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Nile Rodgers, Spyro Gyra and Garth Fagan Dance’s 50th are first three jazz fest shows

CGI Rochester International Jazz Festival
Nile Rodgers is one of the first acts announced for the 19th CGI Rochester International Jazz Festival in June 2020.

Nile Rodgers and Chic, Spyro Gyra, and a celebration of the 50th anniversary of Garth Fagan Dance in Rochester, with jazz pianist Monty Alexander, are the first three shows announced for Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre at the 19th CGI Rochester International Jazz Festival.

Rodgers, a three-time Grammy winner and member of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, is joined by Chic for an 8 p.m. June 26 show.

The guitarist has been at the forefront of funk, jazz, pop and rock. Rodgers and Chic created a handful of giant disco dance-floor hits in the late ’70s with “Le Freak,” “Dance, Dance, Dance” and “Good Times.” 

As disco died, Rodgers moved on to producing some of the biggest acts of the 1980s, including Sister Sledge, David Bowie, Duran Duran, Diana Ross and Madonna. Rodgers has always maintained a sense of where music is at the moment, moving on to rap, film soundtracks, video game soundtracks and the electronic band Daft Punk. He continues to work with top names such as Lady Gaga, and several years ago re-assembled Chic, touring and releasing new music. 

Tickets are $130, $125, $90 and $65, plus service charges.

Fagan, who next year celebrates a half-century of dance since coming to western New York, has built many of his pieces around jazz. For this 8 p.m. June 24 show, he’ll be joined by his friend, Alexander, in a celebration of Garth Fagan Dance.

Tickets are $93, $73, $53 and $33, plus service charges.

Spyro Gyra, which last played the festival in 2003, emerged from Buffalo 45 years ago as a leader in jazz fusion. It plays the Eastman Theatre at 8 p.m. June 23. 

Tickets are $63, $53, $43 and $33, plus service charges.

All three shows go on sale at 10 a.m. Friday at and (585) 454-2060. The three- and nine-day Club Passes, allowing access to 13 venues during the June 19-27 festival, are also on sale.

Jeff Spevak has been a Rochester arts reporter for nearly three decades, with seven first-place finishes in the Associated Press New York State Features Writing Awards while working for the Democrat and Chronicle.