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The 38th Syracuse International Jazz Fest returns

Jazz saxophonist Joe Carello warms up with his trio for the pre-kickoff party for the Syracuse International Jazz Fest.
John Smith / WAER News
Jazz saxophonist Joe Carello warms up with his trio for the pre-kickoff party for Syracuse International Jazz Fest.

The National Grid Syracuse International Jazz Fest kicked off Wednesday evening in Syracuse. Founder and Executive Producer Frank Malfitano says a total of 26 bands are set to play in 21 locations across the city.

“People can go hopping from club to club, just like in the old days in New York City where they could from Birdland to the Three Deuces on 52nd Street. It’s the same type of principal man and we’ve got a lot of great talent in this town and I think we finally found a night that showcases it properly.”

Malfitano says the festival has intrinsic value by boosting people’s thoughts on their hometown and ultimately brings people together to enjoy music, even during what he calls “polarizing times.”

“Everybody gets along at Jazz Fest and it’s just a wonderful, good time to be had by all. It’s also an economic engine, you know, that we don’t look at in those terms but, it really is. I mean we’re hiring 150 musicians on opening night.”

Malfitano it all adds up to a total of 300 musicians over the course of the festival.

Jazzfest 2 way final.mp3
WAER's John Smith talks with Jazzfest founder Frank Malfitano

The main stage for the free festival will be in Syracuse’s Clinton Square and features the O’Jays, Kenny G, the Mavericks and Gino Vannelli. For a complete line-up go to WAER is a supporter of Jazz Fest. The festival runs through Sunday.