Day 4 of the Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival: Behind the scenes

It take a huge team, and a lot of different moving parts, to make this event a success. (WHAM photo)

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHAM) - The Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival is in full swing, and given the different acts that come through Rochester every year, there's something different happening behind the scenes every year to run the shows.

It take a huge team, and a lot of different moving parts, to make this event a success.

Technicians and producers manage up to 20 shows a day, and sometimes up 300 musicians, to keep each show going.

Even the veteran production members still can't get enough of the festival, including the music and the lights.

“The newness of it never goes away,” said Debbie Fitzgerald, whose attended the festival since it first started.

The energy of the Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival draws thousands of people every year, as crews behind the scenes monitor every detail.

“It’s a little nerve wracking,” said Ryan Boyce, an audio/video technician. “When it all comes together perfectly, it’s a good feeling.”

Ryan Boyce has been working on the set for the German National Youth Jazz Orchestra at Eastman theater since 3:30 Monday.

He watches for cables getting unplugged, and projector light bulbs burning out, ready to combat any challenge that comes his way.

“I hope everyone comes away with shock and awe," said Boyce. "The beauty of this event is you can inherit all these musical styles and you can really enjoy, it’s a nice event to get out with new styles not just jazz.”

And at the Temple Building, a new stage this year, Karl Stabnua says working with international musicians means wearing many technical hats.

“We’re there so nobody panics," said Stabnua. "We’re all musicians as well and can appreciate the artistic side and get the rest of it taken care of.”

With a mix of possible technical challenges, these crews work to make musicians feel comfortable.

“They feel like they’re appreciated and they have someone to support them and that’s our goal,” said Stabnua. “The mark of doing our jobs right is that the audience doesn’t know anything wrong."

Crews hope to add more visuals to more shows, like at the Eastman.

At the end of the day, however, they say it’s all about getting lost in the moment with good music.

close video ad
Unmutetoggle ad audio on off