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Berkshire Bank Northeast Jazz and Wine Festival returns


Contact: Larry Luttinger

CNY Jazz Arts Foundation

T: (315) 479-5299

C: (315) 436-9082

Berkshire Bank Northeast Jazz and Wine Festival returns

CNY Jazz celebrates third decade of downtown jazz

Syracuse NY – CNY Jazz will celebrate the start of its third decade of serving Syracuse with a top-flight international jazz festival accompanied by fine wines, food, and fun, when the Berkshire Bank Northeast Jazz & Wine Festival holds court in Clinton Square, the heart of downtown Syracuse, on July 29th and 30th.

The two-day event provides the performing arts anchor for the post-pandemic return of Syracuse Artsweek, the “festival of festivals” that stretches from Clinton Square to the Everson Museum, attracting over 66,000 festivalgoers to downtown Syracuse every summer.

The festival re-emerges with a powerful talent lineup, thanks to title sponsor Berkshire Bank and an injection of ARPA funding from the City of Syracuse, as well as strong new support from Assemblyman Al Stirpe and Senator Rachel May. It will again present jazz and a wide array of American music styles on three stages in Clinton Square, as well as new and exciting group of wines provided by sponsor Palm Bay International. Along with acclaimed international and regional acts, the event will also serve as a showcase for the CNY Jazz Youth Orchestra, whose members hail from city and county school districts and area colleges.

“This is the 19th jazz festival we’ve presented downtown in 21 years, and we’re glad to be back to start our third decade of service to downtown Syracuse, given the huge impact the pandemic has had on the arts,” according to organizer and founder of CNY Jazz, Larry Luttinger. “Syracuse doesn’t have to worry about losing any jazz capacity while we’re on watch. We’re here for the long haul, to ensure year-round support for the jazz art form and to help Artsweek continue to grow as a regional cultural tourism magnet. Jazz, and the arts as a whole, are a huge, largely untapped economic driver for our region. We’ve worked hard to fulfill that promise by building an even bigger and better total experience.”

Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh added, “The Jazz & Wine Festival is one of the many great events happening downtown during Artsweek that brings together a diverse group of incredibly talented national and local artists. This festival in July and the Jazz in the City concert series have become staples of the arts scene in our community.”

Assemblyman Al Stirpe commented, “Welcome back to the Northeast Jazz & Wine Fest! After two years off we are excited to continue the tradition of celebrating all that Central New York does best. Thanks to CNY Jazz for providing premier jazz programming in Clinton Square since 2002, bringing the finest musicians to multiple stages. As the Chair of the NYS Small Business committee, it’s great to see the focus on our vibrant wine industry and our local food vendors. This is a tradition for everyone to enjoy.”

Senator Rachel May said, “I am thrilled to be part of making the comeback of the Northeast Jazz and Wine Festival happen here in Clinton Square. It’s been a great start to summer in Syracuse and having this incredible festival occurring will continue the fun and energy. Thanks to CNY Jazz for bringing another great event downtown!”

Jim Morris, New York State President of Berkshire Bank, added “Berkshire Bank is once again thrilled to sponsor the Northeast Jazz and Wine Festival. This Syracuse tradition brings our community together to celebrate and appreciate the music of so many talented artists over two days. We look forward to enjoying this family friendly festival with members of our Central New York community.”

This year’s lineup of artists is proof of the many faces that jazz can take. The main stage opens with the Ricky Alexander Quintet, New York’s finest traditional swing group, followed by Camille Thurman, Wynton Marsalis protegee and powerhouse singer, saxophonist, and flutist, finishing with a closing set by legendary drummer Jerry Marotta and his ”Reelin’ in the Years” Steely Dan tribute. After student and community ensembles play Saturday afternoon, the Lamb, Mack & Sorgen Trio performs from their debut album, then Raul Midon, the musical genius blind from birth, now an international sensation, takes the stage. The festival concludes with a closing dance party led by Syracuse’s most well- known jazz expatriate, Jackiem Joyner. The twin party tent stages in Clinton Square will host a CNY Jazz Alumni Jazz Reunion curated by Nicholas DiMaria; Mike Houston, Sam Wynn and Friends; Sophistafunk, and Grupo Pagan with a special guest appearance by longtime Atlas saxophone alum Jerry More.

