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Best of Rochester 2015: Arts & Entertainment 

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NOTE: Runners up listed in alphabetical order

Best Local Original Band

Teagan and The Tweeds. @teaganandtweeds; teaganandthetweeds.com

Runners up: Joywave | Thunder Body | Violet Mary

Best Local Cover Band

The Skycoasters. skycoasters.com

Runners up: JunkyardFieldTrip | Something Else | Zac Brown Tribute Band

Best Local Solo Musician

Teagan Ward. teaganward.com

Runners up: Amanda Ashley | Jackson Cavalier | Roger Kuhn

Best Local Classical Musician/Group

Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra. @rochesterphil; rpo.org

Runners up: Amenda Quartet | Angelicus String Quartet | Eastman Philharmonia

Best Local Jazz Musician/Group

Gap Mangione. gapmangione.com

Runners up: Steve Greene | Bob Sneider | Bill Tiberio

Best Local Album of 2015

"How Do You Feel Now?" by Joywave. joywavemusic.com

Runners up: "All That We Seem" by Violet Mary | "For All of You" by Extended Family | "Signal In The Static" by Crawdiddies

Best Music Concert of 2015 (Arena/Large Venue)

Ed Sheeran @ CMAC.

Runners up: Gary Clark Jr. @ Kodak Hall | Steve Gadd @ Kodak Hall | Santana @ CMAC | James Taylor @ CMAC

Best Music Concert of 2015 (Club/Small Venue)

Reel Big Fish @ Water Street.

Runners up: Guster @ Water Street | Joywave @ Bug Jar | St. Vincent @ Water Street

Best Live Music Venue

CMAC. 3355 Marvin Sands Drive, Canandaigua, 394-4400, cmacevents.com

Runners up: Abilene | Bug Jar | Water Street Music Hall

Best Live DJ

DJ Darkwave. @djdarkwave; djdarkwave.com

Runners up: Chreath | DJ Alykhan | DJ Kalifornia

Best Local Author

Frank De Blase. frankdeblase.com

Runners up: Charles Benoit | Chad Post | Bethany Snyder

Best Local Poet

Rachel McKibbens. @rachelmckibbens; rachelmckibbens.tumblr.com

Runners up: Charlie Cote | Jacob Rakovan | Lytton Smith

Best Locally Written Book of 2015

"Rochester Knockings" by Hubert Haddad. openletterbooks.org

Runners up: "More More Time" by David Seaburn | "Queen of the Fall" by Sonja Livingston | "Confounding the Wise" by Dan Kulp

Best Local Theater Production of 2015 (Non-musical at a resident space)

"Good People" @ Geva's Mainstage. gevatheatre.org

Runners up: "Bad Jews" @ JCC CenterStage | "The Mountaintop" @ Geva's Mainstage | "Sordid Lives" @ Black Sheep Theatre

Best Local Theater Production of 2015 (Non-Musical at a community space)

"Henry IV, Parts 1 and 2" @ Highland Park Bowl. rochestercommunityplayers.org

Runners up: "EstroFest" @ Nazareth College Arts Center | "Mammoth" @ MuCCC | "Vivien Leigh: The Last Press Conference" @ Geva's Nextstage

Best Local Musical Theater Production of 2015 (at a resident space)

"Little Shop of Horrors" @ Geva's Mainstage. gevatheatre.org

Runners up: "American Idiot" @ JCC CenterStage | "Beehive" @ Blackfriars Theatre | "Violet" @ Blackfriars Theatre

Best Local Musical Theater Production of 2015 (at a community space)

"West Side Story" @ Roberts Wesleyan College. roberts.edu

Runners up: "Aria Da Capo" @ Writers & Books | "Next to Normal" @ RIT Panara Theatre | "The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee" @ Roberts Wesleyan

Best Local Theater Company

Geva Theatre Center. 75 Woodbury Boulevard, 232-4382, gevatheatre.org

Runners up: Blackfriars Theatre | Downstairs Cabaret Theatre | RAPA | Rochester Broadway Theatre League

Best Local Stand-up Comedian

Sky Sands. skysands.com

Runners up: Woody Battaglia | Vinnie Paulino | Marianne Sierk

Best Local Comedy Group

Geva Comedy Improv. gevacomedyimprov.org

Runners up: EstroFest | Hardwood | Nuts and Bolts Comedy Improv

Best Local Dance Company

Garth Fagan Dance. 50 Chestnut Street, 454-3260, garthfagandance.org

Runners up: BIODANCE | FuturPointe Dance | Rochester City Ballet

Best Local Artist

Sarah C. Rutherford. @msshaftway

Runners up: Cordell Cordaro | Jay Lincoln | Mary Moore | St. Monci

Best Art Exhibit of 2015

WALL\THERAPY. wall-therapy.com

Runners up: 6x6x2015 @ RoCo | Clothesline @ Memorial Art Gallery | MUSE 2.0 @ Nan Miller Gallery | Nesting @ 1975 | Universal Magnetic @ Axom Gallery

Best Art Gallery

Memorial Art Gallery. 500 University Avenue, 276-8900, mag.rochester.edu

Runners up: 1975 | Artisan Works | RoCo

Best New Mural

"Birds of a Feather," by Sarah C. Rutherford and Mr. Prvrt. 812 Monroe Avenue.

Runners up: "Bollywood Sugar," 820 South Clinton Avenue, by Handiedan | "Detecting Machine" (Whale), 14 Capron Street, by Nevercrew | "Monsters vs. Robots," 1237 East Main Street, by Joe Guy Allard and Matthew Roberts | "Payback" beaver and boots, 880 East Main Street, by Onur & Wes21

Best Local Photographer

Jim Montanus. @jamesmontanus; montanusphotography.com

Runners up: Becky Arcadi | John Schlia | Tammy Swales | Gerry Szymanski | Aaron Winters

Best Local Filmmaker

Matthew Spaull. @matthewspaull; northlightpro.com

Runners up: Matthew Ehlers | Alex Freeman | Ben Gonyo | Chris Hogan-Roy

Best Local Film Festival

Rochester International Film Festival. rochesterfilmfest.org

Runners up: Greentopia | High Falls | ImageOut | Jewish Film Festival

Best Local Movie Theater

The Little. 240 East Avenue, 258-0400, thelittle.org

Runners up: Cinema Theatre | Dryden Theatre | Pittsford Cinema

Best Local Family-Friendly Attraction

Strong National Museum of Play. 1 Manhattan Square Drive, 263-2700, museumofplay.org

Runners up: Rochester Museum and Science Center | Seabreeze | Seneca Park Zoo

Best Local Music Festival

Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival. rochesterjazz.com

Runners up: Fairport Music Festival | Lilac Festival | Party in the Park

Best Local Arts Festival

Park Avenue Summer Art Fest. rochesterevents.com/

Runners up: Corn Hill Arts Festival | Clothesline | First Niagara Rochester Fringe Festival

Best Local Special Event

Lilac Festival. rochesterevents.com

Runners up: First Niagara Rochester Fringe Festival | Park Ave Festival | Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival

Best Food And Drink Festival

Food Truck Rodeo. cityofrochester.gov/foodtruckrodeo

Runners up: Flour City Brewers Fest | Rochester Real Beer Week | Roc City Rib Fest

Best Local Drag Performer

Darienne Lake. @dariennelake; dariennelake.com

Runners up: Mrs. Kasha Davis | DeeDee Dubois | Samantha Vega

In This Guide...

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