The Jazz Festival is back

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C’mon, I knew in my heart that it wasn’t gone forever, but damn, that was close. For the past two summers Rochester music fans were treated to life without the Rochester International Jazz Festival, which was like getting a root canal without the giggle juice. It was hell, I tell you. Hell.

Image: RIJF

But now, the root of evil in the form of the pandemic has been essentially wrestled to the ground and festival fat cats John Nugent and Marc Iacona, with a cast of hundreds, can get back to the work at hand—producing this powerhouse festival.

News of note: All of the big shows that in past years were held in Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre will now be held outside at Midtown Stage at Parcel 5, Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Park, Jazz Street Stage, and get this—there is no cover charge. It’s free, baby.

I’m gonna spend each night of this downtown hoedown interviewing, previewing, reviewing and opinionating, taking a few candid snaps and simply making the scene.

We encourage everyone to get on board and join the  conversation every day. 

Here’s a short list of shows you’ll no doubt catch me at:

■ Joe Locke

■ Booker T

■ Ravi Coltrane

■ Hot Club of Cowtown

■ Bill Frisell

■ Bobby Rush

■ Charlie Lindner and the Pickle Mafia

■ Danielle Ponder

■ Davina and the Vagabonds

■ Nikki Hill

For more news clues, visit

Frank De Blase is Rochester Beacon music writer.

The Beacon welcomes comments from readers who adhere to our comment policy including use of their full, real name.

Here’s a comprehensive list of live shows in and around Rochester: Get Your Gig On

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