Additional corporate sponsors make this year’s festival possible, including Mack Studios, Costello Cooney Fearon PLLC, WAER 88.3, National Grid, Baldwin, Sutphen & Frateschi PLLC, Lockheed Martin Employees Federated Fund, Bond Schoeneck & King, Critical Link, Ra-Lin, Sunny 102, Soul of Syracuse, Cabot Cheese, and DUMAC, as well as annual operating funds from CNY Arts.

The festival’s wide selection of world class wines are again provided by major sponsor Palm Bay International and Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits. Back by popular demand, outstanding wines from Northern Italy are represented by The Cavit Collection’s Cabernet Sauvignon, Moscato, Oak Zero Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, and Pinot Noir. Lunetta Prosecco is this year’s chosen festival sparkling wine, and boutique selections Mon Frere Chardonnay and Pinot Noir and Vanderpump Rose complete the offerings. Premium and craft beers and hard selzers will also be sold. “The jazz and wine lifestyles are the perfect match, and make for the coolest festival of our hot summer,” said Luttinger. “We’ll see you all in Clinton Square for a dynamite jazz festival and a super Artsweek.”

Artsweek in Downtown Syracuse is the city’s “festival of festivals”, designed as a major cultural tourism vehicle showcasing our many downtown cultural assets. Other activities throughout that week include the Countryside Federal Credit Union “Salt City Summerfest”, which will bring live strolling entertainment to all sidewalk and patio dining locations across downtown, the Downtown Committee’s Arts and Crafts Festival, a resurgent Street Painting festival curated by Tommy Lincoln, and many other supporting downtown events.

Full information about the festival, complete wine list, links to artist videos and printable schedules are available at

To schedule phone interviews with artists, call CNY Jazz at 315-479-5299.


2022 Northeast Jazz & Wine Festival Schedule

Friday July 29

Main Stage

6:30 pm               Ricky Alexander Quintet

8:15 pm               Camille Thurman

10:00 pm             Jerry Marotta’s Reelin’ in the Years

WAER Mardi Gras Pavilion

5:00 pm               Nick Di Maria’s CNY Jazz Alumni Reunion

7:30 pm               Nick Di Maria’s CNY Jazz Alumni Reunion

9:15 pm               Nick Di Maria’s CNY Jazz Alumni Reunion

WAER World Beat Pavilion

5:00 pm               Mike Houston, Sam Wynn & Friends

7:30 pm               Mike Houston, Sam Wynn & Friends

9:15 pm               Mike Houston, Sam Wynn & Friends

Saturday July 30

Main Stage

Noon                   CNY Jazz Youth Orchestra

1:30 pm               Mike Passarelli Trio with Ally Rexine

3:00 pm               Brig Juice Mini-Corps

4:00 pm               Easy Money Big Band

Main Stage

6:30 pm                Lamb, Mack & Sorgen Trio

8:15 pm               Raul Midon

10:00 pm             Jackiem Joyner

WAER Mardi Gras Pavilion

5:00 pm               Grupo Pagan with Jerry More

7:30 pm               Grupo Pagan with Jerry More

9:15 pm               Grupo Pagan with Jerry More

WAER World Beat Pavilion

5:00 pm               Sophistafunk

7:30 pm               Sophistafunk

9:15 pm               Sophistafunk


About CNY Jazz – The CNY Jazz Arts Foundation, established in 1996, is the largest 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, Northeast Jazz & Wine Festival, Jazz Vespers Series, Nancy Kelly Vocal Jazz Jams and Stars of Tomorrow Cabarets, SummerJazz Workshop, Jazz in the City, Jazz On Tap, Jazz at the Cavalier, Black History Month Cabaret, CNY Jazz Youth Orchestra, and shows of all kinds at the Jazz Central theater. Learn more at

Jazz in the City travels to Near West Side



Larry Luttinger


Jazz in the City travels to Near West Side

Free concerts spread current public health information

Syracuse NY – The Federally-recognized Syracuse Community Health “Jazz in the City” public health concert series moves to the Near West Side this Thursday, with a free concert by New York City’s acclaimed pop salsa phenomenon “3D Rhythm of Life” in the street at Skiddy Park and Blodgett school. Caribbean cuisine will be available, urban arts and craft vendors will show their wares, and a “healthcare village” of family service providers including a mobile unit from Syracuse Community Health will be present to give screenings and consultations to all, with NYS Lottery scratch-off prizes as incentives.

