It always sneaks up on me. I'm going along through the Rochester winter (although not so much this year) and all of a sudden, I get the email that the lineup for the XRIJF is coming up soon. I'm not sure why... it always arrives about the same time ... however, I'm always surprised and realize that Jazz in June is only a few months away. Jazz in June this year, will venture into July, running from June 24th through July 2nd.
Today's announcement was different mostly in location. A new venue this year is where the wandering Squeezers' stage has moved to in 2016—Anthology, a new 900-person music venue off East Avenue just short of Alexander Street. It will be a great venue and close to the footprint of the rest of the XRIJF. But where new venues show up, others disappear (at least this year) as the Lyric Opera venue on East (a couple blocks past Anthology), where many saw Joey Alexander last year, will not be part of the footprint this year at least. The other new venue will, as expected for some time, be moving the other direction toward our revitalizing downtown, with Trombone Shorty holding court in a July 2nd only venue where the food court at Midtown Plaza used to be. While there were no details at the presser, Kilbourn Hall and Max lines will be handled in such a way that the 3 hour line waits for these popular venues may be a thing of the past. Additionally, Kilbourn's late concerts will be at 9:00 pm, giving you a chance to catch some more music before you head home, bleary-eyed (OK, I'm talking about me....).
But saying that today's press conference was not so different from previous years is not to say that the lineup announced was same-old-same-old. Chick Corea (and Joey Alexander) are going to be in the Big House (it's not every year that there is jazz there) and there are some great options in the Club Pass venues. There is a new O'Canada series at the Rochester Club. All in all it is the usual great smorgasbord of music, with some artists from recent years returning, but with new, intriguing artists from all over the globe coming to play here (often for the first time in the states). I'm not going to go into details here, but I already see some "must hear" jazz artists and others that I hope to check out as I definitely won't hear them anywhere else. Over the weeks between now and June 24th I hope to explore the 2016 XRIJF (the 15th year) in these pages. For now, check out the XRIJF website, where you can find all the info, get tickets, and find out all things XRIJF. Here's the grid.
After the 2016 XRIJF wraps, this blog will celebrate 10 years of helping you find live jazz in and around Rochester (and covering the XRIJF). Actually, I started it in 2005 at a different location, Jazz@Rochester started in earnest on August 31, 2006. Wow!