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The Players: Sunday, June 23

Zion Hill Mass Choir

4:30 p.m.: M&T Pavilion – Squeezers Stage | (Gospel)

Under the joyous swagger and baton of choir director Paul Boutte, the Zion Hill Mass Choir is the gospel equivalent to a Sherman Tank with salvation on it's mind. Soulful and powerful to the max. Get saved, get down. (FD)

Over the Rhine | overtherhine.com

5:30 p.m. & 7:30 p.m.: Geva Theatre Center – Wilson Stage | (Folk)

Ohio's Over The Rhine will give your chills the chills. It'll make your tears cry. OTR singer Karin Bergquist and her soulful chanteuse vibe are to be thanked --- or blamed --- for this. The sound is sweet, and the musicianship from Bergquist and fellow multi-instrumentalist Linford Detweiler is on point. This band will change you. (FD)

Bill Dobbins | esm.rochester.edu/faculty/dobbins_bill

5:45 p.m. & 7:45 p.m.: Hatch Recital Hall, Eastman School of Music | (Straight-ahead jazz)

Over the decades, Eastman School of Music professor Bill Dobbins has earned a reputation as a top big-band director. In Europe, he conducted the WDR Big Band and Metropole Orchestra before returning to Rochester to direct the Eastman Jazz Ensemble and Eastman Studio Orchestra. But Dobbins is also a superb pianist who has collaborated with Clark Terry, Phil Woods and others. (RN)

Jared Schonig & Friends | jaredschonig.com

6 p.m. & 10 p.m.: The Wilder Room | (Straight-ahead jazz)

Drummer Jared Schonig is a co-leader of the highly-acclaimed group, The Wee Trio, but that's just the tip of the musical iceberg. Since graduating from the Eastman School of Music in 2005, Schonig has enhanced the music of Nicholas Payton, Fred Hersch, Cynthia Erivo, Joe Locke, Kurt Elling and many more. (RN)

Steven Taetz | steventaetz.com

6 p.m. & 10 p.m.:The Montage Music Hall | (Cabaret vocals)

Go to page for more information.

Penfield Rotary Big Band

6 p.m.: Rochester Regional Health Big Tent | (Big band, straight-ahead jazz)

The Penfield Rotary Big Band,also known as "The Starlight Orchestra," boasts a swingin' sense of nostalgia. This local group of pros and semi-pros revisits the sound of a bygone era in jazz, and it does so with great precision and blend. (DK)

Stefon Harris and Blackout | stefonharris.com

6 p.m. & 9 p.m.: Kilbourn Hall, Eastman School of Music | (Straight-ahead jazz)

When it comes to playing the vibraphone, Stefon Harris has been at or near the top of the DownBeat Critics Poll for two decades. Last year, he won the prestigious Doris Duke Artist Award. Before breaking out as a leader, Harris was enlisted by the biggest names in jazz, playing or recording with Wynton Marsalis, Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Diana Krall, and many more. (RN)

Scott Robinson Quartet |

6:15 p.m. & 10 p.m.: Max of Eastman Place | (Straight-ahead jazz)

Not many players can pick up a trumpet and a saxophone in quick succession and play gorgeous solos on each. Did I mention the mellophone? Scott Robinson plays instruments you never knew existed. Over the years, his unique talents have taken him to the stage with artists as diverse as Lionel Hampton. Joe Lovano, Anthony Braxton, Sting, and Elton John. (RN)

Circus No. 9 | circusnumbernine.com

6:30 p.m. & 8:30 p.m.: Geva Theatre Center – Fielding Stage | (Progressive bluegrass)

Straight outta Tennessee, Circus No. 9 gives conventional bluegrass a swift kick in the pants. The band employs bluegrass weaponry, but not its picking patterns and whir. It's modern music, acoustically rendered. Its fresh, it's new. (FD)

Kit Downes | kitdownes.com

6:45 p.m. & 8:45 p.m.: Christ Church | (Progressive jazz)

One of the leading keyboard players on the British scene, Kit Downes began his career as a church organist. Now a recording artist from the prestigious ECM label, Downes takes the organ and other keyboards on wild rides, ranging from ambient soundscapes to more spritely compositions. (RN)

Campbell Brothers | campbellbrothers.us

7 p.m. & 8:45 p.m.: M&T Pavilion Squeezers Stage | (Pedal-steel gospel)

Their souls may belong to Jesus, but their hearts belong to the good people of Rochester. Pedal steel guitar player Chuck Campbell was raised in the House of God church, where the "sacred steel" phenomenon was born. Backed up by his family, Campbell truly makes his instrument talk with high-octane riffs. (FD)

The Honey Smugglers | facebook.com/honeysmugglers

7 p.m. & 9 p.m.:Avangrid Foundation/RG&E/Barclay Damon Fusion Stage | (Jamgrass)

Check out page for an interview with the band.

Jostein Gulbrandsen | jostein-g.com

7:30 p.m. & 9:30 p.m.: Lutheran Church of the Reformation | (Guitar jazz)

If there is a faster, more dexterous guitarist than Jostein Gulbrandsen, I haven't heard him. Originally from Norway, he has been based in New York City since 2001. But don't listen for Norwegian strains in his playing. Impossible to classify, Gulbrandsen is a great rock fusion player when he's not playing country or squeezing the most out of a ballad. (RN)

Russell Scarbrough Soul Jazz Big Band | facebook.com/russellscarbroughbigband

7:30&9:30 p.m., Jazz Street Stage | (Big band jazz)

Big bands are not just for jazz standards when the baton is in the hands of Russell Scarbrough. You might hear tunes by Ray Charles, Van Morrison, and other composers from a variety of genres. Scarbrough's innovative arrangements use all of the big band's colors in a refreshing way. Adding to the attraction, this 12-piece jazz orchestra boasts some of Rochester's finest musicians. (RN)

Michael Winograd & the Honorable Mentshn | michaelwinograd.net

830 p.m. & 10 p.m.: Rochester Regional health Big Tent | (Klezmer)

Michael Winograd and his band will have you knock you out with their spirited brand of klezmer music. Giving jazz a decidedly Eastern European feel, Winograd is haunting on the clarinet. The sound is like a dreamscape of vowels, like the human voice without consonants. You can practically hear the sentences form in your mind. He's talking to you. (FD)

Jam sessions led by Karl Stabnau & Bob Sneider

10:30 p.m.: The Street Craft Kitchen & Bar at the Hyatt Regency Hotel Rochester (Jam )

See page for more information.