Syracuse Community Health is focusing its energies in the areas of health that suffered the most during the pandemic in the communities that they serve across the city. According to Keith Cuttler, the center’s Chief Operating Officer, “People having these preventative measures fell off during the worst of the pandemic, and we see many patients coming back to us with uncontrolled diabetes and high blood pressure.” At all events, they will have staff on hand to take blood pressures, discuss the importance of prevention, perform risk assessments, and make appointments on the spot for much overlooked preventive screenings including colorectal, breast, and cervical cancers, which are all at abnormally high levels in the urban community. They will also impart information about how to become a new patient at the center or at their school-based clinics, a new partnership with the Syracuse City School District.

Said Larry Luttinger, organizer of the series, “100 Black Men of Syracuse will be giving out fistfuls of New York State Lottery tickets as incentives for anyone choosing to be screened or interviewed by the health center’s staff. It’s easy to just not get tested, screened or boosted, and these prizes will play a part in getting some folks to be proactive about their health. We ask everyone to bring a loved one who they feel may be neglecting their health to talk to the friendly experts on hand at all these events.”

The Prevention Network will also have personnel there to give out free NARCAN kits and the short training course needed to administer them correctly. New sponsor Hope Connections Recovery, a program of Catholic Charities, comes on board along with others to be present at all the concerts for consultation, including Molina Healthcare, ACR Health, Excellus, the New York State Department of Mental Health, Fidelis Care, YMCA, and Humana.

“It’s easy to take that first step and just have a chat with a health and wellness expert at these concerts,” mentioned Luttinger. “Come for the music and fun and do yourself and your loved ones what could be a life-extending favor. It’s the right thing to do.”

All Jazz in the City concerts are free and open to the public.

IF You Go

What: Syracuse Community Health JAZZ IN THE CITY public health concert

When: Thursday June 23rd, 6 to 9 p.m.

Where: 300 Oswego Street, Syracuse NY 13204

Who: 3D Rhythm of Life Orchestra

Cost: free


Jazz in the City opens concert series in Kirk Park



Larry Luttinger


Jazz in the City opens concert series in Kirk Park

Events provide public health platform for urban neighborhoods

Syracuse NY – The Syracuse Community Health Jazz in the City public health summer concert series commences on Thursday June 9 in Kirk Park at Argyle Terrace and West Borden Avenue at 6 p.m. The acclaimed funk and smooth jazz sextet Urban Jazz Coalition will provide a three-hour performance, surrounded by a festive background of arts and crafts and soul food vendors. A healthcare village and the health center’s mobile unit will offer counseling, testing, vaccinations and screenings, awarding lottery scratch-off tickets as incentives. The first batch of free goodie bags full of health care information and test kits will be distributed to all in attendance. The event is free and open to the public.

Urban Jazz Coalition is one of the Midwest’s most prolific contemporary jazz groups, having appeared at the Capital Jazz Festival, Seabreeze Jazz Festival, Berks Jazz Festival, Rehoboth Beach Jazz Festival, and many more throughout their nearly three decades of existence. Regularly charting on jazz radio, the group has been featured on network television programming and film soundtracks. A sought-after backup group as well, they last appeared in Syracuse for CNY Jazz in 2015 with Elan Trotman, and at the Northeast Jazz & Wine Festival in 2012 backing Jessy J.

“This kickoff event will set the bar for the rest of the summer, and Kirk Park near the Seals Community Center is the perfect place to do it,” said Larry Luttinger, CNY Jazz founder and director. “We’ve been presenting this series since 2003, and we’re achieving somewhat of a record as an urban outreach concert series. This is an extraordinary civic and corporate partnership for American cities, and we’re proud to carry this banner. We have to get ahead of the curve and control this virus, as well as continue to address current health needs caused by the pandemic. These are the only neighborhood festival concerts our city will see this summer, so let’s all come out and party with a purpose!”

