Northeast Jazz & Wine Festival Celebrates 10 Years

America’s music, fine wines, food and fun will converge this summer as CNY Jazz celebrates the 10th Anniversary of the Northeast Jazz & Wine Festival in Clinton Square, the heart of downtown Syracuse, on July 27th and 28th.
The two-day event provides the performing arts anchor for Syracuse Artsweek, the “festival of festivals” that stretches from Clinton Square to the Everson Museum, attracting over 66,000 festivalgoers to downtown Syracuse every summer.
The lineup of artists appearing on the main stage has never been stronger, thanks to continued support from title sponsor Berkshire Bank. The main stage will feature an international lineup featuring the RnB and Soul sounds of Brownskin, Mainstream Jazz with the Peter & Will Anderson Quintet, Pop Reggae sounds from Root Shock, Canadian songstress Barbra Lica, and two Billboard #1 charting headliners: Jackiem Joyner, Syracuse’s favorite son and most famous contemporary jazz expatriate; and Marcus Anderson, the dynamic saxophonist, vocalist and entertainer who spent 9 years as a featured performer in Prince’s New Power Generation band.
The festival’s WAER Mardi Gras and World Beat pavilions will resound with multiple sets by Ultravibe, the hard-hitting funk outfit hailing from Ithaca; The Djangoners, returning to the festival with acoustic French Swing reminiscent of Stephane Grappelli and Django Reinhardt; Madame Zz & Her Gentlemen, the soul revue knocking audiences out at the Turning Stone Resort Casino; and a group that embodies the multi-generational mission of CNY Jazz, the Joe Vanable Quintet, comprised of grads of CNY Jazz scholastic programs now making it on a national level, paired with standout regional educators Steve Brown of Ithaca College and Joe Carello, Director of the Stan Colella Parks & Recreation All-Stars.
Said Chris Papayanakos, Regional VP of Berkshire Bank, “We are proud to be the title sponsor of the Northeast Jazz & Wine Festival. Our partnership in this event continues in the tradition of Berkshire Bank’s support of the Syracuse community and our appreciation of the arts as a cultural and economic engine. We look forward to enjoying this year’s acts in the company of our employees, clients and neighbors living in downtown Syracuse, Central New York, and beyond.”
Senator John A. DeFrancisco, a longtime supporter of the arts and major sponsor of this year’s event, said, “As a jazz enthusiast, I am always extremely happy to support the Northeast Jazz & Wine Festival. This collaborative event helps to highlight great national and local talent and draw thousands of residents and visitors alike to our vibrant downtown Syracuse. I look forward to this year’s outstanding lineup.”
Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh, added “The Jazz & Wine Festival is one of the many great events happening downtown during Artsweek that brings together a diverse group of incredibly talented, local artists. This festival in July and the Jazz in the City concert series in August have become staples of the arts scene in our community.”
A large family of corporate sponsors makes this festival possible, including new sponsors O’Brien & Gere, C&S Companies, new Party Tent sponsor WAER 88.3, new Corporate Tent sponsor Bousquet Holstein, new Act sponsors Vick Brackens Financial Solutions Network and Jamesville Dental Office, who will underwrite Jackiem Joyner’s performance, Village Dental Group, AT&T, Modern Industrial Marketing, Baldwin, Sutphen & Frateschi PLLC, and new travel sponsor BTI. They join Lockheed Martin Employees Federated Fund, American Express, Excellus BlueCross BlueShield, Bond Schoeneck & King, Washington Street Partners, Unimar, Grossman St. Amour, Critical Link, Ra-Lin, Syracuse Teachers Association, Syracuse New Times, Sunny 102, Soul of Syracuse, and in-kind sponsors Charles Signs, Cabot Cheese, Eastwood Litho, and DUMAC, as well as annual funding from CNY Arts and Onondaga County.
