Jazz fans watch out! You’re in for a real – wait a minute. Did I just start this article off by saying: – jazz fans watch out? Maybe this whole writing thing isn’t for me. Anyway, the artist line-up for the second edition of the Rochester International Jazz Festival has been announced.What is this, you ask? Try nine days – June 5-14 – of some of the best jazz you can get your ears onto. Its inception a year ago was a huge success for artists, fans and the city as a whole. Last year’s festival attracted artists such as Norah Jones and Medeski, Martin and Wood. Norah Jones can’t return this year because the weight of her Grammies are just too much for her to bear all the way to Rochester. MMW, however, is returning. They drew a huge crowd at High Falls last year and are expected to rope in even more this year – despite the hidden smirks from some purists in charge. I was able to attend the press conference on Tuesday at Max of Eastman Place. They had coffee, press folders, jazz music – it was rad. I played the same piano Norah Jones played last year, and then I licked my fingers. That counts. I made out with Norah Jones. Oh, and I got a free t-shirt that I will give to the first person that e-mails me. It has to be pertaining to the shirt though, random threats don’t win t-shirts.The producer of the event, John Nugent, told us to watch out for “the Killer B’s”-Bennett, Benson and Brubeck. I’m not explaining Tony Bennett – you all know who he is, even if it’s only through his cameos in various comedy flicks. George Benson is a world-renowned guitarist who started in ’62 at the age of 19 with hard bop/straight jazz guitar and then gave in to his R&B and pop urges in his more recent career. David Brubeck is a pianist and composer that can be explained in one word – legendary. He will be with his famous quartet.A few more artists on the docket are the lively Chris Potter Quartet, Al Jarreau, the illustrious Kevin Mahogany Trio, Maria Schneider, Avishai Cohen/Jason Lindner/Marc Gouliani, Leni Stern Trio and the legendary Spyro Gyra.Bjrk fans should check out Yggdrasil featuring Eivor Plsdttir – a Danish hallmark.I could continue, but I think you get the point. But there are so many other amazing performers that I haven’t even scratched the surface. You are going to have to check out the very extensive web site at www.rochesterjazz.com. You’ll get show times, venues, artist bios and even mp3 samples of their music.Tickets for individual events go on sale in a few days but you can also snag a “Club Pass Voucher” – good for 40 specific shows – for only 60 bones, or clams or whatever you call them. Also, check out Wegmans for brochures on the event and ticket sales.Salko can be reached at dsalko@campustimes.org.



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