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Local bands pay tribute to promoter Tim Avery 

Rochester musician and Bug Jar booking impresario Tim Avery is fighting the good fight with the big C. And musicians and music fans alike are rallying behind the man with several benefit shows. As a booking agent and promoter, Avery has proved himself indispensable in filling the void between musicians -- whether local, national, or international -- and music fans. There's rarely a night in this town with nothing to go see thanks to cats like Tim Avery. And thanks to Avery, Rochester doesn't get passed over for other cities by touring bands as much as it once did.

It's a labor of love for him. "All I care about is awesome music, having a great time, and putting together the best bill possible," Avery told CITY in 2014. (We had profiled him for our first Rochester 10 spotlight.)

As an indication of the far-reaching love for the dude, benefit shows have been popping up to help out Avery with the inevitable bills and costs. On Saturday, December 3, a massive show will take place at Anthology (336 East Avenue) with Joywave, KOPPS, Secret Pizza, Mikaela Davis, The Demos, Green Dreams, King Buffalo, and lot more. The show starts at 2 p.m., and tickets are $20.

We buttonholed a few area bands and asked them to say a few words about Tim. We invite you to leave your comments below as well.


"Tim shows the rest of us what true passion for your work looks like. He is generous, honest, and an 'equal opportunity' guy when it comes to lending a helping hand to musicians all over the country."


"Tim is a living local legend. He's done more than anyone I know for the local music scene, and he was instrumental in helping set up the early Joywave shows at Bug Jar. An all-around world class human. Can't say enough good things about him."

Hot Mayonnaise

"Tim has really done a lot to keep the music alive and thriving in Rochester; he has always been really cool with us and hooked us up with more shows than we can count. We have nothing but tons of love and respect for him. We know he will get thru this and continue to be one of the main players in the Rochester music scene."

Harmonica Lewinski

"Tim Avery... what can you say about the guy? His initials are somewhat misleading, don't come looking for him when you need a little t 'n' a ...

He is a rabid supporter of live music (a dying art?) and musicians. He might not be the Bill Graham of Rochester, but I wouldn't be surprised if he's put on 1000 shows in this town alone. When we first started Harmonica Lewinski, we came to the Bug Jar and Tim told us to come back when we'd learned how to play. As we walked away dejected he said, "Just kidding fellas, get up here and show 'em what you got." The rest is history.

One thing I've always thought about Tim is he must be some kinda man to do the job he does. I don't know anyone that passionate about live music to year after year book countless bands, many of which can be hard on the ears, as you know, and hang out and listen to them even when the bar is empty. On a bad night at the Jar, I'll look at Tim and think if I were in his shoes, this would have killed my love of music a long time ago. But the thing about him is that he's driven by a different force than most people, and truly believes that live music -- even in a city most bands will never come through -- is something special and something to celebrate. He is truly his own breed and he's proven himself to be made of stronger stuff than most. Especially now.

One heartwarming antidote I'd like to share about Tim is how our drummer would always bitch to him about how the Bug Jar doesn't give us free drinks when we're booked there, as opposed to certain other joints around town. Tim just smiled and nodded, but sure enough, the next goddam time we played Bug Jar, Tim had us all set up with an ice cold 30 rack of Genny down in the basement, on the house. That night, we drank to our heart's content, and we toasted Tim with each fresh beer we cracked.

We couldn't be happier to be playing this gig for Tim on Saturday, because we finally get to give back to the dude who's given so much time and work to so many bands around this region. I've even heard that there're benefit shows going on in Syracuse and Buffalo for him, which shows you how his reach and influence extends even beyond Rochester. If every city had a dude like that, we'd all be touring the 50 states all year 'round and probably making pretty good money doing it.

Like a lot of things in Rochester, you sometimes sit back and say, "We got it pretty good here don't we?" But it's like that for a reason, and it's like that because of people like Tim doing their thing and making something out of nothing. We wish him the best."

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