14 Franklin Street Rochester, NY 14607
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2012 Festival, 11th Edition
June 22-30, 2012
The Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival (XRIJF) in Rochester, New York, has quickly become one of the nation’s most popular and most respected music festivals. The 2011 Festival, 10th Edition, wrapped up June 18 after delivering nine days of exceptional music at 285 concerts at 18 venues.
Founded in 2002 – attendance at the Festival has grown each year, from 15,000 the first year to more than 182,000 in 2011 – attracting music lovers from around the U.S. and the world.
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.
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.
The reasons for XRIJF’s success are as diverse as its programing.
From legendary performers and familiar favorites – to rising stars and new discoveries – this is a festival that navigates all genres of creative improvised music from all corners of the world.
The popular Club Pass, a “value pass to discovery,” allows people access to all club venues to sample a wide spectrum of music. It’s no wonder the festival motto is “It’s not who you know, it’s who you don’t know.”
As one of the nation’s leading international music festivals, it brings together unique musical sounds from many countries, highlighting international artists’ take on the only true American art form – jazz.
The Festival’s European style makes it the place to meet! With many streets closed the lively and vibrant ambiance makes it a destination for friends to connect, discuss favorite music, and enjoy a bite to eat.
The diversity of 18 venues, all located within walking distance in and around Rochester’s east end cultural district, ranges from elegant concert halls to intimate clubs to vibrant outdoor stages. Each offers a comfortable setting in which to appreciate and savor the many genres of creative improvised music, all under the auspices of jazz.
Nightly jam sessions at the Rochester Plaza Hotel, are another highlight, since there’s no telling who will drop in to play. It’s said that jazz never sleeps and this event proves it as the music goes on deep into the night – often with unsung musicians who electrify the room.
The Festival’s popularity continues to escalate. It has twice been named the top favorite arts and cultural event by Rochester Business Journal readers. Sponsorships have sold out. The Club Pass sold out before the event lineup was announced.
For the fourth time, the Festival and WXXI Television (a PBS network station) partnered in 2011 on a six-part series of one-hour concerts, each of which will include a 10-year retrospective. The shows will be distributed nationwide to air on PBS stations in fall 2011.
Nurturing the Next Generation
Investing in the next generation is a major focus of the festival.
The festival established the first jazz music scholarship at the renowned Eastman School of Music. Twenty-eight students have received scholarships to attend the prestigious school since the festival began in 2002. Each year a scholarship concert is held during the festival featuring the scholarship winners.
A kids jam session is held each year on the last day of the festival.
More than 20 high school jazz bands, the best in the region, are invited to perform each year on the Jazz Street stage. Many youth ensembles from the Eastman School’s community education program are also given an opportunity to play.
In addition to delivering an exhilarating and diverse program of music, XRIJF is also proud to make a significant economic impact to the Rochester region, exceeding $110 million over 11 years.
Impacting tourism – people come from all across the world to attend, corporations schedule major meeting and events during the festival, travel and meeting planners attend to explore the region for future meetings and conferences, and local music lovers often take the week off to enjoy all nine days of the festivities without worrying about staying up late!
The festival’s impact can be felt throughout the year. It has paved the way for more live music in area venues, and built audiences for many artists who are invited back by other area organizations for fundraisers and concerts.
The XRIJF organization has been a tireless advocate for the arts as a key sector of our economy and a significant influence in showcasing Rochester, New York’s wide-ranging resources and riches in the cultural arts making it a destination for people worldwide.