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CNY Jazz Closes 23rd Season with Dynamic Vocal Duo


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

CNY Jazz Closes 23rd Season with Dynamic Vocal Duo

CNY Jazz concludes their 23nd subscription season on Sunday April 28th at the Sheraton Syracuse University with a return engagement by vocalist, trombonist, bandleader, and educator Ron Wilkins, who will be paired with Syracuse’s treasure Ronnie Leigh in an evening of jazz vocal gymnastics. Nancy Kelly, internationally acclaimed singer, will receive the CNY Jazz Educator of the Year award. Tickets are $35 at the door or $30 in advance at, or by calling 315-479-5299. Students will be admitted for $10 with valid current ID.

An icon on the NYC jazz scene, Ron Wilkins’ uncanny musicianship has led him to perform with the world’s greatest artists – Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin, Rosemary Clooney, Lena Horne, Jerry Lewis, Dizzy Gillespie, and Jimmy Heath among them, and groups such as The Vanguard Jazz Orchestra,
Arturo O’ Farrill and his Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra, The Dizzy Gillespie All-Star Big Band, the Count Basie Orchestra, San Antonio Symphony and Festival Orchestra, Austin Symphony and Austin Pops, Victoria Symphony, Temple Symphony. He and Ronnie Leigh, well-known to local audiences and former member of the Drifters, Atlas and Prime Time Funk, will be backed by an all-star local quartet.

The world-traveled, veteran jazz vocalist and dedicated teacher (and hostess of the Vocal Jazz Jam
and Stars of Tomorrow Cabaret Series) Nancy Kelly, will be honored during the event as the 2019 CNY Jazz Educator of the Year. Nancy studied voice at the Eastman School of Music. Since then she has performed from Singapore to Switzerland, France, and Turkey, Japan and Asia including Hong Kong, Bangkok and Jakarta. Nancy appears regularly in New York City including performances at The Blue Note, Birdland and The Rainbow Room and Dizzy’s Jazz Club at Lincoln Center. A dedicated educator, she maintains a studio of dozens of aspiring vocalists. “It’s been 15 years since Nancy and I started her Jazz Jams and Cabarets here at Jazz Central,” said Larry Luttinger. “In that span she’s coached and showcased almost two hundred jazz and pop vocalists. Nancy pays it forward big time, and it’s about time she was honored for all that she does to bring along the next generation. There is no more dedicated teacher of the jazz voice than Nancy.”

The CNY Jazz Cabarets feature international talent in a club atmosphere, with cash bar and affordable food stations available starting at 4 pm. Two sets are scheduled, at 5 and 6 pm. Sheraton parking garage tickets will be validated, and holders of CNY Jazz Club Discount Cards will receive 10% off food and drink.

Who: Ron Wilkins and Ronnie Leigh
When: Sunday, April 28th 2019 – Doors 4 p.m. Showtime 5 p.m.
Where: Sheraton Syracuse University Grand Ballroom, 801 University Ave, Syracuse, NY
Cost: Tickets $35 door, $30 advance at or 315-479-5299.
$10 w/student with valid current ID at the door

For interviews with Wilkins and Leigh, call CNY Jazz at 315-479-5299


About CNY Jazz

The CNY Jazz Arts Foundation, established in 1996, is the primary year-round provider of jazz presentations for the public and for schools across the entire Upstate New York region. Its growing list of programs includes The CNY Jazz Cabaret Series, Scholastic Jazz Jams and Nancy Kelly Vocal Jazz Jams and Cabarets, Northeast Jazz & Wine Festival, Jazz Vespers Series, SummerJazz Workshop, Jazz in the City, Jazz at the Plaza, Parties in the Plaza, Jazz On Tap, the CNY Jazz Youth Orchestra, Jazz at the Cavalier, and more.

Ron Wilkins & Ronnie Leigh