Rochester jazz festival: Trombone Shorty takes stage at Parcel 5 on closing night

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. – Saturday is the final day of the CGI Rochester International Jazz Festival. Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue will close out the free headliner series with a much-anticipated show at Parcel 5 at 9 p.m.

Trombone Shorty, an acclaimed multi-instrumentalist from New Orleans, most recently performed at the Rochester jazz festival in 2019 and drew thousands. He has performed four times at the Grammy Awards, five times at the White House, and on dozens of TV shows. He has also collaborated with legends including Pharrell, Bruno Mars, Mark Ronson, Foo Fighters, ZHU, Zac Brown, Normani, and Ringo Starr.

Trombone Shorty is the last headliner in the nine-day festival that features more than 300 acts across 19 venues, 100 of which are free. There are still plenty of shows to enjoy at the Gibbs Steet Stage, Wegmans Pavilion, Kodak Hall, and other locations.

The final show on Saturday will be a free jam session with Mike Cottone at 10:30 p.m. at the Hyatt Regency Rochester Astor on Main. You can see the full festival lineup and get tickets here.

This year is the 20th anniversary of the festival. Executive Director Marc Iacona says 20 years is something to celebrate.

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“The 20 years is a testament in itself. There aren’t many festivals unique like us — we have a Club Pass series, we have ticketed shows and a large venue, we have free performances outdoor to the community, so the 20 years we’ve built is really a recognition around the world now.”

The festival got funding from the federal government to help out after the pandemic, but this year, there was some concern about getting up and running without that federal help. Iacona says one big sponsor pulled through – Wegmans — and now they’re ready for a fun week.

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The festival does not operate any parking, but there are many surface lots and ramp parking garages nearby, like the East End Garage and Midtown Garage. If you park on the street, keep in mind parking meters are in service from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays. They’re free after 6 p.m., and on weekends.

As for security? “Security is always important to us each and every year, so RPD is involved, security involved, Homeland Security is involved, all different elements of security that kind of surround the festival,” Iacona said.

Festival goers like Kathi Jones-Del Monte said that she has been coming to the jazz festival every year since it began.

“Get downtown right now. Come to the festival. The city comes alive. You’ll see Rochester in a way that you typically don’t see it before, unless you’ve been coming to it every year,” Del-Monte said.

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