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CNY Jazz Black History Cabaret expands to two shows


CONTACT: Larry Luttinger
441 E. Washington St.
Syracuse, NY 13202

CNY Jazz Black History Cabaret expands to two shows
Rasheada Caldwell, Jimmy Oliver to receive Pioneer Public Service Award

Syracuse NY – On Sunday February 27th, the CNY Jazz Black History Month Cabaret will enliven the posh surroundings of the Marriott Syracuse Downtown’s Finger Lakes Ballroom with a 2 p.m. matinee and a 6 p.m. evening show. National artists Althea Rene and JJ Sansaverino will perform. Rasheada Caldwell, Common Council-at-Large and Coordinator of Youth Community Planning and Development for the Allyn Family Foundation, and Jimmy Oliver, the first Director of Community Engagement for the Syracuse Police and former Deputy Parks Commissioner, will be honored with the 2022 Pioneer Public Service Award. $40 advance sale tickets include a free buffet and are now available at

Brackens Financial Solutions Network, LLC sponsors the event for the 14th year, with additional support from National Grid, Wegmans, WAER, UAW Region 9-NY, and Visions Federal Credit Union. CNY Jazz supporters Bill and Nancy Byrne have again graciously underwritten the buffet for the event, offered at no extra cost to all attendees.

The twin presentations are offered to ensure the comfort and safety of the audience, which will be capped at 200 per show. As a result, tickets are available in advance only. Tables will be distanced, and proof of full vaccination or a recent negative PCR test within 72 hours will be required at entry. For those who may become unable to attend on short notice, a “virtual guarantee” in the form of a link for a 6 p.m. online showing is included. Virtual tickets will also be available for 6 p.m. home viewing.

This year’s guest artist is Althea Rene, Detroit-born flutist, fronting a band led by JJ Sansaverino, veteran of the smooth jazz touring scene. They last performed together in Syracuse for a CNY Jazz in the City concert in 2018. Rene is a Motown music legacy, daughter of Dezie McCullers, who played trumpet and saxophone for the original Funk Brothers, the group that played for many Motown groups from the late 1950s through the 1970s. Classically trained at Howard University, her career took a unique direction for the more than 10 years she was employed as a Wayne County Sheriff in Detroit, while continuing to play in the local jazz scene. Today, she is a full-time performing/recording artist with eight album releases who is a regular on the jazz festival circuit worldwide. She is a groundbreaker in the music industry as well. In May 2013, the title track of her fifth album “In the Flow” reached the top ranking on both the Billboard Jazz Chart and the Smooth Jazz Chart. With this, she became the first female flutist in Billboard history to reach the number one spot. She will front a band led by guitarist JJ Sansaverino, a leader in his own right, with his own Billboard #1 hit, “Style and Elegance”, and one of four highly acclaimed albums. His style has been called “Benson meets Santana” and his credits include Maceo Parker, Victor Bailey, Gerald Albright, Randy Brecker, Shaggy, Rick Braun, the Marley Family, and others. He also performed for Sir Paul McCartney’s wedding in 2002.

“I think we’ve come up with a great event model this year, resilient under any conditions,”, said Larry Luttinger, event organizer and founder of CNY Jazz. “Normally, this event is packed shoulder to shoulder, and we realize that some may be uncomfortable in that situation. There are more choices than ever before, and there’s not only a virtual guarantee of a link, but a virtual ticket purchase option as well for home viewing and out of towners. We owe our supporters no less than this dedication to safety.”

Paid garage parking is available in the garage directly to the southeast of the hotel. Patrons are cautioned that the former Hotel Syracuse garage no longer connects to the hotel via the overhead walkway.

What: Black History Month Cabaret with Althea Rene and JJ Sansaverino
Where: Marriott Syracuse Downtown, 100 E Onondaga St, Syracuse, NY 13202
When: Sunday February 27th, shows at 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. with virtual guarantee and option
Tickets: Admission $40 in advance only at or 315-479-5299. Cash Bar & Free Buffet


Althea Rene