XRIJF - Season Three

From legendary performers to rising stars, the Rochester International Jazz Festival –one of the most popular and most respected jazz festivals in the country – navigates all genres of creative improvised music from all corners of the world. In 2008, WXXI captured the essences of the Festival with spectacular performances by some of the industry’s hottest musicians in its third installment of THE ROCHESTER INTERNATIONAL JAZZ FESTIVAL series.

Shot in breathtaking high-definition, the series is comprised of three hour-long episodes recorded in the historic Kilbourn Hall at the Eastman School of Music, featuring concerts from jazz and blues singer Catherine Russell, arranger and trombonist Slide Hampton, and jazz trio The Bad Plus. A fourth episode offers an overview of the festival.

Catherine Russell

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.

Slide Hampton's

career spans decades in the evolution of jazz. At the age of 12 he was already touring the Midwest with the Hampton Band. By the age of 20 he was performing at Carnegie Hall with the Hampton Band. As his reputation grew, he worked with the likes of Maynard Ferguson, Art Blakely, Dizzy Gillespie, Barry Harris, Thad Jones, Mel Lewis, and Max Roach. A charismatic figure, master arranger, and formidable trombonist, Slide Hampton holds a place of distinction in the jazz tradition.

The Bad Plus

is a progressive jazz trio that the New York Times describes as “better than anyone at mixing the sensibilities of post 60’s jazz with indie rock.” Bassist Reid Anderson, pianist Ethan Iverson, drummer David King, and vocalist Wendy Lewis draw on sources as diverse as classical, jazz, rock, pop, and beyond. They have created a singular aesthetic that forces even the most skeptical listener to rethink the commonly held notions of what differentiates one style of music from another.

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