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CNY Jazz artists pay it forward while in Syracuse



Larry Luttinger

441 E. Washington St.

Syracuse NY 13202


CNY Jazz artists pay it forward while in Syracuse

CNY Jazz always gets the most out of the world-renowned artists that they bring to Syracuse to perform. The case in point will happen the day after their Sunday February 23rd Black History Month Cabaret in the historic Marriott Syracuse Downtown.

To extend the cultural impact and reach of their time here, cabaret headliners Gerald Veasley and Jazmin Ghent will provide educational services for area students at two free events on Monday February 24th, sponsored by the Syracuse University Humanities Center and a wide network of academic departments, the Community Folk Arts Center, and the Syracuse Sounds of Music Association.

First, they will speak at a free event at noon on the Syracuse University campus in Bird Library’s Peter Graham Scholarly Commons, where they will reflect on their paths to success in the music industry and the challenges presented by leading careers in music performance, presentation, and education. Their talk will be moderated by Tanisha Jackson, Executive Director of the Community Folk Art Center, and Theo Cateforis, Director of Undergraduate Studies in Fine Arts at S.U.

Monday evening, they will coach a free 7:00 pm music master class and jam session for young musicians of all ages at the Community Folk Art Center, 805 E. Genesee St. All are encouraged to bring their instruments. Attendees for this session must register in advance at or by calling CFAC at 315-442-2230.

For those not yet in the know, Gerald Veasley, musical polymath, is a world-renowned bassist, founder of the international Bass Boot Camp program, musical host of the Berks Jazz Fest, and curator of Philadelphia’s “Unscripted” Jazz Series. He began his international career as bassist for the legendary Joe Zawinul, playing in The Zawinul Syndicate from 1988 to 1995. A successful recording and touring career as leader followed. Among his many musical associations are projects with Odean Pope and Grover Washington, Jr.

Fast-rising female ingenue, saxophonist, vocalist, and educator Jazmin Ghent is a 2019 NAACP Image Award winner for Outstanding Jazz Album who was voted “2017’s Best New Smooth Jazz Artist.” Still in her 20’s, Jazmin already has three Billboard #1 singles to her credit: “Work Wit It,” “Heat,” and “Compared to What.” She has performed at major festivals and venues throughout the country, in Europe, and Australia.  Jazmin received a bachelor’s degree (Mus.Ed.) from Florida State University and a Masters degree from Tennessee State University. 

“I’m especially excited about the community master class at CFAC Monday evening,” said Larry Luttinger, organizer of CNY Jazz. “This is all about paying something forward to aspiring urban youth who don’t get opportunities like this elsewhere. These mentoring sessions may be relatively brief, but they can provide inspiration and excitement that last forever in a young kid’s mind, watershed events that can keep them motivated to continue learning for a lifetime.”

Both events are free and open to the public.

For more information on attending the Sunday February 23rd Black History Month Cabaret, visit