Rochester International Jazz Festival: Catherine Russell

Sun, 05/03/2009 - 7:00pm
Pictured: Catherine Russell
Credit: Thomas Frizelle
WXXI delivers more exciting sounds and scenes from Rochester with its latest installment of the Rochester International Jazz Festival, shot during the nine-day festival in June 2008. Season three of the Rochester International Jazz Festival captures the essence of one of the most popular and most respected jazz festivals in the country, featuring spectacular performances by some of today’s hottest musicians and legendary names in jazz. Rochester International Jazz Festival premieres Sunday, May 3 at 7 p.m. on WXXI-TV21 (cable 11) and WXXI-HD (DT 21.1/ cable 1011) with jazz great Catherine Russell. The series will air Sunday evenings May 3 through May 24. The radio version of the series airs Thursdays at 6 p.m., beginning April 30 and Saturdays at 3 p.m. beginning May 2 on WRUR-FM 88.5.
Shot in breathtaking high-definition, the series is comprised of four hour-long episodes recorded in the historic Kilbourn Hall at the Eastman School of Music. Each of the first three episodes feature one amazing concert from: jazz and blues singer Catherine Russell, arranger and trombonist Slide Hampton, and jazz trio The Bad Plus. Between concerts, the artists talk candidly about their music. The final episode includes selections from all three performances and provides sights and sounds in and around the nine-day festival.
A preeminent arts and cultural center in Upstate New York, Rochester is home to the Eastman School of Music, the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, the Memorial Art Gallery, and George Eastman International Museum of Photography and Film. With record-breaking attendance year after year, the Rochester International Jazz Festival will continue to make its home in the City as well. In 2008 the festival saw more than 125,000 jazz fans catching more than 250 concerts. The success of this world-class festival reaffirms that the arts in Rochester are one of the City’s greatest assets.
Catherine Russell, who kicks off the series, was destined to be a jazz and blues singer. Her father, the late Luis Russell was Louis Armstrong’s music director, and her mother Carline Ray is an outstanding vocalist and bassist. Ms. Russell graduated with honors from the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. After touring Europe singing gospel music, she returned to New York City and began singing the blues with Jimmy Vivino's Little Big Band. She has performed with an array of artists, including: Paul Simon, Steely Dan, David Bowie, Jackson Browne, Rosanne Cash, Cyndi Lauper, Joan Osborne, Michael Feinstein, Madonna, Al Green, J. Geils Band, Dolly Parton, and Isaac Hayes, among others. In addition to performing, Ms. Russell is Associate Professor of Voice at Berklee College of Music in Boston.
The Rochester International Jazz Festival series is produced by WXXI Public Broadcasting and distributed nationally by American Public Television. The Rochester International Jazz Festival is underwritten by The Louis S. and Molly B. Wolk Foundation, New York State Music Fund, and the Office of New York State Senator Jim Alesi.