Destination Jam Sessions
Jun 26, 2012

Every night, from 10:30 PM, the Rochester Plaza State Street Bar and Grill is jammed for the XRIJF Nightly Jam Sessions. As the festival's official hotel for the past 11 years, this is where the artists stay so since jazz never sleeps, the food on the grill is sizzling, and so is the music!!

Also for the 11th straight year, the incomparable Bob Sneider (hardest working guitarist in western, NY!) leads our festival nightly jam session. Join Bob, Phil Flanigan and Mike Melito as they burn through all the classics. You never know who will show up!

Here are Bob's jam blogs for the first four nights. 5 nights to go!

Friday June 22
Since the tireless Anna Reguero / Jazz fest blogoholic is not here...I'll try to give some spotty reporting from the jams. Set one house trio -- Alex Coté (drums) and Jeff Campbell(bass) and yours truly Bob Sneider on Guitar. Notable performers from day 1: Mike Cottone (trumpet), Jonas Kulhammer(sax), Joe LaBarbera(drums), Pat LaBarbera(sax), John Nugent(sax), Neils Swainson(bass), Jonathan Richards(bassist with Joe LaBarbera), Rosie Flores(vocals), Dylan Howe(drummer from Get the Blessing)....probably forgetting a few! Some really great performances from Eastman students/recent grads: Marc Schwartz,Ben Bishop, Wil McKenna, Ethan Helm,Adrian Justin DiMatteo, Gabe Condon, Allister Duncan....I'm probably leaving a few out...Oliver, Candice...will bring list home next time!

Saturday June 23
Wild night for sure. Had some great players up there tonight especially Pat LaBarbera/Jonas Kulhammer/John Nugent/ Bill Cunliffe / Neil Swainson sitting in for "Blues Up and Down"....whoa. Lots of great young players home from college for the summer. Eastman School of Music Professor - Sylvie Beaudette had a lovely version of Corcovad. Aaron? Saxophonist from Esperanza Spalding's band was hanging out for a did drummer - Linden Rochelle. Matthias Eich's band played with me. Pianist - Danny Grissett, Jonathan Richards - bass, Joe Labarbera - drums, Justin Brown - drums all played. Nelsen Campbell and Will Zimmer -- trombones wailed on "Sugar". Bumped into friends: Stefan Harris and Wayne Escoffery. Mike Cottone and Herb Smith -- trumpets went upstairs and crazy on Caravan. Bye -- off to bed!"

Sunday June 24
Lots of great playing on Sunday. John Nugent jumped up and played a few tunes...even a rare ballad 'My One and Only Love'. Stefon Harris played some mean blues on the piano (no vibes @ the Plaza) with Henry Cole(Drums), Luques Curtis(bass), Marc Schwartz (sax) and yours truly (guitar). It was a walk down memory lane -- Stefan and I last played twenty years ago! Excellent performances by the Jazz FM91 Youth All Stars -- so young but crazy talented. Three saxophones: Wils McKenna, Ethan Helm and Jonathan Parker had a tour de force on "It's you or no one". Other notable sit-ins were a contingent of Scottish musicians who closed the night out. Graham Stephen - guitar...and some other great guys. The surprise of the night was VINCE ABBRACCIANTE accordion. First accordionist in 11 years of the jam session. He was all over that thing. The sound of guitar trio + accordion brought me back to some great recordings of Art Van Damme with either Joe Pass or Jimmy Raney...neat sound. Gabe Condon, Mike Conrad and Alexa Tarantino from Eastman were superb as well. I probably left out a few...I'll check the sheet tomorrow!"

Monday June 25
Another amazing night of music making at the Rochester Plaza. We had the young guns of the Eastman Youth Jazz orchestra, a bunch of Eastman students....some Eastman grads -- notably Mike Cottone, Jesse Breheney and Nick Brust. Dawn Thomson (guitar and voice) joined her husband John Nugent and the Trio for "Corocvado". We had a bunch of other vocalists Al Foreman, Mangione, and a gentleman....I've forgotten his name. After Mike Cottone and Alexa Tarrantino tore it up on "Confirmation", I brought up Alistair Duncan and Gabe Condon for a tune and much to everyone's delight Nicholas Payton joined us on trumpet. That gentleman can play the trumpet -- UNREAL. Clarity, tone, inventive ideas -- inspiring.