Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival

(Rochester, New York) –  The Benny Green Trio kicks off Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival, Season 7 on Sunday, February 14, 2016 at 2 p.m. on WXXI-TV. Produced by WXXI, the national series provides jazz lovers a front row seat to one of the most popular and respected jazz festivals in the country. The 2015 edition features captivating performances by, and exclusive interviews with, an eclectic group of musicians, including Grammy award winning jazz drummer Antonio Sanchez, vocalist Tessa Souter, and trombonist Clifton Anderson.

The Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival, held in Rochester, New York – home of the Eastman School of Music, the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, Garth Fagan Dance and the George Eastman House International Museum of Photography and Film– is a nine-day event that hosts more than 300 concerts at 19 venues. Now in its 13th year, the festival is the brainchild of John Nugent and Marc Iacona and draws more than 190,000 people from 30-plus states and 15 countries. From legendary performers and familiar favorites – to rising stars and new discoveries – this festival navigates all genres of creative improvised music from all corners of the world.

Shot in the historic Kilbourn Hall at the Eastman School of Music, the series features four performances and artist interviews.

Episode air dates and descriptions:

Benny Green Trio airs Sunday, February 14 at 2 p.m. on WXXI-TV
Benny Green possesses the history of jazz at his fingertips. Combine mastery of keyboard technique with decades of real world experience playing with no one less than the most celebrated artists of the last half century, and it's no wonder Green has been hailed as perhaps the most exciting hard-swinging, hard-bop pianist to ever emerge from Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers. 

Tessa Souter airs Sunday, February 14 at 3 p.m. on WXXI-TV
Award-winning Anglo-Trinidadian Tessa Souter's "truly beautiful voice" (Sirius Radio) and penchant for exploring strikingly beautiful music mostly untouched by other singers has set her apart as "one of the finest and most fearless vocalists to have emerged in recent years." (Boston Globe) 

Clifton Anderson Quintet airs Sunday, February 21 at 2 p.m. on WXXI-TV
Clifton Anderson grew up surrounded by music. His father was a church organist /choir director, and his mother a singer and pianist. It was no surprise that Clifton exhibited an affinity for music at an early age. When he was just seven years old he got his first trombone, a gift from his uncle Sonny Rollins.   Clifton has worked with a "who's who" of diverse musical giants: from McCoy Tyner, Stevie Wonder, Dizzy Gillespie, Paul Simon, and Sonny Rollins. 

Antonio Sanchez & Migration airs Sunday, February 21 at 3 p.m. on WXXI-TV
Four time Grammy Award winner Antonio Sanchez is considered by many critics and musicians alike as one of the most prominent drummers, bandleaders and composers of his generation.  In 2013 Antonio was invited by acclaimed filmmaker Alejandro Gonzales Iñarritu to create the original film score for his 2014 release "Birdman.” This is a very unique project that features Sanchez's drumming as the main musical ingredient in Iñarritu's film. It won the Sound Stars Award for best Film Score at the 2014 Venice Film Festival.

The series, distributed by American Public Television, is supported in part by The Louis S. and Molly B. Wolk Foundation. For more information, visit WXXI.org/jazz.

Pictured: Benny Green
Credit: WXXI

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