For more information visit

If You Go

What: Jazz in the City

Where: Kirk Park at the Seals Community Center, Argyle Terrace and W. Borden Ave.

Who: Urban Jazz Coalition

When: Thursday June 9 @ 6 to 9 p.m.

Cost: free

Jazz in the City public health concerts expand services



Larry Luttinger


Jazz in the City public health concerts expand services

Syracuse Community Health fights the virus in Syracuse

Syracuse NY – May 2022 to date. Over 70 daily hospitalizations, over 200 daily reported infections, and 3 deaths. These current numbers tell the tale of a virus that continues to produce deadly results in Central New York, with a surge to 100 million new infections projected nationally by year’s end. Syracuse’s urban ZIP codes still trail the region in all pandemic indicators. Other health needs have gone undetected during the pandemic, causing serious residual effects to the urban community at large.

In response, Syracuse Community Health is again leading an aggressive public health outreach effort to fight back, using the arts as a mobile platform to broadcast this message across the city to bring people together, provide them with the joy of congregating to enjoy music, food, and fun, receive health service information and tools, offer consultation and screening to those without the resources for regular healthcare appointments, and incentivize the vaccine-reluctant to step up and help push back against the numbers: the Jazz in the City Public Health Concert Series.

The concerts will feature national artists, the best local bands, and neighborhood-based opening acts by community groups. Each concert features food and arts and crafts vendors, and an extensive “healthcare village” of local health and human service organizations. Guest speakers will take the stage during intermissions. New this year is the donation of 5,000 test kits by Onondaga County, distributed in  goodie bags stuffed with health services information. New York Lottery scratch-off tickets will be awarded as incentives for those getting vaccinated, boosted, or screened.

Most importantly, the health center is expanding its array of event services to include consultations and screenings including body mass index, hypertension, plus vaccinations and boosters. The Prevention Network is donating 50 NARCAN kits and mandatory training in their use.

Said Keith Cuttler, COO of the health center, “Syracuse Community Health is proud to continue its partnership with CNY Jazz Central to offer the Jazz in the City Public Health Festival Concert Series this summer. This series connects the communities we serve with outstanding jazz musicians and vital health information and providers. By rotating through our city’s beautiful parks, these events bring music and health directly to the people of the city, right in their own neighborhoods.”

Mayor Ben Walsh added, “Jazz in the City played a key role last summer in helping fight misinformation and overcoming fear related to COVID-19. CNY Jazz uses music to bring people together to get outdoors, enjoy our parks and focus on living healthier lives,” said Mayor Walsh. “Plus, Jazz in the City goes beyond music; it brings art and entertainment from many artists into our neighborhoods. Come for the music and food, stay for the healthy connections.” 

Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon said, “Onondaga County is proud to once again partner for another season of “Jazz in the City”. It is especially appropriate that the focus of the series this year remains on public health as we learn to live with COVID-19 while addressing the many other consequences that this pandemic has caused.” McMahon continued, “Thank you to the team at CNY Jazz for their efforts and the Syracuse Community Health Center for their partnership.”

The live concerts will be matched by a high visibility and highly targeted media campaign. Media personality George Kilpatrick, who lost his mother in the pandemic, will again lead a summer-long messaging campaign, and 100 Black Men of Syracuse will serve as the series volunteer corps. Larry Luttinger, leader of CNY Jazz, observed, “We’re not claiming we did this on our own, but last year, the vaccination rate in our most vulnerable ZIP code, 13204, from 27% to 44% during this awareness and outreach campaign. We all worked together to move the needle toward controlling this virus, keeping it in check, and minimizing it. I urge every city resident to become part of the solution this summer by doing their part and being smart about family health practices.”

