Area Activity Guide: Jazz Fest 2019

Rochester, Get Ready to Rock!

Can you believe it? The music of Jazz Fest 2019 is about to begin! Be part of the world-famous Rochester tradition starting this weekend! The 18th Annual Rochester International Jazz Festival takes place from June 21st to June 29th. The Jazz Fest is one of the largest and most sensational attractions of the summer held in downtown Rochester’s East End Cultural district. It’s a nine-day festival presenting more than 1,500 incredible artists from around the world. With over 320 shows at more than 20 venues, the genres represented extend far beyond the confines of traditional jazz. The venues range from elegant concert halls to intimate clubs and vibrant outdoor stages. Each offers a comfortable and unique setting in which to appreciate the many genres of improvised jazz music. Because all of the venues are so close together, walking to everything is easy! Park once and then settle in for more than a week of music, vendors, and neighborhood fun.

Free & Fabulous

You don’t have to buy an all-access pass to explore this entertainment extravaganza. In addition to the headliners and Club Pass Series (“a value pass to discovery”) of 220+ shows, there are more than 100 free shows and activities, including workshops for music students and nightly jam sessions. These sessions are unpredictable, and unsung musicians often electrify the room along with well-known favorites. Gibbs Street and part of Main street will once again become “Jazz Street,” featuring a free stage and a two-story vending tent. A second free, outdoor stage can be found at East Avenue and Chestnut Street over both weekends of Jazz Fest. The Rochester Public Library will host a series of noon concerts, called The Jazz Starts Here, at the Central Library (115 South Ave), with a show every day during the festival.

Please note that many side streets will be closed off during Jazz Fest. To find out more details about the festival, including the full line up of performers, street closures, and the new free shuttle service, visit