Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Lilac Fest announces first half of music lineup

Posted By on Tue, Mar 15, 2016 at 4:00 AM

Breathe deep. Do you smell that? It’s the smell of fear. The fear of a Trump planet. But soon it’ll be the 118th edition of the Lilac Festival (Friday, May 6, through Sunday, May 15) time again for the smell of lilacs to assuage the panic we are all currently experiencing.

And that means plenty of music. Lilac Festival bigwigs spilled the names of half the headliners -- the other half along with local bands will be announced the first week in April.

This year’s lineup includes:

May 7: The Sheepdogs -- Southern rock from Canada, if that makes any sense.

May 8: Los Straitjackets -- surfing Luchadores featuring Rochester’s Greg Townson.

May 8: NRBQ -- the godfathers of roots-rock who puree all the sub roots with rock’s sub strata. Angular, obtuse, weird, and fun.

May 9: Gaelic Storm -- Augmented traditional Irish music as if performed by Deadheads.

May 10: Matisyahu -- The dude raps and sings in Yiddish ... Yiddish!

May 11: Eilen Jewell -- sawdust floor honky-tonk and Americana sung by an angel flying to close to the ground.

May 12: Rusted Root -- kings of the jam band circuit ... and the Lilac Festival.

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Friday, March 4, 2016

Water Street Music Hall denied license renewal

Posted By on Fri, Mar 4, 2016 at 12:41 PM

Rochester Police Chief Michael Ciminelli has notified the Water Street Music that it must stop hosting events immediately. The popular live music venue, located at 204 North Water Street, was denied renewal of its entertainment license, because "there are justifiable concerns" regarding its ability to operate in compliance with all State and Local laws," Ciminelli wrote.

The letter listed eight points of violation of the Code of the City of Rochester and the Police Chief's Rules and Regulations. These include "failure to maintain control of the premise" on March 14, 2015, when shots were fired in the area of the establishment and "nearly struck a person standing in front of the venue," and failure to maintain control again on June 15, 2015, when a male standing in front of the venue "refused to comply with police orders to disperse and became combative with police, resulting in an arrest for disorderly conduct." The counts of violations continue through February 27 of this year.

Water Street Music Hall - one of Rochester's only mid-sized music venues, capable of hosting 1,000 patrons - has hosted a wide range of musical acts, including St. Vincent, The Buddhahood, and YoGotti. It has also been the venue for numerous benefit concerts. But it has been plagued with shifts in management and booking over the past couple of years.

Water Street's owners may appeal by responding to the letter within 10 days of receipt (the police chief's letter was dated March 1). The venue's previous entertainment license expired on January 31, 2016, and thus it is currently unable to host any public events.

Police chief's letter

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Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Rochester Music Hall of Fame announces 2016 inductees

Posted By on Wed, Feb 24, 2016 at 4:00 AM

The Rochester Music Hall of Fame Wednesday morning announced its inductees for 2016, and it seems to have got it right. The induction ceremony, scheduled for Sunday, April 24, is Rochester, baby! No six degrees of separation or artists that have nothing to do with the city. This year's lineup is wonderfully diverse and the performers relevant. It's gonna be one helluva show.

The inductees are:

Pee Wee Ellis -- saxophonist and band leader for James Brown and Van Morrison.

Howard Hanson -- former director of Eastman School of Music and Pulitzer-winning composer.

Joe Locke -- living jazz legend and vibraphone master.

James Rado -- Grammy-winning creator of the musical "Hair."

The Rustix -- The first white band to be signed to Motown Records.

Wendy O. Williams -- punk rock queen, performance artist, and leader of The Plasmatics.

