Classical 91.5


Two young people from different backgrounds meet and fall in love -- and society tears them apart.  You may recognize that as "West Side Story."

Here's another story: Two young people from different backgrounds meet and fall in love -- and end up making music together all over the world. 

  They're a bit classical, a bit jazz  - the "Classy-Jazz" Trio is Ramon Ricker (soprano saxophone), Nancy Boone-Bahr (baritone saxophone), and Yi-Wen Chang (piano).  And regardless of genre, it's all good - and you'll want to spend lunch with this trio when they're on Live from Hochstein November 7th (12:10-12:15pm).

You're invited to come out to hear the music in person at the Hochstein Performance Hall (50 N. Plymouth Avenue, downtown Rochester) or listen to it broadcast live on WXXI Classical 91.5.  

Summer of Music: Upcoming Music Festivals in Summer 2018

Jul 23, 2018
Jessica Novak,

From Buffalo to New York City, there’s one thing all New Yorkers have in common: our love of celebrating our warm and stunningly beautiful summers! Here are a few highlights of places and upcoming events where you can celebrate summer with great music here in New York:

As part of the Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival, a big band of 25 musicians from the Eastman School of Music will play jazz movie scores. Emmy-winning composer Mark Watters, who has been at Eastman for a year now as the director of the Beal Institute for film music and contemporary media will conduct the performances. 

Listen here to a conversation with Mark Watters about composing for movies, TV, and video games - as well as more about the history of jazz at the movies, this week's program at the jazz festival, and his work teaching at Eastman.  

To hear a concert by pianist Tony Caramia is to hear beautiful and unexpected music. He follows his intuition, chance, a ravenous curiosity and a good ear into some wonderful musical discoveries, that open up new worlds for listeners – as well as for the students he teaches at Eastman. 

On Live from Hochstein this afternoon, Caramia is playing music that stands out for its lovely harmonies – and playful energy -  in a program called “Syncopated Sounds from Germany.” Listen above to hear him introduce you to Ernest Fischer, Erwin Schulhoff, Lothar Perl, and others.  

Jazz musicians, almost by definition, seek an active dialogue between the impulsive and the rational. For some, the terms of that negotiation become a central feature of their art.


Dan Tepfer is one of those: a pianist and composer who sees improvisation as the ideal expression of freedom within a framework.

Herb Smith's Freedom Trio performed at The Little Theatre during the third day of the 2017 Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival. Here's a number from their set as captured by WXXI's Martin Kaufman.

The Xerox Rochester International Jazz Fest is just starting – 9 days of music in cafes, small clubs, big concert halls, free outdoor stages, recording studios, the public library, and classrooms…lunchtime concerts, afternoons and evenings of music, and late nights that spill into early mornings. There really seems to be something for every taste and approach.

Everyone will have their own list of what you should check out – and then those lists will change as everyone experience the music and discovers their new favorite sound.  You can catch up with my colleague Julia Figueras each day during Morning Edition on WXXI News (at approximately 8:43am) and then catch the Jazz Corner on WRUR at 10:30 each morning on Open Tunings with Scott Regan and Jeff Spevak.  

Fascinatin' Rhythm: How Duke Ellington Wrote, 4/22/17

Apr 17, 2017

Program # 1717  

American composer, pianist and bandleader Duke Ellington was an originator of big-band jazz.  Ellington composed thousands of scores over his 50-year career.  Fascinatin' Rhythm with Michael Lasser features this historical and influential jazz composer's unique writing style.  He played piano but when he composed, his instrument of choice was his entire band.  No one else worked that way.