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This Year’s CNY Jazz Central Lineup Focuses on Community

CNY Jazz Central

  For 20 years CNY Jazz Central has been one of the primary providers of year-round jazz presentation in Central New York. WAER is excited to help CNY Jazz Central celebrate this milestone with an array of performances and events. 


With a focus on central neighborhood locations and local artists, community seems to be the theme for this year’s celebration. Le Moyne College plans to host "Jazz at the Plaza,” this event is meant to bring visitors together during lunch hours. This event includes performances by Dave Solazzo, Jeff Stockhan, Groupo Lite, and Melissa Gardiner. Additionally, on Saturdays, the Scholastic Jazz Jams Series will allow community members to enjoy jazz at the Le Moyne Plaza.


The soulful singer, songwriter Sherma Andrews will kick of the 20th anniversary celebration on Sunday, November 15 in the Sheraton Hotel. The singer will pay tribute to ‘Legendary Ladies of Song,’ like Aretha Franklin, Whitney Houston, and Diana Ross. 

Originally from the Caribbean Island of Trinidad, the Berklee College of Music graduate and adjunct professor at the esteemed school has worked with some of the best in the business and has even toured Switzerland, Austria and Germany, where she was described as “a true star who has graced us with her presence before she vanishes beyond reach.”

Andrews believes in giving back to communities in need, especially those from Trinidad. She uses jazz and her talents as a positive force, calling herself a “messenger of hope through song.” 

“We deliberately reached out to Sherma to get this 20th anniversary party started, and we’re delighted that she agreed,” according to Larry Luttinger, director of CNY Jazz. “Her new show maxes out in excitement, energy, and accessibility to audiences of all tastes. Sherma is not only the consummate jazz singer, but a chameleon in terms of her versatility. She can sing the phone book and make it work. This season is all about bringing old friends back, and Sherma is bringing a dozen friends with her – the greatest divas of the last fifty years!”

In addition to Sherma Andrews, Syracuse native and Fowler High School grad, Jackiem Joyner is set to perform in February for the Black History Month Cabaret. Jackiem “Lil Man Soul” Joyner didn’t pick up the saxophone until he moved to Syracuse and joined the Fowler High School band. While at Fowler, Joyner won three National Association for the Advancement of Colored People youth achievement awards for contemporary instrumental, composition and classical music. Joyner is scheduled to perform on Sunday, Feb. 21 at 5 p.m. at Drumlins Country Club, 800 Nottingham Rd., Syracuse. 

Tune-in to WAER for a chance to win tickets to see Sherma Andrews and other artist live. 

For more information about this year’s festival and tickets visit CNY Jazz.