It is now June and I think I’ve procrastinated enough in starting my coverage of the CGI Rochester International Jazz Festival.... The festival will overtake the streets of the East End of Rochester and beyond from June 21st through June 29th, bringing us nine days of jazz and other music. It will offer music of artists from all over the world and from the artists you can hear around Rochester the other 356 days of the year. Of course, not all of it is "jazz" as you may define it, but there is so much to hear and I hope you'll use the RIJF, like I do, as an opportunity to open your ears to new sounds.
Although HOW I will be covering it is still a work in progress, I have a few thoughts on this year’s festival that I’ll share now:
- While there are no “bucket list” artists that I’m looking forward to this year, the festival has its usual assortment of artists and groups who I’m not familiar with that I hope will again provide me with a rich tapestry of music to check out. Not that I don’t have some “must see” artists in my preliminary list of acts I intend to catch (I’ll try to share those between now and the start of the festival). John Nugent’s oft-repeated catch line of “it’s not who you know, it’s who you don’t know” still make sense. I’m a voracious explorer of music and don’t require that it be rooted in the jazz of any genre. As you can see from the concerts I share here and elsewhere, I don’t have any trouble stretching my ears. I look forward to a good stretch this year.
- After a number of years of sponsorship by Xerox, I look forward to how new name sponsor CGI will bring its new media savvy to the festival and to working with them to bring the festival to you through all of the channels through which I share the festival.
- There will be 1500+ artists from around the world at this year’s festival, with 320+ separate shows, including a record 100+ free shows. While the Xerox Auditorium will no longer be part of the festival, I’m looking forward to some of the shows that will be presented at the Geva Theatre (although I’ll probably be using the shuttle more as that hike is a bit longer than the one to Xerox in years past). Also, the new tent and stage at Parcel 5 will be an interesting addition to the festival.
For a huge amount of information on the festival, you should check out their press release of the Guide to the 2019 RIJF and if you have a smart phone, download the RIJF app. Hope to see you on Jazz Street!