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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)

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)

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)

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),

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)

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),

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

In This Guide...


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