Some Previews of What's to Come . . . Promoters of Rochester Jazz Festival Interviewed on the Jazz Session
Just listened to Jason Crane's interview of Rochester International Jazz Festival Producer and Artistic Director John Nugent and and Co-Producer and Executive Director Marc Iacona on The Jazz Session, Crane's podcast that I've featured before. John and Marc go over some of the lineup and highlights for this year's festival, some of the new venues and times that will give festival goers even more choice.
They also address some of the commentary that has been leveled at the Rochester jazz festival lineup from the jazz purists. As you'd know if you've been reading my posts about this and previous RIJFs, I feel that Nugent's programming is a great approach that will help build bridges to audiences that have never explored jazz. If Nugent and Iacona kept the festival "pure" (and that is such a subjective term), then you could fit the whole audience in Kilbourn or, perhaps, Eastman each night, and would not experience the wonderful sight and sounds of tens of thousands (this year it may be over 100,000) in the streets of downtown Rochester enjoying themselves; that's right in downtown Rochester at night AND they're spending money. As Jason
John Nugent notes in the podcast, would those who care about this city rather "see 10,000 that know all the obscure facts or 100,000 who dig music and are helping our city". The fact is that over 85% of the music being played this year will be improvisational music that can be squarely placed in one of the many "jazz" columns. One additional piece of information tells that the approach of Nugent et al. is on the right track—as of the date of the podcast, May 23rd, only a few hundred of the Club Passes were available.