Janelle Monae, Fourplay, and Michael McDonald Join Headliners

February 25, 2014

ROCHESTER, N.Y. – Producers John Nugent and Marc Iacona today announced three more headliners shows for the Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival 13th Edition, June 20-28. Tickets go on sale Friday, February 28 at 10:00 a.m. at rochesterjazz.com.

• JANELLE MONAE - Friday, June 20

Tickets are $95 boxes / $85 orchestra / $75 mezzanine & loge / $55 balcony

• FOURPLAY (Bob James, Nathan East, Chuck Loeb, Harvey Mason) - Tuesday, June 24

Tickets are $85 boxes / $70 orchestra / $55 mezzanine & loge / $40 balcony

• An Evening with MICHAEL McDONALD - Wednesday, June 25

Tickets are $105 boxes / $95 orchestra / $80 mezzanine and loge / $65 balcony

All performances are at 8:00 p.m. at Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre.

The nine-day Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival will present more than 320 shows at 19 venues with more than 1200 artists from around the world. The annual festival draws more than 195,000 people.


• On sale Friday, February 28 at 10:00 a.m.

• Exclusively at rochesterjazz.com - the fastest way to order!

• Or order by phone, 585-454-2060.

• The service charge/facility fee per headliner ticket is $8 for phone and online e-ticket orders, $10 if tickets are mailed.    

John Nugent, Artistic Director and Producer said, “This year, we will launch another nine days of "community unity" with the powerhouse R&B vocal sensation, Janelle Monae, whose recent "Electric Lady" release features appearances by Prince & Miguel. Her dynamic performances have brought her international recognition and an endless touring schedule around the globe.

“Contemporary jazz super group FOURPLAY makes its XRIJF debut on June 24 with Bob James returning after an amazing performance last year. And festival fan favorite Michael McDonald makes a return after five years (2009) to perform his classic hits made famous during his tenure with The Doobie Brothers and Steely Dan. Indeed, something for everyone!”

The first two headliners announced for the 13th edition were Earth, Wind and Fire, and Steve Martin and The Steep Canyon Rangers featuring Edie Brickell. Both shows, announced on February 4 sold out the day they went on sale, February 7. A second Steve Martin show at 4PM Saturday June 21 was announced on February 18, went on sale February 21, and sold out the same day.

Producers will announce the final headliner at the press conference on March 18 when the complete lineup is revealed.


The popular Club Pass, the exceptional value pass that provides entry to more than 230 shows at 13 venues in the festival's Club Pass Series, is available for $194 plus service until sold out. The service charge is $6, $8 if mailed. Buy online only at rochesterjazz.com. Supply is limited.

The Club Series, free show lineup and final headliner show will be announced March 18.


Janelle Monae - Friday, June 20

At long last, Janelle Monae -- the inimitable, award-winning, songwriter, performer, producer, CoverGirl and avant-garde funkstress -- is back again, ready to release her another full-length "emotion picture" to the masses. But as always, Janelle is not ready to talk about music just yet. She'd rather talk about her past and how those fertile powerful experiences forced her to create her coming album "The Electric Lady."

According to Monae, "I went back to Kansas City after my tour for my debut album 'The ArchAndroid.' And when I looked around me, I decided I wanted to make a raw, revealing album all about my life and the things I'd experienced in my community -- about the laughter in the parks, the jams bumping in the cars, the jokes told over kitchen tables, all the life and warmth and struggles I felt there. But I also wanted to figure out how to take Kansas City to the future...like a surreal Parliament album with lyrics by Octavia Butler and album art by Salvador Dali."

As time passed, Monae found herself increasingly drawn to the stories and experiences of the strong women in her life, and their ability to electrify and inspire individuals to do the right thing. "At some point I realized that the true heart and glue of the community were the women. My mama and grandmamma and my aunties and who to this day, are some of the most powerful beings on the planet. Under their guidance, I went from cleaning houses everyday in my maid outfit to the world-traveling performer I am today. They made me believe in myself enough to move from Kansas and pursue my dreams. A lot of folks think I work hard onstage because of James Brown. But they've never met my mother!"

Fourplay - Tuesday, June 24

Bob James (keyboard), Nathan East (bass), Chuck Loeb (guitar), Harvey Mason (drums)

For two decades, the contemporary jazz quartet known as Fourplay has enjoyed consistent artistic and commercial success by grafting elements of R&B, pop and a variety of other sounds to their unwavering jazz foundations. In the course of a dozen recordings - six of which have climbed to the top of Billboard's Contemporary Jazz Album charts - the supergroup has continued to explore the limitless dimensions and permutations of jazz while at the same time appealing to a broad mainstream audience.

The Fourplay story begins in 1990, with keyboardist Bob James, who had already established himself as a formidable figure in keyboard jazz - not just as an instrumentalist but as a composer and arranger as well - with solo recordings dating as far back as the mid 1960s. In 1990, James reunited with his old friend, session drummer, producer, composer & recording artist Harvey Mason (Herbie Hancock, Barbra Streisand, Notorious B.I.G.), during the recording of James' Grand Piano Canyon album. Also involved in the project were guitarist Lee Ritenour (Sergio Mendes) and bassist/vocalist Nathan East (Barry White, Eric Clapton, Phil Collins).

Bassist Nathan East recently won a GRAMMY for Record of the Year for "Get Lucky" by Daft Punk featuring Pharrell Williams.

Michael McDonald - Wednesday, June 25

A prominent part of the soundtrack to our times, Michael McDonald has been thrilling listeners with his distinctively soulful style for four decades. From "70s-era Doobie Brothers classics such as "What A Fool Believes" and solo hits like "I Keep Forgettin?" through two highly-acclaimed Motown covers albums and recent guest spots with alternative buzz bands Grizzly Bear and Holy Ghost, the five-time Grammy-winning McDonald is that rare thing in contemporary pop music - an artist and songwriter whose work is both timeless and ever-evolving.

Along with his musical contributions, McDonald has long been an active humanitarian. Over the years, he has lent his performing talents to many causes and benefits, including Toys R Us Children’s Fund, MusiCares, the National Council of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse and the 7UP Grammy Signature Schools Program. Most recently, in April 2011, he was part of a star-studded lineup at Kokua For Japan, a concert that raised $1.6 million for tsunami relief.

Yet for all his accomplishments, McDonald has kept a modestly low profile. Shunning theatrics and trend-chasing, he has trusted in the power of his singular voice and a deep catalog of memorable songs to point the way through his long career. Few have made such an impact with so little media hoopla.


For high-resolution photos and complete bios of the artists see: rochesterjazz.com/php/press_room.php


2014 marks the 13th edition of the Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival presented by M&T Bank. The festival was founded in 2002 and is produced by John Nugent, Artistic Director and Marc Iacona, Executive Director. As one of the leading jazz festivals in the USA, the event delivers more than 300 concerts including more than 70 free shows, at 19 venues over nine days. The 2013 Festival drew more than 195,000 music lovers to hear some of the finest artists in the world perform.