Pictured: Maceo Parker

Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival

[JAZZ] This year’s Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival will feature more than 1500 musicians performing on 19 stages over 9 days, starting on Friday June 23. This year’s headliners include old and new names with Mavis Staples, Cheryl Crow,  King Crimson, and the legendary Maceo Parker (James Brown Band), with the Ray Charles Orchestra, and rising stars singer Joss Stone and Scott Bradlee’s Postmodern Jukebox, all at the Eastman Theater.

However, many of those playing the clubs, churches, theaters and smaller auditoriums are as reknowned as the headliners.  The 4 By Monk By 4 quartet  features 4 great pianists: Kenny Barron, Benny Green, George Cables and Cyrus Chestnut blending their keyboards on compositions by Be Bop legend, Thelonious Monk at Kilbourn Hall and the Lyric Theater. Also at Kilbourn are Chris Botti alumni, The Billy Childs Quartet, and latin-bop saxophonist, Miguel Zenon, plus guitarist extraordinaire  Bill Frisell with  bassist Tom Morgan. There are also many piano-based  trios like Phronesis and Neil Cowley Trio, at Christ Church and the Monty Alexander and Steve Kuhn Trios at Kilbourn.

In the music clubs, the Charlie Hunter Trio and Jacob Collier play at Anthology, while  Montage’s lineup includes Jack Broadbent, The Newbreed Brass Band and Dustbowl Revival’s blend of blues, bluegrass and New Orleans swing, plus Buffalo’s Bobby Militello Quartet on 6/28. If you love divas don’t miss the ethereal voice of Eivor, plus Tierney Sutton, Tesa Souter and Veronica Swift & Trio at various venues.

Big Band lovers have several options like: the John Labarberra Big Band, Moscow Jazz Orchestra, The New Breed Orchestra, Sammy Miller & the Congregation, 78 RPM, and Prime Time Brass.

Most ‘club’ concerts cost $30-35 at the door, or $154 for an unlimited 3 day pass. For $224, the nine day pass gets you into all 221 club concerts.   

There are also plenty of free concerts, particularly on the public stages. Bands not to miss there include: St. Paul & the Broken Bones(  eclectic soul) on 6/23 and The Jerry Douglas Band 6/24. Douglas is Allison Kraus’ dobro player who swings with some hot horns at the East Ave & Chestnut St. stage while Danielle Ponder and the Tomorrow People  are worth catching at the Midtown Stage. Also free are daily lunch concerts at the Rochester Public Library and the daily late-night  jams  at the Radisson Hotel with the Bob Sneider Trio, where  even headliners may sit in. The festival ends Saturday July 1.

For complete festival info & tickets, club passes etc. visit



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