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Pat Metheny Side-Eye To Headline Opening Night At CGI Rochester International Jazz Festival


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We are extremely proud to present the legendary Pat Metheny for the first time ever at our festival.
—John Nugent and Marc Iacona, Producers
The CGI Rochester International Jazz Festival is proud to present the legendary Pat Metheny on opening night June 23, 2023, at the festival's 20th-anniversary edition June 23 to July 1, 2023, in downtown Rochester, NY. The concert will be held at 8 p.m. at Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre.

Tickets for Pat Metheny Side-Eye are $83 / $73 / $63 / $43 + $7 service charges and are on sale now only at rochesterjazz.com.

Pat Metheny, voted Guitarist of the Year in the 2022 DownBeat Readers Poll and 2022 Favorite Living Guitarist Poll by All About Jazz will be joined by Chris Fishman on piano and keyboards and Joe Dyson on drums.

Pat Metheny first burst onto the international jazz scene in 1974. Over the course of his three-year stint with vibraphone great Gary Burton, the young Missouri native already displayed his soon-to-become trademarked playing style, which blended the loose and flexible articulation customarily reserved for horn players with an advanced rhythmic and harmonic sensibility—a way of playing and improvising that was modern in conception but grounded deeply in the jazz tradition of melody, swing, and the blues. With the release of his first album, Bright Size Life (1975), he reinvented the traditional “jazz guitar" sound for a new generation of players.

Throughout his career, Metheny has continued to redefine the genre by utilizing new technology and constantly working to evolve the improvisational and sonic potential of his instrument. His versatility is nearly without peer on any instrument. Over the years, he has performed with artists as diverse as Steve Reich to Ornette Coleman to Herbie Hancock to Jim Hall to Milton Nascimento to David Bowie. Metheny’s body of work includes compositions for solo guitar, small ensembles, electric and acoustic instruments, large orchestras, and ballet pieces and even the robotic instruments of his Orchestrion project, while always sidestepping the limits of any one genre.

Metheny has also participated in the academic arena as a music educator. At 18, he was the youngest teacher ever at the University of Miami. At 19, he became the youngest teacher ever at the Berklee College of Music, where he also received an honorary doctorate more than twenty years later (1996). He has also taught music workshops all over the world, from the Dutch Royal Conservatory to the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz to clinics in Asia and South America. A true musical pioneer in the realm of electronic music, he was one of the very first jazz musicians to treat the synthesizer as a serious musical instrument. Years before the invention of MIDI technology, Metheny was using the Synclavier as a composing tool. He also has been instrumental in the development of several new kinds of guitars. Read more.

About Side-Eye

Pat Metheny is launching a new playing environment called “Side-Eye” for this upcoming season. Pat explains “I wanted to create an ongoing setting to feature a rotating cast of new and upcoming musicians who have particularly caught my interest along the way. From my earliest days in Kansas City onward, I was the beneficiary of so many older musicians giving me a platform to develop my thing through the prism of their experience and the particular demands of what their music implied. I have been feeling like I wanted to have a specific platform to focus on some of the many younger musicians I have enjoyed recently who I have felt some kind of a kinship with. I hear regularly from new players on the scene who have professed an influence from my records and tunes and I often invite them up to my house to play. Very often, it is really natural and organic to the music to play with them, they have literally grown up with it. I find myself inspired by how they deal with the musical challenges that come with the territory of some of those older tunes, and at the same time I find myself intrigued with the possibilities of what might be possible in writing new music just for them. This band setting is what that will be all about.”

About The CGI Rochester International Jazz Festival

The CGI Rochester International Jazz Festival (RIJF) is one of the world’s leading jazz festivals. Founded in 2002, the multi-dimensional nine-day festival is held annually in downtown Rochester, NY, draws more than 210,000 people. It presents more than 1750 artists from around the world in more than 300 shows at 20 venues. 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. RIJF is produced by RIJF, LLC, a privately held company owned by John Nugent and Marc Iacona. Nugent, Producer and Artistic Director, is a noted tenor saxophonist, who has traveled the world with many jazz artists including Tony Bennett, Ella Fitzgerald, Rosemary Clooney, The Woody Herman Orchestra and The Vanguard Jazz Orchestra. Marc Iacona, Producer and Executive Director, is a Rochester native and President of Simcona Electronics. A business and community leader, he is an avid trumpeter and supporter of the arts.

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