For nine days this month, Rochester will host the 13th Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival. The world-renowned festival runs from June 20-28 and will feature over 1,200 artists playing 312 concerts at 19 venues within walking distance in and around the city’s East End cultural district, right in Howe & Rusling’s backyard! Clients and friends are welcome to catch their breath and rest their legs in our office during the festival. It even serves as a green room for performers!

“Jazz Fest” was established in 2002 and has featured legendary performers such as Aretha Franklin, Tony Bennett, James Brown, Al Green, Smokey Robinson, Herbie Hancock, Gladys Knight, Elvis Costello, and Norah Jones. Almost 200,000 people attended last year’s festival, which featured Peter Frampton with Robert Cray and Willie Nelson. This year’s headliners include Buddy Guy, Fourplay, Janelle Monáe, Earth, Wind, & Fire, Michael McDonald, and Steve Martin & the Steep Canyon Rangers featuring Edie Brickell. For McDonald, Martin, and Fourplay member Bob James, this June will mark their second experience headlining Jazz Fest.

Earth, Wind, & Fire
Photo Source: Ticketmaster

People from across the world come to Rochester for the annual event. In a short time, Jazz Fest has become one of the most popular and well-respected musical festivals in the country. Many streets are closed off during the festival, and the city gains a very lively and vibrant feeling, making it a great time to meet up with friends and enjoy Rochester. Gibbs Street becomes Jazz Street and is closed for the duration of the festival. With performances beginning daily at around 3:45 pm and ending about 11:00 pm, Jazz Street is one of the best places to bring the whole family to enjoy the food and free music.

The concerts of the headliner series are held at Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre. These shows require tickets which range from $60-$125. There are also 224 shows in the club pass series.The options for these concerts is to buy a club pass for $194, which grants you access to any club pass series performance, or buy individual tickets for each show at the door for $20 or $25. Headliner tickets and club passes can be purchased online at, at the box office (located at the corner of East Ave. and Gibbs St.), or at the door for Eastman Theatre shows that have not sold out. For those looking to buy individual tickets for club pass series events, there are no advanced sales; it is cash only; and it is first come, first served.

A crowd cheers for Trombone Shorty at Jazz Fest
Photo Source: Democrat & Chronicle

There are also many free opportunities to hear some great music! There are 81 shows on outdoor stages. These shows are free, do not require tickets, and go on rain or shine. Lawn chairs are permitted, and food and beverages are available for purchase. There are also jam sessions that occur every night starting at 10:30 pm at the State St. Bar & Grill at the Rochester Plaza Hotel. These events also have no cover charge and have food and beverages available for sale. Finally, there are many student groups from Eastman and high schools in the area that are invited to play on the Jazz Street stage. This is a great chance to see some of our local talent!

Jazz Fest is a fun and exciting time for the city of Rochester, and a great opportunity to spend quality time with family and friends while enjoying some of the best music in the world. We hope to see you there!

Ticket Shop Hours
Before the Festival
Monday – Friday 10 AM-6 PM
Saturday 12 PM-5 PM
Sunday Closed
During the Festival
Daily 10 AM-11 PM

Street Closings
Gibbs St. (From East Ave to E. Main)
    Mon., June 17 (Midnight) to Mon., July 1 (Midnight)
Chestnut St. (From E. Main to East Ave)
    Fri., June 21 (6 AM) to Sun., June 23 (2 AM)
    Fri., June 28 (6 AM) to Sun., June 30 (2 AM)
East Ave. (From E. Main to Scio) and Chestnut (From Broad to East Ave)
    Fri., June 21 (5 PM-Midnight)
    Sat., June 22 (5 PM-Midnight)
    Fri., June 28 (5 PM-Midnight)
    Sat., June 29 (5 PM-Midnight)
East Ave. (From Prince to Alexander)
    Sat., June 29 (6 AM) to Sun., June 30 (2 AM)
East Ave. (From Alexander to Union) & Alexander (From Charlotte to Park)
    Sat., June 29 (5 PM-Midnight)

Visit for more information.