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M&T Bank Kicks Off Early Start to 2016 M&T Syracuse Jazz Fest

By Staff


jazz fest logoThe 2016 M&T Bank Syracuse Jazz Fest kicked off this weekend with performances by local jazz artist John Spillett, at M&T Bank branches on 101 S. Salina St., and 3701 W. Genesee St.

M&T, a 20-year sponsor of the festival, encouraged community members who lived, or worked near the branches, to bring a bag lunch, and to join them for their noon-time performances earlier this week.

According to officials, the festival has recently earned national recognition as “The Northeast’s Largest Free Jazz Festival,” and regional honors as “Best Musical Festival.”

“Folks tell us they think Jazz Fest is the cultural and community highlight of the summer every year in Syracuse and Central New York, and we’re always thrilled to hear that,” Frank Malfitano, director and founder of the Jazz Fest, stated. “It’s been a tradition in our community for 34 years, and we’re extremely proud of its diversity, both on and off stage, and the fact that everyone in the community comes out to enjoy world-class artistry, free of charge, in a safe atmosphere, and family-friendly environment with a very cool vibe. For many, it’s been a tradition that’s part music festival, and part family reunion for the last 34 years. And, I personally can’t wait to see this year’s lineup.”

Jazz Fest performances for the main event will include headlining artists such as five-time Grammy Award winner Michael McDonald, popular favorite Trombone Shorty, The Mavericks, and Jazz guitarist Larry Coryell.

They will also feature an eclectic blend of musical genres.

“In addition to some of our top regional artists, we have a slew of national and international touring artists on tap, along with 17 food trucks, wine court, craft brew from NY, and we have one of the greatest pop soul legends of our generation headlining on Saturday, when Michael McDonald (Ya Mo Be There, On My Own, Sweet Freedom, I Keep Forgettin’ Minute by Minute) makes his Syracuse Jazz Fest debut,” Malfitano stated. “The man is a veritable hit machine, and one of the most unique vocalists in all of soul. And, on Sunday night, and back by popular demand, we will close out the 2016 M&T Syracuse Jazz festival with the incredible Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue, from New Orleans, an artist who’s electrifying, entertaining, and the James Brown of Jazz….and someone who has to be seen to be believed. He’s an incomparable showman, a great guy, hugely entertaining, and a real show stopper and crowd pleaser.”

Admission to the festival will be free, and all events will be open to the public.

The Jazz Fest’s full schedule of performances will take place on Saturday, July 2, and Sunday, July 3 at Onondaga Community College.

View the festival’s full lineup below, or visit for additional information regarding the events.

Saturday, July 2
3 p.m. – Gates open
4:30 p.m. – NOTEified with Julia Goodwin
6 p.m. – Mark Murphy tribute starring The New York Voices
7:45 p.m. – The Mavericks
9:15 p.m. – Fireworks
9:30 p.m. – Michael McDonald

Sunday, July 3
3 p.m. – Gates open
4 p.m. – City of Syracuse Department of Parks & Rec. Stan Colella All Star Band
5 p.m. – Second Line Syracuse Brass Band
6:30 p.m. – Groove Legacy
8 p.m. – Larry Coryell & The Eleventh House
9:30 p.m. – Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue

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