Jason at the 2005 Rochester International Jazz Festival (Part 1)

Last night, I volunteered at the Montage Grille during the 2005 Rochester International Jazz Festival. This really is one of the great festivals in the U.S. — in just its fourth year.

What made the evening so special was seeing the jazz crowd that I haven’t seen since leaving Jazz90.1 last November. It was great to be remembered. Sometimes it’s nice to have that affirmation for your past work. And it was exciting to see the number of young fans attending the gigs. I was working at the Joe La Barbera show, which was excellent. I also managed to catch two songs by The Bad Plus. Fun!

The evening’s joy was touched by sadness, too. I learned last night of the death earlier this week of guitarist Mark Manetta. I’ve been so off the scene that I hadn’t heard about Mark’s passing. He was a special human being, and I’ll write more about him soon.