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The Players: Monday, June 24 

Fred Costello |

4:30 p.m.| M&T Pavilion – Squeezers Stage | (B-3 organ jazz)

Fred Costello may be best known as a sports organist. And indeed, he is so sought after in that role that he has turned down the Yankees, the Mets and several other major league teams. But when he's not in the stadium, the man can also swing. Over the decades, he's played with Slide Hampton, Doc Severinsen, Bobby Darrin and many, many more. (RN)

Cyro Baptista |

5:30 p.m. & 7:30 p.m.: Geva Theatre Center – Wilson Stage | (World percussion)

You don't know percussion until you've seen Cyro Baptista. He plays an array of Brazilian instruments that are beyond imagination — things like metal pipes that sing. And when he puts down the instruments, he plays his hands and his mouth while electronics build layers behind his singing. He's brought his magic to the work of Paul Simon, Yo-Yo Ma, Herbie Hancock and many others. (RN)

Adam Ben Ezra |

5:45 p.m. & 7:45 p.m.: Hatch Recital Hall | (World music, double bass)

You've no doubt heard of Flamenco guitar, but have you ever heard of Flamenco bass? Meet Adam Ben Ezra. His combination of tapping percussion, strumming, sliding, harmonics and virtuosic playing transform his upright bass into an orchestra. A YouTube sensation, Ben Ezra has been enlisted by stars like Victor Wooten, Richard Bona and Pat Metheny. (RN)

Bria Skonberg |

6 p.m. & 9 p.m.: Kilbourn Hall, Eastman School of Music | (Jazz trumpet and vocals)

Here comes the new generation of jazz, with its eyes on the horizon.Originally from British Columbia, the New York City-based musician Bria Skonberg has been quoted as saying, "I play jazz because it's the closest I can get to flying." The blend between her precise voice and the clarion call of her horn is extraordinary. (FD)

Andrea Koziol and Bill Brennan |

6 p.m. & 10 p.m.: The Wilder Room (Vocal jazz)

This duo is known around the Toronto jazz joints. Vocalist Andrea Koziol and pianist Bill Brennan make a big sound full of quieter moments throughout, with balladry that is sensitive and sultry. They call it sweet and salty jazz. So will you. (FD)

Paa Kow |

6 p.m. & 10 p.m.: The Montage Music Hall (Drum-centric jazz, world music)

Like a lot of drummers before him, Ghanaian drummer Paa Kow used to build things to beat on: in this case, metal cans covered with fertilizer bags and a drum pedal fashioned out of an old hinge. He's had several equipment upgrades since then, though his drumming is still free-flowing, in the spirit of those Rube Goldberg days. Articulated by a pinpoint band, Paa Kow's music is joyful, with plenty of brassy panache. He calls it Afro-Fusion. (FD)

The Willows |

6:15 p.m. & 10 p.m.: Max of Eastman Place (Vocal jazz)

Go to page for an interview with the trio's Krista Deady.

Greg Humphreys Electric Trio |

6:30 p.m. & 8:30 p.m.: Geva Theatre Center – Fielding Stage | (Rockin' funk and soul)

Led by Dillon Fence frontman Greg Humphreys, this trio applies some eclectic electric guitar as an underpinning to Humpherys' blue-eyed soul. In one big swirl of energy, the band jams a bit but the classic angle keeps it rooted. (FD)

Enemy |

6:45 p.m. & 8:45 p.m.: Christ Church | (Progressive jazz)

Bass, piano and drums are three instruments totally distinct from each other. But when bassist Frans Petter Eldh, pianist Kit Downes, and drummer James Maddren play, it's as if they are all parts of the same swinging organism. After creating a stir in England, Enemy is spreading it's brand of musical simpatico to distant shores. (RN)

Delvon Lamarr Organ Trio |

7 p.m. & 8:45 p.m.: M&T Pavilion – Squeezers Stage (Heavy jazz organ)

In-your-face never sounded so good. Seattle's Delvon Lamarr Organ Trio is on a mission to break the shackles of conventional organ jazz. Their search has turned up some pure rockin' drive, groove, and roll here. (FD)

Yellowjackets |

7 p.m. & 9:15 p.m.: Temple Building Theater | (Smooth jazz)

With saxophonist Bob Mintzer, keyboard wizard Russell Ferrante, drummer William Kennedy and bassist Dane Alderson, Yellowjackets has been one of the premier acts in the smooth jazz firmament for four decades. While the term "smooth" sometimes connotes easy listening, these guys are the real thing — excellent musicians who attract a wide swath of listeners. (RN)

Sonidos Unidos |

7 p.m. & 9 p.m.: AvanGrid Foundation/RG&E/Barclay Damon Fusion Stage | (Latin, jazz fusion)

This nine-piece ensemble from right here in Rochester will have you dancing in no time, with their particular brand of Latin-infused jazz. Adept at numerous dance music styles, from salsa and merengue to bachata and kizomba, this group has a suave, fun flow. (DK)

Kari Ikonen |

7:30 p.m. & 9:30 p.m.: Lutheran Church of Reformation | (Straight-ahead jazz)

In 2013, keyboardist Kari Ikonen won the Yrjö award — Finnish Jazz Musician of the Year — for his extraordinary mastery and imaginative use of piano, Fender Rhodes and Moog synthesizer. Ikonen has toured the world, playing with greats like Lee Konitz and Ra Kalam Bob Moses. Ikonen's adventurous trio features Finnish jazz artists Olli Rantala on bass and Markku Ounaskari on drums. (RN)

The Aquaducks |

7:30 p.m. & 9:30 p.m.: City of Rochester Jazz Street Stage (Jam band)

Nashville is home to these funky jamsters, but the music is so much more than just that Nashvegas twang. Featuring the vocals of Cavanaugh Mims, this is the perfect band for outside venues and bare feet. (FD)

Djabe |

8:30 p.m. & 10 p.m.: Big Tent | (World music)

In the African Ashanti language, the word "djabe" means freedom, and Djabe is the leading jazz fusion band of Hungary. If that seems like a non sequitur, consider it an indication of the true spirit of world music. Filled with lush textures and appealing melodies, Djabe's music combines elements of jazz and Hungarian folk tunes. (RN)

Jam sessions led by Karl Stabnau & Bob Sneider

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

See page for more information.

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.

  • The Players: Friday, June 21

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

  • 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)

  • 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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