WXXI Contact: Kristin Tutino, WXXI, (585) 258-0253

For Immediate Release


(Rochester, New York) April 1, 2014 – Jazz lovers across the country will enjoy a front row seat to one of the most popular and respected jazz festivals in U.S. when WXXI presents its six-part series, Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival, Season 5, Sunday, April 20 at 7 p.m. on WXXI-TV. Shot last summer in high-definition at the Kilbourn Hall at the Eastman School of Music (ESM) in Rochester, New York, the series features performances by the Louis Armstrong Society Jazz Band, Dr. Lonnie Smith Trio, Gretchen Parlato, Ravi Coltrane Quartet, and 2014 Grammy award-winner Gregory Porter.

Since 2006 WXXI has been capturing the sights and sounds of this annual nine-day festival that has grown to more than 300 concerts in 19 venues. Over the last six years, more than three million viewers across the country have watched the series on 569 PBS stations. It has aired in 49 states, including major markets like New York, Boston, San Francisco, Minneapolis, and Chicago.

Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival invites viewers into the beautiful, historic Kilbourn Hall to witness an intimate concert with each of the five artists. Weaved in with the concert footage are interviews with the musicians, which offer a glimpse into their musical lives and their love of jazz. A sixth episode, Best of Fest, includes past festival performers Kenny Barron, Regina Carter, Curtis Stigers, Grace Kelly, and John Nugent with Strings.

Episode descriptions and airs dates: 

Gregory Porter, airing Sunday, April 20 at 7 p.m.
During this episode of the Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival Grammy winning vocalist Gregory Porter shows why NPR Music calls him “The next great male jazz singer.”

Louis Armstrong Society Jazz Band, airing Sunday, May 4 at 7 p.m. 
In this episode of the Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival the Louis Armstrong Society Jazz Band celebrates the New Orleans heritage of jazz music and one of the most notable and influential individuals of the genre: Louis Armstrong.

Gretchen Parlato, airing Sunday, May 11 at 7 p.m.
Award-winning jazz and world music vocalist Gretchen Parlato is featured in this episode of the Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival.  Her performance shows why she was voted the #1 Female Vocalist in 2011 by the JazzTimes Critics Poll.  This episode also features an exclusive interview with the artist.

Ravi Coltrane Quartet, airing Sunday, May 18 at 7 p.m.
Saxophonist Ravi Coltrane is featured in this episode of the Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival.  The son of saxophonist John Coltrane and jazz pianist Alice Coltrane, Ravi has been praised for his music's "elusive beauty" (DownBeat), and for his "style informed by tradition, but not encumbered by it" (Philadelphia City Paper).  This episode also features an exclusive interview with the artist.

Dr. Lonnie Smith Trio, airing Sunday, May 25 at 7 p.m.
Dr. Lonnie Smith is featured in this episode of the Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival.  Dr. Lonnie Smith has been a master of the Hammond B-3 organ for over five decades.  He has been featured on over seventy albums, and has recorded and performed with a virtual “Who’s Who” of the greatest jazz, blues and R&B giants in the industry.  This episode also features an exclusive interview with the artist.

Best of Fest, airdate TBA
This episode is a “best of” from performances captured over the previous four seasons of the Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival.  Artists include Kenny Barron, Regina Carter, Grace Kelly, and Curtis Stigers.

Founded in 2002 by John Nugent and Marc Iacona, the Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival is held every June in Rochester, New York – home of the Eastman School of Music, the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, Garth Fagan Dance and the George Eastman House International Museum of Photography and Film. From legendary performers and familiar favorites – to rising stars and new discoveries – the festival navigates all genres of creative improvised music from all corners of the world.

The Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival Series is produced by WXXI Public Broadcasting and distributed nationally by American Public Television. The series is underwritten by The Louis S. and Molly B. Wolk Foundation. For more information, visit WXXI.org/jazz or aptonline.org.


WXXI Public Broadcasting Council is an award-winning broadcast family of services dedicated to meeting the lifelong educational needs of its viewers. WXXI operates WXXI-TV/HD, two additional digital TV channels, and an array of radio services which include an NPR station, a full-time classical music station, and a radio reading service for the visually impaired. WXXI’s national productions include a series on wine and food, plus programs that explore arts, culture and history such as Restoring a Masterpiece: The Renovation of the Eastman Theatre, and Mount Hope Cemetary. WXXI also produces Assignment: The World, the nation’s longest-running instructional TV program. WXXI launched the national health series Second Opinion in 2004.

American Public Television (APT) has been a leading distributor of high-quality, top-rated programming to America’s public television stations since 1961. In 2010, APT distributed nearly half of the top 100 highest-rated public television titles. Among its 300 new titles per year are prominent documentaries, news and current affairs programs, dramatic series, how-to programs, children’s series, and classic movies. APT also licenses programs internationally through its APT Worldwide service. In 2006, APT launched Create®— the TV channel featuring the best of public television’s lifestyle programming. APT is also a partner in the WORLD channel expansion project.


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