Jazz phenom and TikTok sensation to headline Rochester jazz festival

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Icelandic-Chinese jazz vocalist Laufey is set to headline the Rochester International Jazz Festival in 2024.

At 24, Laufey's meteoric rise in the jazz scene, fueled by a massive social media following, is awakening a whole new audience to the subtle and nuanced beauty of jazz vocals. Her music coupled with her adept use of social media – she has three million TikTok followers - merge past and present.

Her second album was released this month, and Vogue magazine writes of her, "Laufey’s nostalgic sound combined with her off-hand phrasing gives her a charming frisson."


Laufey's 2024 tour is traveling internationally and has already sold out many European venues.

Her 2024 North American performances include historic venues like Radio City Music Hall in New York City and Ryman Auditorium in Nashville. She is scheduled to perform at the jazz festival on June 26.

Samara Joy, Lee Ritenour also headlining Rochester jazz fest

Samara Joy sang to a full house at Kilbourn Hall.
Samara Joy sang to a full house at Kilbourn Hall.

The jazz festival also features Grammy-winning artist Samara Joy and guitarist Lee Ritenour as headliners.

Joy, also 24, known for her crystalline vocals reminiscent of jazz legends like Ella Fitzgerald and Sarah Vaughan, will make her third consecutive appearance at the festival and her first as a headliner on June 28.

Ritenour, with a musical career spanning five decades, will perform on June 22, showcasing his versatility across traditional jazz, fusion, and various genres.

Lee Ritenour
Lee Ritenour

He will be joined by saxophonist Bill Evans, known for his collaborations with Miles Davis, and trumpeter Randy Brecker, recognized for his studio sessions with artists like Bruce Springsteen and Parliament-Funkadelic.

Rochester jazz fest tickets

Rochester jazz fest tickets for Laufey's Rochester Jazz Festival show go on sale at 10 a.m. on Dec. 15, while tickets for Joy and Ritenour are already available. Festival-goers can purchase tickets and club passes at rochesterjazz.com, with each show starting at 8 p.m. at Kodak Hall.

The festival runs from June 21 to June 29.

— Gary Craig is a veteran reporter with the Democrat and Chronicle, covering courts and crime and more. You can reach Craig at gcraig@rocheste.gannett.com. He is the author of two books, including "Seven Million: A Cop, a Priest, a Soldier for the IRA, and the Still-Unsolved Rochester Brink's Heist."

This article originally appeared on Rochester Democrat and Chronicle: Laufey to headline Rochester jazz fest in 2024