Outdoor summer jazz music is not over yet, as Syracuse organizers of “Jazz in the City” announced their lineup Tuesday. Backed by local R & B band “The Black Lites,” Common Council President Van Robinson says the planned four concerts are about coming together as a community.
"The message is for all Syracusans. This is the music we want," Robinson said. "We want to enjoy it in our neighborhoods. we want to be able to take local bands and have them come, great bands, such as the band you are listening to now. Just keep on keeping on because this city is for all of us."
Going into its 13th year, the “Jazz in the City” concert series brings together local artists, vendors, and community outreach groups free of charge. The concerts will take place in four different Syracuse neighborhoods throughout the month of August. CNY Jazz Central Executive Director Larry Luttinger says events like these can bring some optimism to underserved neighborhoods.
"An awful lot of positive ripple effect that comes from doing positive events in communities that get a lot of negative publicity," Luttinger said. "Syracuse's neighborhoods are largely populated by hardworking families that deserve a break, they deserve culture brought to their door step."
The lineup is diverse in both musical styles and notoriety. Longtime local favorites “The Black Lites,” will mix with nationally known artists like smooth jazz and R&B singer Nick Corlionne as well as Brooklyn funk band “Nuf Said.” Luttinger says the lineup reflects exactly what each neighborhood wants to hear.
"Jazz is really everything in America. It is our improvised music, and it is America's urban music." Luttinger said. "We fit our programming to the surrounding neighborhoods. If the urban neighborhoods want smooth jazz, R & B, classic funk, neo-soul, then that is what they are going to get. We give them what they want."
The first concert takes place August 11th at Dunk and Bright Furniture on Salina Street. “Jazz in the City” continues every Thursday in August. For more information go to CNYJazzInTheCity.org.