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Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival

The Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival presented by M&T Bank today announced its largest lineup ever with more than 1000 artists performing at 285 concerts and a record number of international artists.

Jeff Beck, Gladys Knight, Herbie Hancock, Keb’ Mo’, Bernie Williams and John Pizzarelli will headline the nine-day event that runs from Friday June 11 through Saturday June 19. After a fast sell-out of the first Jeff Beck performance on June 18, festival producers added a second show that evening.

The Festival’s ninth edition includes more than 60 free shows. It takes place in 17 different venues and outdoor stages all within walking distance in Rochester’s East End Cultural District. Gibbs Street will become “Jazz Street” and will be closed to traffic for all nine days.

The Festival, already known for delivering one of the most extensive international lineups of any jazz festival in the United States, will add even more concerts this year from artists outside the United States. In addition to two well-established popular international series, Nordic Jazz Now and Made in the UK, three bands from Denmark will be presented in association with Copenhagen Jazz Festival Experience.

Also new this year, are two new Club Pass Series and venues: the Roots and Americana Series, which will be held at Abilene Bar, and the Viva Italia Series, which will be held at the Rochester Club Ballroom.

“These new series and the breadth of international talent will whet the appetites of our loyal Club Pass connoisseurs and more than satisfy the musical palates of all in attendance, ” said Marc Iacona, Festival Producer and Executive Director. “We’re proud to feature the hottest up and coming artists from around the globe.”

“We’re also very pleased to welcome two new sponsors this year, Verizon Wireless, sponsor of the Verizon Wireless Club Pass Big Tent and Rochester General Health System, presenting sponsor of the East Avenue and Alexander and East Avenue and Chestnut Street free stages.

“The canvas is wet, the ‘painting’ is ready and all the pieces of the puzzle have come together, ” said John Nugent, Festival Producer and Artistic Director. “We have a great headliner series, and what has become our calling card, an amazing presentation of international artists and strong emerging artists.”

“What is magical about having so many different styles of music, ” added Nugent, “is that it creates a sense of euphoria for the audience. When you hear so much great music night after night, it becomes intoxicating. It gets into your soul, it uplifts you and that’s a big part of why our festival is serendipity. The movement of people, sharing their feelings about what they have heard, it’s uplifting, and that’s something everyone needs.”

Headliner Shows
All shows are at Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre, 60 Gibbs St. Tickets are $55 – $125 plus services charges.

June 11 – Gladys Knight, 8 PM
June 12 – Keb’ Mo’, 8 PM
June 14 – XRIJF-ESM Jazz Scholarships Performance with special guest,
Dave Glasser, 7 PM, Free or $5 donation
June 15 – Herbie Hancock, 8 PM
June 16 – John Pizzarelli with The Woody Herman Orchestra directed by Frank Tiberi, 8 PM
June 17 – Bernie Williams – 8 PM
June 18 – Jeff Beck – 8 PM (Sold Out) and 11 PM (Tickets Available)

Club Pass Series – “It’s not who you know, it’s who you don’t know.”
This year’s Club Pass Series is bigger than ever with two new venues and 180 shows in ten venues.

“We received a record number of artists submissions this year and it’s no secret why, ” said Nugent. “With shows packed to the rafters, artists who perform here have the time of their lives and want to come back.”

Billy’s Band will be back by huge popular request, as will Cat Russell, Mose Allison, Lynne Arriale, Djabe, Robin McKelle and many other favorites. Just a few of the many new international artists not to miss are Joyce, one of the best Brazilian singers ever; Dmitry Baevsky from Russia “a ridiculous bebopper, ” according to Nugent, Grace Kelly, an 18-year-old Nugent heard in Italy last year who plays like Charlie Parker; Viktoria Tolstoy from Stockholm, who will dazzle the audience; and Stan Tracy, “the Godfather of British Jazz” and a virtuoso who hasn’t been to the states in 50 years, who will play here in the Made in the UK Series.

A number of New Orleans artists dot the roster this year. Sauce Boss, will cook a huge pot of gumbo during his show and share with the crowd afterward, and Bryan Lee, a guitarist who is blind, will perform on the last night in the Verizon Wireless Big Tent.

..:: Source: Rochester Jazz.com ::..