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Jazz in the City delivers crucial health services to urban Syracuse

Summer concert fairs offer testing, screenings, services, information, and education

Syracuse NY – Syracuse’s urban neighborhoods continue to face public health challenges. Multiple indicators are chronically among the highest in the nation and communication with isolated residents is difficult.

In response to this acute need, Syracuse Community Health and CNY Jazz continue to pursue their innovative partnership to provide equity and access to family health services using the arts as a mobile platform, CNY Jazz in the City.

A robust family of health and human service agencies travels with the music series as a “Healthcare Village” led by SCH medical professions providing access to mobile testing, screening, counseling, personal physicians, and more, incentivized with NYS Lottery scratch-offs. Many other agencies, volunteer health efforts, advocacy groups, minority crafts and ethnic food vendors provide a “concert fair” vibe to every event.

New this year is the inclusion of the LeadSafe CNY Coalition to the village, a major new partner adding their presence to provide face-to-face education and awareness information to children and families. Kinney Drugs comes aboard to emphasize their vaccination services, and On Point for College joins to provide counseling on making college, training, and careers possible. Other agencies and sponsors include Community Bank, Wegmans, Dunk & Bright, Syracuse Police Department, New York Offices of Mental Health and People with Developmental Disabilities, Onondaga County Health Department, Syracuse Orthopedic Specialists, YMCA Health, Vera House, Geddes Federal Savings & Loan, Circare, CSEA, Health Education Network, Health Foundation of Western and Central New York, Tops, AMR, Syracuse Housing Authority, CNY Arts, and Onondaga County. Important support at the state level is supplied by Senator Rachel May and Assemblymembers Al Stirpe and Pam Hunter.

Syracuse Community Health COO Jessica Yoxall mentioned, “We are pleased to partner with CNY Jazz for the Jazz in the City 2024 Public Health Festival Concert Series. This partnership provides a platform for our community to access vital health information with a focus on eliminating health disparities, while enjoying local vendors and community talent. Through collaboration with CNY Jazz and other community-based organizations, we highlight the importance of preventative care and screenings to promote positive health outcomes. By increasing awareness and expanding health education, we together, can achieve health equity and enhance the quality of care in Onondaga County.”

Mayor Ben Walsh said, “Jazz in the City brings together the best of our neighborhoods, music and culture, all through the goal of creating healthy connections. I look forward to seeing our neighborhood parks and public spaces buzzing with friends, families and music throughout the summer, and I thank Syracuse Community Health and CNY Jazz for continuing to forge a healthy, happy Syracuse.”

Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon said, “Onondaga County is proud to once again partner for another season of Jazz in the City. This 20th season will undoubtedly be the best yet!” McMahon continued, “Not only does this family, friendly event bring the best jazz, R&B, Funk, soul and Latin music to neighborhoods throughout the city, it also offers valuable health, information, tools, consults and screenings thanks to our partners at Syracuse community health. I encourage everyone this summer to enjoy the Jazz in the City series!”

Senator Rachel May, a major supporter of the series, said “Jazz in the City has become a cherished tradition, uniting our community with fantastic music for two decades. This event brings lively entertainment to our neighborhoods and, through its Healthcare Village, offers residents essential health and wellness resources. It’s a great opportunity to enjoy the smooth sounds of jazz while accessing support for your well-being. Congratulations to Jazz in the City on 20 remarkable years, and here’s to many more to come.”

Assemblymember Pam Hunter commented, “Celebrating its 20th year of programing, Jazz in the City 2024, sponsored in part by the New York State Assembly, will feature six exciting events this summer, bringing Jazz, R&B, Funk, Soul, and Latin music to neighborhoods across Syracuse and Onondaga County. Alongside exceptional music, attendees can enjoy great food, family-friendly fun, and access to valuable health information and screenings provided by a growing Healthcare Village. Don’t miss these free, community-centered events that have become a staple of summer in Syracuse.”

According to Assemblyman Al Stirpe, “As a Central New Yorker, I am thrilled to celebrate the 20th season of Jazz in the City 2024. This series, which our Assembly proudly sponsors, will host six fantastic events throughout the summer, showcasing the best in Jazz, R&B, Funk, Soul, and Latin music in the neighborhoods of Syracuse and Onondaga County. Beyond music, the event offers health information, tools, consultations, and screenings, thanks to Syracuse Community Health and local providers. Jazz in the City remains a beloved community series, open to the public with free admission, bringing together families for music, food, and fun.”

United Way LeadSafe CNY Director Latoya Jones said, “In 2022, the percentage of children with elevated blood levels in Syracuse was 11.18%. Lead poisoning severely affects the brain’s learning systems and is connected to low literacy rates. This is an urban crisis of astounding proportions. We’re excited to be providing education, awareness, and safety strategies at Jazz in the City events,  right in the neighborhoods that need it most.”

 “Community Bank is proud to sponsor the 20th season of the Jazz in the City festival concert series,” Regional Retail Banking Manager Robert Liedka said. “Public health is the cornerstone of a healthy, thriving community. We’re honored to help support our local public health initiatives to ensure that everyone in the Syracuse community has the tools and opportunity to lead a healthy, fulfilling life.”

“My thanks go out to the dedicated family of concerned stakeholders that come together to put this effort over the top, all of our sponsors, village members, and the Syracuse Police Department, over and over, for more than twenty years”, said Larry Luttinger, organizer of the series. “It’s an honor to lead this effort for Dr. Reid, his staff, and everyone else who contributes. This is Syracuse’s all-hands-on-deck, move the needle effort to provide public service equity to its residents in need. And need I say that at its core is an incredible concert series showcasing the best national, regional, and community talent?”

Every three-hour concert features opening acts drawn from local urban music and dance organizations including 1Accord Line Dance, La Familia de la Salsa, C-Jack Run Showcase, and the Adanfo Ensemble, followed by main attractions featuring iconic regional groups and the best urban contemporary jazz artists in the nation.

Iconic regional funk and soul groups Atlas and The BlackLites appear perennially, Albany’s Alex Torres y su Orquesta will again serenade the Near West Side with salsa, Peter Lin’s AAPI (Asian American Pacific Islander) Jazz Collective will serve the international North Side, Smooth Jazz Billboard chart-topper Double Bass Experience will perform at the new health center, and the contemporary jazz double bill of Art Sherrod Jr. and Lin Rountree conclude the series in Thornden Park.

All events are free and open to the public. No alcohol is served.

Jazz in the City Concert Schedule

All events are Thursday 6 to 9 p.m.

June 13 at Leavenworth Park: ATLAS with 1Accord Line Dance

June 20 at Skiddy Park: Alex Torres y su Orquesta with La Familia de la Salsa

July 11 at Syracuse Community Health: Double Bass Experience with C-Jack Run Showcase

July 18 at Schiller Park: AAPI Jazz Collective with Adanfo Ensemble

August 8 at Dunk & Bright: The BlackLites with 1Accord Line Dance

August 15 at Thornden Park: Art Sherrod Jr. and Lin Rountree with 1Accord Line Dance