Jazz festival: No club pass? No problem

05:00 AM, Jun 20, 2013

Troy 'Trombone Shorty' Andrews will perform a free show on the final day of the Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival, performing at East Avenue and Alexander Street at 9 p.m. on June 29. (Win McNamee / /Getty Images)/


Written By Catherine Roberts | Lead Local Editor/Life

Many will tell you that $194 for a club pass is quite a deal, given all of the high-profile acts at the Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival.

But let’s face it, not everyone has the money for that — nor the time off from work to make a club pass worth the price.

More coverage: Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival ‘13

No worries. There are more opportunities this year than ever to see free acts at the jazz fest.

Of course, at the top of the list are the free street party acts on weekend nights. At 9 p.m. Friday, Dr. John (with opener Josh Panda & the Hot Damned at 7 p.m.) plays the East Avenue and Chestnut Street Stage. Saturday brings the Coupe de Villes at 7 p.m. and Grammy winner Delbert McClinton at 9 p.m.

Next weekend brings Shemekia Copeland at 7 p.m. and the James Hunter 6 at 9 p.m. June 28 to the East Avenue and Chestnut Street Stage. And for the fest’s closing night, June 29, Thunder Body at 7 p.m. and Monty Alexander’s Harlem-Kingston Express at 9 p.m.

Down the road a few blocks at East Avenue and Alexander Street on closing night will be Mingo Fishtrap with its jazz/pop/R&B sound at 7 p.m. June 29, and back to close the show is a Rochester and jazz fest favorite, Trombone Shorty at 9 p.m.

Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre plays host to the Eastman School of Music-Xerox Rochester International Jazz Gerry Niewood Scholarship Concert at 7:30 p.m. Monday, a place to see tomorrow’s stars before they leave their studies to build careers (a $5 donation is suggested).

The Jazz Street Stage on Gibbs Street provides free shows throughout the festival. Kicking off the music each day is a different high school or community youth jazz band. Then the stage plays host to the best of Eastman Community School, Eastman School of Music ensembles and more.

Also, each night at 7 or 7:30 p.m. brings a few established acts to the stage — some of whom are also playing the clubs on other fest dates. (A word to the wise: If you want to sit, come early.)

Opening night on the Jazz Street Stage brings local jazz veteran Gap Mangione and his big band at 7:30 and 9:30 p.m., Saturday brings local native Robin McKelle and the Flytones at 7:30 and 9:30 p.m. Sunday brings the Shuffle Demons at 7:30 and 9:30 p.m. Other highlights: Djabe on June 26, Soul Stew on June 27, and Mingo Fishtrap (the night before its show with Trombone Shorty) on June 28. Dwayne Dopsie and the Zydeco Hellraisers (which play The Montage Music Hall the night before) close the fest on June 29.

Two other venues also bring free local acts. At 7 and 9 p.m. at the RGE-LiDestri Spirit Stage at East Avenue and Chestnut Street, it’s Bill Tiberio on Sunday, Violet Mary Monday, Calle Uno Tuesday and the Jimmie Highsmith Jr. Experience June 26. .

At noon from Monday through June 28 at the downtown library is another concert series: Mike Kaupa on Monday, Nick Finzer on Tuesday, Ted Nicolisi & Shared Genes on Wednesday, Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra trumpeter Herb Smith (who also leads his own jazz band) next Thursday and Karl Stabnau (one of the past winners of the jazz fest Eastman scholarship) on June 28.

For more, go to rochesterjazz.com.