The talent lineup for the series is prodigious, and includes chart-topping smooth jazz, contemporary jazz, classic soul, and RnB acts. The funky Urban Jazz Coalition returns from the Midwest for the kickoff concert in Kirk Park, New York City’s finest modern salsa outfit 3D Rhythm of Life provides a dance party at Skiddy Park, horn-driven regional legend Atlas performs in Leavenworth Park, the Billboard #1 breakout team of Deepak Thettu and Judah Sealy concertize in Schiller Park,  a legacy double bill of U.A.D. Kings of the Fall and The Blacklites will hold court at Dunk & Bright, and female flutist, saxophonist and singer Paula Atherton, up from New York City, closes the series in Thornden Park.

“The arts are a powerful platform for change and community awareness, as well as being a positive social and economic engine, and we’re leveraging all that and more with this unique mobile cultural platform,” said Larry Luttinger, leader of CNY Jazz. “I don’t know of any other effort like this in the country. Come to these concerts to enjoy high energy family-friendly entertainment, food, crafts, and more, and take advantage of the health center’s onsite services and healthcare village information booths while there. This series has been a model of civic and corporate leadership every summer since 2003. We can’t wait to get started.”

All concerts are free and open to the public, and no alcohol is served. For more information visit  

Concert Series Schedule (all events Thursdays 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.)

June 9 – Urban Jazz Coalition at Kirk Park, Argyle Terrace and W. Borden Ave.

June 23 – 3D Rhythm of Life at Skiddy Park, 300 Oswego St.

July 7 – Atlas at Leavenworth Park 120 Wilkinson St.

July 21 – Deepak Thettu & Judah Sealy at Schiller Park, Farmer Street and Whitwell Dr.

August 4 – U.A.D. Kings of the Fall & The Blacklites at Dunk & Bright, 2648 S. Salina St.

August 18 – Paula Atherton at Thornden Park, Thornden Park Drive and Greenwood Pl.

Cast of CATS benefit raises jazz money with cabaret



Larry Luttinger


Cast of CATS benefit raises jazz money with cabaret

In keeping with the longstanding Broadway tradition of giving back to community while on tour, cast members of the upcoming Landmark Theater production of CATS have chosen to support CNY Jazz with an exclusive cabaret performance. The show is scheduled for 7 p.m. Monday April 25th in the ballroom of Baldwinsville’s historic Mohegan Manor. Tickets are $35 for VIP ringside seating including a post-show meet and greet, $20 in advance, and $25 at the door, available by calling the Manor at 315-935-6866.

The show features twenty performers, virtually the entire cast of the show, and includes Dominic Fortunato, a native Syracusan and graduate of Westhill High School who studied at Syracuse City Ballet. Music Director Jonathan Gorst will accompany on piano.

The cast promises “an evening of song spanning styles from Broadway’s Golden Age to present day.” According to Gorst, “We feel that it’s extremely important to take any opportunity to help other arts organizations by presenting cabaret concerts and donating the proceeds. This is only the second opportunity we’ve had to do this kind of outreach, due to our demanding tour schedule. We hope that it will bring tangible benefit to CNY Jazz by providing a wonderful evening for all who attend.”

The cast includes Kellyann DeCarlo, Lauren Louis, Carolyn Bacon, Brianna Kim, Megan Arseneau, Indalecio De Jesus Valentin, Kayli Jamison, Christopher Salvaggio, Elana Valastro, Tony Mowatt, Sean McManus, Jose Raul Mangual, Dominic Fortunato, Tayler Harris, Brian Craig Nelson, Gracie Anderson, Lexy Bittner, Zach Bravo, Michelle Carter, and Vinny Andaloro.

“We’re ever so thankful that CATS chose our organization by presenting what will be a powerhouse show by some of the best and brightest young performers in the world,” said Larry Luttinger, leader of CNY Jazz. “This will help shine a light on our programs for urban youth, our inner-city public health concert series, and shows of all kinds at our Jazz Central theater, among others.”

If You Go

Who: Members of the cast of the National Tour of CATS

Where: Mohegan Manor, 58 Oswego St, Baldwinsville NY 13207

When: 7 p.m. Monday April 25th  

Reservations: Mohegan Manor 315-935-6866

Cost: $35 VIP ringside with meet and greet, $20 advance, $25 at the door.

