All jazzed up: Finding new music at the XRIJF


High-energy brass band Huntertones took the stage at Montage Music Hall Friday night as one of the first bands to play at the Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival. It’s their first year here but it’s a bit of a home coming for their saxophonist Dan White.

"This is where I got my start playing music,” he told 13WHAM before Huntertones performed. “My grandfather was a jazz bassist, taught at RL Thomas and there's a lot of history with my family in Rochester and in Western, New York."

And the folks that come to hear musicians like White are always happy to learn of the homegrown talent we have.

"It's not necessarily people I always know but I always learn there's a connection and I'm impressed with the skills they have," said Tracy Marchese. She comes to the festival every year.

Marchese gives herself a 20 minute rule at each show to get the most out of every night.

Others, like Mel and Shelia Rosengarden, use the Jazz Fest as their "stay-cation" - taking time off from work to stay home and enjoy what’s in their own backyard. They’ve been doing this for about eight years now.

"It’s pretty awesome that Tequila Shelia and I can last to go to three night clubs a night for nine nights!”

And every year they are blown away by the worldwide talent, like Friday's headliner Joss Stone, that’s also being brought in to fill the city with the sweet sounds of jazz.

"[It’s] Nine nights of world class entertainment,” said Mel. "[It’s] Nowhere else," added his wife Shelia.

"We come and find things we like and we're always entertained,” said Marchese. “It's amazing."

"It’s a really important thing culturally and artistically,” said White. “It's bringing musicians and artists and people from across the globe and that's a beautiful thing, "

For full coverage of the Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival, visit our Jazz Lounge.

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