2009 RIJF Wish List

Well, the seventh edition of the Rochester International Jazz Festival is history, and it turned out OK. I was one of many who was underwhelmed by the list of headliners but, as always, there was plenty of great music to enjoy. So now what about next year? I think they ought to set up a big interactive voting thing on the website, so everyone in the community could weigh in. But I also imagine they probably get tired of hearing people ask, "Why don't you book so-and-so?" Even so...

My wish list for the Eastman would include Van Morrison, Keith Jarrett, Abbey Lincoln (with Cassandra Wilson opening), Herbie Hancock and Stevie Wonder. And for Kilbourn Hall: Patricia Barber, Joao Gilberto (check out the review of his Carnegie Hall performance), Carla Bley, Kurt Elling and James Carter.

Brad Mehldau and Bill Frisell crossed my mind for Kilbourn, too, although Bill's been here before. I don't think Brad has. Anyway, I realized suddenly that they've both released albums (although to mixed receptions) with hometown girl Renee Fleming. Getting all three on the same stage might make for an interesting evening.

Speaking of jazz-player-and-singer-from-another-genre collaborations, how about Wynton Marsalis and Willie Nelson? They actually have a new CD coming out called "Two Men with the Blues." No plans to tour though, that I know of.

Who else? Rickie Lee Jones? Is Little Richard still performing? Who do you want to see?



RIJF wish list II

A few I'd like to see:

Pink Martini.

Elvis Costello and Diana Krall - Not sure they have ever performed together in public, musically, that is. Could be an interesting combination.

Booker T and whoever he wants to bring along with him.

I'll second Stevie Wonder, Van Morrison, and Rickie Lee Jones.

Kurt Elling on 10/19?

Maybe Steve and Eydie could open for Elvis and Diana. They do a killer version of "Black Hole Sun."

Meanwhile, my wish for Kurt Elling may have been granted. Pollstar lists him at the Eastman Theater on 10/19. No October dates at all on his website, though.

wish fulfillment

Brad Mehldau

This just in from Jean Dalmath... Brad Mehldau has been at the festival twice, the first year in 2002 at Kilbourn and the second time in 2004 in Eastman Theatre…opening for Bobby McFerrin and Jack DeJohnette.