Music » Music Features

The jazz concierge

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Greg Bell, publisher of jazzrochester.com. - PHOTO PROVIDED
  • PHOTO PROVIDED
  • Greg Bell, publisher of jazzrochester.com.
The Rochester International Jazz Festival may be the pinnacle event on the yearly calendar for jazz heads, but the other 356 days aren't without live music featuring America’s original art form — or a central listing for the events.

Enter Greg Bell, a self-described “recovering lawyer” who has been publishing the music blog jazzrochester.com (not to be confused with the festival’s rochesterjazz.com) since 2006. The site serves as a handy reference for avid concertgoers, featuring regularly updated listings and Bell’s own curated picks for worthwhile shows. He also sends out a weekly email which reaches about 1,000 people.

Bell’s content has also become a mainstay on other local cultural platforms; his concert updates have become so indispensable that Jazz 90.1 utilizes his calendar as its own community calendar.

Dan Gross, a business and development reporter at WROC-TV and the Monday evening host at Jazz 90.1, said Bell provides a one-stop shop for jazz concert info.

“[He] has a made a central and accessible place for people to discover new jazz in Rochester or find out where to get their fix of a local favorite," said Gross, who also produces the 90.1 show “Bop Shop Live!” on Tuesday nights. “While there are some Rochester-area gig lists or social media pages that are good catchalls, JazzRochester is the only place dedicated to jazz.”

Bell's aim is unity, and he doesn’t think any one style defines the genre as a whole.



“I’m trying to help build the community around jazz,” he said. “There are a lot of jazz communities in Rochester, and they don’t always talk together or play or listen, because for certain people, jazz is one thing or another.”

Bell pursues jazzrochester.com as a passion project when he’s not at his day job as a principal attorney editor for publisher Thomson Reuters, and for him, both straight-ahead jazz and the more experimental off-shoots are of interest.

“It’s different every time,” he said. “There are so many different ways to play it —I like variety.”

Daniel J. Kushner is an arts writer at CITY. He can be reached at [email protected].