Tuesday, June 23 - Musician Bios 

Tuesday, June 23 - Musician Bios

Aaron Diehl Aaron Diehl turned more than a few heads with his gorgeous keyboard work when he played last year's XRIJF with Cecile Mclorin Salvant. This year Diehl will have more opportunities to showcase his superb technique and lyrical style when he takes the spotlight in solo and trio concerts. (RN) aarondiehl.com

Carl Atkins & New Energy Big Band Founded by performers, composers, and RIT faculty Carl Atkins and Jonathan Kruger, the New Energy Big Band's aim is to establish a Rochester-based ensemble capable of performing both new compositions as well as classics by international composers and performers past and present. (NP)

Cloudmakers Trio Jim Hart's four-mallet attack on the vibraphone is perfectly matched by the furious approach of drummer Dave Smith and bassist Michael Janisch when the London-based Cloudmakers Trio takes the stage. One of the hottest young bands on the British scene, the energetic trio propels the jazz tradition into the future. (RN) cloudmakerstrio.com

Dirk Quinn Band An early love for classic rock gave way to a new appreciation and interest in the jazz world for Dirk Quinn. His band's interplay and high energy has proven capable of experimentation as well as accessibility. (NP) dirkquinn.com

Fred Hersch After graduating from the New England Conservatory of Music in 1977, Fred Hersch was enlisted to tour with greats like Stan Getz, Joe Henderson, and Art Farmer. Among his four dozen albums as a leader are tributes to Billy Strayhorn, Bill Evans, Thelonious Monk, Rogers and Hammerstein, and Antonio Carlos Jobim. Whether he's playing standards or originals, Hersch is among the most lyrical stylists in jazz. (RN) fredhersch.com

Gap Mangione Gap Mangione first made a name for himself in the 1960's and 1970's, recording with his brother Chuck. He was musically reunited with his brother in the 2007 recreation of Chuck's "Friends & Love" concert. Recently inaugurated into the Rochester Music Hall of Fame, Gap has been a force on the Rochester scene for five decades. (RN) gapmangione.com

Gary Clark Jr. Born and raised in Austin, Texas, Gary Clark Jr. completely caught me off guard when I saw him at the party in the parking lot a few years back. His guitar was big and bad and his singing more of a seething incantation than your stock blues wail. He's mild mannered off stage but a 10-foot-tall wall-o-blues on stage. He's is destined to be the next guitar god in our midst and the heir apparent to SRV. This is my pick for best show of this year's fest. (FD) garyclarkjr.com

George Colligan Pianist George Colligan has a solid reputation as a top sideman with Cassandra Wilson, Don Byron, Jack DeJohnette, and others, so it's no surprise that he has emerged as a star in his own right. Colligan is a brilliant pianist, displaying dizzying chops and a superb sense of adventure on every excursion. He's also an excellent composer. (RN) georgecolligan.com

Harry Allen Quartet I don't know why this cat hasn't already been nick-named Mr. Mellow. Allen blows relaxed and chilly while maintaining a vibrant swoon and swing in the room. Born in Washington, D.C., Allen has played with everyone — no list, I mean everyone. Just dig him playing "Cry Me a River" and you'll see what I mean. (FD) harryallenjazz.com

Holly Cole Known as much for her twist on Mr. Waits material as her own noir nuggets, Canadian songstress Holly Cole is a gem that sparkles brightest in the wee small hours. Whereas many jazz singers interpret around the pylons set in place by a tunes composer, Cole weaves in and out of the places left uncharted with a velvety touch that'll slug you like a hammer. She's simply amazing. (FD) hollycole.com

Jimmie Highsmith Jr. After studying at Rochester's School of the Arts, Jimmie Highsmith Jr. joined the US Air Force and formed a jazz band to play USO events. The experience served him well. Since returning to Rochester in the early 1990's, he's recorded four albums of smooth jazz mixed with a healthy dose of funk. (RN) facebook.com/The.JimmieHighsmith.Experience

Julia Hülsmann Trio Julia Hülsmann is well known in Germany as one of the most brilliantly introspective pianists playing today. She has occasionally collaborated with singers like Theo Bleckmann, but she is also known for her instrumental work with a repertoire that stretches from her own sensitive compositions to covers of tunes by greats like Kurt Weill, Nick Drake, and Randy Newman. (RN)

Kenny Werner Kenny Werner attended the Manhattan School of Music with the intention of becoming a concert pianist. But he took a detour, transferring to the Berklee School of Music, where he focused on jazz. Since the mid 1970's, Werner has brought his distinctive piano style to concerts and recordings by Jaki Byard, Joe Henderson, Tom Harrell, Chico Freeman, and Joe Lovano. (RN) kennywerner.com

Interzone Formed out of a need to play music free from the constraints of rules or "forced complexity," Interzone is made up of three of Austria's most exciting young musicians who have consciously decided not to play with any chordal instrument in order to maintain the musical freedom which they strive for. (NP) laubrecords.com/interzone

Moutin Factory Quintet Identical twin brothers François and Louis Moutin grew up in Paris absorbing their parents' collection of American jazz and blues. Both superb players, Louis (drums) and François (bass) recruited equally adventurous musicians Manu Codjia (guitar), Christophe Monniot (alto and soprano saxophones), and Thomas Enhco (piano) to form the Moutin Factory Quartet. (RN) moutin.com

Rob & Trey Rob Ickes has been playing bluegrass and Dobro music with his popular Blue Highway act for more than years, and a chance brush with Trey Hensley's vocals led to collaboration. Their resulting record, "Before the Sun Goes Down," aims to be a breath of fresh air to the traditional music scene. (NP) robandtrey.com

XRIJF Nightly Jazz Session with The Bob Sneider Trio See listing for Friday, June 19.

