Rochester International Jazz Festival


Me minus you. Obviously a bad idea. That's why it feels so good to get back together. It's easy to dismiss the 1987 Peaches & Herb smash “Reunited.” Let's be cool about it. Let's call it "romantic schlock," like NPR's John Murph, but let's also praise The Jazz Passengers for their clever remake.

Oh, That Magic Feeling

The idea of a tribute band is a bit strange on one level. Remember that shot-for-shot remake of Alfred Hitchcock's Pyscho? Definite head-scratcher. Of course, with music, you have countless people who have spent countless hours wearing out LPs, listening to the same songs in the same order, feeling the same anticipation for the first notes of that next song.

Mark Murphy blows

Jazz Fest starts in one week! With the caveat that I don't know every last act featured on Day One, my must-see pick would have to be Mark Murphy. I first heard him in my college years at SUNY Fredonia, 1986, the year his album Keroauc, Then and Now came out.

Behold the final moments of the Rochester International Jazz Fest!

Every year, retired WXXI classical announcer Mordecai Lipshutz closes out the XRIJF with The Bob Sneider Trio. He usually sings a number at the end of a long jam session, around 2:00 a.m.  I missed him again this year. Thank goodness for reporter Anna Reguero and Youtube.

When jazz used to be a four-letter word...

I got an email this week with the subject heading "jass" and this website linked in the body.  This email came from a reputable source, so I knew the link would be at least entertaining, and probably informative.

Thank you to those who contacted the Governor's Office and our local delegation in support of public broadcasting!

I never thought I’d breathe a sigh of relief about “only” a 20% reduction in State operating aid, but given the alternative – a proposed 50% cut – it was the best for which we could have hoped.

2009 RIJF Wish List

Well, the seventh edition of the Rochester International Jazz Festival is history, and it turned out OK. I was one of many who was underwhelmed by the list of headliners but, as always, there was plenty of great music to enjoy. So now what about next year? I think they ought to set up a big interactive voting thing on the website, so everyone in the community could weigh in. But I also imagine they probably get tired of hearing people ask, "Why don't you book so-and-so?" Even so...


Let's Get Married

Marc Iacona and John Nugent put out their open hands, palms down, and with heads bowed, raised and lowered their arms to each other. But the real praise on stage last night at the Eastman Theater was for God and the gift he gave Al Green.


Gothic coolness

I finally made it to the Rochester International Jazz Festival last night.

It was cloudy and chilly. A few hundred people milled around Gibbs Street, and most wore jackets or sweatshirts. Smoke from vendors’ booths drifted down past Eastman Theatre, and a line snaked around the corner for David Murray's Black Saint Quartet in Kilbourn Hall. The sight of the crowds made me happy.

The Bad Plus Plus One

Julia Figueras told me first. Then I heard it from Dave Sluberski, WXXI's audio engineer. The Bad Plus brought a singer with them for their Rochester International Jazz Festival appearance. A singer?! I admit I was skeptical. The trio works so well on their own, a singer could only get in the way, I thought.

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