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Jazz in the City Serves Urban Neighborhoods in August

Steve Becker
Premier Promotions

Jazz in the City Serves Urban Neighborhoods in August
Molina Healthcare Village Expands

Syracuse NY – During the month of August, five Syracuse neighborhoods will again ring with the sounds of music provided by the Jazz in the City urban outreach concert series. Events are scheduled every Thursday evening in each quadrant of the city, with a new fifth location on the Near North Side at the Bleu Chick restaurant. Each concert will be augmented by the presence of a still-growing family of health service providers, who will dispense vital information and offer screenings. Led by Molina Healthcare for the second year, they include ACR Health, The Prevention Network, AMR, the Syracuse Community Health Center, and new sponsors Cancer Connects and Berkshire Farm Center & Services for Youth. A mix of national, regional and youth artists will perform, and local minority vendors will display their wares. The La Liga Youth Volunteer Corps will assist at all the events, giving work experience and adult responsibilities to neighborhood youth at risk.

Since the focus of Jazz in the City is in the neighborhoods of Syracuse, the City of Syracuse has been a key supporter of this urban outreach concert series. “Jazz in the City is one of the best representations of all that our city has to offer. It highlights some of our local businesses, talented musicians, and unique neighborhoods,” said Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh. “Beyond the music, it also supports important outreach by connecting our community members to healthcare resources and services.”

The ongoing goals of this program are to reconnect urban residents to their culture, bring diverse groups from the suburbs and the neighborhoods together, and provide educational, social and cultural benefits to youth and residents. According to CNY Jazz Executive Director Larry Luttinger, “We’ve been putting feet on the most challenging streets in America with this program for eighteen years now, through thick and thin, and I’m extremely pleased that the series is holding its own, due to our loyal sponsors and visionary new investors. I’m ever so thankful that our County Executive Joanie Mahoney has now directed key funding to this series, making it possible to continue to serve five neighborhoods and business corridors in the city.

County Executive Joanie Mahoney said, “The success of Jazz in the City is a testament to the rich and diverse culture we have in our community. Onondaga County is proud to invest in this festival to ensure it continues for everyone to enjoy.”

“Jazz in the City is a model of civic co-operation that’s admirable,” said Larry Luttinger, organizer of the series. “Molina Healthcare of New York continues their major investment by using our cultural platform to help them bring much needed health and human service information to the poorest urban neighborhoods in the country. Assembly Member Pam Hunter provides long-term support from the state. A big shout out to Chief Frank Fowler, who provides coverage throughout the series. Syracuse couldn’t ask for more from such committed urban stakeholders as all of our sponsors, city and county government working together, and our dedicated front-line health care agencies.”

Additional returning sponsors who keep making the series possible are Dunk & Bright, Le Moyne College, Attilio’s Restaurant, new sponsor Regency Tower, Strada Mia 313, CSEA Local 1000, IBEW Local 43, and the Red Mill Inn.

“We are always excited to be a part of this year’s Jazz in the City festivities as the main sponsor of the Health Services Village,” said Rita Paniagua, community engagement manager for Molina Healthcare of New York. “Connecting the community with much needed health and human services is part of the Molina mission, and we’re happy to partner with like-minded organizations that work to strengthen and support those in need.”

Said Helen Hudson, President of the Syracuse Common Council, “Jazz in the City is a prime example of how communities can benefit by experiencing talented artists in urban venues that are comfortable, surrounded by neighbors and visitors. I urge you to attend these fine events, that demonstrate to all Syracusans that Jazz in the City is a unique vehicle for peace and unity.”

Said Luttinger of this year’s lineup, “There will be a new look and a new vibe for two of the events this year. We’re moving our traditional Attilio’s concert to their new North Side location at Lodi and James, and we’ll be spotlighting the new Bleu Chick restaurant with an event in the 300 block of North Salina Street.”

The series kicks off with an extended event at Dunk & Bright on South Salina Street, with a performance by the classic soul and Motown group known for their frequent local festival appearances, Trumptight315.

The following week, the series moves to the West side for a concert at Strada Mia 313, at the corner of Geddes Street and Park Ave. Park Avenue will be closed, and the restaurant will offer outdoor and indoor dining. Althea Rene, the first female flutist to chart at #1 on the Billboard jazz charts, brings a band led by returning guitar virtuoso JJ Sansaverino, and Ronnie Leigh will entertain in Strada Mia before and after the concert.

The next installment in the series takes place at Regency Tower, the new location of Attilio’s restaurant. Outdoor and indoor dining will again be available at Attilio’s. The nine-piece funky horn band Atlas, closing in on forty years of service entertaining audiences across upstate New York, will preside for this occasion, and Ronnie Lee will again provide bookend music inside the restaurant.

The new edition of the series is next, in the 300 block of North Salina Street, across from the new Bleu Chick restaurant, which will be serving their menu of Southern-inspired small plates. The cozy new venue is the brainchild of partners Joe Bryant, former Syracuse Parks Commissioner Baye Muhammad, and Zheadrick Barbra. The funk and soul juggernaut The BlackLites will perform, and once again Ronnie Leigh will entertain before and after the concert.

The series will conclude on the east side of Syracuse with a celebration at Le Moyne Plaza, the three million dollar investment that Le Moyne College made for the surrounding Fayette-Salt Springs neighborhood. SIRSY, the nationally touring rock and soul duo, will provide their hard-hitting sounds for community and campus alike. Games, prizes, and a silent disco will be featured at this extended finale event.

Lawn chairs are suggested for all those attending. No alcohol is served at Jazz in the City events, except in nearby restaurants. All details may be found at

For artist interviews, contact Larry Luttinger at 315-479-5299

August 2nd – Trumptight315
Dunk & Bright, 2648 S Salina St, Syracuse, NY 13205

August 9th – Althea Rene and JJ Sansaverino
Strada Mia, 313 N Geddes St, Syracuse 13204

August 16th – Atlas
Regency Tower, 770 James St, Syracuse 13203

August 23rd – The BlackLites
Bleu Chick Restaurant, 317 N Salina St, Syracuse 13203

August 30th – SIRSY
Le Moyne Plaza, 1135 Salt Springs Rd, Syracuse 13224

All events are free and open to the public. To arrange artist interviews, call Larry Luttinger 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, Jazz@SITRUS, Scholastic Jazz Jams, Jazz at the Plaza, Parties at the Plaza, Jazz at the Cavalier, Northeast Jazz & Wine Festival, Stage of Nations ECOfest, Jazz Vespers Series, Jazz On Tap, SummerJazz Workshop, Jazz in the City, Black History Month Cabaret, Stan Colella Parks and Recreation All-Stars, and events year round in their Jazz Central theater.