Monday, June 27
Bill Tiberio Band (Jazz funk) Bill Tiberio leads the jazz band at Fairport High School, but he's also carved out a reputation as a soulful saxophone player with a style recalling the funky sound of Maceo Parker. Over the years, he's shared the stage with Fred Wesley, Lou Gramm, The Four Tops, The Temptations, and many more. (RN) billtiberioband.com
Elio Villafranca (Hard bop jazz) Cuba has a tradition of producing some of the greatest pianists in jazz, and Elio Villafranca is no exception. As imaginative as he is dexterous, Villafranca plays with a brilliantly controlled abandon. In addition to his trio concert at Xerox Auditorium on Sunday, he’ll perform solo at Hatch Hall on Monday. (RN) eliovillafranca.net
Elizabeth Shephard (Piano, voice) Though she admittedly has a penchant for odd meters, this Montreal pianist-vocalist takes standard jazz and gives it a feathery tweak. What comes out the other end is gentle, but not without a kick. She is the gateway sound to heavier jazz without bombast. Subtlety is the name of Elizabeth Shepherd's game. (FD) facebook.com/elizabethshepherdmusic
Gwyneth Herbert (Jazz vocalist) With a voice that runs from a sweet and plaintive contralto to stratospheric upper-register notes only a puppy can hear, British jazz vocalist Gwyneth Herbert finds musical interludes in everyday life. And once they're harnessed and deciphered, she presents it in a laid back fascination and awe that is both classic and immediate. (FD) gwynethherbert.com
Jam sessions with Bob Sneider Trio (Jazz) Every night, XRIJF musicians come off the stage fired up. They let off steam when they get back to the Holiday Inn, where the Bob Sneider Trio is deep into the nightly jam session. Sneider is a world-class jazz guitarist with top-notch support from Mike Melito on drums and Phil Flanigan on bass. Wynton Marsalis, George Benson, Chris Potter, and Eric Alexander are a tiny fraction of the stars who have sat in with the band. (RN) bobsneider.net
Judith Hill (Funk) Nestled down in her band's postmodern filthy funk is Judith Hill's classically soulful display. Within her songs (she's been writing since she was 4), Hill hammers-out myriad vocal styles, forging them into a brutally charming, unique, and deadly groove. She's sung backup for Stevie Wonder and Michael Jackson, but now it's her time. (FD) judithhill.com
Lafayette Suite (Progressive jazz) If there can be a hip-hop Broadway musical about Alexander Hamilton, why not a jazz suite about the Marquis de Lafayette, who brought French troops to fight alongside Americans for independence. Pianist Laurent Coq leads an excellent quartet in this evocative music. (RN) laurentcoq.com
Lizz Wright (Vocal jazz) Check out our feature on Lizz Wright.
Mel Henderson Trio (Jazz) Guitarist Mel Henderson has a breezy, octave-oriented style when he solos that may remind listeners of the great Wes Montgomery. Over the years, he's enlivened the bands of Dr. Lonnie Smith, David "Fathead" Newman, Jeremy Pelt, and Randy Brecker. In Rochester his group, Paradigm Shift, has been a favorite in clubs for two decades. (RN) melhendersonjazz.com
Mika Pohjola (Hard bop jazz) Finnish-born pianist and composer Mika Pohjola moved to New York City in 1995 and quickly established himself as a first-call keyboardist, enhancing the bands of Miguel Zenón, Mark Turner, Matt Wilson, and many more. He is also known for his ability to play music ranging from traditional Swedish songs to Argentine tangos. (RN) mikapohjola.bluemusicgroup.com
Moscow Jazz Orchestra (Big band jazz) Igor Butman leads a 17-piece big band that will knock your socks off. While political tensions are once again flaring between Russia and the US, this band will assure you we've got something in common: the love of air-tight arrangements, dynamic range, and imaginative voicings that make a jazz band cook. (RN) igorbutman.com/en
Nicholas Payton (Jazz) They called N'awlins jazz trumpeter Nicholas Payton a virtuoso before he had even graduated high school. And he cut his first major label album when he was 20. Suffice it to say, he's had a head start. I mean, he picked up the trumpet when he was 4, and by 9, he was running with the big kids in The All-Star Brass Band. (FD) nicholaspayton.com
The Revelers (Zydeco) It's a veritable stew served hot and cool. Louisiana's The Revelers mix Cajun and zydeco strains with a little kick in the butt from some rootsy swamp-rock and a fantastic squeeze box squeezing over a frenetic beat. (FD) revelersband.com
RIJF-ESM Jazz Scholarships Performance Directed by Jeff Campbell (Jazz) Bassist Jeff Campbell has been a ubiquitous presence on the Rochester jazz scene for two decades. The Eastman School of Music professor has shared the stage with Marian McPartland, Gene Bertoncini, and many others. (RN)
Rodriguez Brothers (Hard bop jazz) Trumpeter Michael Rodriguez and his brother, pianist Robert, are first-call musicians on the New York scene, playing with Charlie Haden, Eddie Palmieri, Wynton Marsalis, and Quincy Jones. In 2002, they decided to put their original compositions to the test in their own band, the Rodriguez Brothers. The sibling simpatico comes through loud and clear in this tight ensemble. (RN) rodbrosmusic.com
Scott Neumann's Spin Cycle (Hard bop jazz) When four of New York City's top jazz players bring all of their collective musical experiences together, the result is more than the sum of its parts. Spin Cycle consists of top-flight drummer Scott Neumann, the adventurous improviser, saxophonist Tom Christensen, superb bassist Phil Palombi, and excellent guitarist Pete McCann. (RN) scottneumannmusic.com
City Newspaper's guide to Rochester's biggest music festival. The 2016 Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival runs Friday, June 24, through Saturday, July 2. For more reviews, blogs, photos, and the latest news, check our website every day of the festival.
The 2016 Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival runs Friday, June 24, through Saturday, July 2, and City Newspaper will be out every night of the festival, covering multiple shows.