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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. During this time the band has honed its string-laden sound and developed a devoted and growing following. This year Arstidir is releasing its third studio album and headlining tours in the U.S., Europe, and Japan. (NP) arstidir.com

California Honeydrops Who said James Hunter and Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings are the only classic soul saviors out there? The California Honeydrops are doing it too, baby. The band is wrapped up in groovy soul, blues, and New Orleans second line with a cool, cool horn drive beneath a singer who means it. It's gonna be a party. (FD) cahoneydrops.com

Chatham County Line Something old, something new, something borrowed, and something bluegrass. This band's instrumentation is as traditional as its progressions are not. The band dials in just the right amount of contemporary challenge to the starched collar stalwarts that flood the genre. The purists will dig it too ... and so will you. The band's newest release is "Tightrope" on Yep Roc Records (FD) chathamcountyline.com

Christine Jensen Jazz Orchestra with Ingrid Jensen See feature on page XX.

Denys Baptiste Triumverate London-born saxophonist Denys Baptiste has enhanced the bands of McCoy Tyner, Billy Higgins, Andrew Hill, and many others. In his own Triumverate, Baptiste employs his muscular tenor sound to carve a musical vision all his own, including a wonderful tribute to Martin Luther King titled "Let Freedom Ring." (RN) denysbaptiste.com

Duchess Hailing from New York City, Duchess — singers Amy Cervini, Hilary Gardner, and Melissa Stylianou — emulates the 1930's swing vocal harmonies of the Boswell Sisters with a dash of contemporary charm. The trio made its recording debut with a self-titled album in June. (NP) duchesstrio.com

Emmett Cohen A finalist in the Thelonious Monk International Piano Competition and the winner of the American Jazz Pianist Competition, Emmett Cohen is making a name for himself in the crowded field of New York jazz pianists. He has collaborated with stars like Kurt Elling, Brian Lynch, and Jimmy Heath and is equally adept at the Hammond B3 organ. emmetcohen.com

Freshly Ground South African Afro-beat darlings Freshly Ground bring traditional African strains to the forefront by infusing mainstream elements like blues, jazz, and indie rock resulting in a new vintage. This band is a funky smile that'll find a home on your face as well. (FD) freshlyground.com

Ikebe Shakedown This Brooklyn-based band's latest single, "The Offering" sounds like the theme to a 1970's cop show that never was. I dunno, maybe it would've been called "Ikebe Shakedown." It's funky in a throwback disco kinda way, but doesn't trade in substance for flash. It's classic and new at the same time. I mean, these cats have laid it to tape at Daptone Studios. Get it? Good. (FD) ikebeshakedown.com

Kirk MacDonald Quartet Revered as one of Canada's leading saxophonists, and well-decorated as such, Kirk MacDonald's numerous records and notable collaborations speak for themselves. Recently he has been writing compositions for jazz quartet. (NP) kirkmacdonald.com

Kurt Rosenwinkel New Quartet Since dropping out of Berklee College of Music to tour with vibraphonist Gary Burton, guitarist Kurt Rosenwinkel has earned a reputation as one of the most hard-swinging, hard-bop guitarists of his generation. He's even managed to attract the attention of Eric Clapton, who invited him to play at a recent Crossroads Guitar Festival. (RN) kurtrosenwinkel.com

Los Lonely Boys There's blues, brown-eyed soul, and Chicano rock, but San Angelo, Texas' Los Lonely Boys simply call it Texican rock 'n' roll. It's a well-oiled machine: powerful, guitar driven dose of the blues from the three Garza Borthers. Relentless and rockin'. (FD) loslonelyboys.com

Melissa Aldana & Crash Trio Raised in Chile, Melissa Aldana came to the United States to study at Berklee College of Music in Boston. She was just 24 when she took the top prize in the 2013 Thelonious Monk Saxophone Competition. One listen to her masterful tone and fluid phrasing leaves no doubt about her prowess on the instrument. (RN) facebook.com/melissa.aldana.3958

Robin McKelle and the Flytones If you want to get to the heart of Memphis, what better way than going straight to the heart. That's what the soulful, flame-headed songstress from Rochester, Robin McKelle, did to record her "Heart of Memphis" LP. While there, she conjured up ghosts of Stax and got bathed in the soul and vibe. But if you've seen this woman perform you know it was already there, deep in the heart of Robin McKelle. (FD) robinmckelle.com

Steve Gadd Band He's James Taylor's go-to guy; Clapton's, too. And Paul Simon couldn't have found 50 ways to leave his lover without Steve Gadd driving the getaway car. Irondequoit ex-pat, Gadd is known the world over for his session work and on stage thunder for the afore mentioned legends and many more. He's ours. (FD) drstevegadd.com

Yellowjackets With saxophonist Bob Mintzer, keyboard wizard Russell Ferrante, and drummer William Kennedy, Yellowjackets were already an all-star band. But their newest member, bassist Felix Pastorius (yes, he's the son of the great Joco Pastorius) adds to the allure as the group enters its fourth decade. (RN) yellowjackets.com

XRIJF Jazz Session with The Bob Sneider Trio See listing for Friday, June 19.

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)

    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.

    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)

    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.

    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.

    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)

    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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