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Arts Features

Rochester composer combines musical worlds

Jan 11, 2020
Maya Temperley

David Temperley composes tuneful, expressive pieces in a classical mold. But he also draws on influences from the popular music he grew up listening to on the radio. These inspirations include disco, The Rolling Stones, James Taylor, and The Police.


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As a longtime Rochester resident facing a roomful of city and county movers and shakers, Thomas Tischer alluded to the piles of architectural renderings whose promise never sees the light of day.

"Beyond plans," he said, sitting in the Dryden Theater on Monday morning, "you want reality."

Governor Andrew Cuomo is again pushing for legislation that would allow the sale of alcoholic beverages in movie theaters.

This is a concept that Cuomo has backed for the last few years, but which has faced some opposition in the state legislature.

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It was a little more than seven years ago that a handful of diesel fume-belching bulldozers, excavators and front-end loaders began gnawing away at a nondescript parking lot in downtown Rochester. Broken brick and chunks of asphalt were hauled away in dump trucks. Like a team of archaeologists revealing the signs of a forgotten civilization, work crews scraped away layers of debris to uncover the foundation of the old RKO Palace Theater.

The arts & life scene was full of news in 2019. As we look back at the news of the year, we bring the spotlight to the arts. Producer Veronica Volk talks with WXXI Arts & Life editor and reporter Jeff Spevak.

HBO

Politically driven comedian Bill Maher returns to Rochester for a 7:30 p.m. May 31 show at the Auditorium Theatre.

While Maher is well-known for his often-controversial talk shows -- first "Politically Incorrect," and for the last 15 years HBO's "Real Time" -- he's never stopped doing standup comedy. (Although his starring roles in "Cannibal Women in the Avocado Jungle of Death" and "Pizza Man" seem to have brought his film career to a halt.)

Here is more proof that the world of movies can be a surreal experience: when we catch up with Karolyn Grimes, who memorably played the 6-year-old Zuzu Bailey in “It’s a Wonderful Life,” she’s passing through Texas as a passenger in a car driven by Paris Themmen; he played Mike Teavee, the television-obsessed kid in “Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory.”

Even the slightest brush with cinema history can be everlasting fame.

CGI Rochester International Jazz Festival

Nile Rodgers and Chic, Spyro Gyra, and a celebration of the 50th anniversary of Garth Fagan Dance in Rochester, with jazz pianist Monty Alexander, are the first three shows announced for Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre at the 19th CGI Rochester International Jazz Festival.

Rodgers, a three-time Grammy winner and member of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, is joined by Chic for an 8 p.m. June 26 show.

Aaron Winters

It's a reasonable question to ask: What the hell were Bat McGrath and Tricia Cast doing in Nashville?


Mike Turzanksi

It's 8 p.m. on a snowy Wednesday night in November, and a crew of musicians is gathered in the cozy third-floor attic of Ben Morey and Katie Morey-Preston's home, which doubles as a recording studio and rehearsal space.

The group is gathered to rehearse for a rather unconventional event: a live performance of Harry Nilsson's "The Point!," which will take place at the Cinema Theater on South Clinton Avenue on Nov. 23 and 24. The all-ages event is a fundraiser for The Submarine School of Music, a community music school that the married couple hopes to launch in fall 2020.


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