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What's new at the Jazz Festival

by Kelsie Smith

Rochester, N.Y. - The 13th annual Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival kicked off Friday. It's a festival that attracts people from over 25 different states and 1,500 performers from around the world.

"Playing at this venue has been unbelievable," said Noah Richelsen, a senior in the Canandaigua High School Jazz Band.

"We've been looking forward to it all year it's such a great place to come," said fellow senior and band mate Bill Colmerauer.

It's a festival where something new is around almost every corner.

There's Squeezers Stage at the Inn on Broadway, a new venue sponsored by the DiMarco family, named after Rochester's original Jazz Club in the 40s and 50s.

There's also an "I love New York" tent with local flair and a great view.

"I think it just seems to get bigger, we just do things that are different," said Marc Iacona, Executive Director and Co-producer of the festival.

Wegmans has a veg lounge this year with a phone charging station and a viewing gallery of painting of Lou Gramm.

And Saturday at 9pm during Lou Gramm's performance on the East Ave and Chestnut stage world renowned painter Eric Waugh will paint a mural on stage that will be on display in the Veg Lounge for the rest of the festival.

"We just want people to leave anticipating next year," said Iacona.

But it's this year and this moment that will stay with the seniors of the Canandaigua High School Jazz Band and their director, Tom Davis, as they perform one last time together before graduation and retirement.

"We couldn't ask as a better experience with this band," said Richelsen. "I've changed as a person as a musician in every way possible for the past 4 years playing under his direction."

 

 
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