Blog Posts on Arts and Culture

The Frothy Swiss Thing

For me, the second day in the resort town of Stresa, Italy unfolded in flashes of detail; a tiny green fern growing out of a crack in the wall, a clear glass of grappa, two girls in bikinis playing with dogs on the beach. A train carried us through the mountains, across the border north into Locarno, Switzerland for lunch.

Stresa

The WXXI Travel Club landed in Milan Sunday morning, jazzed and tired after an overnight flight from New York.  A bus carried us through hills, vineyards, and quarries to the resort town of Stresa on Lake Maggiore, a few miles from the Swiss border.  Here was everything already loved and familiar; emerald woods, sapphire waters, hills, fragrant gardens.  I’ve heard the Finger Lak

Meteorology

Beautiful Dreamers CD cover

It seemed tentative at first. There was a bit of tuning. Then Bill Frisell started something more substantial on guitar. Eyvind Kang added colors with the violin and Rudy Royston accented on drums. Now and then, Bill or Eyvind would crouch down and fiddle with knobs on the electronics boxes on the floor.

Next stop, Italy . . .

Watch this space for pictures and highlights.

Stephane Shakes the Big Tent

Stephane Wrembel Trio plus One at the Rochester International Jazz Fest

Born in Paris, raised in the rich landscapes where Impressionists first painted, Stephane Wrembel blends many influences with his Django Reinhardt guitar stylings. The greatest influence seems to be his own dedication to the music.

Burning Down The House

The Meters meet Fela? Ethiopian soul? Staten Island funk? Words fall short when you try to describe The Budos Band, and as great as they sound on record, it's the kind of stuff that begs to be heard live.

Lucky Peterson and the Magic Stage

Early on in his first performance at Harro East, Saturday in the Rochester Jazz Festival, multi-instrumentalist Lucky Peterson took to the keys, alternating between Hammond B-3, the Yamaha, vocal accents, actual vocals, and the art of facial expression. Sometimes doing a combination of them at the same time. A most captivating performance.

The Forgotten Word - Jazz Fest 2011

Mark Murphy kicks of the 10th anniversary of the Rochester Jazz Fest

Mark Murphy took the stage at the Harro East Ballroom in a broad shouldered black suit, blazing red shirt and tie, and the 2011 Rochester International Jazz Fest officially began. It encapsulated the festival experience. Little voyages into cultures and musical neighborhoods as the unfamiliar becomes revealed. Scatting the forgotten word.

Guitar heroes

Hooray for Google!  By placing a virtual guitar at the fingertips of computer users, the powerful search engine inspired millions (billions?) of people to make music. Look below for three creative uploads from the two-day global music fest.  If you miss it, the Google Guitar has a permanent home here.  What can you play?

I and Love and You

Bill Frisell first caught my attention when he included compositions by Aaron Copland, Bob Dylan, Muddy Waters, Sonny Rollins, John Philip Sousa, Stephen Foster and Madonna on his 1992 album Have A Little Faith. It doesn't seem like a mix like that could hang together.