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Musician Bios: Thursday, June 29

Thursday, June 29

4 By Monk By 4 (Straight-ahead jazz) There are many giants among jazz composers, but few rival the brilliance of Thelonious Monk. His off-kilter melodies might seem odd at first, but once they grab you, you can't resist tunes like "'Round Midnight," "Ruby, My Dear," "Straight No Chaser," and so many more. Monk was also a great pianist, so it's appropriate that four of today's top keyboard artists -- Kenny Barron, Benny Green, George Cables, and Cyrus Chestnut -- will celebrate Monk's genius. (RN)

Ariel Pocock (Vocal jazz) Ariel Pocock is not only an excellent pianist, she is also a vocalist known for expressive interpretations of tunes from a wide range of genres. A set may include songs from the Great American Songbook, Latin American folk music, or contemporary songwriters like Randy Newman and Joni Mitchell. (RN) arielpocock.com

Ben Tiberio (Straight-ahead jazz) An up-and-coming bassist, Ben Tiberio emerged from Fairport High School and attended the University of Miami where he won ASCAP and DownBeat Awards for his compositions. Since moving to New York City in 2015, Tiberio has played with Ambrose Akinmusire, Terell Stafford, Kenny Barron and Danilo Perez. (RN) bentiberio.bandcamp.com

Buried Treasure (Rock covers) This powerful Hudson Valley-based outfit covers songs that are, in their origin, done by classic rockers, so they are considered classic rock. However when put in the context of each other, these songs soar attesting to their staying power. Excellent players and classic. (FD) facebook.com/buriedtreasuretheband

DakhaBrakha (World music) Now for something completely different. It's not enough that DakhaBrakha plays and sings wonderfully wild Ukrainian folk music; the group does it using traditional instruments from India, Africa, Russia, Australia, and the Arab world. With the most eclectic array of vocal sounds you will ever hear, DakhaBrakha is bound to be among the most talked-about groups at the XRIJF. (RN) dakhabrakha.bandcamp.com

Django Festival All Stars (Gypsy jazz) Sixty-four years after his death, Django Reinhardt remains one of the most influential guitarists in history. Who can resist a breezy, swinging style full of playful melodic flourishes? The Django Festival All Stars will transform the XRIJF into a Hot Club with two guitars, StéphaneGrappelli-style violin, and Parisian accordion thrown in for good measure. (RN)

The Dustbowl Revival (Americana) With just the right amount of swingin' antiquated exuberance, Los Angeles's The Dustbowl Revival mixes its music's melancholy with joy. Things don't get out of hand, but the energy of two bands -- string and brass -- is there from the beginning. (FD) dustbowlrevival.com

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

Jeff Coffin "In Orbit" (Straight-ahead jazz) Jeff Coffin blows his sax with a smirk. Sometimes he plays two at the same time. Either way, it's over a bed of jumpy jazz. His arrangements are dynamically pleasing and sound simpler than they actually are. The group also sports bassist Felix Pastorius, the son of the late and legendary JacoPastorius. (FD) jeffcoffin.com

Manuel Valera (Straight-ahead, Latin jazz) Check out a feature on Manuel Valera here.

Noble Vibes (Reggae) This young Flour City reggae party belies its toddler status with simple sophistication and wisdom. Noble Vibes gives the people what they want, and that's not easy. But it sounds great. (FD) noblevibes.com

Phronesis (Piano jazz). Scandinavian and British piano trio Phronesis is two parts tradition a la Brubeck, one part wrong a la ... oh, I don't know ... Zappa? The band plays through its peaks and valleys with enviable expertise. A little out there, but not where you'll wind up with a nose bleed. (FD) phronesismusic.com

Oskar Stenmark NYC Quartet (Straight-ahead jazz) Oskar Stenmark grew up in Sweden, but he was obviously steeped in American jazz. A sensitive but progressive trumpet player, Stenmark has played with Dave Liebman, David Byrne, the Maria Schneider Orchestra, and many others since moving to New York City. (RN) oskarstenmark.com

HEADLINER | Sheryl Crow (Rock) Nine-time Grammy Award-winner Sheryl Crow's songs have a sweet believability and an appeal that satisfies the rocker in us all. Crow's latest album, "Be Myself," features the poppy single "Halfway There." (FD) sherylcrow.com

Soul Stew (Soul) This Toronto powerhouse is what I like to call a "peanut butter cup band": "Hey you got soul in my funk." This band is a lead-footed ensemble that goes from zero to funk to soul in a matter of seconds. Keep your arms and legs inside for the whole ride. (FD) robertoocchipinti.com/about-soul-stew

Walt Weiskopf Quartet (Straight-ahead jazz) Saxophonist Walt Weiskopf was a force to be reckoned with right out of the Eastman School of Music. At 21, he joined the Buddy Rich Big Band, and at 24, he moved to the Toshiko Akiyoshi Jazz Orchestra. A muscular player influenced by John Coltrane, Weiskopf has recorded numerous albums as a leader. He has also bridged the worlds of jazz and pop at the highest level, playing on Steely Dan's "Everything Must Go," and Donald Fagen's "Morph The Cat." (RN) waltweiskopf.com

The Wee Trio (Jazz interprets pop) Born in Brooklyn in 2008, this is a trio of phenomenal cool and insight -- they even dedicated an album to the music of David Bowie. The Wee Trio interprets music through its unique instrumentation: drums, bass, and xylophone. The band plays like a mystery that merely listening can solve. (FD) theweetrio.com

Youn Sun Nah (World music) If I had to pick just one word to describe Youn Sun Nah, it would be "otherworldly" because she makes vocal sounds I haven't heard before on this planet. Nah possesses one of the most remarkable voices you will ever hear, capable of everything from operatic high notes to Björk-like punk dramatics. When she sings, she uses her hands and arms in an upper-body ballet that beautifully accents everything. (RN) younsunnah.com

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