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Friday, June 19 - Musician Bios 

Friday, June 19 - Musician Bios

Anthony Strong Fortified with an acclaimed live show, a tailored suit, and a grand piano, the Anthony Strong wears the "English Gentleman" role well. A longtime fan of the classic jazz crooners, it was Strong's role as an understudy to Jerry Lee Lewis that would most influence the career that would follow. From jazz standards to Motown, the thread that ties Strong's repertoire is high energy showmanship. (NP) anthonystrong.co.uk

Bill Dobbins Having spent much of his career conducting the Eastman Jazz Ensemble and Studio Orchestra and the WDR Big Band and the Metropole Orchestra in Europe, Bill Dobbins has become a leading expert in the big-band music of Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn. A formidable pianist who has played with Clark Terry and Phil Woods, Dobbins will explore Strayhorn's oeuvre in a solo concert. (RN) esm.rochester.edu/faculty/dobbins_bill

Cecile Mclorin Salvant Cecile Mclorin Salvant went to the Darius Milhaud Conservatory in France to study classical and baroque voice. But while abroad, she discovered American jazz and recorded her first stunning album. In 2010 her gorgeous style, evoking great vocalists like Billie Holiday and Nina Simone, earned her the top prize in the Thelonious Monk Vocal Competition. Last year she topped the DownBeat Critic's Poll in multiple categories. (RN) http://cecilemclorinsalvant.com

David Gibson's Boom Big band leader George Gee's "Swing Makes You Happy" is one hot slab of swinging vinyl, dad. The source of the back-bone slipping groove is the arrangements laid out by one David Gibson. Gibson blows a big, bad, and brassy slush pump as well. He'll be going a little more straight ahead this time around focusing on the album "Boom," his sixth foray out as a band leader. And yes, it still swings. (FD) jazzbone.org

Diana Krall I can never tell if Diana Krall is bored or just way cool. Either way, she sounds amazing and looks good doing it. The casual re-working of Nat King Cole on the LP "All For You" first alerted me to her talent. Then I saw her live, and I was done. Pump it up. (FD) dianakrall.com

goodbyemotel Even when New York by way of Melbourne, Australia's goodbyemotel unplugs, there is still a prickly electricity that comes off weightless, atmospheric, and ethereal. When things get plugged back in, it's downright enchanting. And just as picturesque as this may sound, goodbyemotel presents its 4D Experience, which through visual onstage projections and lighting, creates a cinematic sensation even more apparent and infinitely cool. (FD) goodbyemotel.com

The Hillbenders Springfield, Missouri, bluegrass five-piece, The Hillbenders could be more accurately named the crowd benders. The band knows how to wring out its instruments and its rabid following. Prepare to get bluegrass stains on your overalls. Prepare to be swept up. (FD) hillbenders.com

Jelly Bread Part alt-rock, part soul, part funk, park Americana, Jelly Bread blends styles into a homogenous and dynamic sound marked by gritty guitar, shimmering organ, a tight rhythm section, and four-part harmonies. They're a band that sounds just at home in desert twang as they are in urban funk, with the songwriting chops to match. (NP) jellybread.net

Kavita Shah Big Apple by way of Bombay artist, Kavita Shah tackles traditional jazz with non-conventional (in jazz anyway) instruments like the West African harp. This singer-composer blends styles and instruments to the point that the music seems to be writing and playing itself. Worldly yet comfortable. (FD) kavitashahmusic.com

The Mavericks In the grand golden palace of angelic male voices — Marty Robbins, Roy Orbison, Chris Isaak, and so on — sits The Mavericks' Raul Malo and his exquisite countrypolitan croon. Though often considered a country outfit, The Grammy Award-winning Mavericks roll out Latin and rock 'n' roll. The band just released its latest album, "Mono." (FD) themavericksband.com

