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Monday, June 24 - Artist Bios 

Alfredo Rodriguez When Alfredo Rodriguez plays a ballad, he leans so far into the piano that you might think he's kissing the keys. In a way he is, with the exquisite touch of his fingers. It's not surprising that Quincy Jones, who co-produced his first album, called him one of the best musicians in the world. (RN) alfredomusic.com

Chris O'Leary Band You may recognize this cat from his six-year tenure as front man and singer in the late Levon Helm's band. With a dangerously deep dig into American roots music, O'Leary blows some hellacious harp over his own band's infectious romp in the spirit of fellow reed annihilators James Harmon, Ernie Locke, and Kim Wilson. Boogie! (FD) thechrisolearyband.com

Courtney Pine — House of Legends One of the United Kingdom's most popular jazz musicians, Courtney Pine is a master of all instruments. He plays the flute, clarinet, bass clarinet, and keyboards, although he is most known for his saxophone playing. His most recent album, "House of Legends," was the 2012 Jazzwise Album of the Year. (AC) courtney-pine.com

Dave Spinner B3 Band Rochester keyboardist Dave Spinner plugs some smooth, some Latin, and a touch of r&b into his jazz. Besides holding the steering wheel for his own band, Spinner has spun with artists like Spyro Gyra, the Gap Mangione Band, and Prime Time Funk. (FD)

Eric Alexander-Harold Mabern Quartet When it comes to contemporary tenor saxophonists, none have a more muscular, assured tone than Eric Alexander. He plays the festival with his former teacher Harold Mabern, a jazz legend since the 1960's. A superb pianist, Maybern worked with Lee Morgan, Sonny Rollins, Freddie Hubbard, and many others. (RN) ericalexanderjazz.com, haroldmabern.com

Geoffrey Keezer Pianist Geoffrey Keezer was just 18 years old when he was recruited by the legendary Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers. Since then he's lent his keyboard virtuosity to a "Who's Who" of jazz including Art Farmer, Benny Golson, and Jim Hall, and also recorded more than 20 albums as a leader. (RN) geoffreykeezer.com

Greenfield-Rosenberg Quartet When alto saxophonist Hayes Greenfield harmonizes with baritone sax man Roger Rosenberg, the dynamic sound reflects two lifetimes of jazz immersion. Since arriving on the New York scene in the 1970's, Greenfield has played with greats like Jaki Byard, Rashied Ali, and Paul Bley. Rosenberg has lent his talents to Miles Davis, John Lennon, and Chet Baker. (RN) hayesgreenfield.com, myspace.com/rogerrosenberg

Hiroya Tsukamoto & Satoshi Takeishi Guitarist Hiroya Tsukamoto brings touches of classical, flamenco, and jazz to his distinctive guitar style on original pieces of extraordinary beauty. Drummer Satoshi Takeishi, a whirlwind of energy on a variety of percussion instruments, expands the definition of drums to include computer samples. Together they create a highly original soundscape. (RN) hiroyatsukamoto.com

Kurt Rosenwinkel New Quartet Since dropping out of Berklee College of Music to tour with vibraphonist Gary Burton, guitarist Kurt Rosenwinkel has gone on to become one of the most hard-swinging guitarists of his generation. Among his biggest fans is Eric Clapton, who invited him to play at this year's Crossroads Guitar Festival. (RN) kurtrosenwinkel.com

Lina Nyberg Hidden within Swedish vocalist Lina Nyberg's classic-leaning instrumentation and subtle torch-singing qualities is a quirky splash of rhythmic mirth and progressive hijinks. Her latest CD, "Palaver," has received raves and accolades far outside her native Stockholm home. (FD) linanyberg.se

Michael Mwenso When Sierra Leone-born Michael Mwenso was a kid growing up in London, his jazz meter was tweaked into the red by none other than the Godfather of Soul, James Brown, who would invite the young man up to sing with him. He has since gone on to run the jam sessions at London jazz club Ronnie Scott's, join the programming team at Lincoln Center, and run the after-hours program at Dizzy's Club Cocoa-Cola. (FD) facebook.com/michael.mwenso

Mike Cottone Quartet After earning a bachelor's degree at Eastman School of Music and a master's at The Juilliard School, Mike Cottone has played with the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra and in the band for the Broadway production of "Hair." Now at the Thelonious Monk Institute in Los Angeles, Cottone studies with Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, and others. (RN) mikecottone.com

Mike Kaupa Quartet With his gorgeous tone and breathtaking melodic runs, trumpeter Mike Kaupa has been one of the most valuable players on the Rochester jazz scene for decades. Locally he's a long-time performer in the Dave Rivello Ensemble, but Kaupa has also played with Ray Charles, Mel Torme, Steve Gadd, Gary Bartz, and Luciana Souza. (RN) mikekaupa.com

Sicilian Jazz Project Starting with Italian roots music, guitarist Michael Occhipinti's Sicilian Jazz Project creates contemporary works based on traditional songs, incorporating new voicings, rhythms, and harmonies along the way. A tune may begin in the old country with a folk melody only to cross the ocean into contemporary post-bop territory. (RN) thesicilianjazzproject.com

Violet Mary Beneath this band's muscle-car patina and melodic shine lurks the heart of the beast. Rochester's Violet Mary is both melodic and picturesque without forsaking those RPMs and the ensuing heart palpitations. In other words, this is one undeniable force, a great rock band. (FD) violetmary.com

In This Guide...

