Jack Garner's picks
05:00 AM, Jun 16, 2013
If straight-ahead jazz is your thing, try:
Ravi Coltrane Quartet, the band led by the superb saxophonist who dared to tackle the instrument of his legendary father, John, and make the music his own. 6 and 10 p.m. June 27 at Kilbourn Hall.
Christian McBride’s Inside Straight, the band led by the versatile and talented bassist, who is making up for missing last year’s fest (because of logistical trouble) with this appearance. 6 and 10 p.m. Friday at Kilbourn Hall.
John Patitucci Trio, another smaller ensemble headed by a superb, mainstream jazz bassist. 6 and 10 p.m. June 25 at Kilbourn Hall.
If you like your jazz smooth and more mellow:
Bob James & David Sanborn with Steve Gadd. will be my one definite Eastman show this year, mostly because Gadd is a famous native Rochesterian and one of the best drummers in the world. He and his cohorts, James and Sanborn (plus bassist James Genus), are touring behind a lovely new acoustic jazz album. 8 p.m. June 27 at Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre.
Yellowjackets (not to be confused with the University of Rochester singing group), the latest iteration of one of the most popular bands in the “mellow fusion” category. 5:30 and 7:15 p.m. June 25 at Harro East Ballroom.
If you favor first-rate jazz singers: Kurt Elling, a Downbeat critics’ poll winner for 13 years running and a master interpreter of jazz, R&B, you name it. He’s a master interpreter of all sorts of songs, from his lovely CD devoted to the music of John Coltrane and Johnny Hartman to his latest album of classic R&B tunes from Manhattan’s fabled Brill Building. 6 and 10 p.m. June 29 at Kilbourn Hall. Also seek out Gretchen Parlato, another highly individual and tasty jazz singer. 6 and 10 p.m. June 26 at Kilbourn Hall.
Gregory Porter, arguably the hottest new jazz vocalist in the business.a Grammy nominee who combines an ingratiating baritone voice with a fabulous selection of tunes. CQ6 and 10 p.m. June 28 at Kilbourn Hall.
If you prefer some exotic seasoning, something I call “spiced jazz,” peppered with ethnic influences or roots, Latin jazz or funk or Buena Vista Cuban music, or rock that leans toward jazz or even reggae, mark your calendar for:
Dr. Lonnie Smith, the swinging, eccentric Hammond B-3 organist. and a master of pulling out all the stops, including the funk stop. The doctor is a Rochester favorite. 6 and 10 p.m. June 22 at Kilbourn Hall.
Cuban-born pianist Alfredo Rodriguez, he’ll a Cuban-born pianist who brings his island vibe to much of his playing. He’ll play here in both solo and trio formats. 5:45 and 7:45 June 25 at Hatch Hall. Trio: 6 and 10 p.m. June 24 at Kilbourn Hall.
Monty Alexander, a superb and versatile Jamaican native. This talented veteran plays all sorts of piano jazz, including the rhythms and melodies of his native land. That’s what you’ll hear when he plays with his Harlem-Kingston Express9 p.m. June 29 at East and Chestnut Stage.
Hilario Duran Trio, led by a first-rate Cuban-born pianist. 6:15 and 10 p.m. June 28 at Max of Eastman Place.
Jaimoe’s Jasssz Band, the rock-jazz band of the Allman Brothers’ drummer Jaimoe., who has been with the Allman Brothers Band from the beginning. Here he leads more jazzy interpretations of Allman classics and other material. 8:30 and 10 p.m. June 26 at the Big Tent.
If you love the music of New Orleans:
BeauSoleil avec Michael Doucet, arguably the greatest Cajun band in the world. , which has been labeled the Chieftains of Cajun music. 5:30 and 7:15 p.m. June 23 at Harro East Ballroom.
Louis Armstrong Society Jazz Band, a band that pays tribute to the greatest figure in the long history of jazz. 6 and 10 p.m. June 23 at Kilbourn Hall.
Dirty Dozen Brass Band, the most famous of the New Orleans brass marching bands. 5:30 and 7:15 p.m. June 27 at Harro East Ballroom; 8:30 and 10 p.m. June 28 at the Big Tent.
Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue, another New Orleans brass favorite. and a special crowd-pleaser in festivals past, leading the free street party on closing night. 9 p.m. June 29 on the East Avenue and Alexander Street stage.
Dwayne Dopsie & the Zydeco Hellraisers, a band with a name that says it all a fun example of rocking zydeco combining Cajun and New Orleans R&B. 6 and 10 p.m. June 28 at Montage; 7:30 and 9:30 p.m. June 29 on the Jazz Street Stage.
Garner is retired now from the Democrat and Chronicle, he continues to write a weekly entertainment column and review jazz CDs, as well as being an ambassador for many arts events in the community.