Democrat and Chronicle from Rochester, New York on June 20, 2015 · Page A21
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Democrat and Chronicle from Rochester, New York · Page A21

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Rochester, New York
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Saturday, June 20, 2015
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Page A21
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DemocratandChronicle .com Saturday,June20,2015 Page21A CONNECT WITH US All submissions must include your name,address and daytime telephone number. Limit letters to fewer than 150 words; essays to 450 words. Readers are limited to one published letter every 30 days. Send to Letters to the Editor,Democrat and Chronicle,55 Exchange Blvd.,Rochester NY 14614; email dcedit@gannett.com. Call (585) 258-2250. Fax: (585) 258-2356. All letters and essays chosen for publication are subject to editing for length,clarity and accuracy. The jazz fest is one of the best things to happen in Rochester in my lifetime. T he possibility of experiencing extraordinary music for nine days in a row is something that just doesn’t happen here the rest of the year. So I’ve bought Club Passes every year since the festival began in 2002. Of course the jazz fest is a different experience for everyone. Kodak Hall is p acked each night with a different big-name act and I rarely take in any of t hem. T here is the big tent with a mon- s trous sound system, the Americana v enues and the big outdoor stages on t he weekends. There are bands on G ibbs Street playing for free, but I u sually scoot by, in a hurry to catch s omeone playing in a much smaller venue, one with minimal sound reinforcement, a stand-up bass, a naturals ounding drum kit and a piano or horns. T his is what I love about the festival. G reat players in an intimate setting. I like Miles, Ornette, Dolphy, Monk, Art Ensemble and Sun Ra. Extremely c reative people with their own sound, people who pushed boundaries. They a re gone now, but their spirit lives on. I c an think of five bands we saw at the jazz fest who fit this bill. Billy Bang, Blake Tartare, Sonny Fortune/Rashied Ali, Terje Rypdal and Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey. Their performances were so g ood, we saw both the early and late show of each. As far as preparing for the festival, my wife and I generally wing it. We look at the lineup and listen to sound files for the artists performing that night. We have never heard of most of them, but in a few minutes we have a p otential lineup for the evening. It is flexible enough to allow a miscue. W ith the Club Pass we vote with o ur feet and leave if the music is not t o our liking. There is most often s omething we like better in another v enue nearby. A s musicians, we gravitate toward t he unique, the unexpected. We love it w hen the music is open enough to allow interplay, a musical conversation and possibly a wild ride. That’s w hat we like, but I’m happy the festi- v al is big enough to provide some- t hing for everybody. Paul Dodd plays drums with the imp rovisational band, Margaret Explosion, and he keeps track of things at h is blog, www.popwars.com/blog. We vote with our feet GUEST ESSAYIST Paul Dodd “We love it when the music is open enough to allow interplay, a musical c onversation...possibly a wild ride.” On Friday, the Democrat and Chronicle published an article w hich discussed the decision by the Rochester school board and the East High School planning team to change the East sports teams nicknames to the Eagles in 2015-16. For decades, East used the Orientals nickname. “We’re just trying to model for our students what we expect from them,” said Shaun Nelms, the incoming deputy superintendent for East hired by the University of Rochester. “Changing the name to reflect our c ommunity’s values is important.” News of the name change s parked conversation on Facebook. Here are some of those comments, which may have been edited for clarity. I ’m sure Eagles will be offensive to someone along the way. Why not just call teams “Team 1. Team 2, etc.?” EDWARD GARBOWSKI JR. It’s only offensive in the United States, with overly politically correct idiots. Oriental as far as I’m concerned andmost of the world is concerned are p eople from the Orient nations Korea, Japan and the rest. Now they want us to call them Asians. Well Asia is a very, very, very big area, and it includes India, Turkey, Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq. The English think we’re a bunch of dorks because they continue to use Oriental and nobody seems to m ind. JIM DEVITO Inever got the racist part of the word ... It just means Eastern or eastern civilizations. I guess I never really thought about it ... I know when I moved down South for 7 years or so, I was often called a Yankee by Southern folks who referred of i t as an enemy ... and I’m sure some Northerners are or were offended by it. MICHAEL MCCLUSKY It’s about time!! CINDY WIDMER Ilike it. SHAWN SNIPES On Friday, the Democrat and Chronicle published an article about a local housing group, which is asking the city to modify the way the Rochester Police Department handles evictions. “ We want a conversation between the banks and the home- o wners and the only way for that to happen is if the city d oesn’t make it easy to remove the homeowners by supporting the banks via police enforcement,” said Julie Gelfand, with theRochester chapter of Take Back the Land. The story was hotly debated on Facebook. Here are some of those comments, w hich may have been edited for clarity . “Keep the banks out of homes,” eh? Well, there’s one surefire way to do that — pay cash when you buy your home. But if you obtained your home the typical way, then guess what? That mortgage means the bank has the right to expect you to pay your bill. TRACY WRIGHT NALEWALSKI “The national network of Take Back the Land organizations is dedicated to elevating housing to the level of a human right and securing community control over land.” You have got to be kidding me!!!!!!! I think I’m going to go and squat in one of those big houses on the lake because “housing is a human right.” And community control over the land is another name