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CNY Jazz creates unique youth training orchestra



Larry Luttinger

441 E. Washington St.

Syracuse, NY 13202

CNY Jazz creates unique youth training orchestra

Syracuse NY – CNY Jazz Central has created a unique pre-professional performing ensemble, the CNY Jazz Youth Orchestra, which will perform an inaugural season of five summer concerts throughout the month of July in various locations in Onondaga County. Selected by audition, orchestra members hail from the City of Syracuse Schools, various county school districts, and Onondaga Community College. Their founding Music Director and conductor is Joe Carello, well-known to regional audiences as the former director of the Stan Colella Parks and Recreation All-Stars, saxophone soloist with the CNY Jazz Orchestra, the Syracuse Symphony and Symphoria, college woodwind instructor, and director of the Le Moyne College and O.C.C. jazz ensembles.

The ensemble is unique nationally as a pre-professional apprenticeship program for developing young artists entering the professional job market. Support from the Musicians Performance Trust Fund of the American Federation of Musicians, the Onondaga County Youth Bureau, Plumbers and Steamfitters Local 267, and UAW Region 9 makes it possible for the orchestra to receive prevailing wages for performing five free “Public Service” concerts as youth members of the AFM.

The 17-piece big band, with a featured vocalist, is the ultimate element of the CNY Jazz “Educational Pipeline System.” CNY Jazz identifies young talent by going into schools to present concerts, residencies, and clinics, offers scholarships to the their “SummerJazz Workshop” in residence at the NY State Fair, plus free admission to their Scholastic Jazz Jams, Arts-in-Education shows, residencies, and vocal jazz programs, and selects the cream of the crop to audition for their elite ensembles. As young artists enter the college and professional markets, they supply veteran musicians and the Jazz Central Theater to help them produce their college application performance videos, write letters of recommendation, and counsel families about the best college programs for their children. Its overarching goal is to instill discipline, team building, and leadership skills applicable to life success in young people, regardless of their choice of career.

“This new youth jazz orchestra is unique in that it recognizes the arts as a profession, with an apprenticeship program as a springboard to success,” according to Larry Luttinger, founder of CNY Jazz. “We will always emphasize urban youth at risk and make them a recruiting priority, as we’ve always done with all our programs. But this will be an elite group, open by audition to any young artist under the age of 21 living in Onondaga County. It will instill the professional values of the AFM in these emerging musicians from a young age, values that will last a lifetime.”

CNY Jazz has a strong history of producing positive outcomes and creating success stories for area youth. They provided artistic direction, instruments, music library, and  other support for the predecessor of the youth orchestra, the Parks and Rec All-stars, which produced dozens of national luminaries in music and other professions, including Joe Magnarelli (Harry Connick and Lionel Hampton), Jackiem Joyner (Billboard #1 saxophonist), Bill Billingham (Chicago Lyric Opera),  Tom Brigandi (Chuck Mangione), Wayne Tucker (Taylor Swift, Ne-yo), two Syracuse City Schools band directors and a principal, professors at all three local colleges, and even Terry McAuliffe, former Governor of Virginia.

Charter members of the new orchestra are Seaver Schultz, Marko Suchy, Adam Ball, Richie Leonardo, and Nathan Cattell, saxophones; Nick Tarrats, Tim Frye, and Alex Williams, trumpets; Miles Owens, Wyatt Weldum, Dante Carioti, ad Dan Shaw, trombones; Mike Passarelli, Jr, piano; DeVaughn Jackson, bass; and Marcus Oliver, drums; with Ally Rexine as featured vocalist.

The orchestra will perform five free concerts in the month of July, in high profile settings across the county.

CNY Youth Orchestra Summer Schedule

  • DestiNY Mall Canyon, July 13th, 12:00-1:00 pm
  • Cazenovia Counterpoint, July 13th, St. Peters Church, 4:30-6:00 pm
  • Manlius Ampitheater, July 16th, 7-8:15, rain date July 18th
  • Le Moyne College Coyne Arts Center, Mon July 22, 12:30-1:30 pm
  • Northeast Jazz & Wine Fest, Clinton Square, July 27th, 12:00-1:00 pm

All concerts are free and open to the public. For more information about having the band perform for any function in Syracuse and Onondaga County, contact CNY Jazz at 315-479-5299. #

CNY Jazz Youth Orchestra 2019