Joe Locke's first jazz album comes full circle at The Little

Nov 22, 2019

A concert at The Little Theatre in Rochester on Friday night marked an important milestone for both the performer and the venue.

Rochester native and renowned jazz vibraphonist Joe Locke came to The Little to bring things full circle, in a sense.

That’s because in 1983, when he was just starting out, he played the vibes for a live performance that was used on his first album, called “In Front of the Silver Screen.”

Locke has been around jazz stages and recording studios quite a bit since then.

“I’ve done over 30 albums as a leader, more than 150 recordings, and that was my first as a leader. So it has really special meaning to be on that stage,” Locke said.

Locke’s appearance at The Little also is part of the celebration of the 90th anniversary for that theater, and The Little’s Theater 1 has been undergoing renovations for the last several years.

Locke sees a metaphor here, involving both that transformation and his coming back to play there again.

“The theater, that room itself has such history and yet what’s old has been made new again in this beautiful way; so the theatre and I are kind of hand in glove in that way, you know,” Locke explained.

Renovations at The Little are expected to be completed next year.  

WXXI operates The Little Theatre.