for communism. Ridiculous! SASHA HANSEN Pay or out. DHARMA BARBARA ROSE FACEBOOK COMMENTS MAX SCHULTE/@MAXROCPHOTO/ STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER There are the other 50 weeks of the year, and then there is “Brigadoon” — a s I like to call the Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival. With 1,500 musicians invading the city from all around the globe, the Flower City turns into a nine-day carnival of sound, color and action. There is poetry in each note played, be it from the high school b ands that kick off each dayor the last sounds released in the wee hours o f the morning at the jam session at t he Crowne Plaza Hotel. Y ou can enjoy seeing families tog ether, looking up at a show instead of d own at their electronic devices. You w ill see people who started as strange rs waiting in line end up sharing a m eal by the time the doors open for the show. The festival means more to the c ommunity than the 200,000 people t hat will attend, or the amount of mon- e y they spend. I see the civic pride s hown by Rochesterians when someone in line mentions that they came f rom another city, state or country just to attend the festival. When asked “ where can we go during the day,” f olks are jumping over each other to point to their favorite destination spots i n our area. For music lovers, the festival is more than jazz. As the late saxophonist Ornette Coleman said, “there is no right way to play jazz”; for music fans there is no right way to enjoy jazz. Even if you don’t like jazz (like my wife, who calls it “The J Word”), there is more t han enough great music to enjoy. Then there is the food, with food vendors m oving to Main Street, and a mini food f estival will be going on, too. I n 2014, the city marked the 50th a nniversary of the riots of 1964 that s plit Rochester racially. It’s interesting t o note that the legendary jazz club, T he Pythodd, stood untouched as many o f the buildings around it were torched to the ground. However, from that point on, The Pythodd and other jazz clubs l ike it have symbolized the healing that h as brought our city closer. When you s ee the large cross-section of people w ho go to the shows, you will see how far we have come. D errick Lucas is music director of W GMC Jazz 90.1. Fest is more than music GUEST ESSAYIST Derrick Lucas "With 1,500 musicians invading the city from all around the globe, the F lower City turns into a nine-day c arnival of sound, color and action." The joy of music! A s we open the 14th edition of your Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival presented by M&T Bank, we invite the Rochester community and vis- i tors who come from far and w ide, to come out and experience a musical journey of nine days featuring more than 1,500 of the finest musicians from all corners of the world. W e work throughout the y ear, putting together a massive jigsaw puzzle of concerts with thousands of moving parts. And when it’s complete, there is no better feeling! W e are grateful for YOU, o ur loyal, knowledgeable and passionate fans, who dive in and savor the music of new artists and the many genres of jazz and improvised music. “ It’s not who you know, it’s who you don’t know!” is our hallmark, so we encourage you to check out artists you’ve never heard of. All that you will enjoy and e xperience is not possible without our much-appreciated sponsorship community. We thank our sponsors for part- n ering with us and investing in an event that enhances the quality of life for residents and s howcases Rochester’s unique cultural assets. From the beginning, when we launched the festival in 2002, we have been dedicated to supporting downtown and its diverse and beautiful ven- u es — inviting people to walk, m eet and mingle with friends and explore new places. We are proud of the vibrant atmosphere created each year and h ope that people will continue t o frequent downtown after the festival. We have expanded our footprint this year with two new Club Pass venues, the stunning L yric Theatre at 440 East Ave. a nd Squeezers Roots and Americana venue in the Sibley Building. They are already creating a buzz, so be sure to visit by trolley, bus, bicycle, c ar or foot. You won’t be disappointed! Although everyone talks about how our festival has grown, bigger is not our objective. We strive to put a greater e mphasis on delivering a well- organized event and improving the continually high standard of artistic integrity that d elivers pure musical enjoyment at every turn. We are also proud of the s ubstantial economic impact the festival generates — not only during the event in terms of revenue for area businesses and networking and customer appreciation events — but also in residual ways such as when m eeting planners who visit d uring the festival decide to hold conferences here or w hen musicians return later in the year to perform at other venues because an audience has been established. Another priority is to nur- t ure the next generation of m usicians and audience members. Each year we give hundreds of young musicians the opportunity to perform at amajor intentional jazz festi- v al along with established m usicians. Our scholarship program enables talented local young musicians to attend the renowned Eastman School of Music. And with the h elp of Wegmans we have exp anded our kids’ workshops to five days. Providing free shows where people of all ages can enjoy great music is essen- t ial. We are presenting more than 90 free shows this year on five outdoor stages. So come on down to jazz street! Abig thanks to everyone who attends the festival, the s ponsors, volunteers and staff. We hope that you are entertained and enlightened by the performances you will s ee this week. You help us hit the high notes. John Nugent is producer and artistic director of the jazz festival. Co-author Marc Iacona is producer and executive director. AT ISSUE: EXPERIENCING THE JAZZ FESTIVAL Putting together a j azz jigsaw puzzle CARLOS ORTIZ/@CFORTIZ_DANDCSTAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Gibbs Street on the last day of the 2014 Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival. GUEST ESSAYIST John Nugent

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