Free concerts and live music return to Rochester

Free Concerts And Live Music Return To Rochester

ROCHESTER, NY (WROC) – The City of Rochester is ready to fill its streets with the rhythm of jazz once again, celebrating the return of Rochester’s International Jazz Festival to downtown with a full roster of headliners and more free concerts from than ever before.

Festival organizers joined Monroe County Executive Adam Bello, Rochester Mayor Malik Evans and other local officials on Tuesday to announce the 2022 lineup of artists and share updates on the festival after an absence. of two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It’s been two long years since our community had a jazz festival,” Bello said. “Music inspires us, moves us, all together. It’s time to celebrate. Our community has come a long way, let’s celebrate together through the power of music.”

Plans for the festival’s return began before November last year, when organizers met to discuss the best course of action following last year’s cancellation. Suggestions for a July festival on the RIT campus were made in early 2021, but the proposal fell through after the event failed to secure funding.

“Posting our Jazz Festival for two years in a row has left a void for all of us,” producer and executive director Marc Iacona said last year. “We can look forward to hearing vibrant music from around the world once again in June in downtown Rochester.”

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The 19th edition of the International Jazz Festival will take place over nine days at 20 different venues in downtown Rochester this summer, starting June 17.

Officials estimate that more than 325 shows, including a record 130 free shows, will be presented this year.

Headlines from Rochester Jazz Festival 2022 include: Chris Botti, Devon Allman Project and special guests Dirty Dozen Brass Band and Samantha Fish “Allman Family Revival”, Tommy Emmanuel, Spyro Gyra, Robin Thicke, Sheila E., Booker T Presents: A Soul Stax Revue, New Power Generation, G Love & Special Sauce, The Bacon Brothers and Wynonna Judd.

All main shows will be free to the public and performed at outdoor venues on the Midtown Stage at Parcel 5 and at Martin Luther King Jr., Memorial Park. Organizers say no tickets are needed for the main performers.

“The return of the festival to our downtown will be a challenging time for our city,” said Dan Burns, senior vice president, M&T Bank. “This festival is huge. Our community needs this event. Let’s come together to celebrate music, each other and uplift our community. I can’t wait to see Jazz Street pulsing again.”

Marc Iacona, producer of the festival, addressed the economic impact saying, “(It’s) what’s happening with hotels, restaurants, what’s happening with other entrepreneurs within the footprint that are hiring more people. Almost like during a holiday season, and they really increase – a significant increase in terms of people coming downtown, as well as passing through downtown and discovering our city again.”

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The full list of artists for this year’s festival can be found on the Rochester Jazz Festival website.

Producer’s Choices:

Along with its press conference today, the RIJF revealed its “producer choices”. Nugent and Iacona contributed to this list of artists they are checking out. But they’ll say, it’s not who you know, it’s who you don’t know.

  • Emmaline
  • Samara Joy
  • Tivon Pennicott Quartet
  • Ravi Coltrane
  • big lazy
  • Itamar Borochov
  • ranked tanks
  • Adam Melchor
  • Champian Fulton Trio
  • Gelin Giveton
  • Immanuel Wilkins Quartet
  • Dan Wilson Quartet
  • Sarah McKenzie
  • Helen Sung Trio
  • Robin McKelle
  • Connie Han
  • Lioness
  • Trio Sunna Gunnlaugs

Dan’s Picks:

Digital content reporter Dan Gross has covered the festival for more than half a decade, from independent work to freelancers to News 8 coverage. He’s also known as “Music Man Dan,” so see what it’s worth.

He highlighted a few shows he’s excited to check out. There is some overlap with the producers and of course local music will be accepted… But that’s for the next list.

  • Lioness
  • Helen Sung Trio
  • Lioness
  • Lew Tabbackin Trio
  • Bill Frisell Trio
  • Tommy Emmanuel
  • Jeremy Pelt Quartet
  • Scott Mulvahill
  • Judah Sealy
  • Moho Collective
  • Kurt Elling’s “SuperBlue” with Charlie Hunter
Free Concerts And Live Music Return To Rochester
Free concerts and live music return to Rochester Screenshot 45

According to the organizers, the novelty for this year is the expansion of Jazz Street. The festival merchandise tent and hospitality suite will be moved to Parcel 5, allowing more access to event attendees on Jazz Street.

“Quality of life, the experience for our community and outside of our community. The economic impact of our festival is enormous. In Installment 5, we will now have 27 free shows. This will be a core area. This event is a sophisticated buffet of music you can listen to,” said CGI Rochester International Jazz Festival producer and artistic director Marc Iacona.

Two years have passed since the festival was last held in Rochester. Authorities expect to welcome more than 200,000 music fans from around the world to the city center.

“This is a major economic development in our city,” said Mayor Evans. “There are people from all over the world who come down to Rochester. Installment 5? Outdoor night shows for seven days straight? That’s a big deal, it’s never been done before. Jazz Street, Parcel 5, MLK Park… this is so exciting, I’m looking forward to it.”

Jazz lovers in Rochester can get a taste of what’s to come at this year’s festival with a show on March 15th with RIJF regular Catherine Russell.

Tickets are on sale now and can be found here, and will also be available at the door. Show time is at 7:30pm

Russell is known as one of the leading modern interpreters of early jazz from the 1920s to the 1940s, and is a fan favorite at the RIJF, filling Harro East and Kilbourn Hall over the years.

Tuesday’s announcement took place at the Theater of Innovation Square at 131 North Chestnut Street.

Watch the full ad here:


Check back with the News 8 WROC as we will continue to update this evolving story.

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