The festival’s world-class wines are provided this year by major sponsor Palm Bay International and Southern Glazers Wine & Spirits. Outstanding wines from Northern Italy are represented by The Cavit Collection and Lunetta Prosecco. Wines of Australia’s Hunter and Barossa Valley will be showcased with “The Plan” wine selections by McGuigan.
The CNY Jazz commitment to arts education and cultural literacy continues with the event’s scholastic festival and alumni jam sessions. “We’ve turned out over 1,000 SummerJazz Workshop and Parks & Rec All-Stars alumni in the last 18 years,” said Larry Luttinger, organizer of the festival. “The kids that you see on stage getting mentored by and performing with national artists are the kids who will be at our reunion jams for years afterward. It’s a kick to be able to keep in touch with this group. The oldest are now professionals in all walks of life, and they have made America’s music their creative outlet. They’re playing their part keeping creativity alive in Central New York.” These students will be adjudicated by Jackiem Joyner in the Scholastic Festival, and mix it up with the pros in twin “Late Night Jam Sessions” at Jazz Central.
The event also provides a creative outlet for the region’s many avocational jazz bands on Saturday afternoon, with shows by the Jazz Kats, Oswego County’s own big band; Utica’s Easy Money Big Band, and the most unique large ensemble imaginable, the “Brig Juice Mini-Corps”, a twenty-two piece brass-and-drum set ensemble of members of the Syracuse Brigadiers, playing high energy arrangements including Buddy Rich’s “Channel One Suite”.
Full information about the festival, complete wine list, links to artist videos and printable schedules are available at
To schedule phone interviews with artists, call CNY Jazz at 315-479-5299.
2018 Northeast Jazz & Wine Festival Schedule
Friday, July 27
A – Main Stage
6:30 pm              Brownskin
8:15 pm              Peter & Will Anderson Quintet
10:00 pm            Jackiem Joyner
Presented by Brackens Financial Solutions Network
And Jamesville Dental Office
B – WAER Mardi Gras Pavilion
5:00 pm              Joe Vanable Quintet
7:30 pm              Joe Vanable Quintet
9:15 pm              Joe Vanable Quintet
C – WAER World Beat Pavilion
5:00 pm              Ultravibe
7:30 pm              Ultravibe
9:15 pm              Ultravibe
D – Jazz Central
11:00 pm            Late Night Jam with the Andersons Band
Saturday, July 28
A – Main Stage – Scholastic Festival
Noon                  Stan Colella Parks & Recreation All-Stars
1:00 pm              Katz Pajamaz Big Band
A – Main Stage – Battle of the Community Big Bands
2:00 pm              Jazz Kats
3:00 pm              Brig Juice Mini-Corps
4:00 pm              Easy Money Big Band
A – Main Stage
6:30 pm              Root Shock
8:15 pm              Barbra Lica
10:00 pm            Marcus Anderson
B – WAER Mardi Gras Pavilion
5:00 pm              Djangoners
7:30 pm              Djangoners
9:15 pm              Djangoners
C – WAER World Beat Pavilion
5:00 pm              Madame Zz & Her Gentlemen
7:30 pm              Madame Zz & Her Gentlemen
9:15 pm              Madame Zz & Her Gentlemen
D – Jazz Central
11:00 pm            Late Night Jam with Barbra Lica Band
O’Brien & Gere Red Cross Pavilion Tasting Schedule
7:00 – 10:00 pm              Friday, July 27th
3:00 – 5:00 pm  Saturday, July 28th
7:00 – 10:00 pm              Saturday, July 28th
Portion of Proceeds Benefits Red Cross
Marcus Anderson
With 10 studio albums on his list of accomplishments, the jazz artist Marcus Anderson blends R&B, Pop, Rock, Latin, and Funk influences in his music. Charting number one in both categories of Billboard’s Smooth Jazz and Sirius XM’s Watercolors with his exceptional hit “A Cup Of Joe” from the album “AND COFFEE”, the Spartanburg, SC native delivers major music in a humble way. His work with the late Prince and the New Power Generation led him to collaborations with Ceelo Green, Judith Hill, Stevie Wonder, and Liv Warfield, to name a few. Prince also featured Marcus on his last release Hit N Run Phase 2, playing on “Revelation” and “Look at Me Look at You”.
