Live Music and Nightlife
Rochester’s best music listings are published by City Newspaper (585/244-3329), a free alternative weekly. One of the biggest and most active music clubs in the city is the Water Street Music Hall (204 N. Water St., 585/325-5600). Regional and national acts play blues, rock, funk, and industrial.
The Milestones Music Room (50 East Ave., 585/325-6490) brings in regional and occasionally national acts playing acoustic, blues, alternative, rock, and pop. The California Brew Haus (402 W. Ridge Rd., 585/621-1480) presents a good dose of Southern rock.
The Rochester International Jazz Festival (Downtown Rochester, www.rochesterjazz.com) is a massive event each June, held over nine days featuring 280 concerts and 1,500 performers in more than a dozen different venues, all within walking distance of Downtown’s East End Cultural District. Options to attend include 50–60 free performances, 40 headliner shows ($20–25), and over 180 club pass concerts ($135–150 club pass lanyard allows first-come, first-served admission). Park at the East End Garage (475 Main St. East, Rochester, 585/325-7860 open at 5:00 p.m. daily, $2 per car,) within walking distance to the various venues.
Rochester’s only resident professional theater, the GeVa Theatre (75 Woodbury Blvd., at Clinton Ave., 585/232-4382) stages nine productions annually. It’s housed in a historic brick-and-limestone building that was once the Naval Armory. The Downstairs Cabaret Theatre (20 Windsor St., 585/325-4370) produces popular comedies and musicals.
The Rochester Broadway Theatre League (885 Main St. E., 585/325-7760) presents touring Broadway shows and concerts, while the Rochester Contemporary (137 East Ave., 585/461-2222) is the place to go for performance art and avant-garde theater.
The renowned Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra (585/454-5000) performs at the Eastman Theatre October–May. One of the world’s premier music schools, the Eastman School of Music (26 Gibbs St., 585/274-1100) stages over 700 performances annually by students, faculty, and guest artists. The Hochstein Music School Auditorium (50 N. Plymouth Ave., 585/454-4596) hosts the Rochester Chamber Orchestra, the Borinquen Dance Theatre, and classical music concerts.
© Avalon Travel and Sascha Zuger from Moon New York State, 5th Edition