Guide to the Fest

May 23, 2019

CGI Rochester International Jazz Festival 18th Edition  Starts in 4 Weeks!

Here's our Annual Guide to Getting Around the Fest

The 18th Edition of the CGI Rochester International Jazz Festival starts in just four weeks on Friday June 21. As one of the world's top jazz festivals, this year's Festival will present more than 320 shows in 20 diverse venues all within walking distance over nine days.

From legendary performers and familiar favorites to rising stars and new discoveries, the Festival navigates all genres of creative improvised music from all corners of the world. More than 208,000 people attended the 2018 Festival.

To help you make the most of your festival experience here's our annual guide to getting around the fest.

When is the 2019 Festival?

  • The 9-day festival will be held Friday, June 21 through Saturday, June 29.
  • First shows start at 3:45 p.m. and continue through 11 p.m.

Who is Playing

1500+ artists from around the world
320+ shows
Including a record 100+ free shows
Presented in three Series: Free Shows. Headliner Shows & Club Pass Series

Ticketed Headliner Shows – All shows at 8 PM. Get tickets at
Steve Gadd Band (June 21)
Patti LaBelle (June 22)
Marc Cohn and the Blind Boys of Alabama (June 25)
Jeff Goldblum & the Mildred Snitzer Orchestra (June 26)
George Benson (June 27)
Steve Miller Band + Marty Stuart & His Fabulous Superlatives (June 28)

Free Headliner Shows – No tickets required. All shows rain or shine.
The Legendary Downchild Blues Band 50th Anniversary Tour featuring Dan Aykroyd (June 21)
Southside Johnny & The Asbury Jukes (June 22)
The Allman Betts Band (June 28)
Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue, returning to the Festival for their seventh appearance (June 29)

Club Pass Series Shows
The Club Pass Series presents 220+ shows at 12 indoor Club Pass venues presenting legendary artists and rising stars from all over the world.
Club Pass Series lineup

100+ Free Shows!
Venues and schedules are listed below.

Two International Series – Made in the UK and Nordic & Euro Jazz Now
Part of the Club Pass Series showcasing leading artists from England, Scotland, Sweden, France, Finland, Norway, Germany, and Netherlands.
Made in the UK is now in its 12th year and Nordic & Euro Jazz Now is in its 13th year at the Festival.

Official Nightly Jam Sessions
Jazz never sleeps! Nightly Official Jams at the Hyatt Regency Rochester start at 10:30 p.m. and are led by Bob Sneider and Karl Stabnau. You never know who will show up to play!
Food and beverages available.
Free, no cover charge.
Free parking in the South Avenue Garage from 10:30 p.m. to 2 a.m. courtesy of the City of Rochester. Tickets validated at the jams.

Where is the Festival?

Shows are held at 20 diverse venues, including outdoor stages, all within walking distance in Rochester, NY's East End Cultural and Entertainment District. Rochester is located on Lake Ontario and the Genesee River and is just a few minutes from the the historic Erie Canal and a short drive to the Finger Lakes region.
Outdoor & Free Stage Venues
  • City of Rochester Jazz Sreet Stage Presented by the Community Foundation (June 21 to 29), Shows from 3:45 to 9 PM daily. Varies by day, See schedule.
  • City of Rochester Chestnut St. Stage Presented by Wegmans (June 21). Shows at 7 & 9 PM. Schedule
  • City of Rochester Chestnut St. Stage Presented by Rochester Regional Health (June 22). Shows at 7 & 9 PM. Schedule
  • City of Rochester Midtown Stage (Parcel 5) Presented by Rochester Regional Health (June 28, June 29). Shows at 7 & 9 PM Schedule
  • Avangrid / RGE / Barclay Damon Fusion Stage (June 23 to 29). Shows at 7 & 9 PM. Schedule
  • Central Library of Monroe and Rochester (June 24 to 28). Shows at 12 noon. Schedule
Ticketed Headliner Shows Venue
  • All ticketed headliner shows are held at Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre, 26 Gibbs St., Rochester, NY.
  • Box Office & Will Call open at 7 PM
  • Doors open at 7:15 PM.
  • See Schedule
Club Pass Venues
Doors open 30 minutes prior to each show. Shows sell out. Get in line early. All seating is first-come first-served. Club Pass or $30 / $35 cash at the door. No advance sales.



3-day & 9-Day Passes - Value Pass for unlimited access to Club Pass Series shows. May be transferred and shared. Good at all 12 Club Pass Venues. Come and bog from shows as you like. Save off individual entry fees. Not valid for headliners shows.
3-day ($194 + $6 service charge)
9-day ($254 + $6 service charge)
Exchange Club Pass Tickets for Passes - Starting Monday June 17th
  • Redeem your ticket for your Club Pass & lanyard at the Jazz Festival Ticket Shop at 100 East Ave. at the corner of East and Gibbs starting Monday June 17, noon to 5 p.m. and during the Festival from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m.
  • Or exchange at the McCarthy Merchandise Tent on Jazz Street June 21, 22, & 23 from 4 to 10 p.m.
  • No photos or names are on any Passes.
  • Write your name and cell number on your Club Pass so that in then event it is lost, you can be notified.
  • Pick up a Program Guide and Brochure with your Pass.
Headliner Tickets
  • Buy online at Prices vary.
  • Buy on the RIJF App.
  • Order by phone at 585-454-2060.
  • Buy at the Ticket Shop, 100 East Ave. June 3 to June 20 from 12 noon to 5 p.m. (M - F); June 21 - 29 (10 a.m. to 11 p.m.).
  • Buy at the door if still available. Box Office at Eastman Theater opens at 7:00 p.m. on concert nights.
Free Shows
No tickets are required. Just show up and enjoy the music! All shows go on rain or shine.
Save Time in Line Wristbands
At Max & Kilbourn (early shows), and Geva (both shows, both theatres), we offer a wristband system to save patrons time spent in line and more time to enjoy other shows and activities around the Festival. See Info

More Highlights!

  • 5 Free Jazz Workshops for music students of all ages, Monday June 24 to Friday June 28 from 1 to 2:30 p.m. The workshops are instructed by visiting festival artists and led by Bob Sneider. Ray Wright Room at the Eastman School of Music. Sponsored by Wegmans. Schedule
  • Rochester International Jazz Festival / Eastman School Jazz Scholarship Concert & Presentation - Approximately $500,000 in scholarships have been awarded to 40 students studying at Eastman School of Music since 2002. This year's free Scholarship Concert & 2019 Award Presentation is Monday, June 24 with the Eastman Jazz Ensemble directed by Bill Dobbins with Dave Glasser.
  • Come out to hear the hundreds of talented young musicians from more than 20 area schools and the Eastman School's community music program who will perform at the festival on the City of Rochester Jazz Street Stage Presented by The Community Foundation.
  • Donate Unused Musical Instruments - Share the joy of music! If you have a new or used musical instrument or accessories you no longer need, please bring them to the Festival at the McCarthy Merchandise Tent where M&T Bank has donated its booth to Rochester Education Foundation to collect instruments for city school students. More Info

Travel/ Parking/ Street Closings/ Getting Around the Fest