Dave Rivello will again be playing at the jazz festival
01:15 PM, Jun 14, 2013
If you go
What: Dave Rivello Ensemble.
When: 6:30 and 9 p.m. next Sunday.
Where: Xerox Auditorium at Xerox Plaza, 100 S. Clinton Ave. (entrance on Broad Street).
Cost: $20 or free with club pass.
For information: rochesterjazz.com.
It’s been a big year for Dave Rivello. So big, in fact, that he has trouble remembering everything that’s happened.
“I know a lot did,” he says. “It just happened so quickly that when I think back, it’s a bit of a blur. The poor economy took a bite out of some of my work, but I’ve still kept busy without a break for the past three years.”
He was heavily involved in Eastman School of Music’s Gil Evans Centennial Project. At last year’s Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival, the group launched a concert tour featuring music from Centennial Newly Discovered Works of Gil Evans, which received a Grammy nomination and won record of the year from the Jazz Journalists Association.
The project celebrated legendary composer Evans to mark what would have been his 100th birthday. From the Rochester jazz fest, the group traveled to the Umbria Jazz Festival in Italy and the Newport Jazz Festival and more.
The project was simply icing on the industry cake for Ohio native Rivello, a freelance teacher and composer who has pursued several avenues.
A packed schedule might explain why he hasn’t had time to plan a 20-year anniversary celebration for the Dave Rivello Ensemble, which has been performing consistently since Rivello formed it in 1993.
The group will perform twice at Xerox Auditorium during this year’s jazz fest, which runs June 21 to 29 in Rochester’s East End. It marks the 10th time in 12 years of playing the festival. Though the number of musicians and actual members ranges in the Dave Rivello Ensemble, it’s usually composed of 10 to 12 highly trained players.
“I pinch myself every day because there are people some current and former students just waiting to be in my band,” he said. “I’m fortunate here to have incredible musicians to work with, because my music is not that easy to play.”
The Dave Rivello Ensemble just wrapped production on a shoot for Xerox, which Rivello landed through his past involvement as a jazz fest performer and in his role as a judge in the one-time Xerox Jazz Idol competition.
Throughout the year, the band performs every other Thursday at the Village Rock Café on East Main Street. After the festival, Rivello will teach a high school jazz camp while the Eastman School is on break for the summer and prepare for a residency and commissioned work for Lawrence University in November.
He’s also working on another biographical venture: for the past few months, Rivello and Ryan Truesdell (producer of the Gil Evans Project) have been traveling to New Hampshire to help the widow of Bob Brookmeyer organize the trombonist’s manuscripts.
“We found about 30 unrecorded pieces,” he said. “We’re thinking about putting together a band and recording a CD.”
In such a busy, creatively demanding role, Rivello is very careful to refresh himself periodically with other forms of art, whether that means reading Letters To A Young Poet by Rainer Maria Rilke for the 20th time or hopping Amtrak for a weekend in New York City.
But he also feels incredibly inspired in Rochester, his home.
“There are not a lot of places I could live and have this kind of band,” he said. “I don’t take it lightly or for granted.”