The sounds of jazz, a little bit of country and even some rock-n-roll will be heard all over downtown Rochester. Friday is opening night for the 12th Edition of the Xerox International Jazz Festival.
The jazz festival will have more than 1200 artists from 17 countries performing at 19 different venues for nine days downtown. Local high school bands, Rochester Jazz names and some national headliners Willie Nelson and Peter Frampton will be performing.
Organizers say there will be more than 300 shows including 81 free performances.
For the first time, there is a free bus shuttle service. Simcona Electronics and Horizon Club Tours have put together a fleet of busses with continuous round trip service from 5:00 p.m. to midnight, making stops every 15 minutes. Last pick-up is at 11:30 p.m.
"We have some cross over music to bring the people down for free entertainment and if you wander into the clubs, you will hear different genres from the jazz music scene and you will hear people will walk out and say, ' I didn't think I liked jazz, I have never heard it performed this way. Then to go and buy a CD and then they are hooked," said Marc Iacona, Jazz Festival Executive Producer and President of Simcona.
Last year, more than 187,000 people attended. The festival runs through next Saturday, June 29th.