In This Guide...

  • Jazz Festival Guide 2015

    City Newspaper's guide to Rochester's biggest music festival. For more reviews, blogs, photos, and the latest news, check our website every day of the festival.

  • Festival Information

    Tickets, Venues, Parking and Additional Information

  • Friday, June 19 - Schedule

    Friday, June 19 3:45 p.m.: Buckman Heights Elementary School Jazz Street Stage (FREE)

  • Friday, June 19 - Musician Bios

    Friday, June 19 - Musician Bios Anthony Strong Fortified with an acclaimed live show, a tailored suit, and a grand piano, the Anthony Strong wears the "English Gentleman" role well.

  • Saturday, June 20 - Schedule

    Saturday, June 20 3:45 p.m.: Gates-Chili High School Jazz Band Jazz Street Stage (FREE)

  • Saturday, June 20 - Musician Bios

    Saturday, June 20 - Musician Bios 78 RPM Big Band A 16-piece band based out of Dansville, 78 RPM brings big band music all through Western New York.

  • Raul Midon

    When I reached Raul Midon by phone he had just returned from a tour of Europe. With a vocalist, lead guitarist, rhythm guitarist, bassist, percussionist, and trumpet player in tow, it could have been a complicated tour.

  • Sunday, June 21 - Schedule

    Sunday, June 21 3:45 p.m.: MCC Jazz Band Jazz Street Stage (FREE)

  • Sunday, June 21 - Musician Bios

    Sunday, June 21 - Musician Bios Benny Green Solo See listing for Saturday, June 20.

  • Herb Alpert

    It's 9 a.m., Pacific Time when Herb Alpert gave us a jingle-jangle a few weeks ago. He'd been up for hours recording "Whatever pops into my head," the 80-year-old jazz and pop trumpeter says.

  • Monday, June 22 - Schedule

    Monday, June 22 - Musician Bios 12:00 p.m.: Jazz Starts at the Library with Mike Kaupa Central Library of Rochester and Monroe County (FREE)

  • Monday, June 22 - Musician Bios

    Monday, June 22 - Musician Bios Blue Highway With more than 20 years together and 11 albums to show for it, Blue Highway is at the top of the bluegrass heap.

  • Jane Bunnett

    What is it about Afro-Cuban music that makes it the very embodiment of joy? Is it the dance of the exuberant polyrhythms as they weave in and out of one another?

  • Tuesday, June 23 - Schedule

    Tuesday, June 23 12:00 p.m.: Jazz Starts at the Library with Danny Ziemann Central Library of Rochester and Monroe County (FREE)

  • Wednesday, June 24 - Schedule

    Wednesday, June 24 12:00 p.m.: Jazz Starts at the Library with Mel Henderson Central Library of Rochester and Monroe County (FREE)

  • Wednesday, June 24 - Musician Bios

    Wednesday, June 24 - Musician Bios Aaron Diehl Solo See listing for Tuesday, June 23.

  • Fred Hersch

    Growing up in Cincinnati, Fred Hersch noticed that there was a piano in his house, so, at the age of 4, he sat down and started to pick out tunes. That precocious beginning led Hersch to a career as a sideman with greats like Joe Henderson, Stan Getz, and Art Farmer; as a leader on more than 40 albums; and an innovator who has expanded jazz into multimedia and the classical realm.

  • Thursday, June 25 - Schedule

    Thursday, June 25 12:00 p.m.: Jazz Starts at the Library with Doug Stone Central Library of Rochester and Monroe County (FREE)

  • Thursday, June 25 - Musician Bios

    Thursday, June 25 - Musician Bios Ali Jackson Trio The son of bassist Ali Jackson Sr., drummer Ali Jackson had strong encouragement at an early age from stars like Max Roach, Milt Hinton, and Aretha Franklin.

  • Sharon Jones

    Sharon Jones was scheduled to sing at the 2013 Rochester International Jazz Festival when her career was abruptly put on hold due to a bout with cancer. Consequently, the following feature article was also put on hold.

  • Friday, June 26 - Schedule

    Friday, June 26 12:00 p.m.: Jazz Starts at the Library with Mike Melito Central Library of Rochester and Monroe County (FREE)

  • Friday, June 26 - Musician Bios

    Friday, June 26 - Musician Bios Arstidir Iceland's Arstidir has spent the last six years touring in more than 30 countries.

  • Ingrid Jensen

    If instruments have personalities, trumpet has to be the most audacious and in your face. Maybe that's why not many budding female musicians are handed one.

  • Saturday, June 27 - Schedule

    Saturday, June 27 3:00 p.m.: Bill Tiberio Band East Ave. & Chestnut St. Stage (FREE)

  • Saturday, June 27 - Musician Bios

    Saturday, June 27 - Musician Bios Alex Pangman Regarded as Canada's "sweetheart of swing," Alex Pangman has proven herself a talented and learned student of the classic jazz singers.

  • Steep Canyon Rangers

    To the untrained ear, bluegrass tunes tend to run into each other, the patterns and loops of notes both picked and plucked can be a confusing barrage. That's not to say bands like this aren't accessible, you've just gotta be on your toes.

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