Rochester International Airport only flies to one non-domestic destination: Canada. Not very international. During it’s 15th edition, which will take place from June 24 to July 2, the Xerox Rochester International Jazz Fest, true to its name, will host bands from 14 different countries. The festival, which previously released the six Kodak Hall headlining shows, just announced the full Club Series and free concert schedule.
Mikkel Ploug Equilibrium, Mammal Hands, Soil & “Pimp” Sessions, Pugs and Crows? These may not be household names, but by the end of the festival one of them, or another of the many other unknowns, may just play your favorite set. Japan, Sweden, Finland, Norway, Denmark, Scotland, England, Australia, Israel, France, Cuba, Russia and Brazil will all be represented. And with a new Oh Canada! series hosted at the Rochester Club, our neighbors and international airline destination to the north will get also be well represented.
The festival will host plenty of known talent as well. From the opening night collaboration of guitarist John Scofield and sax-man Joe Lovano, to the festival closing set from sixth-time returnee Trombone Shorty and New Orleans Avenue, there will be something for every music fan to enjoy. Highlights of the Club Series lineup span jazz, rock, blues, funk and world, including: Nicholas Payton, John Abercrombie, Eric Lindell, Orgone, Junior Brown, Avishai Cohen, Nikki Hill, Lenny White, Red Baraat and EMEFE.
In addition to the headliner series and the Club Pass series, the jam-packed nine-day festival also includes multiple free stages and venues. The East Ave/Chestnut St Stage hosts a big show each Friday and Saturday night. Fitz and the Tantrums headline the opening night, Jon Cleary and John Mooney play Saturday, June 25; Los Lonely Boys and Mingo Fishtrap play the next Friday, July 1; while the Wood Brothers, returning after two packed and raucous sets at the Harro East last year, wrap things up on July 2. The big last night blowout free show will move this year to the Midtown Plaza, where the aforementioned Rochester favorite Trombone Shorty will send the festival off with explosive Independence Day weekend musical fireworks.
The full festival lineup and more information can be found at the rochesterjazz.com. Start planning your nights now, nine days of wall-to-wall music in Rochester’s East End is right around the corner.