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GrassRoots Festival relaunches with 2021 summer concert series

In a rare positive reversal for concert plans during the pandemic, GrassRoots will present live music this summer at Trumansburg Fairgrounds after all. In lieu of the Finger Lakes GrassRoots Festival, which had been effectively canceled in March, festival organizers have announced “Finger Lakes GrassRoots Live!” a series of concerts running from July 9 through 31 — including performances on the originally scheduled GrassRoots Festival Weekend, July 23-25. That weekend will feature multiple...

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Cindy Cashdollar did not use the past year of pandemic retreat as an opportunity to reinvent some aspect of her life. “I did not sit down and learn Japanese flute, or learn Indian raga scales or do anything like that,” she says. “I didn’t learn how to quilt, I didn’t learn how to become a photographer.”

What she did do was finally, after all these years, get into the cardboard boxes of history she’d been squirreling away: posters of shows she’s played, photographs of the musicians she’s played with.

After more than a year of the twists and turns of life in the coronavirus pandemic, Danny Deutsch decided he had to lay down the law. In mid-May, he declared that no one would be allowed in Abilene Bar & Lounge unless they had proof that they had been vaccinated against COVID-19.

He posted the new policy on the club’s website. And on Facebook.

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Cindy Cashdollar did not use the past year of pandemic retreat as an opportunity to reinvent some aspect of her life. “I did not sit down and learn Japanese flute, or learn Indian raga scales or do anything like that,” she says. “I didn’t learn how to quilt, I didn’t learn how to become a photographer.”

What she did do was finally, after all these years, get into the cardboard boxes of history she’d been squirreling away: posters of shows she’s played, photographs of the musicians she’s played with.

After more than a year of the twists and turns of life in the coronavirus pandemic, Danny Deutsch decided he had to lay down the law. In mid-May, he declared that no one would be allowed in Abilene Bar & Lounge unless they had proof that they had been vaccinated against COVID-19.

He posted the new policy on the club’s website. And on Facebook.

In a rare positive reversal for concert plans during the pandemic, GrassRoots will present live music this summer at Trumansburg Fairgrounds after all.

Here’s the question for Missy Pfohl Smith: What prompted the creation of the ARTs + Change Conference?

Worldwide, it’s the rising tide of polarization, and social media’s role in it, she says. Closer to home, it was the death of Daniel Prude — a man in the midst of a mental health crisis — at the hands of the Rochester Police Department “that sparked all the protests and brought up the problems that have been happening here for a long time, but really became acute in that moment last summer,” says Pfohl Smith, who organized the conference.

The prison in Central America was run down, the conditions horrible. Yet art was there. 

“Guys with tattoos on their faces, their eyelids, under their lips,” says Mandalit del Barco. “Places that hurt. They would try to put art on themselves, their whole bodies.” 

Some of these men had roamed the streets of Los Angeles, in gangs, until they’d been deported. And now, imprisoned. Perhaps that guy had been one of them, the one with the tattoo on his forehead.

This was a name almost -- almost -- as big as previous visitors to the Bug Jar, such as The White Stripes, The Black Keys, Vampire Weekend, Modest Mouse, Arcade Fire and Lizzo. 

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, backed by the iconic chintzy décor of the tiny Rochester music club, was describing in a March 31 press conference some of the federal government’s programs that are designed to save our music culture from the coronavirus pandemic.

As freelance artists in a time of pandemic drought, David Cowles and Josh Gosfield sensed it was time to put matters in their own hands.

“Let’s not wait for art directors to give us jobs,” Cowles says, “let’s do something that we really love.”

Heroes. We love heroes. We need heroes to get us through tough times. Cowles and Gosfield have given us 63 heroes, as defined by 63 artists, for this moment in a new art-driven magazine, Public Eye.

Over the past six years, nearly 30,000 musicians have entered NPR's annual Tiny Desk Contest in the hopes of being chosen to perform as part of NPR Music's signature music discovery series. Now, NPR is once again calling for bands and musicians to submit a video. Contest winners have gone on to tour the world, sign with major labels, open for legendary performers and even receive Grammy awards.

HomeStage: Charles Jaffe

May 7, 2021

The musicians of Rochester have skills other than making music. Charles Jaffe excels in marquetry, the art of applying pieces of veneer to a structure to form decorative patterns, designs or pictures. On this HomeStage, Jaffe combines both - a song and marquetry he's working on. (Also check out all the HomeStage performances here)


A Tulsan by way of Detroit, Austin and Los Angeles, Tori Ruffin is the founding member of Freak Juice, a funky, hard-rocking music collaborative that includes musicians Charlie Redd (bass), Stanley Fary (drums) and Christopher Simpson (vocals). Exhorting fans to "Get in the Blender," Freak Juice delivers music that owes as much to the party ethos of '80s hair metal bands as it does to the social justice messaging of Marvin Gaye. "It's kind of like Deftones meets Miles Davis with some funk and hip-hop thrown in," Ruffin says.

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