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The Players: Friday, June 21 

Teagan and the Tweeds |

4:30 p.m.: M&T Pavilion - Squeezers Stage (Bluesy rock 'n' roll)

These Rochester jazz fest veterans deliver straight-up barroom-brawlin,' beer-and-a-shot rock music at its finest. Teagan Ward sings soulful, salty, and salacious as her band occupies that coveted in-the-pocket groove and tone. It's gonna be good. (FD)

Jake Shimabukuro |  

5:30 p.m. & 7:30 p.m.: Geva Theatre Center - Wilson Stage (Ukulele virtuoso)

Here is a living breathing music box. Jake Shimabukuro takes you on skyward journey with the trills and thrills of his otherwise demure instrument. It'll be raining jaws as they hit the floor. Just magical. (FD)

Janice Friedman |

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

Whether she's playing a jazz standard by Gershwin or a pop classic by Lennon and McCartney, pianist Janice Friedman makes it her own. Her pianist mother raised her on the music of keyboard greats. After earning a degree in Jazz Studies from Indiana University, and a stint on the road with the Woody Herman Orchestra, Friedman launched her own keyboard career. (RN)

Emilie-Claire Barlow |

6 p.m. & 9 p.m.: Kilbourn Hall, Eastman School of Music | (Vocal jazz)

Two-time Juno Award-winner Emilie-Claire Barlow is such a strong jazz singer, she can transform Sonny & Cher's "The Beat Goes On" into a jazz classic. Taking just about any pop song you can think of and making it swing is a specialty of the Canadian song stylist. Barlow also sings jazz standards and interprets them with style and an occasional venture into vocalese. (RN)

Laura Dubin Trio plays 'West Side Story' |

6 p.m.& 10 p.m.: The Wilder Room | (Straight-ahead jazz)

Rochester's own Laura Dubin is a fine composer, but when she sits down at the piano, she often explores themes and interprets the compositions of others. At this year's festival, Leonard Bernstein's brilliant "West Side Story" score is bound to provide a rich harmonic palette for Dubin's soaring keyboard flights. She'll be joined by drummer Antonio Guerrero and double bassist Danny Ziemann. (RN)

Jennifer Hartswick & Nicholas Cassarino |; | 6 p.m. & 10 p.m.: The Montage Music Hall | (Soul-jazz)

An original member of the Trey Anastasio Band, trumpeter and vocalist Jennifer Hartswick has stunning depth. Her voice rides above Nicholas Cassarino's nouveau jazz guitar as it floats around and within the overall strain. The result is both funky and smooth. (FD)

All In Brass Band |

6 p.m.: Rochester Regional Health Big Tent | (New Orleans/ marching band)

With Big Easy splendor and ease, paired with big band flexible portability, All in Brass Band is all in your face. It features students and mentors creating its brassy blast. (FD)

Sasha Berliner Quintet |

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

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Western Centuries |

6:30 p.m. & 8:30 p.m.: Geva Theatre Center - Fielding Stage | (Country)

With a big bang and an even bigger twang, Western Centuries plays country right. The quintet draws from diverse southern influences like Appalachian folk and cajun tunes, with a honky-tonk drive and some renegade spirit tossed in, à la The Flying Burrito Brothers. Though the members are spread across the nation, coast to coast, the quintet comes Scootin'-on-a-sawdust floor kinda stuff. (FD)

Leo Richardson Quartet |

6:45 p.m. & 8:45 p.m.: Christ Church | (Straight-ahead jazz)

After graduating from London's prestigious Trinity College of Music, saxophonist Leo Richardson joined the top ranks of British jazz musicians. With a style reminiscent of John Coltrane and Sonny Rollins, Richardson has played with a variety of artists in recent years, including Gregory Porter, TLC, The Temptations, and Maxi Priest. (RN)

Bonerama |

7 p.m.: City of Rochester East Ave. & Chestnut St. Stage | (Trombone-driven funk)

Crushing like a Panzer used as a paperweight, Bonerama's music is heavy, but the band's stage show is fun and light-hearted. The band's new album is a collection of Zeppelin tunes that grooves as hard as it rocks. Bonerama is for listeners who like it brassy and sassy. (FD)

SNJO plays 'Peter and the Wolf' |

7 p.m. & 9:15 p.m.: Temple Building Theater | (Classical-jazz fusion)

What would it sound like if top jazz players in a great big band played a swinging rendition of Sergei Prokofiev's "Peter and the Wolf"? You can find out when the Scottish National Jazz Orchestra takes on the classic composition. Conductor Tommy Smith — a long-time jazz festival favorite on saxophone — reinterprets Prokofiev in an arrangement worthy of Duke Ellington. (RN)

Richie Goods |

7 p.m. & 8:45 p.m.: M&T Pavilion - Squeezers Stage | (Jazz fusion bass)

It's commonly called an electric bass, but Richie Goods will remind you in no uncertain terms that it's a bass guitar. In other words, this guy plays the bass like Eric Clapton plays the guitar. It's no wonder he's been tapped by stars ranging from Milt Jackson to Alicia Keys. Popping and slapping and picking out funky riffs, Goods is as good as it gets. (RN)

Girls in Airports |

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

The five-man group Girls in Airports has an uncanny ability to play infectious music that also goes right to the brink of the cutting edge. It's avant-garde and you can dance to it. Fronted by two excellent saxophonists, Girls in Airports has taken its unique, dream-like blend of music to stages around the world. (RN)

Jazz Ambassadors |

7:30 p.m. & 9:30 p.m.: City of Rochester Jazz Street Stage | (Straight-ahead jazz)

They may be in uniform, but there is nothing uniform about the Jazz Ambassadors. Part of the United States Army Field Band, the sextet consists of musicians who would be soloing beautifully on stage, whether they enlisted or not. Formed in the spirit of Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers, the group focuses on established jazz tunes and originals by band members. (RN)

Steve Gadd Band |

8 p.m.: Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre | (Jazz fusion)

He's legendary and he's one of our own. Drummer Steve Gadd made his name as a studio star on hits by Paul Simon, Steely Dan, and Chick Corea, and as go-to timekeeper on tour for artists such as Eric Clapton. Gadd is a must-see artist in his prime. (FD)

Scott Sharrard |

8:30 p.m. & 10 p.m.: Rochester Regional Health Big Tent | (Rock and blues guitar)

When Scott Sharrard played here last as the late Greg Allman's lead guitarist and band leader, it was hard to keep eyes and ears off of Sharrard. He mixed in deftly with the master without crowding him. This time he's gonna do it sans Allman. First-rate guitar hero stuff. (FD)

Downchild Blues Band feat. Dan Aykroyd |

9 p.m.: City of Rochester East Ave. & Chestnut St. Stage (Blues)

Celebrating 50 years of the big and beautiful blues with big-band sis boom bah and juke-joint vibes, Donnie "Mr. "Downchild" Walsh and the rest of the band are the reason we have the Blues Brothers. They're one of the reasons I like the blues. Elwood is gonna be there, too. (FD)

Jam sessions led by Karl Stabnau & Bob Sneider

10:30 p.m.: The Street Craft Kitchen & Bar at the Hyatt Regency Hotel Rochester (Jam )

These nightly jazz fest jam sessions are a tradition around here. But nothing's rote or scripted here. Expect impromptu performances from featured festival artists and plenty of intriguing collaborations. (DK)

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.

  • 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 | 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 | 4:30 p.m.: M&T Pavilion – Squeezers Stage | (Rock)

  • The Players: Monday, June 24

    Fred Costello | 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."

  • The Players: Wednesday, June 26

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

  • 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 | 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 | 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 | 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.

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