He has performed for dignitaries such as President Barack Obama, Jesse Jackson, and Hillary Clinton and performed with Sheila E., Anthony Hamilton, Lailah Hathaway, Esperanza Spaulding, George Duke, Jennifer Holiday and numerous other world-renowned artists.
He’s a fan favorite at highly recognized festivals such as Essence Music Festival, Catalina Island Jazz Trax Festival and many more. He has also appeared on top-ranking shows like The Tonight Show, Arsenio Hall, Jimmy Kimmel Live! and Jimmy Kimmel.
Jackiem Joyner
Saxophonist, composer and arranger Jackiem Joyner plays contemporary jazz influenced by his upbringing in the gospel church and love of contemporary R&B. Born in 1980 in Norfolk, Virginia, Joyner was first introduced to music by his bassist father, and later played drums backing the gospel choir in his church. In his teens, Joyner relocated with his family to Syracuse, New York, where he studied saxophone and played in the Stan Colella Parks & Recreation All-Stars. While in high school, Joyner competed in the NAACP’s Afro-Academic, Cultural, Technological and Scientific Olympics (or ACT-SO), taking top honors three years in a row in the categories of Instrumental Contemporary, Composition, and Classical Music. By age 21 he had joined keyboardist Marcus Johnson’s band. After moving to Los Angeles in 2003, Joyner began focusing on his solo career, launching in 2005 with the release of his first solo album.
Since then, his storied career highlights include being named Billboard #1 Smooth Jazz Saxophonist, performing in festivals, clubs, and theaters around the world, and launching a successful second career as science fiction author.
Peter & Will Anderson Quintet
“Virtuosos on clarinet and saxophone,” (New York Times) Peter and Will Anderson are possibly the most extraordinary set of brothers performing music today. Known for their unique renditions of classic jazz songs and innovative original music, they hail from Washington, DC, but moved to New York City to attend Juilliard. Peter and Will have performed with the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, Village Vanguard Orchestra, Jimmy Heath Big Band, Wycliffe Gordon, Cecile McLorin Salvant, Paquito D’Rivera, Kenny Barron, Bob Wilber, Wynton Marsalis, live on Garrison Keillor’s Prairie Home Companion, and are featured on the 2014 Grammy Winning Soundtrack of HBO’s Boardwalk Empire with Vince Giordano’s Nighthawks.
The Anderson’s have headlined at The Blue Note, Jazz at Lincoln Center, The Kennedy Center, New Orleans Jazz Festival, Sarasota Florida Jazz Festival, South Carolina’s Jazz Corner, Feinstein’s 54 Below, Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center, DC’s Blues Alley, and Arizona Music Festival, and others.
The Washington Post called their music, “imaginatively unfolding in ways that consistently bring a fresh perspective to classic jazz.” Their newest album, Deja Vu, features Albert “Tootie” Heath and was called “a burner that reveals the band’s cohesiveness and spirit” by Jazz Times. In 2014, Peter and Will received a Drama Desk Nomination for their Off-Broadway Show, Le Jazz Hot, and in 2018, were Bistro Award winners.
Barbra Lica
Juno-nominated artist Barbra Lica is fast rising Canadian vocalist and songwriter and has been receiving accolades for a unique approach that stresses subtlety, grace, and storytelling. Based in Toronto, Barbra’s live show captivates audiences all over North America with her genuine warmth and confident stage presence.
A seasoned live act on the Canadian and American club and festival circuits, Barbra consistently performs in intimate spaces and prestigious theatres, such as New York City’s legendary Birdland Jazz Club and Toronto’s Koerner Hall. She has also headlined at major jazz festivals across the continent, including Festival International de Jazz de Montréal, Vancouver International Jazz Festival, and Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival. She has recently been billed as an opening act for Christian McBride, Pat Metheny, and Terence Blanchard.
