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2019 CGI Rochester International Jazz Festival coverage

WXXI News and CITY team up to bring you the most comprehensive coverage of the 2019 CGI Rochester International Jazz Festival. Rochester is jazz central for nine days starting on June 21, and both WXXI and CITY will bring you previews, reviews, photos, video, and more.

Fred SanFilipo / WXXI

Trombone Shorty drew a huge crowd on Saturday night, and performances by Joey DeFrancisco and Acoustic Alchemy dotted the stages of the 2019 CGI Rochester International Jazz Festival's final night. See how the final night performances looked through the lens of WXXI photographer Fred SanFilipo in our Flickr album

Jason Milton / WXXI

With a blast of Trombone Shorty's horn, the Rochester International Jazz Festival roared to a satisfying close Saturday night.

Responding to a final day of gorgeous weather over its nine days, the fest drew an estimated 208,000 people, pretty much matching last year's total. 

This was only the second time in its 18-year history that the fest escaped rain. The only other time that happened was in 2007. So the gods were with us. "I made a few phone calls," festival co-producer John Nugent said.

Daniel J. Kushner / CITY Newspaper

The alchemy began with the opening salvos of Acoustic Alchemy and its powerful performance. The band made wide-sweeping strokes across the canvas. Just when you thought they were going to break free stylistically, they'd pitch an elegant U-turn back to their roots and the thrill at hand. 

Fred SanFilipo / WXXI

Steve Miller Band, along with Suitcase Junket, and Matthew Whitaker were some of the performers that dazzled the crowds on the final Friday of the 2019 CGI Rochester International Jazz Festival. Relive some of Friday night with photos from WXXI photographer Fred SanFilipo in our Flickr album.

Martin Kaufman / WXXI

Minding history

The centuries haven't been kind to humanity. There really isn't a lot we need to relive about the past. Except the music. 

Backed by an acoustic trio of guitar, bass and piano, Rochester International Jazz Festival favorite Catherine Russell overlooked no detail in mining the 1920s, 30s and 40s Friday night at two packed shows at Temple Building Theater. 

Daniel J. Kushner / CITY Newspaper

Attention dear readers: This is Jeff Spevak. Frank offered to mow my lawn for a month if I'd write his blog entry tonight. Besides, how hard can it be? He learned everything from reading me and Raymond Chandler.

Downright sinister

Fred SanFilipo / WXXI

Thursday night at the 2019 CGI Rochester International Jazz Festival was loaded with talent including the George Coleman Quartet, Soul Stew, and DH's Random/Control. Relive all the excitment from Thursday night with photos from WXXI photographer Fred SanFilipo in our Flickr album.

Photo by Josh Saunders

Playing in a band, it's tough work, as Amanda Anne Platt & The Honeycutters made clear in their performance at Geva Theatre Center's Fielding Stage.

Photo by Josh Saunders

Veronica Swift was swift, if you get my drift. She positively slayed the joint with lightning speed and lightning lingual dexterity. In other words: she's fast. If I could sing or talk that fast, I'd certainly win more arguments at home (please, don't tell my wife). 

Katie Epner / WXXI

John Nugent, the CGI Rochester International Jazz Festival's artistic director, typically introduces the Kilbourn Hall concerts, but this time he came out with a saxophone. Nugent choked up as he described hearing George Coleman's solo on "Stella by Starlight" on a Miles Davis album while he was a student at West Texas State University. "And it changed my life," Nugent said.

George Coleman and his quartet got off to a rousing start Thursday evening, with Nugent harmonizing with Coleman on Gene Ammons and Sonny Stitt's classic, "Blues Up and Down." 

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