Record attendance at the Rochester International Jazz Festival

By: Tonya

Image1This past Saturday wrapped up the eighth annual Rochester International Jazz Festival.  A nine-day music event that featured such headliners as: Smokey Robinson, SMV, Jake Shimabukuro, Carolyn Wonderland, the Dave Brubeck Quartet, Michael McDonald, Taj Mahal, and the Susan Tedeschi Band.  An estimated 133,000 people attended over the nine days, exceeding last year's 125,000 attendees.

I had the good fortune of attending Friday night's Taj Mahal and Susan Tedeschi Band performance at a sold out Eastman Theatre.  It was an incredible evening of jazz and blues.  Mayor Bob Duffy kicked off the evening by introducing Susan Tedeschi, a Grammy-nominated blues and soul artist, who amazed with her powerful voice and fearless stage presence.  After a brief intermission, Ursula Burns, the new CEO of Xerox Corporation, introduced Taj Mahal, a Grammy-award winning blues musician who has been singing and performing for over 40 years.  He entertained with his guitar and banjo and had the audience shouting and singing out responses such as "uh huh!" 

The hallmark of the festival is the variety and international flavor -  Columbia, Russia, Finland and the UK were just a few of the countries represented at the festival, with musicians coming from all over the world.  Among jazz enthusiasts, the Rochester International Jazz Festival is considered "top-shelf" and a "must-go" for all jazz fans.

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