Special Sections » Rochester International Jazz Festival

Festival Information

Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre Series
Headliner shows are held in Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre
(60 Gibbs Street). These are ticketed shows; a Club Pass doesn’t work here. Tickets, which range from $34 to $161 (plus service charges), are available through the Jazz Festival website (rochesterjazz.com) or by calling 585-454-2060.

CORRECTION: [ UPDATED 6/23/19 ]The schedule grid in CITY's Jazz Festival Guide incorrectly listed Jeff Goldblum as the headliner at Kodak Hall on Friday, June 28. In fact, Steve Miller Band is still the headliner on June 28, while Jeff Goldblum and The Mildred Snitzer Orchestra will be headlining at Kodak Hall on Wednesday, June 26 (as previously indicated in the grid). Tickets for both concerts are available at the CGI RIJF box office and online atrochesterjazz.com. [ UPDATED 6/24/19 ] The free concerts at the Rochester Regional Health Big Tent are scheduled for 6 p.m. daily, and not 4:30 p.m. as previously listed in the schedule grid.

A Club Pass is your ticket to the Club Series: you can go to as many concerts as you’d like at 12 smaller clubs and venues (listed below). The Jazz Festival has two Club Pass options: a three-day pass, which allows access to concerts on any three days of your choice during the festival, and the traditional nine-day pass. And new this year, the festival created “shareable” and “personal” three-day and nine-day passes for various prices. The “personal” passes are sold out (but hey, that means if you now buy a Club Pass, you can share it).

Three-day passes are $194, plus service charges. The full nine-day Club Pass costs $254, plus service charges, and almost always sells out in advance of the festival. If you don’t have one, you can still buy tickets ($30-$35) to the individual Club Pass concerts at the door, if space is available. Cash only. Be advised that Club Pass shows tend to sell out on a first-come, first-served basis; even if you have a Pass, you should get there early.

The Jazz Festival is again using a wristband system at Kilbourn Hall and Max of Eastman Place. Starting two hours before Kilbourn Hall’s 6 p.m. show and Max of Eastman Place’s 6:15 p.m. performance, Club Pass holders and those paying in cash at the door can line up for color-coded wristbands that will specify return times for their show. Patrons can then leave, wander the festival, and come back at their designated time to enter the venue. You must be present in line to receive a wristband. And seating is still first-come, first-served.

Christ Church Made in the UK Series (141 East Avenue)

Geva Theatre Center – Fielding Stage (75 Woodbury Boulevard)

Geva Theatre Center – Wilson Stage (75 Woodbury Boulevard)

Hatch Recital Hall at Eastman School of Music (433 East Main Street)

Kilbourn Hall at Eastman School of Music (26 Gibbs Street)

Lutheran Church of the Reformation Nordic & Euro Jazz Now Series (111 North Chestnut Street)

Max of Eastman Place (25 Gibbs Street)

The Montage Music Hall (50 Chestnut Street)

M&T Pavilion - Squeezers Stage (Parcel 5 on East Main Street, between Cortland Street and Andrew Langston Way)

Rochester Regional Health Big Tent (corner of East Main and Gibbs streets)

Temple Building Theater (50 Liberty Pole Way)

The Wilder Room (120 East Avenue)

Avangrid Foundation / RG&E / Barclay Damon Fusion Stage (corner of East Avenue & Chestnut Street)
Free shows June 24-28

Central Library of Rochester and Monroe County
(115 South Avenue)
Free shows June 24-28

City of Rochester East Avenue & Chestnut Street Stage
Free shows June 21-22

City of Rochester Jazz Street Stage (Gibbs Street at East Avenue)
Free music daily

City of Rochester Midtown Stage (Parcel 5 on East Main Street, between Cortland Street and Andrew Langston Way)
Free show June 28-29

Eastman School of Music – Ray Wright Room (26 Gibbs Street)
Free workshops June 24-28

M&T Pavilion - Squeezers Stage Parcel 5 on East Main Street, between Cortland Street and Andrew Langston Way
Free shows daily at 4:30 p.m.

Rochester Regional Health Big Tent (corner of Main Street and Gibbs)
Free shows daily at 6 p.m.

The Street Craft Kitchen & Bar at the Hyatt (125 East Main Street) Free jam sessions every night, hosted by Karl Stabnau and Bob Sneider. All jam sessions start at 10:30 p.m.

Parking for all East End venues can be found in the East End parking garage at the corner of Scio Street and East Avenue. Additional parking can be found in the Washington Square Garage (111 Woodbury Boulevard) and the NYSUT lot (30 North Union Street). Daily parking at the East End and Washington Square Garages costs $7 per car; the NYSUT lot is free. Also be on the lookout for street parking or spots in surface lots throughout the neighborhood.

You can also find parking at the Sister Cities Garage (28 North Fitzhugh Street), Midtown Garage (270 East Broad Street, entrance on Clinton Avenue or Broad Street), and the South Avenue Garage (39 Stone Street). Those garages are $2 per hour, up to $10 max. For further details and specific street closings, visit WRIJF’s website (rochesterjazz.com).

The CGI Rochester International Jazz Festival’s official website is rochesterjazz.com. You can also visit the Jazz Ticket Shop and Info Center on the corner of East Avenue and Gibbs Street, open daily during the festival, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. The Jazz Fest also has a mobile app for both Apple and Android phones. It includes a full schedule, venue and artist lists, maps, and an option to buy tickets online. Find the download button on the Jazz Fest website’s homepage or through the app store.