Members of the National Tour of Cats
Syracuse Local Dominick Fortunato

Neil Young Tribute records live at Jazz Central


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

Neil Young Tribute records live at Jazz Central

Syracuse, NY – The many fans and followers of Neil Young, the legendary songwriter, musician, and member of Crazy Horse, Crosby Stills Nash & Young, and Buffalo Springfield, will get a chance to be a part of an upcoming live concert recording by “Like A Hurricane”, a new all-star tribute band including members of Magical Mystery Tour and Dark Hollow, on April 9th at 7:00 p.m. in Jazz Central, 441 E. Washington Street in downtown Syracuse. Tickets are available at for $25 and will be $30 at the door and include a post-show meet and greet with the artists. Only 75 tickets will be sold to this exclusive event.

The three hour-plus show will be recorded and filmed in front of a live audience for future distribution and promotion, so patrons are encouraged to add to the excitement throughout the evening.

The group promises a top notch, authentic Neil Young experience that will include carefully chosen combination of hits and rarities in an intimate setting. Like A Hurricane’s members come from wide and diverse musical backgrounds, including Thom Hogan on guitars, piano, harmonica, and lead vocal, Jeff Roney on drums, Peter Shank on guitars, keys, and trumpet, and Michael Vertino on bass. All members of the group sing.

According to Thom Hogan, “This project is a lifetime labor of love for all of us, built from our common passion for Neil and his influential and extensive catalog of music. Our goals are lofty, to increase our range and influence as a national touring act with a unique approach to Neil Young’s legacy. It takes a village to make all good things happen, and we’re asking for a big village to come out and support this live recording.”

Bar Service will be available at the venue, and there is ample parking surrounding the theater.

To allow entry, all patrons must be fully vaccinated and show a valid Excelsior Pass, a vaccination card, a phone photo of their vaccination card, or results of a PCR test taken within 72 hours of showtime. No children under 5 will be admitted. Mask wearing is highly recommended inside the theater and patrons may take food and drink to their seats.

If You Go

Who: Like A Hurricane

What: Neil Young Tribute Live Recording

Where: Jazz Central, 441 E. Washington St, Syracuse 13202

When: 7 p.m. April 9th


CNY Jazz Orchestra comes back big in April


Larry Luttinger

CNY Jazz Orchestra comes back big in April

Le Moyne Jazzuits open show, new music director named

Syracuse NY – The acclaimed Central New York Jazz Orchestra, founded in 1996 and now in its 26th year, will perform a “comeback” cabaret concert in the historic Persian Terrace of the Marriott Syracuse Downtown at 4:00 p.m. on Sunday April 10th. Joining them will be national guests Kim Nazarian of the New York Voices, Jay Ashby on trombone, and new Music Director Clay Jenkins conducting the 16-picee CNYJO. An opening set will be performed by the Le Moyne Jazzuits directed by Carol Jacobe, and Ms. Nazarian will sit in with the student vocal jazz ensemble as well. A cash bar and buffet will be available at extra charge. Tickets are on sale now at or 315-479-5299.

The long-postponed concert, originally scheduled for April 2020, will bring the orchestra back to the stage for the first time in over two years. “We had scheduled our first rehearsal for this concert in March 2020, and of course the shutdown ended all that,” said Larry Luttinger of CNY Jazz. “This comeback, after such a long hiatus, will be like a class reunion for the band and our audience. I guarantee that you will never see more impassioned playing and singing than you’ll encounter at this event.”

Both guest artists have strong ties to Central and Upstate New York. Kim Nazarian is a world renowned, Grammy-nominated jazz artist, educator, and clinician who has performed worldwide with the iconic vocal jazz quartet “New York Voices” for more than 30 years. An Ithaca College grad, she is a dedicated educator, still teaching at IC remotely. Besides her many recordings with the New York Voices, Kim Nazarian can be heard on many projects as a soloist. She has recorded with Paquito Rivera, Gary Burton, John Pizzarelli, and Sean Jones, among others, and was one of the featured voices chosen to sing on Bobby McFerrin’s “VOCAbuLarieS“ CD .

