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Jazz In The City Concert Series Brings Music, Health, And Community Together

Chris Bolt

A music series that brings live concerts into different Syracuse neighborhoods will continue again next month.  This year, the music shares the stage with health and community.

When music rang out at Leavenworth Park on the city’s west side, it was a bit of a preview of things to come.  Mayor Ben Walsh figuratively dropped the curtain on one of the four Jazz in the City concerts.

"We have our native son Jackeim Joyner who is going to be performing here at Leavenworth Park," said Mayor Walsh. "Proud Fowler High School graduate. We are thrilled to have him coming back to the city, coming back to the Westside, to perform for the city."

Credit Chris Bolt / WAER News
The Blacklites will be the first group to perform in the series of four concerts in August.

Saxophonist Joyner will perform August 8th, The series kicks off a weeks sooner, August 1st at Dunk and Bright on South Salina with the Blacklites. Later dates in August will feature Atlas and another ensemble, West End Blend.  The events are put on in part by CNY Jazz Arts Foundation.  Director Larry Luttinger says through the 17 years of Jazz in the city, he’s found music can be a universal language.

"So why not make it the centerpiece, the draw, the lure for a roving social platform for urban neighborhoods that need a spotlight shined upon them," said Luttinger. "Economic, social, cultural and intergenerational."

In addition to the concerts, each event features a health information area, where more than half a dozen medical providers offer information about services.  Police Chief Kenton Buckner will be at each of the four locations recruiting but also to foster community relations, as the events bring people together.

"It breaks down fear barriers," said Luttinger. "It brings people from the suburbs into the city who would have never think of coming into city neighborhoods before to see safe, family friendly, highly desireable events. That's what it's all about."

Jazz In The City 2019 Schedule

  • The Blacklites with Rhonda Plunkett - August 1st Dunk & Bright, 2648 S Salina St, Syracuse, NY 13205 from 6:30 -9:00 pm with opening act KC Cuse Line Dancers and ceremonies
  • Jackiem Joyner - August 8th Leavenworth Park, 120 Wilkinson St, Syracuse, NY 13204 from 7:00 - 9:00 pm
  • Atlas - August 22nd Regency Tower, 770 James St (at Lodi St), Syracuse, NY 13203 from 7:00-9:00 pm
  • West End Blend - August 29th Le Moyne Plaza, 1139 Salt Springs Rd, Syracuse 13214. 4:00-6:00 pm games and silent disco/ 6:00-8:00 pm concert