I provided a list of the summer festivals in and around Rochester in a previous post, but the Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival deserves special attention. Despite only having started in 2002, Jazz Fest is now recognized as one of the top five jazz festivals in the country and last year had attendance of almost 200,000 people. In addition to celebrating jazz, exposing people to new artists and making Rochester a musical tourism destination, Jazz Fest and the University of Rochester have collaborated to nurture the next generation of jazz musicians by making scholarships available to talented area students of jazz to attend the Eastman School of Music.
Jazz Fest will begin its takeover of Rochester’s East End on Friday, June 19 at 4 PM with headliner, Diana Krall, at the Eastman Theatre. Although many of the headliner shows are sold out, there is still PLENTY of opportunity to see music during Jazz Fest, and a lot of it is free.
Free shows are held every afternoon and evening at the East Avenue & Gibbs Street stage. On East Avenue & Chestnut Street, you can catch The Mavericks; Blood, Sweat & Tears W/Bo Bice; Los Lonely Boys, and Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue. Check out the full free schedule here.
The following venues also have shows every night, accessible either with a Club Pass, or paying $20 at the door.
- Christ Church
- Harro East Ballroom
- Hatch Recital Hall, Eastman East Wing
- Kilbourn Hall, Eastman School of Music
- Little Theatre
- Max of Eastman Place
- Montage Music Hall
- Reformation Lutheran Church
- Rochester Club Ballroom
- Rochester Regional Health Big Tent (8:30/10:30 shows)
- NEWSqueezers Roots and Americana Stage at the Sibley Building
- NEWLyric Theatre at 440 East Avenue
- Xerox Auditorium at Xerox Plaza
Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue will close out Jazz Fest on Saturday, June 27 at 9:00 PM at the free East Avenue & Chestnut Street stage. To see the full lineup and festival information, go to www.rochesterjazz.com.