Jazz Fest musical instrument drive returns for the 13th year

The 19th edition of the CGI Rochester International Jazz Festival kicks off on June 17th and a longstanding donation drive is back with it.

M&T Bank and the Rochester Education Foundation (REF) are once again teaming up to collect musical instruments for local students during the festival for the 13th year.

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There will be an M&T booth at the festival that will serve as a drop-off site for musical instruments and to raise awareness for REF’s year-found efforts to super Rochester City School District students.

Throughout Jazz Fest, the donation booth will be open from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. to gather instruments. It will be located inside the merchandise tent at Parcel 5 in downtown Rochester.

REF accepts instruments for students of all ages and skill levels and accepts everything from recorders to string instruments, brass, woodwind, and percussion instruments.

Officials say the greatest need is for trumpets, alto saxophones, and orchestral strings like violins, violas, and cellos. They say music supplies, like stands, amps, sound equipment, guitar strings, and drum sticks are also welcome and appreciated.

“After two challenging years, the return of the Jazz Festival is a moment to celebrate and an opportunity to join together again to uplift our community. I believe our city cares so deeply about the arts because so many of us have enjoyed opportunities to explore our own talents in music and other art forms. That’s something every student deserves and our community should generously support,” said M&T Bank Rochester Regional President Dan Burns. “I’m grateful for REF’s incredible work in leading this drive and helping local children access educational opportunities. If you have an unused instrument at home, please give it new life and help us put it in the hands of a child in need.”

“REF is grateful to M&T Bank for its generous support of our Music and Arts for All program. Because of M&T Bank’s annual donation of its booth at the Jazz Festival, as well as the wonderful M&T volunteers that help staff it, REF has collected instruments from hundreds of festivalgoers. These instruments have meant so much to the students who were able to experience the joy of learning to play an instrument,” said REF Executive Director Amy Stein.

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