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Jazz in the City returns to Syracuse this summer with even more music

 Mark Hall standing at podium alongside Steve Becker and Larry Luttinger outside the Syracuse Community Health Center on South Salina Street.
John Smith
Mark Hall at the press conference announcing the return of Jazz in the City for Summer 2023

A summer music series is returning to the city of Syracuse next month with an additional performance and a spotlight on public health.

The upcoming Jazz in the City that kicks off June 8 will feature several shows across Syracuse parks through August and include free health screenings and information, officials detailed Wednesday.

Through a partnership with Syracuse Community Health, the health center will offer Jazz in the City concert goers a check their wellness, such as their blood pressure and body mass index, while also helping resident schedule appointments for COVID-19 vaccinations and boosters.

CNY Jazz Central President Larry Luttinger, an organizer of the music series, said this summer will include a mix of jazz, classic soul, RnB, and a unique pan-European brass band, plus an extra performance to celebrate the opening of Syracuse Community Health's new facility.

“There are seven great groups, not six this year because of the special event opening the new Syracuse Community Health Center July 13. And we haven't taken a step backwards, that's for sure. And I'm the most excited that I've ever been about some of these acts this year,” Luttinger said.

The July 13 event will be a tribute to Aretha Franklin called “Queen of Soul” performed by Sherma Andrews. Brownskin Band will begin the summer series with Joe Driscoll in early June at Kirk Park, followed by Sondido Isleño, who will bring a Latin flair to Skiddy Park on June 22. There will also be a returning act from 2022—the brass band Atlas is set to perform July 6 in Leavenworth Park. Additional performances are scheduled for July 20, Aug. 3 and Aug. 17.

Jazz in the City has grown from when it launched in 2001 as an urban public outreach going into Syracuse neighborhoods to offer free concerts with national and regional artists. This summer marks its 20th year following a pause during the pandemic. Jazz in the City will also feature ethnic food vendors, arts & crafts and community organizations. For more information on the summer concert series visit the Jazz in the City website.

Editor's note: WAER is a media sponsor of Jazz in the City.

Morgan Caviness is an undergraduate student who just earned her associates degree at Onondaga Community College for Broadcast Media and Communications and plans to continue studying Broadcast and Mass Communication at SUNY Oswego where she is expected to graduate May of 2025. As a student contributor at WAER, Morgan helps produce digital radio stories.