GENEVA, N.Y. (WROC) — A new music festival is coming to our area: The Scott LaFaro Geneva Jazz Festival. It starts Thrusday, March 23 and runs through Tuesday, March 28, and festival passes can be found here.

The festival was created to “prepare” the City of Geneva for the arrival of Christian McBride and “New Jawn.” McBride is the world’s foremost jazz bass player, and an ambassador of the American art form worldwide.

The Smith Opera House produces the “New Jawn” show on March 28, and tickets can be found here.

While it leads up to one show with a bassist leader, the festival was named for another, Scott LaFaro. Geneva’s native son picked up the bass in his teens, but his unique voice would land him a gig with Bill Evans and his trio.

LaFaro’s innovative and inspirational playing can be heard on some of the well-renowned albums in jazz, most notably with Evans, in live recordings at the Village Vanguard.

LaFaro died at the age of 25 in a car crash in 1961.

Producers of the festival, Janelle Bradshaw and Michael Gonzalez, say the festival takes his name to honor LaFaro, and the local talent that is in Geneva.

“We have a sense of the musicians that are available regionally, and locally, the unsung heroes of our region that we want to illuminate, their skill and their prowess on the instrument,” Gonzalez said.

One goal of the festival is to showcase that talent, but also show that in jazz, there is something for everyone.

“We want to help dispel that notion that jazz is snobbery or elitism, and there is very accessible jazz for people that like all types of music,” Gonzalez continued.

Bradshaw adds that Geneva’s central local makes it ideal for music lovers across the state to attend. Not only will there be great jazz, but attendees can take in the local flavor of the city, and their venue partners.

“90 days ago we put together this festival, which now represents over 20 musical artists, playing at 6 different music venues,” she said. “We think this is the best place to be, equidistant from Rochester, Syracuse, [and] Ithaca.”

Festival highlights:

Full schedule can be found here


  • 4:00PM – Geneva Jazz Fest Kick-off Reception @ Finger Lakes Live Events
  • 6:00PM – Geneva All-stars Sextet (led by Prime Time Funk member Jimmy Richmond) @ Finger Lakes Live Events
  • 9:00PM – FLIMA Open Jazz Jam with Gonzo @ Finger Lakes Live Events


  • 4:00-7:00PM – Rick Hoyt Trio @ Lake Drum Brewing
  • 5:00-800PM – DeWayne Perry & Friends @ The Linden Social Club
  • 5:30-800PM – Matrix Duo @ Brewery Ardennes
  • 7:00-10:00PM – Bobby Henrie Quartet feat. Mike Kaupa @ Finger Lakes Live Events


  • 2:00-5:00PM – The Pickle Mafia @ Finger Lakes Live Events
  • 4:00-7:00PM – Ben Miller Trio @ Lake Drum Brewing
  • 5:30-8:00PM – Bob Sneider Duo @ Brewery Ardennes
  • 5:00-8:00PM – Hanna PK Trio @ The Linden Social Club
  • 7:00-10:00PM – Jimmie Highsmith Jr. @ Finger Lakes Live Events
  • 10:00PM – Open Jazz Jam @ The Linden Social Club


  • 11:00-2:00PM – Paradigm Shift (jazz brunch) @ The Linden Social Club
  • 12:00-3:00PM – Swordfish Duo (jazz brunch) @ Brewery Ardennes
  • 2:00-5:00PM – Nancy Kelly Quartet @ Finger Lakes Live Events
  • 6:00-9:00PM – Craig Snyder Trio @ Finger Lakes Live Events
  • 9:00PM – FLIMA Open Jazz Jam @ Finger Lakes Live Events


  • 4:30 Meet & Greet with Steve Davis @ Ventosa Vineyards **
  • 6:00PM Dinner show with Steve Davis Quintet @ Ventosa Vineyards *


  • 4:00 – 7:00 p.m.- The Gonztet @ The Hideout


  • FLX Live Events – 427 Exchange Street
  • The Linden Social Club – 12 Linden Street
  • Lake Drum Brewing – 16 E. Castle Street
  • Brewery Adrennes – 570 Snell Road
  • Ventosa Vineyards – 3440 State Route 96A
  • Empire Coffee & Donuts – 590 Pre-Emption Road
  • The Hideout – 38 Seneca Street