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The Players: Wednesday, June 26

Herb Smith Freedom Trio | herbtrumpet.com

4:30 p.m.: M&T Pavilion – Squeezers Stage | (Straight-ahead jazz)

The fact that Herb Smith occupies the third trumpet chair in the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra tells you a lot about his musical prowess. But when he's not buttoned down, he's a blistering jazz player in his own Freedom Trio. The versatile trumpeter has played with jazz, soul and pop artists, including Wynton Marsalis, Natalie Cole, The O'Jays, and Yes (RN)

Vincent Peirani | vincent-peirani.com/en

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

If you believe the least likely instrument to surface at a jazz festival is the accordion, let me introduce you to Vincent Peirani. One of the top jazz players to emerge from the French scene, Peirani does not hesitate to venture far from the standard jazz repertoire. Be prepared to hear some Led Zeppelin like you've never heard it before. (RN)

Harold Danko | esm.rochester.edu/faculty/danko_harold

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

Harold Danko is Professor Emeritus at the Eastman School of Music, but before settling down in Rochester, he had a long career playing with jazz greats Chet Baker, Gerry Mulligan, and Lee Konitz. He was also a featured performer in the Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Orchestra. Danko is a prolific composer whose classic tune "Tidal Breeze" has been recorded by Baker, Konitz and others. (RN)

Lionel Loueke & Raul Midon | lionelloueke.com; raulmidon.com

6 p.m. & 9 p.m.: Kilbourn Hall, Eastman School of Music | (Jazz-world fusion)

Extraordinary guitarist Lionel Loueke started out on vocals and percussion growing up in the Ivory Coast. He didn't pick up the guitar until age 17, but he went on to study at Berklee and the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz. Raul Midon sings and plays like no other singer and player, through various percussive beats on his guitar and trumpet-like vocals. This show will amaze and thrill. (FD)

New Horizons Vintage Jazz Band directed by Don Sherman


6 p.m.: City of Rochester Jazz Street Stage | (Traditional big band jazz)

There is a constant desire in the contemporary jazz world to move the music into the future. But wait a minute: There's an awful lot of good music from the past. That's why the New Horizons Vintage Jazz Band specializes in Dixieland, Swing, Latin and other genres, right up to contempory pop. (RN)

Under One Sun | jameyhaddad.com

6 p.m. & 10 p.m.: The Wilder Room | (World music)

Founded by percussionist Jamey Haddad, Under One Sun features an international array of superb players performing music with diverse roots. Along with Haddad — who has worked extensively with Paul Simon — the group features: Ali Amr on qanun, a Middle Eastern zither); Salar Nader on tabla; Michael Ward-Bergeman on accordion; saxophonist Billy Drewes; pianist Leo Blanco; percussionist Luisito Quintero, percussion; and Roberto Occhipinti on double bass. (RN)

Tamar Korn & A Kornucopia | tamarkornvoice.wordpress.com

6 p.m. & 10 p.m.: The Montage Music Hall | (Jazz Age throwback, vocal jazz)

New York City's Tamar Korn sings in something like 200 bands. But there is a constant running through them all: it's Korn's sing-song tone and Helen Kane-as-Betty Boop sass, with Tin Pan Alley vibes and class. Charming as all get out. (FD)

Prime Time Brass | primetimebrass.com

6 p.m.: Rochester Regional Health Big Tent | (Big band, marching band)

Rochester's Prime Time Brass is a parade gone out of bounds. There's no denying the power and the majesty. They'll knock you out, like a sledgehammer at a pillow fight. (FD)

Harold Mabern Trio | haroldmabern.jazzgiants.net

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

For more information, a profile on Harold Mabern can be found on page.

Vilray | vilray.com

6:30 p.m. & 8:30 p.m.: Geva Theatre Center – Fielding Stage | (Retro-jazz crooner and guitarist)

He's got a duo with Lake Street Dive's Rachel Price and command of a Piedmont-esque guitar playing style. And the Brooklyn man they call Vilray records straight to acetate. What more can I say? Oh, and he whistles. (FD)

Ian Shaw | ianshaw.biz

6:45 p.m. & 8:45 p.m.: Christ Church | (Jazz vocals)

Britain's Ian Shaw handles the songs he performs as if they were eggs. His phrasing is extraordinarily gentle. The list of his awards and accolades is too long to fit in the space allotted. Wanna shortcut to Shaw's cool? Check for his version of "Somewhere" from "West Side Story." (FD)

Kandace Springs | kandacesprings.com

7 p.m. & 9:15 p.m.: Temple Building Theater | (Vocal-centric R&B-jazz)

The music of Nashville-based Kandace Springs is a study in deceptive simplicity. In other words, her voice makes it sound easy. Simmering R&B  with sophisticated jazz progressions. Dig as the steam starts coming out of your collar. You can't escape. Why would you ever want to? (FD)

Shamarr Allen & the Underdawgs | shamarrallen.com

7 p.m. & 8:45 p.m.: M&T Pavilion – Squeezers Stage | (Jazzy hip-hop horn)

The jazz idiom is conducive to endless fusion, capable of myriad genre mash-ups. Trumpet player Shamarr Allen leads the Underdawgs through the New Orleans underground and out the other side, with catchy hip-hop beats, rhymes with easy flow, and concise jazz licks. (DK)

Funknut | tonygandfunknut.bandcamp.com

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

When keys-tease Tony Gallicchio has his band going in a full-blown, funkified giddy-up. People have to sneak a peek toward the bandstand to confirm the cat doesn't have 88 fingers. Come join the hundreds of feet that Funknut ignites like a tap-dancing caterpillar. (FD)

Music Educators' Jazz Ensemble


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

Led by top music educator and superb saxophonist Bill Tiberio, the Music Educators' Jazz Ensemble is exactly what it sounds like: an ensemble composed of area music teachers and related musicians. The repertoire ranges from traditional to contemporary. (RN)

Thomas Backman | thomasbackman.com

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

It is somewhat ironic that Scandinavian jazz musicians as a group are often more cutting-edge in their approach to the music than Americans. Swedish saxophonist Thomas Backman is no exception. He has assembled a group of like-minded Swedish musicians, resulting in some of the most progressive jazz you are likely to hear. (RN)

Jeff Goldblum and the Mildred Snitzer Orchestra

8 p.m.: Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre | (Straight-ahead jazz)

Go to page for an interview with Jeff Goldblum.

Roosevelt Collier | rooseveltcollier.com

8:30 p.m. & 10 p.m.: Rochester Regional Health Big Tent| (Lap steel, blues)

Roosevelt Collier's bio can be found on page .

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.

  • The Players: Sunday, June 23

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

  • 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."

  • 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.