Today, I joined media from all over Rochester to hear Marc Iacona and John Nugent set out the details of the CGI Rochester International Jazz Festival that is coming back big time after a 2-year hiatus due to the pandemic. Rather than set out everything about the 2022 RIJF here, I'm going to send you to their website to get the skinny and highlight some things about this year's festival. The 19th Edition of the RIJF will run from June 17th through June 25th. You can get all of the details here on the RIJF website. However, there are a number of items/changes that I want to highlights from today's press conference:
- It's as big as ever, with 325 shows, more than 1,750 artists, 20 venues.
- The Club Pass series is full of names you will remember from past RIJFs and new sounds you may not be familiar with. This is as it should be.
- There are NO shows in the Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre for the 2022 Edition. The RIJF team used pandemic relief money to make all of the music that would more likely have been set in Kodak Hall to free, outdoor shows at Parcel 5 and the MLK Park. There will be 27 free shows throughout the RIJF, including the following headliners: Chris Botti, Devon Allman Project “Allman Family Revival” with the Dirty Dozen Brass Band & Samantha Fish; guitar virtuoso Tommy Emmanuel, Spyro Gyra, Robin Thicke, Sheila E., Booker T Presents: A Soul Stax Revue, New Power Generation (Prince's band), G Love & Special Sauce, The Bacon Brothers, and Wynonna Judd.
- The merch and party tent at the end of Jazz Street (Gibbs) will move to Parcel 5, opening up Gibbs for the music at the Jazz Street stage.
- The Global Jazz Now series returns to the Glory House International church (formerly the Lutheran Church of the Reformation).
- There will be a new Club Pass venue at the Hyatt Regency Grand Ballroom, which will feature the music found at the Squeezer's stage in early festival.
- The Little Theatre and the Theater at Innovation Square (the Xerox Auditorium) return as Club Pass venues.
- The nightly jam sessions will return in the Hyatt Regency in the space that was formerly Morton's Steakhouse, with parking free in the South Avenue Garage after 10:00 pm.
- The RIJF will sponsor two events during the festival to celebrate Juneteenth (June 19th), celebrating when the enslaved people of Texas learned of their freedom at the end of the Civil War on June 19, 1865, including the 6th Annual ROC Juneteenth 5K Run/Walk and the Greater Rochester Martin Luther King Jr. Commission Celebration of Freedom.
- Although there will be some UK artists elsewhere in the festival, the series at Christ Church will not return this year.
You can also get all the RIJF goodness by downloading the official RIJF App (available for iOS and Android in April (I'll try to let you know when it is available).
A limited number of Club Passes are available at the RIJF website, both in the 3-day and for all 9 days versions. Those hardy souls who purchased Club Pass for the 2020 festival are automatically honored for the 2022 RIJF (and since the Club Pass is a value ticket for a festival series, not a ticket to a specific show on a specific date, if you cannot use your pass in 2022 we are pleased to extend the pass’s full value to 2023).
The line up for the Club Pass series, which is where I focus my time and listening, is full of jazz musicians and groups that I've heard before and those who will be new to me. It will be a time of music discovery for me and (I hope) for you. See you on Jazz Street in June!