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Jazz Fest producers preparing for 2022 edition

Planning for the CGI Rochester International Jazz Festival is underway, with plans to hold the popular event in June 2022.

Following a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic, festival producers John Nugent and Mark Iacona have been working continuously and collaborating with colleagues in the music and entertainment industry globally to ensure that the festival’s return will be one to remember, officials said.

“We are extremely excited to bring the Festival back to Downtown Rochester,” said Nugent, who also serves as the event’s artistic director. “It has been a stressful two years of scheduling, postponing, rescheduling and postponing again and again. Finally, though, on June 17, 2022, our much-anticipated 19th edition will open.”

The full lineup and complete festival details will be announced at an annual media event on March 15, 2022.

“Postponing our Jazz Festival for two years in a row has left a void for all of us,” said Executive Director Iacona. “We can look forward once again to hearing vibrant music from around the world in June in downtown Rochester.”

Booking is underway for the 2022 Club Pass Series, giving the right of first refusal to artists originally booked for the 19th Edition. The 2022 Club Pass Series will feature 219 sets of music at 12 venues in downtown Rochester including the Bethel Church, Hatch Hall, the Hyatt Regency Ballroom, Kilbourn Hall, the Little Theatre, the Lutheran Church of the Reformation, Max of Eastman Place, Montage Music Hall, Temple Theater, Theater at Innovation Square, Rochester Regional Health Big Tent and the Wilder Room. Several venues will be new in 2022.

Patrons who hold club pass series tickets for the pandemic-postponed 19th edition do not need to do anything as their tickets are automatically valid for the 2022 festival or 2023 festival if they are unable to attend in 2022. As in prior years, club pass tickets may be redeemed for passes at the ticket shop. Hours and dates for the shop will be announced closer to the festival.

Nearly all of the club pass ticket holders kept their tickets for the 2022 festival, so festival producers will not put club passes on sale until spring 2022, and quantities will be limited.

[email protected] / 585-653-4021
Follow Velvet Spicer on Twitter: @Velvet_Spicer

Producers forge ahead on October Jazz Festival

The producers of the annual CGI Rochester International Jazz Festival continue to make plans for a rescheduled show, the duo said Monday.

“This is a message of hope,” said RIJF producers Marc Iacona and John Nugent in a festival update this week. “Music is the soul of all humanity and we all crave the spirit of creative improvised music now more than ever. This has been a trying time for festivals and live events, including RIJF as we have been forced to make painful decisions to either cancel or postpone our events and see a domino effect of financial and emotional burdens, and in some cases devastation.”

Iacona and Nugent said they are continuing to forge ahead to reschedule the popular event for Oct. 2 through Oct. 10 this year.

“These plans are fully predicated on being able to gather safely according to recommendations of our health and government officials,” they said. “If we are able to proceed with our plans, we will follow all guidelines as specified by our health and government officials. We will also take additional precautions to provide our patrons with masks and hand sanitizer.”

As expected, there are four headliner shows that are unable to reschedule for the new dates: Nile Rodgers and CHIC; Wynonna and the Big Noise; Trombone Shorty; and Garth Fagan Dance and Monty Alexander due to artist and/or venue unavailability.

The producers will contact ticket holders for the canceled Eastman Theatre headliner shows directly to find out refund preferences, which include either a full refund or an RIJF credit for the full ticket purchase price toward a future festival headliner ticket, club pass or merchandise purchase in 2021 or 2022.

“This will be a big help to assure the future of the festival following the losses we will be sustaining this year due to these unexpected turn of events,” Nugent and Iacona said.

Club Passes will be good at the postponed festival in October, or for the 20th Anniversary Festival in 2021 or at the 2022 festival.

[email protected] / 585-653-4021
Follow Velvet Spicer on Twitter: @Velvet_Spicer

Jazz fest passes go on sale Friday; all are shareable this year

Jazz Fest fans will be able to freely swap their club passes this year, and a few venues are swapping in and out, too.

Co-Producers John Nugent and Marc Iacona released an announcement on Tuesday saying that club passes for the CGI Rochester International Jazz Fest will go on sale for the 2019 festival at 10 a.m. Friday.

They also announced what’s in, what’s out and what’s in play in terms of venues; Xerox Auditorium, for instance, is in limbo because the building is for sale. The Little Theatre will take a pass this year because of ongoing renovations.

Two venues leaving the festival are the Harro East Ballroom, and Anthology. In their place will be Geva Theatre Center and the M&T Bank Pavilion.

Iacona said Geva will host two Jazz Fests shows for all nine nights of the festival.

The new M&T Bank Pavilion will accommodate 1000 patrons for 21 Club Pass shows,” Iacona said. “We will be announcing the location for this new venue very soon, so stay tuned.”

Nine-day passes will allow patrons their choice of 220 ticketed shows. A three-day pass is also available for any three days that the owner chooses to use it. Seats at the club shows are first-come, first-served and tickets can also be purchased for individual shows. 

“Based on the popularity and demand for the Shareable Club Pass that we introduced last year, this year all passes will be fully shareable and transferable,” said Nugent. Ticket holders will no longer need to take photos for their passes, which Nugent said would simplify the process of exchanging a paid voucher for the physical pass.

“The individual ticket cost for two shows a day for nine days would be almost $600 so the pass offers big savings,” Nugent pointed out. Pass prices are at their lowest ($200 for the nine-day ticket and a processing fee) until Dec. 31. Prices go up a second time after March 31 if tickets haven’t sold out by then.

In addition to the shows in the club venues, the festival typically offers more than 90 free shows, workshops for students, a series of tickets shows by headliners at the Eastman Theatre. The headliners haven’t been announced yet and usually are announced as soon as contracts are finalized.  

Since the festival began in 2002, its attendance numbers have risen from 15,000 the inaugural year to 208,000 in 2018.

Club passes can be purchased online or over the phone at (585) 454-2060.

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