Don't Fret, Outdoor Music Fans. Jazz Returns to Clinton Square for 18th Year

Jun 25, 2019

Credit Northeast Jazz and Wine Festival / CNY Jazz

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.

Delfeayo Marsalis takes the main stage Saturday, July 27 at 8:15. He'll appear with the Macktet, an all-Upstate New York group with members from across the state.
Credit provided photo / CNY Jazz

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.

Althea Rene brings her funky flute to the main stage Friday, July 26 at 10:00 p.m.
Credit provided photo / CNY Jazz