2012 Festival will be June 22-30
Rochester, NYThe 10th anniversary edition of the Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival concluded June 18 after delivering nine days of exceptional music, at 285 concerts in 18 venues and attracting a record attendance of 182,000. Elvis Costello
, Chris Botti
, Natalie Cole
, k.d. lang
and The Fab Faux
headlined the festival.
It was everything we could have hoped for and more for this milestone year, said John Nugent
, Producer and Artistic Director. It was a unbelievable success. I'm ecstatic. The musicians played so well. The collage of sounds, artistic visions and overlapping styles has a remarkable impact on people as they go from one concert to another. It affects how they feel, shapes their emotions and creates an excitement that gets the adrenaline going. We achieved everything we wanted to this year. If we can sustain that crossover of music to satisfy people's tastes, then we've done our job."
From an artistic and production standpoint, we aim to set the standard and I am pleased to say that everything went as planned," said Marc Iacona, Producer and Executive Director. This year was the smoothest and most relaxed for our team and we felt that in the crowds too. The weather also really cooperated; it was perfect. We were pleased to see more young people in attendance and more people from outside the region and around the world.
Each year we take into consideration what the public wants, and listen to people's suggestions. The reception from musicians who come here was over the top. They acknowledged what a great festival it is and want to come back. They love Rochester and what's going on in our festival. It's humbling to see people coming up to us on the street and thanking us. So our goal is to sustain an event that has grown to become one of the most sought-after artist and cultural experiences in the country."
This was the festival's best headliner series in terms of ticket sales, selling out four of six shows, with near sell-outs on the other two. The Club Pass also sold out in March before a lineup was even announced.
This year, a record 1500-plus submissions were received from artists who wanted to perform at the festival. Artist submissions for next year's festival will be accepted in EPK format only this fall. Dates will be announced on rochesterjazz.com.
Next year's festival will be held a week later, from June 22-30, which will be more in sync with the Canadian festival tour. That will provide for more opportunities for booking artists and will also be better for students, who will be out of school.
One new free stage was added this year, the Xerox/RG&E Tent and the Chestnut Street free stage was moved slightly to accommodate more people. Attendance on the festival's last night was estimated at 45,000. It was the biggest night for major free shows on outdoor stages.
Our footprint is great," noted Nugent. Each year we look at small tweaks but our growth will be incremental. Quality and substance of the music is most important."
For the first time at the festival, Nugent, an accomplished tenor saxophonist who has performed around the world and recorded several albums, headlined a special Producer's Concert, John Nugent with Strings in Eastman Theatre at Kodak Hall. The concert of love songs was filmed by WXXI along with five festival concerts at Kilbourn Hall for distribution later this year on PBS stations around the country.
The festival continued its support financially and with opportunities to perform for the next generation of musicians. The annual Kid's Jam Session, led by Eastman School's Bob Sneider, was extremely well attended and attracted a high caliber of talented young musicians. Three students were awarded Rochester International Jazz Festival / Eastman School of Music Scholarships to attend Eastman. Since the festival began, 28 scholarships have been awarded. Several youth ensembles from Eastman School's Community education division were given the opportunity to perform, as were 22 regional high school jazz bands.
Stay tuned for updates on next year's festival at rochesterjazz.com and follow the festival on Facebook and Twitter.About the Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival (XRIJF)
The Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival presented by M&T Bank was founded in 2002 and is produced by John Nugent, Artistic Director and Marc Iacona, Executive Director. The 2011 Festival drew more than 182,000 music lovers to hear some of the finest artists in the world perform. Attendance was up 20,000 over the previous year, setting the ninth straight attendance record.