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Free headliner shows highlight return of Jazz Festival

Free headliner shows highlight return of Jazz Festival

Spyro Gyra will perform during one of the nightly free headliner shows on downtown stages at this year’s CGI Rochester International Jazz Festival (provided photo).

Chris Botti, Tommy Emmanuel, Robin Thicke, Spyro Gyra and Wynonna Judd are among the free headliner acts set to perform at the 19th CGI Rochester International Jazz Festival.

Called off the past two years because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Jazz Fest returns to downtown for a nine-day run June 17-25.

Other free headliner shows include the Devon Allman Project + special guests Dirty Dozen Brass Band & Samantha Fish “Allman Family Revival,” Sheila E., Booker T Presents: A Soul Stax Revue, New Power Generation, G Love & Special Sauce and The Bacon Brothers.

Organizers are using some of the federal funding obtained in the Small Business Adminstration’s Shuttered Venues Grant program to provide the free headliner shows, which will take place rain or shine.

There are 325 shows involving more than 1,750 artists on the schedule, including a Fest-record 130 free shows and events across 20 venues.

The headliner shows will be presented on two outdoor stages, Midtown Stage at Parcel 5 and Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Park. Parcel 5 will host three free shows each night while there will be two free shows at the park on June 24 and 25.

“We’re incredibly proud to announce a lineup that cumulatively rivals any festival we have put together in our 19-year history,” Marc Iacona, producer and executive director of the Jazz Festival, said in a news release. “We thank everyone for their unwavering support throughout this unprecedented time. Because of you, the Rochester International Jazz Festival continues to be one of our nation’s finest creative music festivals.”

The Club Pass series will include Emmaline, Samara Joy, Tivon Pennicott Quartet, Ravi Coltrane, Big Lazy, Itamar Borochov, Ranky Tanky, Adam Melcher, Champian Fulton Trio. Giveton Gelin, Immanuel Wilkins Quartet, Dan Wilson Quartet, Sarah McKenzie, Helen Sung Trio, Robin McKelle, Connie Han, Lioness and Sunna Gunnlaugs Trio.

Club Passes are now on sale on the festival website and provide access to 196 shows at 11 venues. A three-day pass is $200 (price includes a $6 service charge). Nine-day passes are $260. Passes are sharable and may be transferred.

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