For additional Jazz Fest info, check out rochestercitynewspaper.com to get the online version of this guide, plus our daily Jazz Blog. CITY’s critics will offer up their reviews of the previous night’s concerts, and you can post your own thoughts in the comments section. We’ll also be posting photos, videos, and more. New blogs will be up by 8 a.m. each morning of the festival. We’ll also post updates on our Facebook page (facebook.com/CityNewspaper) and on Twitter and Instagram (@roccitynews).

In This Guide...

  • Jazz Fest Guide: Three thoughts for the 2019 CGI Rochester International Jazz Festival

    The 2019 CGI Rochester International Jazz Festival is here, and with it, a whirlwind of concerts by national, international, and local musicians. It can be overwhelming for even the most seasoned jazz fest fan.

  • Feature: Sasha Berliner Quintet

    When 20-year-old vibraphonist Sasha Berliner received the call, letting her know that she'd won the 2019 LetterOne RISING STARS Jazz Award, she couldn't believe it. "It was a surreal moment," Berliner says.

  • The Players: Friday, June 21

    Teagan and the Tweeds | teaganandthetweeds.com 4:30 p.m.: M&T Pavilion - Squeezers Stage (Bluesy rock 'n' roll)

  • Profile: Dawn Thomson's Imagine That

    When digging on an artist of two or more disciplines, you have to wonder which one dominates in that artist's heart and head. Dawn Thomson plays it slick and sweet on the guitar.

  • The Players: Saturday, June 22

    Ambassadors Jazztet | armyfieldband.com/about/ensembles/jazz-ambassadors 4:30 p.m.: M&T Pavilion – Squeezers Stage | (Straight-ahead jazz)

  • Interview: The Honey Smugglers

    Blame it on love. Rochester's The Honey Smugglers is here because it's frontman, Brian MacDonald, fell in love.

  • The Players: Sunday, June 23

    Zion Hill Mass Choir 4:30 p.m.: M&T Pavilion – Squeezers Stage | (Gospel)

  • Interview: The Willows

    The voices of Krista Deady, Andrea Gregario and Lauren Pedersen are spun gold, blended so well that they come across as one three-tiered voice. The trio known as The Willows makes other vocalists sound like Edith Bunker.

  • The Players: Tuesday, June 25

    Soul Passenger | soulpassenger.com 4:30 p.m.: M&T Pavilion – Squeezers Stage | (Rock)

  • The Players: Monday, June 24

    Fred Costello | fredcostello.com 4:30 p.m.| M&T Pavilion – Squeezers Stage | (B-3 organ jazz)

  • Profile: Harold Mabern

    When Harold Mabern was growing up in Memphis, he had no ambition to become a jazz pianist. "I didn't choose it; it chose me," says Mabern, a self-taught musician.

  • Feature: Jeff Goldblum & the Mildred Snitzer Orchestra

    When you're known for being chased by dinosaurs and being turning into a giant fly, it's inevitable that you'll have to do the rounds: going on press junkets, shaking babies, kissing hands, and hocking your latest wares -- in this case, a jazz recording. Jeff Goldblum, the actor and Hollywood bon vivant found himself on the Graham Norton Show about a year ago, doing the standard media song-and-dance for the movie "Thor Ragnarok."

  • The Players: Wednesday, June 26

    Herb Smith Freedom Trio | herbtrumpet.com 4:30 p.m.: M&T Pavilion – Squeezers Stage | (Straight-ahead jazz)

  • Feature: George Coleman Quartet

    In the early 1960's, after saxophonist George Coleman had earned his way to the top of the jazz world playing with Booker Little, Max Roach and Slide Hampton, he was tapped by Miles Davis to play in one of the greatest quintets in the history of jazz. Coleman recorded four seminal albums with Davis: "Seven Steps to Heaven," "My Funny Valentine, "Four," and "Miles Davis In Europe."

  • The Players: Thursday, June 27

    The Buddhahood | thebuddhahood.com 4:30 p.m.: M&T Pavilion – Squeezers Stage | (Jam-band, world music)

  • Profile: Bill Charlap

    You might say pianist Bill Charlap was born to play standards. His father, Moose Charlap, was a Broadway composer best known for his iconic musical "Peter Pan."

  • The Players: Friday, June 28

    Kansas Smitty's House Band | kansassmittys.com 5:30 p.m. & 7:30 p.m.: Geva Theatre Center – Wilson Stage | (Straight-ahead jazz)

  • Interview: Cha Wa

    The music of New Orleans band Cha Wa is a party in itself, a joyful collision of brass band music, funk, soul, and Mardi Gras Indian music and culture. The group is led by singer J'Wan Boudreaux and drummer Joe Gelini, both of whom learned from the preeminent musician Monk Boudreaux, Big Chief of the Mardi Gras Indian tribe Golden Eagles and J'Wan's grandfather.

  • The Players: Saturday, June 29

    Acoustic Alchemy | acousticalchemy.co.uk 5:30 p.m. & 7:30 p.m.: Geva Theatre Center – Wilson Stage | (Smooth jazz)

  • Jazz Fest 2019: CITY's Daily Jazz Blogs

    The 2019 CGI Rochester International Jazz Festival runs from Friday, June 21, through Saturday, June 29, and CITY Newspaper will be out every night of the festival, covering multiple shows. Check back each day for reviews, photos and video of each nights festivities.