Scheduled performances for the induction ceremony will include Pee Wee Ellis with Christian McBride, Maceo Parker, and Fred Wesley doing an all-star send up to James Brown; an ESM student string ensemble playing the compositions of Howard Hanson; Joe Locke will perform with Prime Time Funk, and vocalist Tessa Souter will add some va-vavoom to the man's legendary vibes; The Cowsills will perform hits from the musical "Hair"; the four surviving members of The Rustix will rip up some Rochester rock 'n' roll; and guitarist Wes Beech of The Plasmatics will front a tribute band to Wendy O. Williams with Runaways singer and chainsaw artist Cheri Currie.

The fifth annual Rochester Music Hall of Fame induction ceremony will take place April 24, 7 p.m., at Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre, 60 Gibbs Street. Tickets are on sale at the Eastman Theatre Box Office, at 454-2100, or online at bit.ly/RMHFtickets. Tickets are $30-$60. For more information, check out rochestermusic.org.

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Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Jazz Fest announces last two headliners

Bruce Hornsby and Gregg Allman join the 2016 festival

Posted By on Tue, Feb 23, 2016 at 4:00 AM

The Rochester International Jazz Festival announced today the last two headliner acts for the 2016 festival. Bandleader and pianist Bruce Hornsby and Southern rocker Gregg Allman have joined the 15th edition of the festival, which will take place June 24 through July 2.

Hornsby -- who will perform with his band, The Noisemakers, on Wednesday, June 29 -- and Allman, who will perform on Friday, July 1, round out the headliner lineup that was announced in January. Grace Potter, Erykah Badu, Chris Botti, and Chick Corea will all perform in Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre.

Tickets for Hornsby and Allman go on sale Friday, February 26, 10 a.m. at rochesterjazz.com, or by phone at 454-2060. Tickets for Hornsby are $55-$95, and prices for Allman are $65-$105.

Tickets to performances by the other headliners are already on sale.

The full Rochester International Jazz Festival lineup, including the Club Pass Series and free shows, will be announced on Tuesday, March 22.

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Friday, February 12, 2016

Mellencamp to play Eastman Theatre

Posted By on Fri, Feb 12, 2016 at 11:19 AM

If you’re a lover that won’t drive him crazy or dug him since he was just a cougar, here’s your chance to see Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Famer and Grammy winner John Mellencamp who returns to Rochester with his “Plain Spoken Tour" on Friday, April 22, at Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre. Mellencamp has history here after all: he starred in the movie “After Image” which was filmed in Rochester in 2001.

Tickets for the 7:30 p.m. show are $27.50 -$113.00 and go on sale at 10 p.m. on Tuesday, February 19, through the Eastman Theatre Box Office, 433 East Main Street, EastmanTheatre.org, or by calling 454-2100. 

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Jazz Fest announces four headliners

Festival's 15th edition will start June 24

Posted By on Tue, Jan 26, 2016 at 4:00 AM

The Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival this morning announced four headliners for its 15th edition. The 2016 festival will take place across nine days, June 24 to July 2.

Singer-songwriter and Nocturnals frontperson Grace Potter will headline the festival's opening night. Neo-soul icon Erykah Badu will perform Saturday, June 25. Jazz pianist and 22-time Grammy winner Chick Corea will perform Tuesday, June 28, with his "Trilogy" trio and special guest Joey Alexander -- the 12-year-old pianist who appeared at the 2015 festival. And trumpeter Chris Botti will return to the festival on Thursday, June 30.

All above headliner performances will take place at Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre, 60 Gibbs Street. Tickets for these performances will go on sale Friday, January 29, at 10 a.m. Online at rochesterjazz.com, or by calling 454-2060.

Tickets for Grace Potter are $55-$95; Erykah Badu is $70-$105; Corea's performance with Alexander is $40-$75; and tickets for Chris Botti are $55-$105.

Club Passes -- both the new 3-day passes (for $154) and traditional 9-day passes (for $204) -- are now on sale.

