FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
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 www.nejazzwinefest.org.
To schedule phone interviews with artists, call CNY Jazz at 315-479-5299.
2022 Northeast Jazz & Wine Festival Schedule
Friday July 29
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
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
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 www.cnyjazz.org