Barbra’s debut album That’s What I Do (Triplet / Universal Jazz Japan) was released to widespread acclaim in 2012, ranking her in Canada’s Top 5 Jazz singers on the CBC.
Root Shock
Root Shock was formed in 2012 by regional veteran musicians whose love of reggae music flows deep. Their unique blend of reggae and heavy drum & bass combined with American roots and soul creates an infectious and positive dance music vibe. The band has been delighting crowds across the New York region and beyond, spearheaded by the soulful vocals of Jessica Brown. On the heels of their 2016 debut album, Root Shock is touring their live show to clubs, festivals and concert halls across the country. They are the winners of the Syracuse Area Music Awards “Best New Artist” accolade as well as being crowned winner of the NYS Music state-wide “March Madness” fan favorite competition.
Brownskin–inspired by Mint Condition, The Roots, and Tony! Toni! Toné!–was formed in August 2007 by drummer Nate Brown.
Madame Zz & Her Gentlemen
Madame Zz – just call her Zz (ZEE-zee) – has been ripping it up in the Turquoise Tiger at the Turning Stone Resort & Casino, quickly gaining a reputation as Utica’s fastest rising vocal star. She will be joined by “Her Gentlemen”, a hand-picked 7-piece RnB horn band, for her sets at the festival. Expect a powerful soul voice reminiscent of Sharon Jones and Aretha Franklin.
Today, Django Reinhardt’s music is enjoying a resurgence in popularity, and The Djangoners are carrying on his legacy true to its tradition, featuring Bobby Henrie on lead guitar, Eric Aceto on violin, Harry Aceto on “Manouche” rhythm guitar and Brian Williams on upright bass. These fine players have each been on the professional music scene for over 40 years playing in many different genres, but they came together on this project with a common love of Django’s music and a desire to perform it with the same enthusiasm and spirit as it was originally played in the 1930s. They’ve achieved that objective handsomely! The Djangoners take their inspiration from Django Reinhardt and his famous Jazz band from late-1930s Paris & London – “The Hot Club of France”.
Ultravibe mixes sounds of jazz, funk, blues and soul with the intent of creating music possessing a feeling or “vibe” to move the listener’s body and mind. Their brand of music is rooted in the spirit of jazz improvisation, making every performance unique. the repertoire of music ranges from interpretations and new twists on blues, jazz and soul classics to original music that embraces the spirit of the groove. For our festival, they are bringing in two dynamic vocalists – Mike Davis and Mo Taylor
Joe Vanable Quintet
The Joe Vanable Quintet is proof of the success of the CNY Jazz intergenerational legacy. Consisting of CNY Jazz educational program standouts now attending major conservatories, this group adds national artist and educator Steve Brown, guitarist and former Chair of Jazz Studies at Ithaca College, and Joe Carello, saxophonist and Venable’s former director in the Stan Colella Parks & Recreation All-Stars. They’ll be sharing the fruits of the Great American Songbook for their festival appearance.
About CNY Jazz – The CNY Jazz Arts Foundation, established in 1996, is the largest year-round provider of jazz presentations for the public and for schools across the entire Upstate New York region. Its growing list of programs includes The CNY Jazz Cabaret Series, Scholastic Jazz Jams, Northeast Jazz & Wine Festival, Stage of Nations Blue Rain ECOfest, Jazz Vespers Series, Nancy Kelly Vocal Jazz Jams and Stars of Tomorrow Cabarets, SummerJazz Workshop, Jazz in the City, Jazz@SITRUS, Jazz at the Plaza, Jazz On Tap, Jazz at the Cavalier, Summer Jazz at the Bob Cecile Center, the Black History Month Cabaret, Syracuse Parks and Recreation “Stan Colella” All-Stars, and more. Learn more at