Her husband Jay Ashby, a native of Baldwinsville, will conduct and play trombone. A five-time Grammy Award-winning producer, he is known for his performances with such music icons as Paul Simon and Astrud Gilberto. Ashby has performed, toured, and recorded with some of the most renowned jazz artists in the industry. A member of Dizzy Gillespie’s United Nation Orchestra and Dizzy’s Alumni All-Star Big Band, he has performed with jazz greats including Jon Faddis, Monty Alexander, James Moody, Jimmy Heath, Randy Brecker, Slide Hampton, Tania Maria, Claudio Roditi, and Bennie Green, among many others.

Music direction for the CNYJO portion of the concert will be undertaken by trumpeter Clay Jenkins, who will lead the band through a set of selections including some made famous by two bands that he has been a member of for many years, the Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra and the Count Basie Orchestra. He also logged years of touring time with the Stan Kenton and Buddy Rich big bands. He has been a faculty member at the Eastman School of Music since 2000.

Concluded Larry Luttinger, “We’re honored to have Clay lead the band. He will lend excitement and virtuosity to our sound. The CNY Jazz Orchestra is poised for its next quarter century. May it last forever.”

The CNY Jazz Cabarets feature international talent in a club atmosphere, with cash bar and affordable food stations available. Valet parking is available, and holders of CNY Jazz Club Discount Cards will receive 10% off food and drink.

If You Go
Who: The Central New York Jazz Orchestra with Kim Nazarian and Jay Ashby
What: CNY Jazz Spring Cabaret Concert
Where: Persian Terrace, Marriott Syracuse Downtown, 100 E. Onondaga Street, Syracuse 13202
When: Sunday April 10th 4:00 p.m.
Tickets: $30.00 advance, $35.00 door, $10.00 student I.D. at or 315-479-5299

Kim Nazarian

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

January JazzFest returns with S.U. talent connection



Larry Luttinger

441 E. Washington St.

Syracuse NY 13202


January JazzFest returns with S.U. talent connection

Festival features national, regional, and scholastic talent

Syracuse NY – The Seneca Savings January JazzFest, a fixture of the Syracuse area midwinter music scene since 2011, celebrates its 10th year of live programming on Sunday January 30th from 1 to 9 p.m. at Mohegan Manor. America’s music will resound from all four floors of the historic venue in Baldwinsville, spanning diverse styles including mainstream and bebop, traditional acoustic swing, the Great American Songbook, and Latin. Outstanding High School talent will be showcased, the next generation of emerging professionals will gather to jam, and this year’s special guest headliner, the Queens-born, Brooklyn-based Marianne Solivan, will perform here in a festival setting for the first time since joining the Syracuse University music faculty as instructor of vocal jazz.

According to Jazz Times, Solivan is “a vital part of the Manhattan jazz scene…her sound hints at the sharp-focused intensity of Patricia Barber [and] the earthiness of Dinah Washington melded with the interpretive sass of Carmen McRae or, on occasion, even Betty Carter.” She has performed and recorded with Christian McBride, Peter Bernstein, Jeremy Pelt, Gregory Hutchinson, Steve Wilson, Gene Bertoncini, and Lewis Nash, and many others, appearing at iconic jazz locations including Smoke, Smalls, Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola, Birdland, and The Blue Note.

She will front a band of regional luminaries including Rick Montalbano, Tom Brigandi, Jimmy Johns, and Joe Carello for a 90-minute show at the festival.

“This year’s event is the most intergenerational we’ve ever put together,” said Larry Luttinger, CNY Jazz founder and curator of the organization’s annual fundraiser. “We’re providing a platform for performers from boomer to Gen Z and everything in between.  Our best talent of today and tomorrow will be on display.”

Proceeds from the festival will support the scholastic activities of the CNY Jazz “Educational Pipeline” of scholastic programs including the SummerJazz Workshop and CNY Jazz Youth Orchestra, as well as their arts-in-education service. A long list of corporate and media sponsors helps underwrite the annual event, including title sponsor Seneca Savings, Mohegan Manor, Riccelli Trucking, Clark Air Systems, Scott Northrup’s State Farm agency, Hearth Cabinets and More, OneGroup, J.R. Clancy, Burritt Motors, WSYR 570 and Power 620, Eagle News, WAER FM88 and CNY Latino.