Music Music Music Whether they are interpreting well-known jazz tunes or adventurous original compositions by pianist Fabian Kallerdahl, Music Music Music plays no music that could be labeled standard. Kallerdal, his brother, bassist Josef Kallerdahl, and drummer Michael Edlund are not only one of Sweden's most popular power trios; they are Scandinavia's answer to America's Bad Plus. (RN) http://www.musicmusicmusic.se

The New Mastersounds Found in the tail end of the last century in Leeds, The New Mastersounds crank out groovy vignettes of hip-shakin' funk. It's more Booker T. than Phish. They jam, but not forever, just long enough to leave you wanting more, more, more — especially that pumpin' organ ... oh yeah! (FD) newmastersounds.com

Prime Time Brass Prepare to be blown away. For 10 years, this Rochester brass-tastic band has blasted bold, bad, and beautiful. It plays swing, big band, and New Orleans Boogie, over pop and rock beds. PTB is funkier than a porta-potty at a chili cook off. (FD) primetimebrass.com

The Rad Trads Come to think of it, fun is a genre, especially if you ask NYC's Rad Trads. This is a funky party-gone-out-of-bounds band led by the brass oblivion of four horns over a swirling locomotive drive. Get ready to get down and funky. (FD) theradtrads.com

Ranee Lee & Strings First a dancer, then a drummer and tenor Sax player in various touring groups, Lee was already an impressive talent before her singing took center stage. It was her portrayal of Billie Holiday in a musical that first brought her voice to national attention. Since then she has been widely and consistently recognized for her singing, acting, and writing talents both in Canada and the U.S. (NP) raneelee.ca

Sauce Boss He's a chef, he's a slide guitar player, Sauce Boss Bill Wharton dissects the blues by metaphoring it up with gumbo he makes in a big pot on stage between — and during — his salacious slide guitar-driven numbers. It's spicy, it's hot, and delicious. You tell me, am I talking about the music or the gumbo? (FD) sauceboss.com

Spectra A group comprised of seasoned local musicians, Spectra has earned itself a local and regional fan base due to its unique arraignments and ability to juggle various musical genres from song to song within a set. At a Spectra show one can hear blues, rock, blue-eyed soul, country, jazz, even Latin music, all blended through Spectra's unique style. (NP) spectrarochester.com

XRIJF Nightly Jazz Session with The Bob Sneider Trio After all the shows are finished, the out-of-town musicians head back to the Rochester Plaza Hotel. But they don't go to their rooms. Lured by the sound of a world-class combo, many head for the State Street Bar & Grill where the Bob Sneider Trio holds down the after-hours jam session. Sneider is a monster guitarist who has superb support from Mike Melito (drums) and Phil Flanigan (bass). And while the evening might start with student players joining them on stage, the kids step aside for the heavyweights as the session progresses. Wynton Marsalis, George Benson, Chris Potter, Eric Alexander, and too many more jazz stars to mention have sat in with the band. (RN) myspace.com/bobsneidermusic

In This Guide...

    Jazz Festival Guide 2015

    City Newspaper's guide to Rochester's biggest music festival. For more reviews, blogs, photos, and the latest news, check our website every day of the festival.

    Festival Information

    Tickets, Venues, Parking and Additional Information

    Friday, June 19 - Schedule

    Friday, June 19 3:45 p.m.: Buckman Heights Elementary School Jazz Street Stage (FREE)

    Saturday, June 20 - Schedule

    Saturday, June 20 3:45 p.m.: Gates-Chili High School Jazz Band Jazz Street Stage (FREE)

    Saturday, June 20 - Musician Bios

    Saturday, June 20 - Musician Bios 78 RPM Big Band A 16-piece band based out of Dansville, 78 RPM brings big band music all through Western New York.

    Raul Midon

    When I reached Raul Midon by phone he had just returned from a tour of Europe. With a vocalist, lead guitarist, rhythm guitarist, bassist, percussionist, and trumpet player in tow, it could have been a complicated tour.

