Highland Park | May 11 – 20
Johnny Winter w/Funky Blu Roots
Friday, May 11
Brandishing a snarling guitar sound and ‘go-for-broke’ musical approach, Johnny Winter epitomizes the best elements of the Texas blues guitar tradition. For over 30 years, Winter has performed with the likes of Muddy Waters and John Lee Hooker, earning Grammy nominations for albums like I’m A Bluesman. He’s been inducted into the Southeast Texas “Walk of Fame” and into the Blues Foundation Hall of Fame, attesting to his popularity…Funky Blu Roots features vocalist Mika Serafim and his wife, Nancy Giannone on guitar. The Central New York act mixes original songs with covers by The Allman Brothers, Stevie Ray, Bob Marley and others.
Cowboy Mouth w/Rainline
Saturday, May 12
From New Orleans comes Cowboy Mouth, featuring Fred LeBlanc, John Thomas Griffith, Matt Jones and Casandra Faulcner. The band has over 2,500 performances under their belt and have been described this way by the press…“on a bad night, they’ll tear the roof off the joint and on a good night, they’ll save your soul.” Cowboy Mouth was inducted into the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame last year. Their latest studio release is Mardi Gras 2011…Rochester’s Rainline perform original rock with a modern edge. The band is known for presenting high-energy live performances.
Red Baraat w/Chet Catallo
Sunday, May 13
New York City’s Red Baraat has made quite a name for itself in just three year. Led by dhol drummer Sunny Jain, the nine-piece act mixes North Indian rhythms with a host of other sounds – funk, Latin and jazz among them. They’ve played at the Montreal Jazz Fest, at Lincoln Center, and in clubs across New York. They were also featured on NPRS “All Songs Considered.” Their debut CD is Chaai Baby…Our own Chet Catallo is a six-time Grammy nominee and a Jazz Hall of Fame member. A former member of Spyro Gyra, he wrote the popular hits “Café Amore,” “Lovin’ You,” and “It Doesn’t Matter.”
Steve Tyrell w/Mark Cassara
Monday, May 14
The Grammy Award-winning vocalist Steve Tyrell has achieved great success over the course of four decades as a songwriter, producer and performer. His early musical career found him in the studio with Dionne Warwick, the Shirelles, Maxine Brown, and others; and hooking up with great American songwriting teams like Burt Bacharach & Hal David and Gerry Goffin & Carole King. Tyrell went on to write such pop hits as “How Do You Talk to An Angel,” and co-produce Linda Ronstadt’s Grammy-winning singles, “Don’t Know Much” and “Somewhere Out There.” Tyrell has earned two Emmy nominations and was named Los Angeles Jazz Society’s “Jazz Vocalist of the Year” in 2008…Saxophonist Mark Cassara has earned his reputation based not only on his talent on the sax but also on his arrangements and writing. He performs regularly around Rochester and beyond.
The Wailers w/Nevergreen
Tuesday, May 15
Reggae greats, The Wailers, are carrying on the spirit and musical dominance that was created by Bob Marley. Aston Barrett and his brother Carly assumed the title of The Wailers back in the early ‘70s, backing Marley on his album, Natty Dread and a series of successful singles and albums that followed, and selling over 250 million records worldwide. Today, Barrett and his band, The Wailers, continue to tour the world leaving no doubt of the musical legacy he and Bob Marley created…Rochester’s own Nevergreen perform what they call “Roc City Reggae” – a mix of progressive rock and reggae.
Melissa Manchester w/Paradigm Shift Jazz
Wednesday, May 16
Singer/songwriter Melissa Manchester has had a stellar career. Since training under Paul Simon at New York University in her twenties, she has gone on to win a Grammy for “You Should Hear How She Talks About You” and the Governor’s Award from the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences. As a composer, she’s worked on Disney’s The Great Mouse Detective and Lady and the Tramp 2; and her song, “I Know Who I am” was featured in the film For Colored Girls…Rochester’s Paradigm Shift Jazz is an organ-driven jazz group led by Melvin Henderson on guitar and Gerry Youngman on organ, with Sean Jefferson joining in on drums.
Lou Gramm w/Travis Rocco
Thursday, May 17
Rochester’s own Lou Gramm began his career in the local group Black Sheep before earning fame as the lead vocalist of Foreigner (“Cold As Ice,” “Waiting for a Girl Like You,” “I Want to Know What Love Is,” “Midnight Blue”). Through the years, he’s also had an extensive solo career and he’s lent his talent to a number of collaborative projects. Brain surgery for a tumor slowed his career for a bit, but he’s fully recovered now, and performing frequently…Singer/songwriter Travis Rocco recently released Smoke & Tangerines. The pop rock album features his unique voice and original material. Travis has toured 24 states and performed at over 170 colleges, countless festivals and clubs.
Steel Magnolia w/Driftwood
Friday, May 18
Joshua Scott Jones and Meghan Linsey are Steel Magnolia. The duo won CMT’s “Can You Duet” contest and their song, “Keep On Lovin’ You” was a break-through hit. They’ve toured with Brad Paisley were named “Vocal Duo of the Year” and “Top New Vocal Duo of the Year” at the Academy of County Music Awards in 2010 and 2011…Binghamton’s “Shanty Rock” quartet, Driftwood, is a contagious act – sincere about the music and about their performance. The American Roots/Rock artists’ first CD is Rally Day.
Gwen Sebastian, The Farm w/Ransomville
Saturday, May 19
Singer/songwriter Gwen Sebastian, known to fans of The Voice as a favorite contestant, is a country music singer/songwriter. She signed with Lofton Creek Records a few years ago, releasing Christmas in July in 2009 and V.I.P. in 2010…The Farm, a trio comprised of Nick Hoffman, Damien Horne and Krista Marie, is sort of a hybrid act – rooted in county but combining pop music into each song they sing. The three musicians put their own unique spin on the music, brought about by a series of different influences. Somehow, they all found their way to Nashville, and now work together, signed to Warner Brothers Records. Their debut single is “Home Sweet Home”…Buffalo’s Ransomville is carving its own path in the country music world, using a unique sound to attract the attention of critic s and fans. Their 2009 debut CD has been followed by a new EP, County Is What I Am.
Aztec Two-Step, Southside Johnny & The Asbury Jukes w/The Coupe DeVilles
Sunday, May 20
From their chance meeting at a Boston folk club back in 1971, Rex Fowler and Neal Shulman, Aztec Two-Step, have come to define what folk-rock and soft-pop is all about. Notable albums include Living in America (“Best Folk Album”- New York Music Awards), Of Age, Days of Horses and their latest, Cause & Effect, celebrating the band’s 40th anniversary… The group that the New York Times says “became known as the country’s best bar band,” Southside Johnny & The Asbury Jukes have racked up over 30 years of classic live shows and a multitude of albums. Southside Johnny came to national attention in the mid-seventies when his former band-mate, Bruce Springsteen hit it big. Steve Van Zandt produced the first three Southside albums – with Bruce contributing some songs. Over the years, Southside Johnny has gone one to release over twenty albums…Rochester’s own blues band, The Coupe DeVilles (Lex Byers, Tommy Bianchi, John Cianciola, Jeff Morrison and Geroge DeMott), have released three CDs, Burnin Blues, Blues For You and Blues Live at WITR.