Michael Occhipinti & The Sicilian Jazz Project - Rochester International Jazz Festival 2009

We had a hard time picking which show to go for in day six of the Jazz Fest. We only had the first hour available so we started with Michael Occhipinti & The Sicilian Jazz Project at Max of Eastman Place. We sat with Sue Rogers and Scott Regan from WXXI and were wowed by the first song. The band entered from the back of the room chanting a call and response in Italian. It was led by the lead singer and had something to do with the band members judging by the broad smiles on their faces as they were each addressed. Maybe it was simply an introduction but it was effective. And then they launched into a fairly straight ahead jazz piece that was not at all like the exotic, old world sound files we heard on their web page. The front line took turns with solos while the others sat out. They had to sit out because it felt like there were too many guys in this band. They do get extra points for featuring an accordion player. - photo by P Doddy - click photo to advance > next