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Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Jazz Festival 2016 Club Passes go on sale Friday

Posted By on Tue, Oct 20, 2015 at 4:28 PM

The Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival announced today that Club Passes for its 2016 festival will go on sale Friday, October 23, at 10 a.m. New to this year, the festival's 15th edition, will be two Club Pass options: the traditional 9-day pass and a new 3-day pass.

As in past years, the Club Pass offers free admission to any events at Club Pass venues during the festival, but there’s no reserved seating or guaranteed entry. The new 3-day Club Pass will offer patrons the opportunity to use the pass for unlimited access to shows on any three days of their choice during the festival.

The 9-day Club Pass early-bird price remains the same as last year, at $174 plus $6 service charge ($8 if mailed). This 9-day early-bird pass rate is good until midnight, December 31. Prices will increase to $204 plus service charge on January 1, 2016.

The new 3-day Club Pass early-bird price is $134 plus $6 service charge ($8 if mailed), until midnight, December 31. The pass increases to $154 plus $6 service charge on January 1, 2016. Only a limited number of 3-day Club Passes will be sold.

Also, admission to Club Pass shows will increase. Single entry without a 3-day or 9-day Club Pass will now be $30 cash at the door for all venues, and $35 at Kilbourn Hall. This is the first increase in admission prices at the door in eight years.

The festival is testing out a new wristband system at Kilbourn Hall and Max, too. Rather than having to wait in line -- a growing problem in recent years -- concert attendees at those venues will be given a wristband. More details are expected as the festival approaches.

Other changes coming to the 2016 Jazz Festival will include:

-- The Squeezers Stage, which was in the Sibley Building in 2015, will relocate to the Anthology space at 336 East Avenue. There will be sets at 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.

-- A new "Oh, Canada" series will present emerging Canadian musicians at the Rochester Club at 6 p.m. and 10 p.m.

-- Kilbourn Hall show times will be at 6 p.m. and 9 p.m.

The 2016 festival will be held from June 24 to July 2. The full lineup will be announced in late March 2016. Club Passes can be purchased online at rochesterjazz.com, or by phone at 454-2060. For complete details on the Club Pass and other Jazz Festival news, see rochesterjazz.com/php/ticket_info.php.

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Monday, August 31, 2015

I Scene It: John Hammond at Geva Theatre Center

Posted By on Mon, Aug 31, 2015 at 4:00 AM

So this Son House "festivus for the rest of us" had the whole town invigorated. It ain’t a secret this is a blues town; our winters are cold and our women are warm. But this four day affair was something else.

I went and saw John Hammond play Thursday night. I’ve always dug this cat and his story-telling take on the one-man blues. Hammond is one of those artists that floats easily in and out of time and rhythm (like Willie Nelson) and still successfully lands on his feet. Each song was preceded by a story or an anecdote centered around the artist who wrote or had finger prints on each song.

The love and respect for House, collectively from the crowd (packed house every night, donchyaknow) and the artists, was amazing. This is a red blooded town, this Rochester, but it bleeds blue ... just ask Roger Kuhn.

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Wednesday, August 26, 2015

I Scene It: Barrence Whitfield and the Savages at Abilene

Posted By on Wed, Aug 26, 2015 at 4:00 AM

It’s gratifying to hear rock 'n' roll fans say my article on an artist swayed them to go to the show. So I was pleased to the max my words managed to get a few lonely souls off the couch and onto the Abilene dance floor where Barrence Whitfield fans beat on it like a red headed trampoline.

Whitfield and his band of motley Bean Town boys busted up the joint and shook the goddamn walls with a solid set of garage, R&B, and savage soul. It was a good-natured bloodbath. This cat easily has the best voice in rock 'n' roll, ladies and gentlemen.

I found myself fantasizing various classic rock voices replaced by Whitfield and those bands sounded better for it. Journey, Judas Priest, The Cult, Willie Nelson, along with anything by these plastic, contemporary clowns that call what they do R&B (pull-eeeeze), could all use a Whitfield re-working. C’mon, his voice is like catsup; it’s good on everything.

