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2018 Jazz Festival

Follow our coverage of the 2018 Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival. We'll have reviews and interviews by Arts & Culture Contributor Jeff Spevak, see performances you missed with videographer Martin Kaufman, and immerse yourself in sights from the festival with photographer Fred SanFilipo. 

Fred SanFilipo / WXXI

It was a hot final night of the 2018 Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival with Matt Wilson's Honey & Salt Band, Sultans of String, and Tower of Power closing out the festival. Check out photos from Fred SanFilipo recapping the final night of the festival on our Flickr page.

Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival

Nine days, could you handle any more? C’mon tough guy, get off the street and get to that 10 o’clock show.

Who’s willing to play through the pain at the Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival? How about that guy who had the Jill Scott tattoo on his arm. Friday night at Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre, he got the singer to sign below her smiling face after her show. By Saturday morning he was at the tattoo shop, making her autograph permanent.

Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival

Fifty years. Tower of Power has been a band seven times longer than The Beatles. It hasn’t been easy, admits founder Emilio Castillo. But here it is, playing the free outdoor show on Saturday, the final night of the Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival. A night that’s traditionally the biggest of the festival’s nine days.

Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival

The headliner had cancelled the tour. St. Germain, a French techno-dance maestro, was out after he broke a leg. Yet Friday night was much as we’ve come to expect on these Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival weekends. On Gibbs Street a tight knot of people watching The Community Soul Project, a Canadian band singing Motown songs. East Avenue and Chestnut Street closed, thousands of people milling about.

Fred SanFilipo / WXXI

Lake Street Dive headlined the seventh day of the 2018 Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival, but artists like Gwyneth Herbert and The Suffers performed also. Check out the photos our photographer, Fred SanFilipo took on Thursday over at our Flickr page.

Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival

Gwyneth Herbert’s beautiful music, humor and humanity peeled away layers of cynicism Thursday at Max of Eastman Place. A packed house, and everyone surely left with the feeling that the world’s weighty problems might be eased with a beer and a kazoo. And by writing a letter, a fading exercise that Herbert suggested might be the answer to: “How can we listen to ourselves and each other?”

Here's a number from the Vincent Herring Quartet from their set at Kilbourn Hall during the 2018 Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival.

Fred SanFilipo / WXXI

Maybe you saw Alison Krauss, Kate McGarry Trio, or Davina and the Vagabonds Wednesday at the 2018 Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival. But if you didn't, you can pretend you were there by checking out the photos from the Jazz Fest taken by our photographer Fred SanFilipo on our Flickr page.

Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival

He had to count it out on his fingers. And it took both hands. Canadian guitarist Kevin Breit has played six of the 17 Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festivals.

And every band has been a different musical idea. Folk Alarm 5, The Sisters Euclid. The Stretch Orchestra. Supergenerous, a collaboration with the Brazilian percussionist Cyro Baptista. Breit is a man whose résumé includes playing on Norah Jones’ first three albums.

Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival

“Songs of Freedom” is entertaining, if that’s what you wanted. Provocative, if that’s what you’re searching for.

The intriguing project at Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival Wednesday night, created by the celebrated drummer Ulysses Owens, Jr., combined the music of three fearless women at Kilbourn Hall: Joni Mitchell, Abbey Lincoln and Nina Simone, who Owens noted, “had freedom lodged in her voice.”

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