JAZZ FEST 2012: Meet Willie Clark (Day 1 preview)

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"But if you're gone during the summer, you'll miss the Jazz Fest."

Over the past four years that's what I told many friends and fellow UR students. One of the biggest, and musically best, events in Rochester happens every summer, and as they all left for home or other internships, I always reminded them of what they were missing. And I rubbed it in their faces a little bit.

Oddly enough, my first time ever at the Rochester International Jazz Festival was playing on the Jazz Street Stage with my high-school jazz band. I've had fond memories of the festival ever since, be it the music, the food, the community getting together, or moshing during Smash Mouth's "All Star" a few years back. This will be my second year actually covering the festival. This year I'm covering a lot of names that are new to me, but the discovery part of the festival has always been one of my favorite parts.

Musically, I tend to lean more toward the modern and contemporary sides of jazz; loud, fast music that borders on rock is fine by me. Throw in some bluegrass-leaning tendencies and I'm pretty happy as well. Oh, and anything with a tuba in it wins automatically. Nothing beats tuba jazz.

For Friday night I'm set to check out a good mix of groups: the Lucio Ferrara Trio, Goran Kajfes Subtropic Arkestra, and L'Orkestra des Pas Perdus (which does have a tuba).

And I'm really hoping that Bayou Billy's food cart is returning. I've got my collectable mugs still kicking around, and homemade jambalaya and root beer hits the spot every time.

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