Anyhow, the show was great and the place was packed. “Bloody Mary" is still one of the wildest songs I know. It was loud, too, baby; I could have listened from my back yard, three miles away. I went home with my balls ringing and a grin in my guts.

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Tuesday, August 25, 2015

I Scene It: Santana at CMAC

Posted By on Tue, Aug 25, 2015 at 4:00 AM

August is arguably the best month for an outdoor concert in the Finger Lakes region, particularly if the event is situated at a beautiful venue like CMAC. My friend and I agreed that we should attend the Santana show on Saturday, but also catch a lecture, “Seven Candles: Science for a Deeper Spirituality,” before the performance. Carlos Santana has always struck me as a spiritual kind of guy, so we figured a visit to Gossamer Wood, a healing retreat center in Canandaigua for the “Seven Candles” presentation would be a good opening act.

We drove into the woods and parked in the driveway of the healing house. Upon entering, our host JD greeted us warmly. Once he got down to business, that was when things started to get a little hippy. Nearly all of the presentation was over my head but there were some cool photos of the Milky Way among other things displayed on the television. I forgot to ask the question: How does our own galaxy take its own selfie? Anyway, here is a fun fact: humans share 50 percent of our DNA with bananas. The lecture was over before we knew it and left us illuminated. We made our cosmic connection when at the end JD told us that he shared the stage with Santana at a peace concert in the former U.S.S.R.

It was a skip and jump over to CMAC. After a wait we got inside the almost sold-out venue; it was the largest crowd I had ever seen under the shell. The show drew a diverse group age-wise and my friend mentioned that he never thought he would see old folks in walkers at a rock concert. Either way, we were positively stoked for the Corazón Tour.

The concert opened with vintage footage of Woodstock displayed on the enormous video panel behind the players. At 67 years old, Carlos Santana walked onstage wearing a black fedora, black vest, white shirt and launched into instrumental “Soul Sacrifice” with a purple guitar. Everything about his band was big; in fact it was double sized by including two percussionists, dual guitars, trumpet and trombone, and two lead vocalists. At one point Carlos Santana mentioned it was the band’s deepest desire to give the audience a memorable night, which was what I experienced. The entire show was damn near flawless. The crisp clean sound, the lights, the backing band and the man himself made me feel like I was at the Grammys.

The well-behaved crowd sat mostly in their seats but stood up for hits, “Maria Maria,” and “Smooth.” Carlos Santana was also a collector of songs as he took a few familiar licks and blended those into his own. It was like playing a game of name that tune: “Paint It Black” led into “Black Magic Woman / Gypsy Queen”; Coltrane’s “Blue Train” morphed into “A Place with No Name” which contained elements of America’s “A Horse With No Name”; and The Champs’ “Tequila” turned into The Temptations’ “Get Ready” before coming back around.

The band rocked on for more than an hour before Carlos Santana introduced his son, Salvatore, for a three-song mini-set that created a change of direction as the younger Santana dabbled in hip-hop. Once the normal set list resumed it turned into a percussion feast with “Jingo,” a tune he first performed at The Fillmore in 1967. The sweaty, charged up conga solo by percussionist Paoli Mejías proved to be a mind-blowing highlight. The show concluded with a three-song encore that ended with “Ominous.” By this time fans were standing several deep at the front of the stage. Carlos Santana crouched down and even let a couple of lucky fans strum his guitar.

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  • Re: Jazz Fest announces rest of 2017 headliners

    • I would love for the dislike people explain why. Do u not like jazz confused…

    • on March 22, 2017
  • Re: Jazz Fest announces rest of 2017 headliners

    • Wow not one headliner is jazz way to put on a jazz fest nugent. Please…

    • on March 22, 2017
  • Re: Jazz Fest announces rest of 2017 headliners

    • On the plus side I will save money this jazz fest!! So not all bad!

    • on March 22, 2017
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