If you’re into jazzy sounds and jam bands, this is a good weekend to be in Rochester.
The weekend kicks off a day early when Jagged Ease, an acoustic crew that plays songs from a wide variety of genres, makes a special appearance tonight on the rooftop at Kathy’s Pub, 307 S. Broadway, Rochester.
Jagged Ease is led by singer Gabe Holmes, whose emphatic singing style is sure to cut through the periphery noise of the rooftop. The group plays a mix of originals and covers. For an idea of what to expect, check out their website, where a pair of videos are available to view.
The forecast calls for mellow temperatures that night, which makes the rooftop a perfect venue to escape to after the Thursdays on First & Third festivities start to wind down.
Meanwhile, the downstairs stage at Kathy’s that night will feature a triple-header of bands from Boston and Hawaii: Maris and the Merry Rockers, Kaahlee, and Tubby Love. This trio of artists will be playing upbeat, jam-heavy, reggae-inspired tunes. For a preview of their sounds, head over to their websites.
The big musical highlight of the weekend happens on Friday night, when Sidewalk Chalk, a crew out of Chicago that plays a sophisticated, jazz-centric, soulful brand of hip-hop, take the stage at Kathy’s at 8 p.m.
Sidewalk Chalk is an eight-piece collective whose sound harkens back to the Native Tongues era of hip-hop while also bringing to mind crews like The Roots, thanks to their full-band approach. They are able to create richly textured soundscapes by bringing a music store’s worth of different instruments with them onto the stage; the group includes an MC, a female vocalist, a keyboardist, a bass player, a drummer, a tap-dancer, and a horn section featuring trombones and trumpets.
Their website has a number of videos and songs available to stream for those looking to become acquainted with their sound. The official video for their song, “Birds of a Feather,” is a great place to start.
Sidewalk Chalk released their sophomore album, “Leaves,” back in February. It is available to stream in its entirety on their Soundcloud page, and can be purchased on iTunes.
If you’re looking for a quieter form of sophistication, Doo Da Day, a jazzy combo comprised of a guitarist and female vocalist, takes up residency at the Redwood Room this weekend, playing on both Friday and Saturday night.
Doo Da Day’s set list includes jazz standards, blues tunes, a smattering of country songs, some choice selections by Stevie Wonder, The Spinners, and even a few original compositions. The classic Getz, Gilberto, and Jobim cut, “The Girl From Ipanema” makes an appearance on their list of songs, so I’m sold.
Doo Da Day’s sound is tailor-made to coincide with the clink of glasses and utensils against plates, as evidenced in the promo video available for viewing on their website.