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1,500 Musicians, 19 Venues, and an Event You Won't Forget

Rochester’s extensive list of community events, cultural attractions, and lush parks have made it one of the top destinations for visitors to Upstate New York. The city is also home to more than 100 breweries, wineries, and distilleries as well as one of the nation’s leading private universities, the University of Rochester. Whether you're sampling the region's finest food and drink at the New York Wine and Culinary Center or golfing at one of the more than 60 local courses, Rochester has something for everyone.


The Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival is one of the largest international music events on the East Coast, attracting more than 200,000 attendees annually. This year’s event will take place June 23 to July 1, and will feature something for every music lover with more than 324 concerts broken down into three categories: Headliner Series (tickets purchased in advance), Club Series (tickets bought in a package or at the door), and Free Shows on outdoor stages. The Festival's selection of performers and viewing areas is second to none including more than 1,500 artists playing music at 19 venues across the city (all in walking distance to each other). Young musicians will have additional opportunities to participate in jam sessions with other young artists and workshops with established performers. The event donates a portion of proceeds to the XRIJF Scholarship Program, which helps young musicians continue their musical training beyond high school. We got the opportunity to interview Jean Dalmath, a representative of the event, to learn more about this great Jazz music experience.


RAL: How long has the event been running?

JD: This is the 16th year of the Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival.


RAL: What demographic does your event attract? Children? Families? Couples?

JD: We see music fans of all ages in attendance and also performing. It’s also ideal for solo travelers who can go from venue to venue and meet new people.


RAL: What makes this event unique?

JD: The Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival is a multidimensional festival with something for everyone. The popular Club Pass, a unique “value pass to discovery,” allows people access to all club venues to sample a 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 and artists from 18 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 19 venues, all located within walking distance in and around Rochester’s East End cultural district, ranges from beautiful 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.


Our goal is to help nurture the next generation of musicians. We offer free youth workshops for young music students over five days. We also feature more than 20 of the top school jazz bands. These are popular concerts for families with young children. Nightly jam sessions are always a major highlight since there’s no telling who will drop in to play.


RAL: Will there be any Guest Appearances?

JD: You’ll see everyone from legendary Grammy winning musicians to emerging artists. See full schedule for details.


RAL: What dining options will attendees encounter?

JD: Many venues offer food and beverages during the concerts. A variety of food trucks and vendors will also dot the streets and there are many great restaurants nearby.


RAL: What can an attendee expect to find for local lodging?

JD: Rochester offers a range of accommodations from B&B’s to national hotels, within walking distance of the festival. More lodging options are available in towns such as Pittsford and the Finger Lakes Region.


RAL: Are there any lodging specials that are set up specifically for the event?

JD: The Radisson Rochester Riverside is our official hotel where many of the artists stay. It's also the home of the nightly jam sessions and offers a special Club Pass deal.


RAL: Does this drive business to your local economy?

JD: Absolutely, we deliver $10 million a year in economic impact.


RAL: Does the event support a special cause in the community?

JD: Each year the festival supports the XRIJF Scholarship Program for music students at the renowned Eastman School of Music at the University of Rochester.


RAL: Why should people come to your event?

JD: Whether you come for a weekend or all nine days, the Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival is one of the most popular music events in the US. It brings people back year after year from all over the world. It is a personal festival (intimate despite its size) that focuses on creating joy and nurturing the soul with some of the best music around.


For more information about the Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival, please visit the event website