Rochester International Jazz Festival comes alive on Jazz Street

Gibbs Street has already been shut down, and has been transformed into Jazz Street, as it is done every year during this time.


                            Rochester International Jazz Festival comes alive on Jazz Street
(Source: Getty Images)

The 17th edition of the Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival is all ready for a kick off on June 22, Friday. The event will continue for eight days, till June 30 with entertainers hailing from all over the globe, among which almost 30 acts will be coming from the regional bands. 

While New York has always been known to be the breeding ground for the music of the outcasts, including Jazz, the Rochester International Jazz Festival has been taking place in Rochester, NY, every year in June since its establishment in 2002. The Festival is produced and owned by RIJF, LLC, a privately held company owned by John Nugent, Producer and Artistic Director and Marc Iacona, Producer and Executive Director, with Xerox being its title sponsor. It has rapidly grown to be the nation's most popular and respected Jazz festival.

According to the Rochester Jazz Festival website, the attendance has increased each year from 15,000 in the first year to more than 205,000 in 2017. It is held at multiple venues in downtown Rochester, including Kodak Hall in Eastman Theatre, Kilbourn Hall at the Eastman School of Music, Montage, Xerox Auditorium, and several more on the well-known "Jazz Street" (also known as Gibbs Street). 

The 13wham reported that Gibbs Street has already been shut down, and has been transformed into Jazz Street, as it is done every year during this time. The area features the City of Rochester Jazz Street Stage presented by the Community Foundation. It further included the list of new venues, including the stage at Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Park in Manhattan Square and the Temple Building Theater on Liberty Pole Way. 

The website informs: "Nugent and Iacona consistently deliver a multi-dimensional festival with something for everyone. Nugent, a noted tenor sax player, has traveled the world with many jazz artists including Tony Bennett, Ella Fitzgerald, Rosemary Clooney, The Woody Herman Orchestra and The Vanguard Jazz Orchestra. Iacona, a Rochester native, business and community leader, is an avid trumpeter and supporter of the arts, and is President of Simcona Electronics."

According to the Democrat and Chronicle, this year the festival will host two new groups- Hanna PK and Sonidos Unidos. The article quoted Hanna Park saying, "I learned music on the road and from the people I’ve played with...I always loved music, but my passion really got sparked a few years ago in Rochester.”

The Festival has hosted several veteran artists over the years including, Aretha Franklin, Tony Bennett, Sonny Rollins, Woody Allen, Norah Jones, Willie Nelson, and many others. 

Aretha Franklin is among the many famous names who have performed at the festival. Franklin performing in New York City in April 2017. (Photo by Noam Galai/ Getty Images for Tribeca Film Festival)