Rochester, NY, January 31, 2007 — Get ready Baltimore! The nation’s newest major jazz festival, PAETEC Jazz, is coming your way, promising to heat up the music scene this summer for three music-packed days August 9-11.
Festival officials announced the new event at a news conference this morning at Baltimore’s City Hall hosted by new Mayor Sheila Dixon.
“Considering the enduring history that jazz has in Baltimore, this is indeed a great day for the City,” said Mayor Sheila Dixon. “I’m proud to partner with the PAETEC Jazz Festival’s producers, John Nugent and Marc Iacona, and commend Arunas Chesonis of PAETEC, Inc. for helping showcase Baltimore through this great new event. We’re inviting jazz lovers from around the globe to experience a musical encounter unlike anything that’s ever happened in Baltimore. From Billie Holliday to Cab Calloway, jazz has set the musical tone for Baltimore for decades and the PAETEC Jazz Festival gives us yet another opportunity to highlight the offerings of our world class city.”
PAETEC Jazz Festival Baltimore, will be held in multiple indoor venues and outdoor stages set against the impressive backdrop of Baltimore’s Inner Harbor and downtown area. A diverse program of more than 40 concerts will embrace all genres of creative improvised music and feature Grammy-winning headliners as well as some of the world’s finest emerging artists. Venues confirmed to date include Pier 6 and Power Plant Live! The complete artist lineup, schedule, and ticket sale information will be announced in May.
PAETEC Jazz Festival Baltimore was conceived by PAETEC Communications, Inc., Chairman and CEO Arunas A. Chesonis, the Baltimore-born entrepreneur whose telecommunications and information technology company has achieved remarkable growth since it was founded in 1998. PAETEC is headquartered in Rochester, NY, and has offices from coast to coast including in Baltimore and nearby Washington DC.
To produce PAETEC Jazz Festival Baltimore, Chesonis, 44, has tapped the rising star festival producer team of John Nugent and Marc Iacona, who have carefully nurtured two growing and highly successful festivals. The Rochester International Jazz Festival, now in its sixth year and attracting record audiences topping 80,000 in 2006, and the Stockholm Jazz Festival, now entering its 24th year, drawing more than 50,000 music fans, have brought significant positive recognition and economic impact to the host communities.
“Baltimore has always been an important market for PAETEC as well as being the home of one of the most beautiful waterfronts in the nation,” said Chesonis. “We’re honored to be a part of what should become an anticipated cultural event in Baltimore, and I personally look forward to hearing some amazing music while enjoying what this city has to offer.”
“We are very excited to bring PAETEC Jazz to the great city of Baltimore,” said Marc Iacona, Co-producer and Executive Director. “John and I are extremely impressed with Arunas’s vision and leadership in helping establish this important new event. Baltimore is a thriving urban center, alive with activity, and will be a spectacular setting for our diverse festival lineup. We look forward to delivering a top level event that will also have a positive economic impact on the region.”
Artistic Director John Nugent said, “Having produced festivals in different parts of the world, my focus and my joy is in putting together talent - creating a musical painting that meshes new musical ideas from emerging artists with music that is familiar and loved. That is what helps build a festival atmosphere that is electrifying. We have been fortunate to create that in Rochester and Stockholm, and now look forward to accomplishing the same high-level quality event for Baltimore. There is so much talent and so many broad creative styles of creative improvised music to choose from. When our new festival canvas comes together in Baltimore, it will be special.“