to give you a one-stop place to find all your jazz in Rochester.The aim is to give you a one stop place to find all your jazz in Rochester. Only start times are listed, visit or call the venue for more details (the websites for many of the venues are in the right panel). Please forgive any discrepancies with reality and feel free to let me know what the problem is, and I'll get the corrections up on the site as soon as possible (click on the "Contact Us" button above). If you go out to hear a performance listed here, feel free to drop a comment to this post to let us know how it went. I want to hear from you!

This post was originally published on JazzRochester.

Learning about jazz, young and old and in-between, at XRIJF

XRIJF logo

Last week, the Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival announced two great opportunities to learn more about jazz during the festival.

XRIJF Jazz Workshops for Aspiring Young Music Students

Room 120, Ray Wright Room, Eastman School of Music 1:00-2:30 p.m. No registration is required.

Open to all aspiring grade school and high school music students. This new series of five structured jazz workshops, sponsored by Wegmans, will be hosted by Bob Sneider, Eastman School of Music Assistant Professor of Jazz Studies and Contemporary Media and Senior Instructor of Jazz Guitar, and led by five visiting international musicians who are performing at the XRIJF. Students will be playing and have the exceptional opportunity to meet, listen to and learn from professional jazz musicians from overseas. In keeping with the festival's international festival focus, all five are based in the United Kingdom and will be performing in the festival's Made in the UK Series at Christ Church, including:

  • Saturday, June 22: Cleveland Watkiss, Voice
  • Sunday, June 23: Yolanda Brown, Saxophone
  • Thursday, June 27: Ryan Quigley, Trumpet
  • Friday, June 28: Jasper Hoiby of Phronesis, Acoustic Bass
  • Saturday, June 29 Gwylim Simcock, piano

ESM Offering Introduction to Jazz History During Festival

Room 305, Eastman School of Music | June 24-29, Mon. – Sat., 3:00 – 4:30 p.m. For more information and to register contact Paul Hofmann, instructor and pianist. No materials required. No prior knowledge of jazz needed, just a general love of music. Tuition: $150/noncredit.

Offered during six days of XRIJF, the class will highlight (in chronological/historical order) a particular style/era of jazz, including some of the major personalities and works each day, including:

  • Day One: Early New Orleans Jazz, including the Jazz Age (1920s); Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, et al.
  • Day Two: The Swing Era (1930s), including Benny Goodman, Count Basie, Art Tatum, et al.
  • Day Three: Modern Jazz. part one (1940s and early 1950s), including Bebop (Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Thelonious Monk, Bud Powell) and other schools which were offshoots from that (Lennie Tristano, Dave Brubeck, Bill Evans, et al.).
  • Day Four: Modern Jazz, part two (mid-1950s through late 1960s), including Sonny Rollins, Miles Davis, Gil Evans, Ornette Coleman, John Coltrane, Jackie McLean, Charles Mingus.
  • Day Five: Jazz since 1970, including Chamber Jazz (especially the West German record label ECM), Jazz-Rock(Weather Report, Herbie Hancock, Chick Corea, Pat Methany Group) and the resurgence of Hard Bop (Winton Marsalis).
  • Day Six: Week's wrap up & jazz piano performance.


This post was originally published on JazzRochester.

XRIJF's got an App for that....

XRIJF image

On Wednesday the Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival introduced a new app for Android and an enhanced app for iPhone. Both are free and available now for download. One new feature is a photo booth function that allows you to take photos at the festival and share them with your network. The XRIJF apps bring you the latest news, schedule, artist information, photos, maps, venues, travel information and you can buy tickets
(of course). Other options include:

  • Select your favorite artists.
  • Share information on Facebook and Twitter, or email.
  • Create a personal lineup of who you want to hear and share it. No more spreadsheets!
  • Use the search tool for easy browsing through concert files and artist profiles.
  • During the fest, click on any venue or artist and get a quick map of how to get there from where you are.
  • Get concert reminder alerts for to shows about to start.

You can download the apps from iTunes or GooglePlay.


This post was originally published on JazzRochester.

Jazz Around Town: Could XRIJF really be around the corner? ... Oh yes it could!

