Billboard Bits: Rochester Jazz, Nothingface, Yerba Buena

News on Rochester Jazz, Nothingface, Yerba Buena

TonyTony Bennett, Al Jarreau, George Benson, Dave Brubeck, Spyro Gyra, and Medeski, Martin & Wood will headline the second annual Rochester International Jazz Festival, set for June 5-14 in Rochester, N.Y. Other artists slated to perform include saxophonist Chris Potter, trombonist Fred Wesley, and vocalists Claudia Acuna, Kevin Mahogany, and Lizz Wright.

The festival will consist of 10 nights of concerts at various venues throughout Rochester, including Eastman Theatre, Kilbourn Hall, Memorial Art Gallery, Water Street Music Hall, Milestones, and the Crowne Plaza Hotel Big Tent. It also will encompass a jazz film series, Jazz for Kids concerts at the Strong Museum, and nightly open jam sessions at the Crowne Plaza's State Street Bar & Grill.

Tickets go on sale Friday (April 4) and range from $15 to $65. A special Club Pass allows holders access to any of 40 club performances throughout the festival. For more information including ticket sales, full venue list, and artist information, visit the event's official Web site

-- Troy Carpenter, N.Y.

NothingfaceHard rock act Nothingface has abruptly exited its support slot on Ministry's ongoing North American tour, which is scheduled to run into May. A spokesperson wouldn't give details on the move, saying only that the group played its last show with Ministry on Saturday in Phoenix. Nothingface is expected to begin a headlining tour in the near future as a precursor to its summer-long second-stage slot on Ozzfest, kicking off June 28 in Selma, Texas.

The group's next TVT album, "Skeletons," is due April 22. The set is the follow-up to Nothingface's 2000 effort, "Violence," which reached No. 24 on Billboard's Heatseekers chart and has sold 87,000 copies in the U.S., according to Nielsen SoundScan.

-- Jonathan Cohen, N.Y.

Yerba BuenaNew York-based Latin/Afro-beat/hip-hop act Yerba Buena will be seen and heard in the April 14 episode of the NBC series "Third Watch." The group will perform the song "Gaujira (I Love U 2 Much)" during a club scene in the New York-set drama. The track is featured on the band's debut Fun Machine/Razor & Tie album, "President Alien," due out the day after the episode airs.

The acclaimed group also has a handful of tour dates slated for the coming weeks, including an April 24 show at New York's Bowery Ballroom in celebration of the album's release, and an April 27 performance at New Orleans' annual Jazzfest. For more information, visit Yerba Buena's official Web site.

-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.