City Set to Vote on Funding Rochester International Jazz Festival | News

Rochester City Council is due to vote this month on funding $243,000 for the CGI Rochester International Jazz Festival.

The endowment would be consistent with what the city has given to the Jazz Festival each year since 2015, with exceptions for the past two years. In 2020 the Council approved the funding but the festival was canceled and the money was never released to the festival. Last year, Board members did not vote on funding because festival organizers announced plans to move it to the RIT campus in Henrietta; they ultimately scrapped the event.

In November, organizers announced the festival was back for 2022, though a pandemic clouded its future.

“We’re all hoping for things to get back to normal,” co-promoter John Nugent said in a November interview with CITY. “I can’t tell you what’s going to happen over the next six months in terms of what’s in the air and how far it’s spreading. I am not a scientist. Everyone in the entertainment industry is going through the exact same thing. And the agents try to place their tours, the artists want to get back to work.

The Rochester International Jazz Festival began in 2002 and has become a staple event in downtown Rochester. The festival typically attracts over 200,000 people over the course of nine days and features around 350 performances at 20 venues.

The Jazz Festival also receives more support from the city than other festivals in Rochester. In 2021, the KeyBank Rochester Fringe Festival received $75,000 from the city, while Roc Holiday Village received $55,000 – each received a $30,000 raise from the previous year.

Rochester City Council is due to vote on funding for Jazz Fest at its regular monthly meeting on Feb. 15.

Gino Fanelli is a staff writer at CITY. He can be reached at (585) 775-9692 or [email protected]

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Willie J. Johnson