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M-&-T Syracuse Jazzfest 2016 Lineup: Trombone Shorty, Larry Coryell, Michael McDonald, Local Talent

Chris Bolt/WAER News

  One of the annual rites-of-passage every spring is the release of the Syracuse M-and-T Jazzfest Lineup.  This year’s announcement has plenty of story lines...the music, the local gathering of talent, and some national recognition for the founder.

First off let’s start with the music. 

Popular jazz-funk musician trombone shorty will be one of the headliners of the July 2nd and 3rd festival, preceded on the Sunday night by Larry Coryell.  Saturday’s lineup has Michael McDonald, The Mavericks and a tribute to Mark Murphy featuring Randy Brecker.

Jazzfest Executive Director Frank Malfitano also always includes local talent

“We’ve been fortunate to stay in touch with our alums.  Student musicians who have gone onto greater success and acclaim often come back with their groups after they make it big.  I’m pleased to say saxophonist and native Syracusan Paulie Cerra will be coming in with his Groove Legacy Band from Los Angeles and they’ll be doing a musical tribute to the Crusaders.” 

Credit Chris Bolt/WAER News
Local High School musicians Julia Goodwin and Notefied played at today's announcement - and will open the Jazzfest July 2nd.

  Jazzfest will kick off with local ensemble Notefied, who’ll be joined by high school phenom Julia Goodwin.  The tribute to Murphy features jazz legends, and a host of national artists with Syracuse ties and roots, who have performed and recorded with Murphy over the years, including:  Ithaca College grads New York Voices, trumpet legend Randy Brecker, Syracuse jazz legends Joe Carello, Ronnie Leigh and Nancy Kelly, and Syracuse natives , guitarist Marty Ashby and trombonist Jay Ashby.

Julliard trained trombonist Melissa Gardiner and her Second Line Syracuse Brass Band are also on the schedule.  

Malfitano can’t do it without backing…M-and-T Bank is title sponsor again, and National Grid’s Melanie Littlejohn explains why her firm helps out.

A big part of why we do this year on year is because it represents community.  It brings out every age range; it brings out family; it brings out people from every hue, everyone socio-economically.  It brings us all out together around a common good, and that’s music.  

Credit Chris Bolt/WAER News
Executive Director Frank Malfitano was joined by Jazz Jouranlists Association Producer Susan Brink, who awarded him the group's Jazz Heroes honor.

  Malfitano gained national recognition today.  The Jazz Journalists Association gave him its Jazz Heroes award for decades of music promotion here and elsewhere.

Susan Brink, Jazz Journalists Association Associate Producer, share accolades from Frank Malfitano and his impact on the arts community.

The music takes place, July 2nd and 3rdthe 34th Jazzfest returns to Onondaga Community College…more on artists and times at

Chris Bolt, Ed.D. has proudly been covering the Central New York community and mentoring students for more than 30 years. His career in public media started as a student volunteer, then as a reporter/producer. He has been the news director for WAER since 1995. Dedicated to keeping local news coverage alive, Chris also has a passion for education, having trained, mentored and provided a platform for growth to more than a thousand students. Career highlights include having work appear on NPR, CBS, ABC and other news networks, winning numerous local and state journalism awards.