Saturday, June 30
Akiko Tsuruga Trio (B-3 organ jazz) Click here for a feature on Akiko Tsuruga.
Bill Goodwin Trio (Straight-ahead jazz) Drummer Bill Goodwin was only 17 years old when he was tapped to go on the road with saxophonist Charles Lloyd. That was the beginning of a long career that has brought him to the stage with Art Pepper, George Shearing, Gábor Szabó, Jim Hall, Bill Evans, and many more. His long stint as producer and drummer with Phil Woods led to three Grammy Awards. (RN) billgoodwindrummer.com
Butcher Brown (Funk, rock) In this band's bio, Butcher Brown refers to itself as garage punk jazz funk. And yes, those elements and underlying influences are in there. The group though doesn't play it severe but rather puts a rockin' stranglehold on contemporary jazz. (FD) butcherbrown.com
Community Soul Project (Funk, soul) Check out the bio here.
Deva Mahal (Soul) Daughter of Taj Mahal, seductive soulstress Deva Mahal sings the notes and wrings them out in a distinct, measured approach. Mahal sings at the pinnacle of emotion, with some boisterous blues power purring under the hood. (FD) devamahal.com
Eric Krasno Band (Blues rock) He was the co-founder of Soulive and Lettuce, and he's played with everyone from The Rolling Stones to The Roots, not to mention writing tunes for artists as diverse as Norah Jones, 50 Cent, and Aaron Neville. Did I mention his Grammy Awards? Let's just say Eric Krasno is one of the greatest guitarists and singers working today, and his band is as hot as it gets. (RN) erickrasno.com
Gap Mangione and the New Big Band (Big band) By the time he was 15, Rochester piano legend Gap Mangione was writing and arranging for local bands. At 80, he's still at it with his own big band. Mind the gap. (FD) gapmangione.com
Geoffrey Keezer (Straight-ahead jazz) Click here for the bio.
Joe Beard (Blues) Rochester's own king of the blues has been slinging his big red guitar for 80 years now. And whereas some guitar players pack their playing full of drama, just watch Joe go with the understated flow. Utterly talented; utterly cool. (FD) facebook.com/joebeardblues
Mark Lewandowski Trio (Straight-ahead jazz) One of the most in-demand bassists on the London jazz scene, Mark Lewandowski has played with the top British jazz stars. His latest album explores the legacy of the great keyboard player and songwriter "Fats" Waller. With tunes like "Jitterbug Waltz" and "Ain't Misbehavin," it's a great legacy to explore. (RN) whirlwindrecordings.com/mark-lewandowski/
Matt Wilson's Honey & Salt Band (Straight-ahead jazz) Drummer Matt Wilson is known as one of the hardest working men in jazz. Aside from his work with Lee Konitz, Joe Lovano, John Scofield, and many others, Wilson leads several of his own groups, notably Arts & Crafts. Wilson's Honey & Salt Band explores the poetry of fellow Illinois native Carl Sandburg with singer and guitarist Dawn Thomson, cornetist Ron Miles, reed player Jeff Lederer, and bassist Martin Wind. (RN) mattwilsonjazz.com
Sultans of String (World music) With its seamless fusion of Spanish Flamenco, French Manouche, Arabic Folk, Gypsy Jazz, and more, the Canada-based Sultans of String are the epitome of world music. And if you want to hear and see something completely different, four strings are never enough for violinist Chris McKhool. His super fiddle has six. (RN) sultansofstring.com
Thomas Strønen (Progressive jazz) With violin, cello, bass, and piano, Norwegian drummer and composer Thomas Strønen's quintet may be unusual in the jazz world. But that instrumentation is perfectly suited to Strønen's serial approach to composition. With works that gradually build to gorgeous crescendos, Strønen is one of the most respected and influential musicians on the Scandinavian jazz scene. (RN) facebook.com/thomasstronen
Tower of Power (Funky brass) With saxophonists Emilio Castillo and Stephen "Doc" Kupka still in the ranks, Tower of Power dominates like a hurricane straight outta Oakland. And they've been at it now for half a century and are now out on a 50th anniversary tour. The band is still big, bad, and bold. (FD) facebook.com/officialtowerofpowerband
William Sperandei Quartet feat. Pat LaBarbera (Straight-ahead jazz) Trumpeter and pianist William Sperandei is a major player on the Toronto scene. When he brings his quartet to the XRIJF, it will feature tenor saxophonist Pat LaBarbera. Born in Mt. Morris to a family that produced three notable jazz players (the others: drummer Joe LaBarbera and trumpeter John LaBarbera), Pat LaBarbera joined the Buddy Rich Band when he was fresh out of Berklee College of Music. He went on to tour and record with Elvin Jones and others. (RN) www.canadianjazzarchive.org/en/musicians/william-sperandei; patlabarbera.jazzgiants.net