    Friday June 21 - Schedule

    3:45, 4:30 & 5 p.m.: High School Jazz Bands Jazz Street Stage (FREE) 5:30 p.m.: Quincy Jones Presents: Nikki Yanofsky Harro East Ballroom ($20-$25, or Club Pass)

    INTERVIEW: Pink Martini

    With equal dashes Esquivel lounge and Martin Denny exotica, chilled on retro rocks and poured into a Camelot-era America glass, Pink Martini is the ultimate in sophisticated pop cool and classic, jazzy swing. Since 1994, this ensemble from Portland, Oregon, has traveled the world plugging into orchestras along the way.

    Friday, June 21 - Artist Bios

    Bill Dobbins Bill Dobbins is director of the Eastman Jazz Ensemble and Eastman Studio Orchestra, but European jazz aficionados know him as the long-time conductor of the WDR Big Band (1994-2002) and occasional conductor of the Metropole Orchestra. Dobbins is also an excellent pianist who has played with Clark Terry, Phil Woods, and Peter Erskine.

    Saturday, June 22 - Schedule

    1 p.m.: Student Jazz Workshops Eastman School of Music (Room 120) 3:45, 4:30 & 5:15 p.m.: High School Jazz Bands Jazz Street Stage (FREE)

    Saturday, June 22 - Artist Bios

    78 RPM Big Band This group originated in the early 70's as an Oktoberfest band in Western New York. Over the years it has traded the oom-pa-pa-oom for some sweet swing a la Glenn, Tommy, and Artie.

    Sunday, June 23 - Schedule

    1 p.m.: Student Jazz Workshops Eastman School of Music (Room 120) 3:45, 4:30 & 5:15 p.m.: High School Jazz Bands Jazz Street Stage (FREE)

    INTERVIEW: Marti Brom

    There's a spot in certain female voices — a transitional spot, if you will — between sweet vibrato and growl. Texas rockabilly songstress Marti Brom traverses this vocal twilight beautifully, leaving a slew of broken hearts in her wake.

    Sunday, June 23 - Artist Bios

    BeauSoleil avec Michael Doucet Brothers Michael and David Doucet began touring Louisiana in 1986. Since then their cajun dance music has earned them Grammy nominations and even a Super Bowl performance.

    Monday, June 24 - Schedule

    Noon: Mike Kaupa Quartet Central Library (FREE) 4:30 & 5:15 p.m.: High School Jazz Bands Jazz Street Stage (FREE)

    Jazz Festival Guide 2013

    Exclusive interviews, artist bios and interviews
    CITY Newspaper's guide to the biggest music festival in Rochester! For more coverage, check our website every day of the festival for reviews, blogs, photos and more!

    Tuesday, June 25 - Schedule

    Noon: Nick Finzer Central Library (FREE) 4:30 & 5:15 p.m.: High School Jazz Bands Jazz Street Stage (FREE)

    INTERVIEW: Anat Cohen

    When Israeli clarinetist Anat Cohen steps out of her Brooklyn home, she finds herself between two worlds. Cohen resides in Williamsburg, a vital neighborhood in the New York jazz scene.

    Tuesday, June 25 - Artist Bios

    Alfredo Rodriguez See listing for Monday, June 24. Anat Cohen See feature on page 22.

    Wednesday, Jun 26 - Schedule

    Noon: Ted Nicolosi and Shared Genes Central Library (FREE) 4:30 & 5:15 p.m.: High School Jazz Bands Jazz Street Stage (FREE)

    Wednesday, Jun 26 - Artist Bios

    Aaron Goldberg Trio When Wynton Marsalis hired Aaron Goldberg to play piano for the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, he called him "a modern improviser of great clarity, finesse, and dexterity." A sought-after sideman, Goldberg has lent his keyboard talents to Betty Carter, Joshua Redman, Kurt Rosenwinkel, and many others.

    Thursday, June 27 - Schedule

    Noon: Herb Smith Central Library (FREE) 1 p.m.: Student Jazz Workshops Eastman School of Music (Room 120)

    INTERVIEW: Rudresh Mahanthappa

    It's not unusual for a jazz artist to lead several groups, but Rudresh Mahanthappa just might hold the record. He leads or co-leads 10 different ensembles.

    Thursday, June 27 - Artist Bios

    Bob James and David Sanborn with Steve Gadd Saxophonist David Sanborn has played with famous artists from every genre imaginable — David Bowie, Stevie Wonder, the Grateful Dead, Billy Joel, and Eric Clapton are just a few. For this concert he will be joined by keyboardist Bob James, drummer Steve Gadd, and bassist James Genus.

    Friday, June 28 - Schedule

    Noon: Karl Stabnau Central Library (FREE) 1 p.m.: Student Jazz Workshops Eastman School of Music (Room 120)

    INTERVIEW: Gas House Gorillas

    So, five gorillas walk into a bar... But seriously folks, five guys from Brooklyn walk into a joint in Anytown, USA, and promptly take the stage.

    Friday, June 28 - Artist Bios

    Ben Taylor Imagine the expectation that comes with being the son of James Taylor and Carly Simon. Ben Taylor lives up to that expectation, but with a voice all his own.

    Saturday, June 29 - Schedule

    1 p.m.: Student Jazz Workshops Eastman School of Music (Room 120) 3:45, 4:30 & 5:15 p.m.: High School Jazz Bands Jazz Street Stage (FREE)

    Saturday, June 29 - Artist Bios

    Al Chez & the Brothers of Funk No doubt you've seen his mug and heard his horn on the tube. For 15 years he honked his horn on "Late Night with David Letterman."

    Festival Information

    Tickets, Venues, Parking
    The 2013 Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival Friday, June 21-Saturday, June 29

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