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As we head towards May, my mind starts drifting into jazz in June: A quick intro to the Rochester International Jazz Festival

CGI RIJF logoIt's been a month since CGI Rochester International Jazz Festival Producers Marc Iacona and John Nugent announced the lineup today for the 21st Edition of the RIJF at a news conference at the Inn on Broadway, one of two new Club Pass Series venues this year, and I thought it was time that I quit procrastinating and start the coverage in JazzRochester. The nine-day festival, a leading jazz festival globally, is just over the horizon, running from Friday, June 21 to Saturday, June 29, at 20 indoor and outdoor venues, all within walking distance in downtown Rochester's East End cultural district.  So here's a quick introduction to the festival....

What can you expect at the RIJF? A wildly diverse selection of music, of course! Lots of it. In addition to a LOT of jazz, there will be sounds brought to you by more than 1750 artists coming from 16 countries to play in 326 concerts, including 100-plus free shows. [This year's artists} are coming from sixteen countries, including Canada, England, Scotland, Cuba, France, Bahamas, Finland, Sweden, Norway, Ghana, Spain, Cameroon, Columbia, Sierra Leone, Brazil, the U.S. and right here in Rochester, NY. As in other years, the music at the RIJF ranges from the headliners playing in Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre and five nights of free headliner shows outdoors, four on the Wegmans Stage at Parcel 5, and one on the City of Rochester Stage at East & Chestnut. This year the Club Pass Series features 216 shows at 12 venues, including two new ones: the historic Inn on Broadway and The Duke, a new entertainment space in Sibley Square adjacent to the Mercantile on Main Street.  Jam sessions will be held nightly at 10:30 pm at the Hyatt Regency Rochester's Astor on Main, sponsored by the Dimarco Group. Jams will be MC'd by trumpeter Mike Cottone on Fridays and Saturdays and guitarist Bob Sneider on Sunday through Thursday.

The RIJF Ticket Shop will move this year due to construction at the usual location at the corner of Gibbs St. and East Ave. The Ticket Shop will be open in the Kilbourn Hall Box Office at 26 Gibbs St. for ticket sales and Club Pass ticket redemption from June 17th to 20th from Noon to 5:00 pm and noon to 4:00 pm on June 21st. During the Festival, it will be located in the Merchandise Tent on Gibbs Street, which will be open June 21-29 from 4:00-11:00 pm daily.

I'm there all nine days, baby! For what it's worth, I will soon start publishing some posts setting out the the artists I'm planning on taking my ears to each night of the festival. Of course, to some extent, those picks will be wishful thinking due to scheduling conflicts or the fact I can no longer sprint between venues (if I ever could), or my knees (I'm getting one replaced in July) or other parts of me may give out.  Sure, it's not all jazz, and some of the jazz may not be to your liking, but it is a chance to hang out with thousands of fellow Rochesterians and folks from all over the world, listening to music, eating some food, drinking some beverages.  If you keep your ears open, I promise you you'll hear something you like and, more than likely, come back again in 2025. I'll pass along other news as it comes, which you can always find on the RIJF 2024 category link in the right panel.

This post was originally published on JazzRochester.

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