It’s Always Rock and Roll

It’s Always Rock and Roll

Rochester musicians were making names for themselves this year in the world of rock and roll, fronting their own bands and playing key roles with some of the industry’s biggest names.

Indie Success

Multi-instrumentalist Sasami Ashworth ’12E released her debut album to considerable acclaim earlier in 2019, followed by an international tour that kept her on the road through most of 2019.

Recorded under the name SASAMI, the eponymous album was praised by independent music outlets like Pitchfork, Stereogum, and the Stranger, as well as such outlets as the Nation, Jezebel, the Guardian, NME, and NPR.

While still a student at the Eastman School of Music, the onetime French horn player worked as a teacher and began to establish herself as an independent musician. She joined the band of indie music icon Cherry Glazerr, with whom she toured before launching her career as an independent artist.

Classic Crimson

Bassist Tony Levin ’68E was back on tour in fall of 2019 with King Crimson, a legendary progressive English rock band that formed the year Levin graduated from Eastman.

A widely sought-after musician, Levin has played on more than 500 albums with artists that include Stevie Nicks, Pink Floyd, Cher, Todd Rundgren, and Alice Cooper. He also was the bassist on Double Fantasy, by John Lennon and Yoko Ono. He’s the longtime bassist for Peter Gabriel and is also a member of the groups Stick Men and the Levin Brothers.

He’s been a member of King Crimson since the 1980s.

Who Are You?

Audrey Snyder ’13E, ’15E (MM) reached rock nirvana at London’s Wembley Stadium in July. The cellist joined violinist Katie Jacoby on a featured duo during “Behind Blue Eyes,” playing alongside music legends Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey as part of The Who’s 2019 tour.

The 32-show tour ran from May through October and included concerts at Fenway Park in Boston, Madison Square Garden in New York, and the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles. Snyder and Jacoby were the only traveling orchestra members on the tour and worked with about 50 local musicians chosen for each concert.

A core member of the Chicago-based Zafa Collective, Snyder has also released her own recordings. Next March and April, she’s scheduled to play 10 more concerts with The Who in the UK.

Late-night Rocker

Since May 2019, bassist Tim Lefebvre ’90 has performed once a month with Stay Human, the house band for The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.

Since graduating with a double major in economics and political science, Lefebvre has been a prominent session and touring performer.

He’s worked with David Bowie, Tedeschi Trucks Band, Empire of the Sun, Carole King, Elvis Costello, and Sting, in addition to establishing himself as a solo artist and band leader.

Sasami Ashworth ’12E
Tony Levin ’68E
Audrey Snyder ’13E, ’15E (MM)
Tim Lefebvre ’90

This article originally appeared in the fall 2019 issue of Rochester Review magazine.