Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival Announces Largest Lineup to Date
Posted 5/3/2013

Jazz fans are ramping up for the 12th edition of the Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival on June 21–29 in Rochester, N.Y. Producers John Nugent and Marc Iacona have announced the 2013 lineup of more than 280 performances from artists representing more than 15 countries—the largest program in the history of the festival. Last year’s program drew more than 187,000 visitors from multiple countries.

“I am very excited and am looking forward to year 12,” said Iacona, who is also the festival’s executive director. “The festival has fast become a best-in-class event for culture and music for Rochester, New York state and the world.”

Among this year’s highlights is a concert featuring keyboardist Bob James, saxophonist David Sanborn and drummer Steve Gadd on June 27 in Kodak Hall at the Eastman Theatre. The musicians will perform songs from Quartette Humane, their 2013 release with bassist James Genus on the recently revived OKeh label. James, Sanborn and Gadd previously collaborated on the Grammy award-winning 1986 album Double Vision.

Also at Kodak Hall is “little orchestra” Pink Martini, which will display its diverse global repertory and genre-crossing style on June 21; a sold-out performance by country icon Willie Nelson on June 22; and guitar-centric fireworks from Peter Frampton and Robert Cray on June 28.

Due to the expanded lineup, the jazz offerings at this year’s fest are vast, taking place at about 20 venues and outdoor stages. Artists include pianist Alfredo Rodríguez in trio (June 24) and solo (June 25) settings; bassist Christian McBride’s Inside Straight (June 21); singers Gregory Porter (June 28) and Kurt Elling (June 29); saxophonist Rudresh Mahanthappa’s Gamak project (June 27); and the newly assembled Yellowjackets (June 25).

XRIJF will also present more than 75 free concerts over the nine-day program, including performances by the soul-searing Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings (June 28) and bluesman Dr. John (June 21).

Organizers have introduced several new components to the festival for 2013, including the debut of the Little Theatre 1 venue and the return of the “Jazz Workshops for Aspiring Music Students” series at the Eastman School of Music. Hosted by Bob Sneider, Eastman’s assistant professor of jazz studies and senior instructor of jazz guitar, the workshops will give grade-school and high-school students the opportunity to meet and play with jazz musicians from around the world in an intimate setting.

The XRIJF iPhone app, which was introduced last year, has been officially launched for Android users and is currently available for download on the Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival website.

—Hilary Brown

From left: Bob James, David Sanborn and Steve Gadd


UCA Press


Lisa Hilton

Steve Webster—EC Barlow

Jody Jazz


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