CGI Communications becomes new sponsor for Rochester Intl. Jazz Festival

(Provided photo)

Rochester, N.Y. - There will be a new sponsor for next year's Rochester International Jazz Festival.

CGI Communications is teaming up with the Rochester International Jazz Festival for 2019. The president of the company, Bob Bartosiewicz tells 13WHAM CGI will be the festival's title sponsor for the next three years.

"It was a good fit for us. We're trying to promote downtown," Bartosiewicz told 13WHAM.

The music will be the same, but the name has now changed. The name of the festival will been known as the CGI Rochester International Jazz Festival Presented by M&T Bank.

“The jazz festival has grown over the past 18 years, and I think CGI has grown too,” Bartosiewicz said. “We’ve grown from 35 employees downtown to well over 300."

Since 2009, Xerox was the sponsor, but its contract expired after this year's festival.

“We know Xerox has had some challenges over the last year, and it was going through a transition,” said Mayor Lovely Warren.

Marc Iacona, festival co-producer and executive director, said, "We thank the Xerox team for 10 years of outstanding partnership and are grateful for all their support that engaged our fans and enhanced the festival’s mission in countless ways."

CGI specializes in digital marketing across the country. The 30-year-old company currently sponsors the Party in the Park concert series, but nothing as big as the Jazz Festival.

Bartosiewicz said he's up for the challenge.

“I’m excited about downtown Rochester,” he said. “This is a good happening for downtown. We were a very strong company, financially, and we got great employees. That’s what it’s all about.”

Mayor Warren said CGI’s leadership in the community will translate well for the festival.

“We have a partnership with CGI with Party in the Park, and they did a fantastic job with working with one of our sponsors,” she said. “We’re thankful they’re going to be the title sponsor for the Jazz Festival.”

Headquartered in downtown Rochester with offices across the U.S., the company’s CEO said it’s committed to the city.

“This was something that was, frankly, a no-brainer,” Bartosiewicz said. “CGI really, conceptually, is all tied to the downtown resurgence. We know the Jazz Fest is all about downtown, so it was a perfect opportunity for us.”

The festival finished its 2018 run with a record attendance of 208,000 people.

Planning is already underway for the 18th annual festival, which will be held June 21-29, 2019. The full 2019 lineup will be announced in March 2019. Club passes will go on sale in October of this year.

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