The combination of live music and wine returns to Syracuse’s Clinton Square late next month for an 11th year. Organizers of the Berkshire Bank Northeast Jazz and Wine Festival are reassuring music lovers that they won’t have to go without an annual signature jazz event.
The music festival is the performing arts anchor for Syracuse Artsweek, and dates back to 2002 before being paired with wine. CNY Jazz founder Larry Luttinger says there’s an expectation that a jazz festival keeps the music accessible in its many forms.
“I want to assure you that Syracuse doesn’t have to worry about losing any jazz capacity while CNY Jazz in on watch. We’re humbled at being the sole surviving jazz festival for the region, and we’ve been laying groundwork for growth for the past year.”
The area’s other longtime summer music tradition Jazzfest is on hiatus for a second consecutive year due to lack of funding. Luttinger acknowledges the changing private sector landscape has made it difficult to land…and keep sponsors.
“It’s difficult when you cultivate a sponsorship, and then they’re acquired by an out of state or even foreign corporation, or they move from the area. In a market like Syracuse, it isn’t easy, but we’re dedicated to the long haul.”
Despite the challenges, Luttinger has secured eight new sponsors to join about two dozen returning supporters. This year’s headliners include a member of jazz royalty…trombonist Delfeayo Marsalis, and, from the contemporary, funk, and RnB jazz realm, flutist Althea Rene.
The Berkshire Bank Northeast Jazz and Wine Festival takes place July 26 and 27th in Clinton Square.