Yesterday, I headed over to Hatch Hall to catch the press conference announcing the lineup for the 2013 Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival. It is going to be a great festival ... the Club Pass lineup is going to make it hard for this jazz hound to choose!  

I'll have more thoughts and info here by the weekend, but there are plenty of other places to go (it was a press conference) to get the skinny on the lineup and the new goings on at the festival. Try WHAM's video of the entire press conference here, Jeff Spevak's article in the D&C (that is of course if you have a subscription or haven't run out of your 30 days) and of course the XRIJF's website.

Well, here are the live jazz gigs in and around Rochester that I was able to find (and there are not that many, actually...) over the next 7 days, plus some things coming up in the near future:

Thursday, March 28, 2013

  • Jon Seiger All-Stars Trio @ Market Cafe at Wegmans on Calkins Road, 5:30 pm
  • John Palocy Trio @ Bistro 135, 6:00 pm
  • Ben Waara @ Prosecco Italian Restaurant (Farmington), 6:00 pm
  • Mike Kaupa Duos with Christopher Azzara @ Monroe's Restaurant, 6:00 pm
  • Bill Tiberio & the UR JAZZZZZ @ University of Rochester, Henry Alvah Strong Auditorium, 8:00 pm
  • Phat Cats @ Pane Vino Ristorante, 8:00 pm

Friday, March 29, 2013

  • Champagne & The Swooners @ Bistro 135, 6:00 pm
  • Roses & Revolution @ Pane Vino Ristorante, 6:30 pm
  • Ted Nicolosi & Shared Genes @ Pultneyville Grill (Williamson), 7:00 pm
  • Last Friday Jazz Heritage Series with Dr. Carl Atkins and Culture Clash "...From the Coltrane Songbook" @ Baobab Cultural Center, 7:00 pm
  • Fred Costello & Roger Eckers @ Charlie Browns, 1675 Penfield Rd., 7:30 pm
  • Sofrito @ Litttle Theatre Cafe, 8:30 pm
  • Reid Poole, Student Degree Recital (jazz trumpet) @ ESM, Ray Wright Room, 9:00 pm

Saturday, March 30, 2013

  • ECMS Jazz Studio Recital with students of Bob Sneider, Reuben Allen, and Gabe Condon @ ESM, Main Building 209, 4:00 pm
  • Gap Mangione @ Bistro 135, 6:30 pm
  • White Hots @ Pultneyville Grill (Williamson), 6:30 pm
  • Chris Wilson @ Prosecco Italian Restaurant (Farmington), 7:00 pm
  • Fred Costello & Roger Eckers @ Charlie Browns, 1675 Penfield Rd., 7:30 pm

Sunday, March 31, 2013

  • Michael Vadala Trio @ Prosecco Italian Restaurant (Farmington), 5:00 pm
  • Wendy Eisenberg, Non-Degree Recital (jazz guitar and combo) @ ESM, Ciminelli Formal Lounge, 8:30 pm

Monday, April 1, 2013

  • Alphonso Williams @ Bistro 135, 5:30 pm
  • Kathryn Cufari @ Lemoncello, 6:00 pm

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

  • Bob Henley @ Lemoncello, 6:00 pm

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

  • Roses & Revolutions @ Bistro 135, 5:30 pm
  • Vince Ercolamento & Joe Chiappone Jazz Quartet @ Murph's, 705 Titus Ave., Irondequoit, 8:00 pm

Heads Up ... Look for these Jazz Gigs and Special Jazz Events in the Future

If you go out to hear a performance listed here, feel free to drop a comment to this post to let us know how it went (see the Comment link at the bottom). I want to hear from you! Please share the post with your friends who love jazz.

We've compiled these listings from information obtained from the performing artists themselves and other sources. The aim is to give you a one-stop place to find all your jazz in Rochester.The aim is to give you a one stop place to find all your jazz in Rochester. Only start times are listed, visit or call the venue for more details (the websites for many of the venues are in the right panel). Please forgive any discrepancies with reality and feel free to let me know what the problem is, and I'll get the corrections up on the site as soon as possible (click on the "Contact Us" button above). If you go out to hear a performance listed here, feel free to drop a comment to this post to let us know how it went. I want to hear from you!

This post was originally published on JazzRochester.