Blind Boy Paxton Despite his abbreviated age, Jerron "Blind Boy" Paxton is a master of pre-war, acoustic blues. We're talking the storied sounds of Lonnie Johnson, Robert Johnson, and Bessie Smith — to name a few — wrought by a multi-instrumentalist in his mid-20's. The man rocks it right. (FD)
Bonerama See listing for Monday, June 23.
Etienne Charles Quintet Growing up in Trinidad, Etienne Charles was immersed in folkloric traditions passed down from African slaves. Now a virtuoso trumpet player, he is bringing those traditions, in the form of irresistible music, to audiences around the world. Earlier in his career he shared the stage with Roberta Flack, Wynton Marsalis, Johnny Mandel, and many others. (RN) etiennecharles.com
Fourplay Twelve studio albums and 23 years on, Fourplay is still going strong. The contemporary jazz quartet — keyboardist Bob James; Nathan East, bass; Harvey Mason, drums; and Chuck Loeb, guitar — found that key mix of R&B, pop, and jazz that attracts a massive audience and hasn't let slip since. (JC) fourplayjazz.com
Fred Costello Fred Costello works the B3 as if he had four hands. He's is a top-notch talent who has gigged everywhere, including extended stands in Vegas. His organ has accompanied Rochester Red Wings' balls, strikes, and home runs since 1977, and you can get the skinny in his autobiography, "Fred Costello: a Lifetime of Nightclubs & Ballparks." (FD) fredcostello.com
Gabe Condon Twenty-three-year-old Gabe Condon asked for a guitar when he was 4 years old. In 2010, Condon was selected as an "Outstanding Jazz Soloist" in Downbeat Magazine. The Eastman School of Music student is now working on his first album. An up-and-comer, Condon should certainly be watched for on the Rochester scene. (JC) gabecondon.com
Jacob Young & Trygve Seim Guitarist Jacob Young and saxophonist Trygve Seim are two of Norway's finest contemporary jazz musicians. Young boasts a clear, ringing tone reminiscent of the style of his teachers, Jim Hall and John Abercrombie. Trygve's sax sound can be mournful or ecstatic, but it's always expansive and beautiful. (RN) jacobyoung.no/index_english.htm; trygveseim.com
Laila Biali Sting gives this Canadian singer-pianist two thumbs up. Need more? Biali has toured the globe, bringing with her a pop accessibility to a decidedly deliberate jazz twist. Biali's music has a lot of complex textures going on but manages to expertly avoid a wreck. A perfect blend of simple beauty and heady sophistication. (FD) lailabiali.com
Louis Hayes & The Cannonball Adderley Legacy Band Drummer Louis Hayes has held down the beat on pivotal albums by John Coltrane, Oscar Peterson, Wes Montgomery, and many other giants of jazz. At the XRIJF, Hayes will celebrate the music of another legend he played with, the great saxophonist Cannonball Adderley, with a band boasting top players like trumpeter Jeremy Pelt and saxophonist Vincent Herring. (RN)
Lucky Peterson Lucky Peterson was discovered by Willie Dixon at the age of 3 and released his first album at 5. (I know; right?) A multi-instrumentalist, Peterson's keyboard education came from legends Bill Doggett and Jimmy Smith. Born in Buffalo and now living in Dallas, Peterson's blues is as wide-reaching and diverse as the man himself. (FD) lucky-peterson.com
New Energy Jazz Orchestra Organized by saxophonist Carl Atkins and trumpeter Jonathan Kruger in 2006, the New Energy Jazz Orchestra features 17 of the top players in the region exploring adventurous compositions and arrangements by Atkins, Kruger, David Gibson, and others. (RN) geneseo.edu/music/nejo
Peter Bernstein & Friends In the early 1990's, legendary guitarist Jim Hall called Peter Bernstein "the most impressive young guitarist I've heard." Hall went on to say that Bernstein "plays the best of them all for swing, logic, feel and taste." Since then Bernstein has led all-star groups with Brad Mehldau, Christian McBride, Larry Goldings, Jimmy Cobb, and Eric Alexander. (RN) peterbernsteinmusic.com
Significant Other The six-member Rochester band Significant Other brings in a variety of backgrounds to shape its blues-rock. With an electric violin and saxophone, the band is able to really push traditional thoughts on the blues. (JC)
Sophie Bancroft & Tom Lyne Duo As a duo, vocalist-guitarist Sophie Bancroft and bassists Tom Lyne's stripped-down jazz has a relaxed, at-home feel that's warm and inviting. Bancroft's voice is gorgeous over Lyne's swaying bass, and makes for purely pleasant listening. (JC) sophiebancroft.co.uk
Tessa Souter Anyone who has heard her ethereal voice at a previous XRIJF will not be surprised that Tessa Souter has been invited back for a fourth time. Souter's most recent album, "Beyond The Blue," is a bold excursion featuring her lyrics set to great classical works by Beethoven, Ravel, and others played jazz-style. She pulls it off beautifully. An added bonus: Souter will be bringing the great trumpeter Lew Soloff with her. (RN) tessasouter.com
The Lustre Kings One of the hardest working bands on the road today is Albany's Lustre Kings. The band preaches rockabilly zig-zagging from coast to coast. (FD) lustrekings.com
The Moho Collective This band's tension-release dynamic and chordal structures (some I believe they invented) are rooted somewhere no other band I know has gone. It's a band with its own rudiments; you've got sharp, you've got flat, and now you've got Moho. The band's music is cinematically picturesque, with the aggressively angular compositions serving as a vague template. The listener brings the rest. (FD) themohocollective.com
Vijay Iyer See listing for Monday, June 23.
XRIJF Nightly Jazz Session with The Bob Sneider Trio See listing for Friday, June 20.