In This Guide...

  • Jazz Fest Guide: Three thoughts for the 2019 CGI Rochester International Jazz Festival

    The 2019 CGI Rochester International Jazz Festival is here, and with it, a whirlwind of concerts by national, international, and local musicians. It can be overwhelming for even the most seasoned jazz fest fan.

  • Festival Information

    Everything you need to know about tickets, venues, parking, and how to connect with us to make the most of your Jazz Festival experience.

  • Feature: Sasha Berliner Quintet

    When 20-year-old vibraphonist Sasha Berliner received the call, letting her know that she'd won the 2019 LetterOne RISING STARS Jazz Award, she couldn't believe it. "It was a surreal moment," Berliner says.

  • The Players: Friday, June 21

    Teagan and the Tweeds | teaganandthetweeds.com 4:30 p.m.: M&T Pavilion - Squeezers Stage (Bluesy rock 'n' roll)

  • Profile: Dawn Thomson's Imagine That

    When digging on an artist of two or more disciplines, you have to wonder which one dominates in that artist's heart and head. Dawn Thomson plays it slick and sweet on the guitar.

  • The Players: Saturday, June 22

    Ambassadors Jazztet | armyfieldband.com/about/ensembles/jazz-ambassadors 4:30 p.m.: M&T Pavilion – Squeezers Stage | (Straight-ahead jazz)

  • Interview: The Honey Smugglers

    Blame it on love. Rochester's The Honey Smugglers is here because it's frontman, Brian MacDonald, fell in love.

  • Interview: The Willows

    The voices of Krista Deady, Andrea Gregario and Lauren Pedersen are spun gold, blended so well that they come across as one three-tiered voice. The trio known as The Willows makes other vocalists sound like Edith Bunker.

  • The Players: Tuesday, June 25

    Soul Passenger | soulpassenger.com 4:30 p.m.: M&T Pavilion – Squeezers Stage | (Rock)

  • The Players: Monday, June 24

    Fred Costello | fredcostello.com 4:30 p.m.| M&T Pavilion – Squeezers Stage | (B-3 organ jazz)

  • Profile: Harold Mabern

    When Harold Mabern was growing up in Memphis, he had no ambition to become a jazz pianist. "I didn't choose it; it chose me," says Mabern, a self-taught musician.

  • Feature: Jeff Goldblum & the Mildred Snitzer Orchestra

    When you're known for being chased by dinosaurs and being turning into a giant fly, it's inevitable that you'll have to do the rounds: going on press junkets, shaking babies, kissing hands, and hocking your latest wares -- in this case, a jazz recording. Jeff Goldblum, the actor and Hollywood bon vivant found himself on the Graham Norton Show about a year ago, doing the standard media song-and-dance for the movie "Thor Ragnarok."

  • The Players: Wednesday, June 26

    Herb Smith Freedom Trio | herbtrumpet.com 4:30 p.m.: M&T Pavilion – Squeezers Stage | (Straight-ahead jazz)

  • Feature: George Coleman Quartet

    In the early 1960's, after saxophonist George Coleman had earned his way to the top of the jazz world playing with Booker Little, Max Roach and Slide Hampton, he was tapped by Miles Davis to play in one of the greatest quintets in the history of jazz. Coleman recorded four seminal albums with Davis: "Seven Steps to Heaven," "My Funny Valentine, "Four," and "Miles Davis In Europe."

  • The Players: Thursday, June 27

    The Buddhahood | thebuddhahood.com 4:30 p.m.: M&T Pavilion – Squeezers Stage | (Jam-band, world music)

  • Profile: Bill Charlap

    You might say pianist Bill Charlap was born to play standards. His father, Moose Charlap, was a Broadway composer best known for his iconic musical "Peter Pan."

  • The Players: Friday, June 28

    Kansas Smitty's House Band | kansassmittys.com 5:30 p.m. & 7:30 p.m.: Geva Theatre Center – Wilson Stage | (Straight-ahead jazz)

  • Interview: Cha Wa

    The music of New Orleans band Cha Wa is a party in itself, a joyful collision of brass band music, funk, soul, and Mardi Gras Indian music and culture. The group is led by singer J'Wan Boudreaux and drummer Joe Gelini, both of whom learned from the preeminent musician Monk Boudreaux, Big Chief of the Mardi Gras Indian tribe Golden Eagles and J'Wan's grandfather.

  • The Players: Saturday, June 29

    Acoustic Alchemy | acousticalchemy.co.uk 5:30 p.m. & 7:30 p.m.: Geva Theatre Center – Wilson Stage | (Smooth jazz)

  • Jazz Fest 2019: CITY's Daily Jazz Blogs

    The 2019 CGI Rochester International Jazz Festival runs from Friday, June 21, through Saturday, June 29, and CITY Newspaper will be out every night of the festival, covering multiple shows. Check back each day for reviews, photos and video of each nights festivities.