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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)

Acoustic Alchemy began innocently enough in the 1980's with two excellent guitarists knocking out Londoners with their catchy arrangements. After several personnel changes over the decades, Greg Carmichael and Miles Gilderdale continue to perform their guitar magic, touching on everything from jazz to flamenco to classical to funk. The result is an appealing blend of new age music. (RN)

Sullivan Fortner | sullivanfortnermusic.com

5:45 p.m. & 7:45 p.m.: Hatch Recital Hall, Eastman School of Music | (Straight-ahead jazz)

See page for Fortner's bio.

Gene Perla Quartet | perla.org

6 p.m. & 10 p.m.: The Wilder Room | (Straight-ahead jazz)

After studying at Berklee College of Music and Boston Conservatory, bassist Gene Perla moved to New York. It wasn't long before he was enlisted by some of the top artists on the scene, including major players like Miles Davis, Elvin Jones, and Sonny Rollins, not to mention top singers Frank Sinatra, Nina Simone and Sarah Vaughan. (RN)

Sisters Euclid | sisterseuclid.bandcamp.com

6 p.m. & 10 p.m.: The Montage Music Hall (Bluesy, guitar-driven jazz)

Canadian guitarist Kevin Breit has his fingers in all sorts of pies and wrapped around all sorts of guitars, playing in various bands from Stretch Orchestra to Folkalarm to Sisters Euclid. It's in the quartet of Sisters that Breit chases shadows, with a dark and gritty guitar style that also has plenty of melodic invention. (FD)

Kansas Smitty's House Band | kansassmittys.com

6 p.m. & 9 p.m.:Kilbourn Hall, Eastman School of Music | (Straight-ahead jazz)

See the band's bio on page .

New Energy Jazz Orchestra | rit.edu/cla/finearts/music/new-energy-jazz-orchestra

6 p.m.: Rochester Regional Health Big Tent | (Big band jazz)

Organized by saxophonist Carl Atkins and trumpeter Jonathan Kruger in 2006, the New Energy Jazz Orchestra features some of the top players in the region. The group's repertoire is distinctive, comprised of adventurous compositions and arrangements by Atkins, Kruger, and others. (RN)

Andrea Brachfeld & Insight | andreabrachfeld.com

6:15 p.m. & 10 p.m.: Max of Eastman Place | (Straight-ahead jazz)

It takes a large amount of talent to transform a small flute into a powerhouse, band-fronting instrument. Andrea Brachfeld has just that sort of command when she leads her excellent group, Insight. Once you've heard one of her impossibly complex, but beautifully melodic solos, you will understand why Hot House Magazine named her "Best Jazz Flutist" in 2015. (RN)

Jon Stickley Trio | jonstickley.com

6:30 p.m. & 8:30 p.m.: Geva Theatre Center – Fielding Stage | (Acoustic, progressive Americana)

If God danced a jig on the eighth day, it would have been to the music of the Jon Stickley Trio. This band can straight-up play --- with a virtuosic style that'll leave you in awe. Complete with its sawed horsehair, percussive guitar, and atypical beats, Stickley and company will make you rethink everything you thought you knew about instrumental folk music. (FD)

Christine Tobin | christine-tobin.com

6:45 p.m. & 8:45 p.m.: Christ Church | (Vocal jazz)

Vocalist Christine Tobin has good taste in lyricists. When she set the poems of W.B. Yeats to music in her 2012 project, "Sailing to Byzantium," she won a British Composer Award. Two years later, she won Jazz Vocalist of the Year at England's Parliamentary Jazz Awards. In recent years, she has won praise for interpretations of the music of Leonard Cohen. (RN)

The Dirty Bourbon Blues Band | dirtybourbonblues.com

7 p.m. & 9 p.m.: Avangrid/RG&E/Barclay Damon Fusion Stage | (Blues)

I don't know about guzzlin' dirty bourbon, necessarily, but I do know I Iike my blues down-and-dirty. This hometown band, led by drummer-vocalist Uncle Pete, serves it up greasier than an oil slick. The foot's always on the gas with these heavy blues rockers. (FD)

Joey DeFrancesco | joeydefrancesco.com

7 p.m. & 9:15 p.m.: Temple Building Theater | (Straight-ahead organ jazz)

Raised in the musical caldron of Philadelphia with a Hammond B-3 organ-playing father, Joey DeFrancesco emerged in the 1980's as a force of nature at the organ. Able to swing any melody and exploit the otherworldly sounds of the instrument, he's been tapped by a who's who of stars including Ray Charles, Diana Krall, Van Morrison, George Benson, and many others. (RN)

Cha Wa | chawaband.com

7 p.m.: City of Rochester Midtown Stage | (New Orleans jazz-funk)

Go to page for an interview with Cha Wa's Joe Gelini.

Tuomo Uusitalo Quartet | tuomouusitalo.com

7:30 p.m. & 9:30 p.m.: Lutheran Church of the Reformation | (Straight-ahead jazz)

Tuomo Uusitalo started playing the piano at six. He began with classical music and explored rock 'n' roll, but once he heard jazz there was no turning back. The idea of composing in the moment fascinated him. Since arriving in New York in 2012, Uusitalo has played with Johnny O'Neal, Dayna Stephens, Curtis Lundy, and many others. (RN)

Al Chez and the Brothers of Funk Big Band | alchez.com

7:30 p.m. & 9:30 p.m.: City of Rochester Jazz Street Stage | (Trumpet-led big band, straight-ahead jazz)

In 1997, Al Chez joined the CBS Orchestra after years of sitting in on trumpet and flugelhorn on NBC's "Late Night with David Letterman" and "The Late Show" on CBS, with over 25 years between the two. Chez plays it low-key, carefree and fun. (FD)

The Klick | theklick.net

8:30 p.m. & 10 p.m.: Rochester Regional Health Big Tent | (Funk-jazz fusion)

The Klick is home to some Ra-cha-cha heavy hitters. The septet funkifies its jazz, stretching itself to uncover the music's empathy with a welcoming, energetic vibe. It's sophisticated, but it's also party music. (FD)

Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue | tromboneshorty.com

9 p.m.: City of Rochester Midtown Stage | (Trombone-led funk-jazz fusion)

Trombone Shorty got his nickname when he first brandished a trombone that was bigger than him. He led his first band at age six and was touring internationally by the time he was 12. His sound is a New Orleans blast furnace of funk and roll, and it has gotten him to the White House and made him the go-to trombone cat for bands like Green Day and U2. 'Nuff said. (FD)

Jam sessions led by Karl Stabnau & Bob Sneider

10:30 p.m.: The Street Craft Kitchen & Bar at the Hyatt Regency Hotel Rochester (Jam )

See page for more information.

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.

    Festival Information

    Everything you need to know about tickets, venues, parking, and how to connect with us to make the most of your Jazz Festival experience.

    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.

    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.