Downtown residents make music of their own at Jazz Fest


The International Jazz Festival brings people to Rochester from all over the world, but it also affects the locals who live downtown.

Midge Thomas is a resident who has used the festival as an opportunity to host musicians and give visitors a different place to listen to music. 

Thomas’ house is right on Liberty Pole Way. She puts out the chairs and tables for guests and holds concerts on the sidewalk with local musicians. She says it’s a different environment for those who want to get away from the crowds. 

“They enjoy the friendless that we provide for the downtown for the visiting and the Rochesterains,” says Thomas. 

Thomas has been hosting musicians in front of her house for the past six years. She typically books a new act for each night of the nine-day festival.  She serves refreshments and food to anyone walking by who wants to stop and listen to music. 

 “It’s nice for the out of town visitors especially the (locals) but sometimes the visitors like to have something different than what the Jazz Festival provides for them,” she adds.

Latriste Fulton performed Saturday night. For her, being able to sing at this sidewalk venue exposes her to more people walking by. 

The opportunity to be able to be seen not just in Rochester, but all over the world, and the artists that come here, the music is wonderful. People are in great moods and the sidewalk fare is everything,” says Fulton. 

Thomas will be hosting musicians every day of the Jazz Festival. She said the first two nights have been fun and a success.

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