Rochester International Jazz Festival

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Coordinates: 43°09′43″N 77°37′01″W / 43.162064°N 77.616846°W / 43.162064; -77.616846

Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival
Rochester International Jazz Festival logo.gif
Genre Jazz
Dates June
Location(s) Rochester, New York
Years active 2002-Present
Founded by John Nugent, Marc Iacona
Official website

Established in 2002, the Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival takes place in June of each year, in Rochester, New York. It is produced by John Nugent, Artistic Director and Marc Iacona, Executive Director. The title sponsor is Xerox.

The festival is held at multiple venues throughout the downtown Rochester New York's East End cultural district, including Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre, Kilbourn Hall at the Eastman School of Music, Hatch Recital Hall, Lutheran Church of the Reformation, Christ Church, the Festival Big Tent, Max of Eastman Place, Montage, Xerox Auditorium, Rochester Club, The Little Theatre, Lyric Theatre and more - all within walking distance and many on "Jazz Street" (otherwise known as Gibbs Street during the rest of the year), which is closed off for the festival's nine days. In addition, about 70 free concerts are presented on outdoor stages and other free venues.

In 2009, attendance was estimated at a record 133,000 for the 225 concerts presented.[1]

In 2010, 162,000 people attended the Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival's 250 concerts presented over nine days, breaking the record set the prior year of 133,000.[2]

2011 saw another record setting year with 285 concerts presented over nine days and in 18 different venues. Attendance reached an all-time high of 182,000.[3]

In 2012, the 11th Edition hit another attendance record of 187,000, a record number of headliner sell-outs, the addition of new venue, Hatch Recital Hall and 9 days of spectacular weather. Norah Jones, Diana Krall, Steve Martin & The Steep Canyon Rangers, Esperanza Spalding, Zappa Plays Zappa, and Daryl Hall "Live From Daryl's House" with special guest Keb' Mo' headlined this year.

Festival history[edit]

Year Days Headliners No. of shows No. of venues Est. attendance Notes
2002 7 Aretha Franklin
The Rippingtons
Sonny Rollins
50 14 15,000 Norah Jones was booked as an up-and-comer, before her debut album was released—but she performed as a new superstar after it became a runaway success; Franklin concert held at Frontier Field; Chris Botti opened for The Rippingtons
2003 10 Tony Bennett
George Benson
Dave Brubeck
Al Jarreau
14 30,000
2004 9 Oscar Peterson
David Sanborn
55,000 First year that Gibbs Street was renamed "Jazz Street"; first year for the RIJF Big Tent
2005 9 The Bad Plus
Chris Botti & Madeleine Peyroux
Dave Brubeck
Chick Corea
Sonny Rollins
2006 9 Woody Allen
James Brown
Etta James
80,000 First year club passes sold out[4]
2007 9 Dave Brubeck Quartet
Dr. John and Madeleine Peyroux
Jerry Lee Lewis
Wynton Marsalis & Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra
Raul Midon and "King" Solomon Burke
Jean-Luc Ponty, Trio Beyond
200+[5] 18[5] 120,000 First year for Nordic Jazz Now
2008 9 Al Green
Medeski Martin & Wood
Boz Scaggs
125,000 Jake Shimabukuro, Carolyn Wonderland, and Catherine Russell also appeared
2009 9 Dave Brubeck
Michael McDonald
Smokey Robinson
Jake Shimabukuro & Carolyn Wonderland
Susan Tedeschi & Taj Mahal
225 133,000 First year with Xerox as title sponsor
2010 9 Jeff Beck
Herbie Hancock
Keb' Mo'
Gladys Knight
John Pizzarelli
Bernie Williams
250 15 162,000 A second Jeff Beck concert was added after the first sold out; club passes also sold out in advance; Trombone Shorty appeared; Smash Mouth closes
2011 9 Chris Botti
Natalie Cole
Elvis Costello
The Fab Faux
Béla Fleck and the Flecktones
k.d. lang
285 18 182,000 Club passes sold out two months in advance; Kevin Eubanks appears; Trombone Shorty plays a free show; G Love and Special Sauce close out the festival
2012 9 Daryl Hall with Keb' Mo'
Norah Jones
Diana Krall
Steve Martin & the Steep Canyon Rangers
Esperanza Spalding
Zappa Plays Zappa
> 300 19 187,000 A second Steve Martin concert was added after the first sold out; club passes sold out four-and-a-half months in advance, before shows were even announced; Trombone Shorty appears for the third straight year
2013 9 David Byrne & St. Vincent
Peter Frampton with Robert Cray
Roger Hodgson
Bob James & David Sanborn with Steve Gadd
Willie Nelson and Family
Pink Martini
280 19 195,000 Trombone Shorty again closes the festival with a free concert
2014 9 Earth, Wind & Fire
Buddy Guy
Steve Martin & the Steep Canyon Rangers ft. Edie Brickell
Michael McDonald
Janelle Monáe
322 20 196,000 Just as in 2012, a second Steve Martin show was added after the first quickly sold out; Bob James appears for second straight year, this time as a member of Fourplay
2015 9 Herb Alpert and Lani Hall
Gary Clark, Jr., with Beth Hart
Steve Gadd Band with special surprise guest
Jennifer Hudson
Diana Krall
Steep Canyon Rangers
Tedeschi Trucks Band with Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings and Doyle Bramhall
> 325 19 TBD James Taylor was Gadd's surprise guest; Blood, Sweat & Tears and Trombone Shorty among free concerts; Yellowjackets, Joey Alexander, and Grace Kelly among the club shows

Steve Gadd's 70th birthday concert was recorded and later released as a Grammy-nominated album, Way Back Home: Live from Rochester, NY

2016 9 Gregg Allman
Erykah Badu
Chris Botti
Chick Corea "Trilogy" Trio with Joey Alexander
Bruce Hornsby & The Noisemakers
Grace Potter
325[6] 18 TBD Trombone Shorty again closes the festival with a free concert
2017 9 Sheryl Crow
King Crimson
Maceo Parker and the Ray Charles Orchestra ft. The Raelettes
Postmodern Jukebox
Mavis Staples
Joss Stone
  • Table data gleaned primarily from [7]

2009 appearances[edit]

The 2009 lineup of major performances was announced on March 24, 2009.[8]


Other appearances[edit]

2010 appearances[edit]


The following headlining acts all played ticketed shows at Eastman Theatre

Other Appearances[edit]

  • Trombone Shorty played three nights in a row at the festival
  • Los Lonely Boys made a repeat appearance, playing a free outdoor show
  • Smash Mouth closed the festival with a packed, free, outdoor finale concert.

Past performers[edit]


  1. ^ All About Retrieved 30 January 2009.
  2. ^ [1] Retrieved 22 June 2010.
  3. ^ [2] Retrieved 21 June 2011.
  4. ^
  5. ^ a b
  6. ^
  7. ^ Spevak, Jeff (June 5, 2011). "10 Years of Jazz". Democrat and Chronicle. Rochester, New York. pp. 3C,8C. Archived from the original on June 5, 2011. Retrieved June 5, 2011. 
  8. ^

External links[edit]