Ticketholders will be given re-entry wristbands so that they may come and go at any time during the 8-hour day of continuous music. A “your choice” raffle will be held throughout the day, and Mohegan Manor’s fine food and drink will be available.

Entry requirements will include proof of vaccination or negative test to permit entry and mask requirement inside the facility.

Advance sale tickets are on sale now for $25 at and are $30 at the door.


Club Room (Lower Level)

1:00   Dave Solazzo

2:15   Scott Dennis & Friends

3:30   Aaron Ruiz

6:30 – 9:00 Celebrity Jazz Jam

Lounge/Bar (First Level)

2:15   Drew Serafini Trio

3:30   Drew Serafini Trio

Green Room (Second Level)

2:15   C-NS Vocal Jazz Ensemble & C-NS Jazz Ensemble

3:30   C-NS Vocal Jazz Ensemble & C-NS Jazz Ensemble

6:00   Next Gen Jazz Jam

W.F. Morris Ballroom (Third Level)

4:30   Marianne Solivan


Marianne Solivan

Peter Mack Quartet has roots in Central New York



Larry Luttinger


Jazz supergroup to visit Syracuse

Peter Mack Quartet has roots in Central New York

Syracuse NY – The next touring jazz group to hit downtown Syracuse has strong and long-lasting roots in Central New York.

Auburn resident Peter Mack, the well-known bassist, leader, impresario, and supporter of the jazz art form, has assembled a new quartet including some of the hottest established names in jazz, rock, pop, and classical music to perform at Jazz Central on Saturday December 4th at 8:00 p.m. Tickets are now on sale at for $20 in advance, $25 at the door, and $10 with student I.D. for this one-of-a-kind upcoming appearance.

Mack’s current group members are culled from former units he has assembled in the past, chosen for their unbridled eclectic approach and ability to bond together to crate a cohesive new sound.

They include Chuck Lamb, familiar to local audiences as keyboardist for the Brubeck Brothers, sons of the legendary Dave Brubeck. His local roots extend as far back as the heyday of the fusion group Dry Jack, regular visitors to the legendary Firebarn club next to City Hall in the 1970s and ‘80s. Lamb has also logged touring and performing credits as diverse as the Woody Herman Orchestra, Peter Frampton, and the Philadelphia Orchestra.

Saxophonist Jeff Lederer brings a wide range of experience to the foursome, including current membership in the bands of Matt Wilson, Bobby Sanabria, and others, plus several groups of his own. As a composer, his “Los Sazones”, a salsa reimagining of Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons,” was commissioned by the Ravinia Festival for the Chicago Symphony and has been performed the Los Angeles Philharmonic and others. A dedicated educator, he is Director of Jazz Studies at Long Island University.

Drummer Harvey Sorgen provides the coloristic underpinnings of the combo, bringing a dizzying breadth of artistic collaborations in jazz and rock to the band, including Hot Tuna, Ahmad Jamal, Paul Simon, Bruce Hornsby, Levon Helm, Carlos Santana, Bob Weir, Dave Douglas, and Anthony Braxton.

“This qualifies as a supergroup by any means or measure,” ventured Larry Luttinger, host of the concert and CNY Jazz founder. “This is the nature of jazz, to explore boundaries, go where no one has gone before. Put these artists together, mix well, and what comes out is incredibly explosive, original and unique. They’ve been touring as a unit for some time now, and I an hardly wait to see what they can create. I’m sure they will swing like mad and bring a multitude of surprises to boot.”

Theater COVID protocols will be in place at Jazz Central, including proof of vaccination or recent test at the door and mask requirement indoors except when eating or drinking.

If You Go

Who: Peter Mack Quartet

Where: Jazz Central, 441 E. Washington St. Syracuse NY

When: Saturday December 4th, 8:00 p.m.

Cost: $20 advance, $25 door, $10 with valid student I.D. at