Special Sections » Rochester International Jazz Festival

Musician Bios: Sunday, June 25

Sunday, June 25

Adam Kolker Trio (Straight-ahead jazz) Over the last three decades, saxophonist Adam Kolker has brought his muscular tenor sound to the bands of Ray Barretto and Fred Hersch and the Maria Schneider Orchestra. A mainstay in the kinetic Brooklyn Jazz Underground, Kolker has released a string of adventurous CDs, and has led groups with greats like John Abercrombie, Paul Motian, Tim Hagans, and Billy Hart. (RN) adamkolker.com

Bill Frisell and Thomas Morgan (Guitar innovation) Bill Frisell is a minimalist interpreter of guitar jazz with maximalist results. He wields his guitar like a six-string crayon as he free-hands unadulterated or fettered by convention. You never know what you're going to get with Frisell, even with long-time collaborator bassist Thomas Morgan joining in. (FD) billfrisell.com

Derek Gripper (World music) The kora is a 21-string lute-bridge-harp from West Africa. The guitar is a six-string, Western instrument we all know. South African guitarist Derek Gripper takes music written for the kora and, through the use of classical techniques, brilliantly brings it to full, rich life: simultaneously finger-picking bass, rhythm, and melody on an acoustic guitar. The result is nothing short of astounding. (RN) derekgripper.com

Elliot Galvin Trio (Progressive jazz) Watching Elliot Galvin's hands fly across the keyboard, crossing each other at breakneck speed, you eventually come to the conclusion that calling his technique brilliant would be an understatement. But it's ultimately his eclectic taste that makes this London pianist one of the most adventurous musicians to emerge from the United Kingdom in recent years. (RN) elliotgalvin.com

Fred Costello (Organ combo jazz) For 40 years now, organist Fred Costello has been the boss daddy at clubs around the US and at the baseball diamond for the Rochester Red Wings. Costello takes virtually every genre, gives it juice, and makes it swing mightily. Play ball. (FD) fredcostello.com

Holophonor (Progressive jazz) Check out a feature on Holophonor here.

Jack Broadbent (Blues) If the blues ever needed saving, here's the cat to do it. Raised on a steady diet of masters like John Lee Hooker and Albert Collins, Broadbent and his guitar — and his whisky flask slide — play some of the most hellacious, stripped-down music you'll ever hear. Wicked and raw. (FD) jackbroadbent.co.uk

Jam Sessions with Bob Sneider Trio (Jazz jam) Click here for more information.

Jimmie Highsmith Jr. (Smooth jazz) If you like your jazz smooth, with a side order of funk, Jimmie Highsmith Jr. is the saxophone man for you. A product of Rochester's Hochstein School of Music and School of the Arts, Highsmith joined the US Air Force and promptly formed a jazz band to play USO events. Since the early 1990's, he's shared the stage with Wynton Marsalis and Wycliffe Gordon, and has recorded four albums as a leader. (RN) jimmiehighsmithjr.com

Jochen Rueckert Quartet (Straight-ahead jazz) Drummer Jochen Rueckert was born in Germany, but he wasn't satisfied with the music scene there. After moving to New York, his formidable percussion skills led him to work with some of the top musicians on the scene. Some of them are now in his all-star quartet: saxophonist Mark Turner, guitarist Lage Lund, and bassist Orlando LeFleming. (RN) jochenrueckert.net

John Paul White (Americana) John Paul White, formerly of The Civil Wars, intones lonely and spellbinding. He can sing about anything, and it takes on the tone and temperament of a lullaby. I'm not sure that he's trying to break hearts or not, but just be careful with yours when he takes the stage. (FD) johnpaulwhite.com

Kristian Blak (World music) Kristian Blak was born in Denmark, but he has spent most of the last several decades in the Faroe Islands. If his solo act sounds as gorgeously ethereal as Yggdrasil, it's because he was the group's founder. With hauntingly magical Faroese folk strains, audience members will find themselves spellbound by Blak's music. (RN) kristianblak.com

The Quebe Sisters (Contemporary country) Click here for more information.

Red Hook Soul (Funky and smooth) Blowin' sweet and salty for your pleasure, Michael Blake's tenor and soprano saxophones toot and pop over a bed that isn't funk but funky; a bed that isn't smooth but presents no gravel. Red Hook Soul is lighthearted and coy. (FD) michaelblake.net

Shabaka and the Ancestors (World jazz) London-based band Shabaka and the Ancestors emit a soulful, somewhat dense blend that calls to mind a type of world music without the multi-layered hyperbole. The sound of a heavy message ... with wings. (FD) shabakahutchings.com

Zion Hill Mass Choir (Gospel) Led by the incomparable Paul Boutte, the mighty Zion Hill Mass Choir shakes it down super sanctified from the vestibule to the tabernacle. It'll be nice to hear some gospel thrown in the XRIJF mix. (FD) zionhill.org

In This Guide...