Posts filed under ‘Jazz Festivals’
G-Love and Special Sauce Concert shares what he likes at the East and Alexander Stage. An incredible closer for the Jazz Festival.
Some amazing music was taking place during the Jazz Festival at parties in the city — in preparation for the evening’s events. Here are some images from a street party in the city with a local band, led by Mikaela Davis on harp and vocals, backed up by Alex Patrick on keyboards, vocals, guitar, mandolin and banjo, and Alex Coté on percussion and vocals.
Sleep deprivation is setting in. So much talent, so little time to sleep!
Far beyond a cover band, the Fab Faux play the music of The Beatles with passion. My friend Brian said “I expected them to be fun, but I did not expect them to be so good.” Their renderings of “Strawberry Fields Forever” or “I Am the Walrus” were sung in complete part-perfect renditions, while harmony-driven songs as “Because”, and “Paperback Writer”, had extra vocalists for a double-tracked effect.
Mingo Fishtrap describe themselves as “gutbucket soul, N’awlins grit-down funk and horn fueled Motown pop,” rocked the Big Tent with bandleader Roger Blevins, Jr. featured in the video paying homage to Otis Redding.
The triple treat for day 2 was Bill Charlap Trio @ Kilbourn Hall, with Peter Washington and Kenny Washington was jazz at it’s best. They are tight in only the way that a group that has been playing together for many years can be. Charlap is best known for his interpretations of American songs by Gershwin and Bernstein.
Best Show of the evening: Matt Wilson, Arts and Crafts, at the Montage Grill, 6 and 10pm.
“Wilson is a drummer, composer, bandleader, and more. For five consecutive years in a row, Wilson has been voted the No. 1 Rising Star Drummer in the DownBeat Critics Poll. From his downbeats to his change-ups, Wilson played the drums as an instrument not to be thought of as background. During “The Bat,” Wilson tapped the edge, ran sticks around, shook the wire brushes in the air. Wilson made slow, jazz love upon the drums.
Not to be outdone, Eastman graduate Gary Versace made his way around the electric organ, dancing his fingers around the keyboard in sequences and combinations of notes that can’t be learned in a classroom. This ain’t your auntie’s church organ. Versace is jazz organ.
And on the bass was Martin Wind, eyes closed, left hand up and down the neck, right hand plucking a low note range.
There were moments that Arts & Crafts resembled a revival, so intent were they within the music they were making. Arts & Crafts has an uncanny ability to feel the jazz rhythms, modulations, and entrances and exits of each individual instrument.”
For more of this see The Gary Versace Trio tonight at 6 and 10 in the Rochester Club.
My favorite time of the year is the second week in June during the Rochester International Jazz Festival. For 9 days Rochester is the coolest, and swingin’est place earth. Gibbs Street changes to Jazz Street, (location of the Eastman Theater) and is closed off, with a stage at one end, and the Xerox hospitality tent at other end. John Nugent, an internationally renown sax player, who who cut his festival teeth at the Stockholm Jazz Festival, is the Rochester Festival’s founder and producer.
The magic of this festival is that at any given moment there are several performances taking place, held at multiple venues throughout downtown Rochester’s East End cultural district:
There are more than 70 free concerts at outdoor stages, rain or shine.
The best deal is to buy a Club Pass, which allows you unlimited access to 185 concerts at 14+ venues (purchase in advance).
Last year 162,000 people attended the Festival’s 250 concerts.
For those wishing for an opportunity to play, there are nightly jam sessions, 10:30 p.m. – 2:30 a.m. at the State St. Bar & Grill in the Rochester Crown Plaza Hotel. Festival performers will stop by and jam with Bob Schneider’s combo.
Spring is making short appearances with rainy days, in between the regular menu of blinding snowstorms. Its time to dream about summer — and buy your tickets for all the awesome music festivals in the Finger Lakes area — before they sell out.