Chuck Mead & His Grassy Knoll Boys Chuck Mead burst on the scene with the three-time Grammy-nominated retro-hillbilly outfit BR549. With the band officially on hiatus, Mead has focused on a solo career and producing the Broadway hit "Million Dollar Quartet." His latest platter, "Back at the Quonset Hut," was recorded at what was originally known as Bradley's Film & Recording Studios — the famed studio is the country-music equivalent to the Vatican. And these acolytes are honky-tonk royalty, too. (FD) chuckmead.com
Cyrille Aimee There ain't nothing quite like hearing a young artist scat ... and do it right. Vocalist Cyrille Aimee is so cool — frosty actually — as she taunts and teases, wringing the juice out of each note and flirting with time signatures like a careless lover. Enchanting. (FD) cyrillemusic.com
Ester Rada See listing for Friday, June 27.
George Thorogood and The Destroyers See feature on page X. georgethorogood.com
Gwilym Simcock Gwilym Simcock has found a way to distinguish himself in the crowded international jazz world. In composition and style, the young British pianist's influences stretch from jazz improvisers like Keith Jarrett to classical composers like Maurice Ravel and Igor Stravinsky. (RN) gwilymsimcock.com
Joe Beard Though born and raised in Ashland, Mississippi, Joe Beard has spent his life singing and playing the blues in Rochester. Virtually every blues artist coming through town has this legend sit in. Beard has a classic Chicago style shuffle full of tight, terse twang with his remarkably soulful voice riding on top. Baby, don't you wanna go? (FD) facebook.com/joebeardblues
John Papa Gros Band See listing for Friday, June 27.
Newport Jazz Festival: Now 60 Celebrating the Newport Jazz Festival's 60th anniversary, a dream-team ensemble of world-class musicians is hitting the road, spreading the festival's jazz message. The group includes clarinetist/saxophonist Anat Cohen, vocalist/pianist Karrin Allyson, bassists Larry Grenadier, pianist Peter Martin, guitarist Mark Whitfield, trumpeter Randy Brecker, and drummer Clarence Penn. (JC) newportjazzfest.org
Norma Winstone Trio Though British jazz singer Norma Winstone began her career with jazz standards, she is well-known for her experimental approach to wordless improvisation. Her gorgeous voice and touching lyricism has won countless awards over the years — including an MBE awarded in 2007. Her current trio features Italian pianist Glauco Venier and German saxophonist Klaus Gesing. (JC) normawinstone.com
Prime Time Funk Prime Time Funk picks up the pieces and pulverizes them. With its attention to funky grooves, no concern about what dancing may do to your spine, and a horn section that comes on like a brass-powered blitzkrieg, Prime Time Funk will wear you out. (FD) primetimefunk.com
Rochester Metro Jazz Orchestra If you are longing to hear the wonderful tunes made famous by the Duke Ellington Orchestra, the Count Basie Orchestra, Ella Fitzgerald, and Natalie Cole, the Rochester Metro Jazz Orchestra is the band for you. The 19-piece band, founded in 1998, fosters the preservation of big-band music so that it can be enjoyed for generations to come. (RN) rocjazz.com
Scott Feiner & Pandeiro Jazz The small Brazilian hand drum known as a pandeiro is a versatile instrument, but it still took a great deal of audacity when drummer Scott Feiner decided to use only the pandeiro for percussion in his band. Surrounded by superb musicians, Feiner strikes the small drum in every imaginable way. (RN) scottfeiner.com
Soulive Soulive is a 21st-century soul-jazz fusion group with a distinctive hip-hop-tinged style. They've got the funk and they know how to use it. A recent album, "Rubber Soulive," takes the infectious drum-guitar-organ sound on a journey to meet the Beatles. The group's newest, "Spark!," is a tribute to soul-jazz legend Melvin Sparks. (RN) royalfamilyrecords.com/soulive
Stephanie Trick How does a classically trained pianist still in her 20's become one of the leading proponents of stride piano and boogie-woogie, genres dating from almost a century ago? Stephanie Trick was born in St. Louis and went to college in Chicago, two cities known for early jazz prowess. And, it seems she just had a love of — and a knack for —playing the music of Fats Waller, James P. Johnson, and other bygone greats. (RN) stephanietrick.com
Susanna The delicacy in Norwegian singer Susanna's voice makes each song she touches intensely emotional. Susanna and the Magical Orchestra — her duo with keyboardist Morten Qvenild — has released a critically-acclaimed string of albums that feature a low-key, but powerful combination of voice and organ. Take a listen to Susanna's covers of Joy Division's "Love Will Tear Us Apart," and Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah" and you'll see those classics in an entirely new light. (JC) susannamagical.com
The Deciders See listing for Friday, June 27.
The London Souls New York City-based rock band The London Souls list bands like Led Zeppelin, Cream, and The Beatles as its influences — and so does every other modern blues-tinged rock band. But what makes The London Souls unique is how well it would fit into the late-60's/early-70's hard rock world. The band isn't just influenced by the guitar work of Jimi Hendrix, or Ginger Baker's drumming, it sounds like The London Souls was a band in the same era, and then jammed with these greats when they played New York. (JC) thelondonsouls.com
The Wee Trio See listing for Friday, June 27.
XRIJF Nightly Jazz Session with The Bob Sneider Trio See listing for Friday, June 20.