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Musician Bios: Friday, June 23

Friday, June 23

Allan Harris (Vocal jazz) It's easy to understand why Allan Harris won the DownBeat Critics Poll Award for Rising Star Vocalist. Following in the footsteps of George Benson, Harris is an excellent, soulful singer who is also a formidable guitar player. And when he solos on guitar, there's an unmistakable touch of Wes Montgomery. (RN) allanharris.com

Barbra Lica (Vocal jazz) Check out our interview with Barbra Lica here.

Gwilym Simcock (Piano jazz) This British pianist is like a timepiece turned inside out. He builds the intricate structure of his tunes with pieces you wouldn't think would fit together as nicely as they do. He's a percussive player with an ear for melody, and has the help of our old friends: syncopation, dissonance, and curiosity. (FD) gwilymsimcock.com

Huntertones (Jam, funk) New York by way of Ohio's Huntertones take scoops from a bunch of different genres that wouldn't necessarily go together in less talented hands. I mean, they mix tuba with beatbox. (FD) www.huntertones.com

Jacob Collier (Jazz, funk, soul) Jacob Collier is a fine singer-songwriter, but there's nothing like winning two Grammy Awards (for Best Arrangement, Instrumental or A Cappella, and for Best Arrangement, Instruments and Vocals) at this year's ceremony to make you an instant sensation. Collier's arrangements can transform tunes as serious as Stevie Wonder's "You and I" or as silly as the theme from "The Flintstones." (RN) jacobcollier.co.uk

Jam Sessions with Bob Sneider Trio (Jazz jam) Every night, after all of the concerts are over, dozens of top musicians will head back to the Radisson Hotel Rochester Riverside but they won't go to sleep. They're drawn to the sounds coming from the Late Night Jam Session where the Bob Sneider Trio is waiting for them to take out their axes for one last tune. A world-class guitarist, Sneider has toured with Chuck Mangione. Over the years at the late-night jam session, he's been joined by Wynton Marsalis, Eric Alexander, George Benson, and many more. (RN) bobsneider.net

HEADLINER | Joss Stone (Pop) British pop sensation Joss Stone has a keen soul tone to her voice that's ensconced in her lighthearted music. At 30, she has already won a Brit Award and a Grammy — with five nominations. She is also the youngest female musician to top the UK album chart. (FD) jossstone.com

Laura Dubin (Straight-ahead jazz) When Laura Dubin took the stage at the XRIJF last year, few in the audience knew the Rochester pianist. That didn't stop Dubin and her trio — featuring drummer Antonio H. Guerrero and bassist Kieran Hanlon — from wowing the crowd with her own evocative tunes, like "Barcelona," and gorgeous covers, like her fiery rendition of Michel Camilo's "On Fire." (RN) lauradubin.com

Moscow Jazz Orchestra (Big band jazz) Russian saxophonist Igor Butman is at the helm of this 17-piece big band that will knock your socks off. While Russia was busy interfering with our election over the last couple of years, we have successfully infiltrated the minds of Russia's musicians over the last half century. The Moscow Jazz orchestra plays American classics with air-tight arrangements, dynamic range, and imaginative voicings. (RN) igorbutman.com/en

The Nth Power (Soul jam) Although they come from all over the East Coast, the members of The Nth Power claim New Orleans as their spiritual home. Taking the structure and feel of soul music, the band finds a groove and marries it to that deep dish framework. Where it goes after that is up to the music. (FD) thenthpowermusic.com

Prime Time Brass (Big brass band) A wall of sound that includes New Orleans-style, big band, and pop tunes put through the brass grinder. If you can sit still though this one, then Jack, you're dead. (FD) primetimebrass.com

Roberta Piket (Straight-ahead jazz) Fresh out of college, Roberta Piket landed a gig subbing in Lionel Hampton's band. The vibraphonist was so impressed, he asked Piket to record with him. When she became a finalist in the Thelonious Monk Composers Competition, she caught the ear of Marian McPartland, who asked her to guest on "Piano Jazz." Since then she's played with Dave Liebman, Rufus Reid, and Benny Golson, and has become a top interpreter of the Great American Songbook. (RN) robertajazz.com

Soul'd Out Jam Sessions with Karl Stabnau Quartet (Jazz jam) Anything goes at these XRIJF jam sessions where jazzers and insomniacs chase the vaguely defined muse and jam. This year's addition of the new Soul'd Out Jam Session — separate from the long-running jam session with Bob Sneider — should prove equally enticing as it permeates the wee hours of the morning with soul, blues, funk, and R&B jams. (FD) karlstabnau.com

The Steppin' Stones (Rock) When it comes to rock music, you really can't beat the power trio. With impassioned vocals and a mid-tempo groove, this young band may remind you of Big Head Todd and the Monsters. (FD) thesteppinstones.com

St. Paul and the Broken Bones (Soul, R&B) Soul shouter Paul Janeway's unassuming mug belies the soul monster behind it. He sings like he's having a borderline fit; a Pentecostal tantrum. He moves about the bandstand like he's got ants in his pants — fire ants. The band hails from Birmingham, Alabama, and rocks classic world-wide. They're broken bones for your busted soul. (FD) stpaulandthebrokenbones.com

Tierney Sutton (Vocal jazz) Check out a feature on Tierney Sutton here.

Tim Woodson and The Heirs of Harmony (Gospel) This is pure take me to the river, leave it all in Jesus's hands gospel. Though The Heirs sing their harmonious testimony smooth with a hint of R&B, this is the sound of redemption. Unless you're looking for forgiveness, you'd better steer clear of the stage lest your head catch on fire. (FD) facebook.com/timandtheheirs

Veronica Swift and Trio (Vocal jazz) A rapidly rising star on the jazz vocal scene at 23, Veronica Swift took second place at the 2015 Thelonious Monk Jazz Vocals Competition; has led a show at The Tribeca Performing Arts Center; has played with Esperanza Spalding, Joe Lovano, Jon Hendricks, and more; and headlined the Telluride Jazz Festival last summer. The daughter of pianist Hod O'Brien and vocalist Stephanie Nakasian, Swift is on a sky-rocketing path right now. (JC) veronicaswift.com

Yggdrasil (World music) Yggdrasil may not be a household word, but it's the perfect name for a group that captures the mystique of Scandinavian folk strains. The band's name originates from Norse mythology, and it's based on the idea of a "world tree." When Yggdrasil has appeared at previous editions of the XRIJF, audiences have fallen in love with its gorgeous ethereal soundscapes. (RN) kristianblak.com

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