    Sunday, June 21 - Schedule

    Sunday, June 21 3:45 p.m.: MCC Jazz Band Jazz Street Stage (FREE)

    Sunday, June 21 - Musician Bios

    Sunday, June 21 - Musician Bios Benny Green Solo See listing for Saturday, June 20.

    Herb Alpert

    It's 9 a.m., Pacific Time when Herb Alpert gave us a jingle-jangle a few weeks ago. He'd been up for hours recording "Whatever pops into my head," the 80-year-old jazz and pop trumpeter says.

    Monday, June 22 - Schedule

    Monday, June 22 - Musician Bios 12:00 p.m.: Jazz Starts at the Library with Mike Kaupa Central Library of Rochester and Monroe County (FREE)

    Monday, June 22 - Musician Bios

    Monday, June 22 - Musician Bios Blue Highway With more than 20 years together and 11 albums to show for it, Blue Highway is at the top of the bluegrass heap.

    Jane Bunnett

    What is it about Afro-Cuban music that makes it the very embodiment of joy? Is it the dance of the exuberant polyrhythms as they weave in and out of one another?

    Tuesday, June 23 - Schedule

    Tuesday, June 23 12:00 p.m.: Jazz Starts at the Library with Danny Ziemann Central Library of Rochester and Monroe County (FREE)

    Tuesday, June 23 - Musician Bios

    Tuesday, June 23 - Musician Bios Aaron Diehl Aaron Diehl turned more than a few heads with his gorgeous keyboard work when he played last year's XRIJF with Cecile Mclorin Salvant.

    Wednesday, June 24 - Schedule

    Wednesday, June 24 12:00 p.m.: Jazz Starts at the Library with Mel Henderson Central Library of Rochester and Monroe County (FREE)

    Wednesday, June 24 - Musician Bios

    Wednesday, June 24 - Musician Bios Aaron Diehl Solo See listing for Tuesday, June 23.

    Fred Hersch

    Growing up in Cincinnati, Fred Hersch noticed that there was a piano in his house, so, at the age of 4, he sat down and started to pick out tunes. That precocious beginning led Hersch to a career as a sideman with greats like Joe Henderson, Stan Getz, and Art Farmer; as a leader on more than 40 albums; and an innovator who has expanded jazz into multimedia and the classical realm.

    Thursday, June 25 - Schedule

    Thursday, June 25 12:00 p.m.: Jazz Starts at the Library with Doug Stone Central Library of Rochester and Monroe County (FREE)

    Thursday, June 25 - Musician Bios

    Thursday, June 25 - Musician Bios Ali Jackson Trio The son of bassist Ali Jackson Sr., drummer Ali Jackson had strong encouragement at an early age from stars like Max Roach, Milt Hinton, and Aretha Franklin.

    Sharon Jones

    Sharon Jones was scheduled to sing at the 2013 Rochester International Jazz Festival when her career was abruptly put on hold due to a bout with cancer. Consequently, the following feature article was also put on hold.

    Friday, June 26 - Schedule

    Friday, June 26 12:00 p.m.: Jazz Starts at the Library with Mike Melito Central Library of Rochester and Monroe County (FREE)

    Friday, June 26 - Musician Bios

    Friday, June 26 - Musician Bios Arstidir Iceland's Arstidir has spent the last six years touring in more than 30 countries.

    Ingrid Jensen

    If instruments have personalities, trumpet has to be the most audacious and in your face. Maybe that's why not many budding female musicians are handed one.

    Saturday, June 27 - Schedule

    Saturday, June 27 3:00 p.m.: Bill Tiberio Band East Ave. & Chestnut St. Stage (FREE)

    Saturday, June 27 - Musician Bios

    Saturday, June 27 - Musician Bios Alex Pangman Regarded as Canada's "sweetheart of swing," Alex Pangman has proven herself a talented and learned student of the classic jazz singers.

    Steep Canyon Rangers

    To the untrained ear, bluegrass tunes tend to run into each other, the patterns and loops of notes both picked and plucked can be a confusing barrage. That's not to say bands like this aren't accessible, you've just gotta be on your toes.

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