The Syracuse Jazz Festival has been canceled for the first time in over three decades.
That’s right. For the very first time since 1984, the Jazz Fest in Syracuse will not take place. Syracuse Jazz Fest Founder and Executive Director Frank Malfitano announced just last week that there wasn’t enough money to host this free event for 2018.
“A funny thing happened on the way to Jazz Fest this year,” Malfitano said. “We decided that we could not mount it. There will be no Jazz Fest this summer.”
Typically, the festival has an operating budget of $400,000, but this year, the event came up about $150,000 short. The Syracuse Jazz Fest is a non-profit event supported by a combination of private sponsorship and county money. MandT Bank, the title sponsor, decided to step back after last year’s festival, after being the title sponsor for more than 20 years.
“As the title sponsor of Jazz Fest for the past several years, we’ve supported performances that bring both cultural enrichment and economic enrichment to our community,” said Julia Berchou, assistant vice president corporate communications at MandT. “…We genuinely appreciate Frank Malfitano and his team, who have been great partners.”
“We had a great festival planned,” Malfitano said. “Unfortunately we couldn’t raise the money.”
This event has changed venues several times for the last three decades, but it has yet to be canceled until this year. It is safe to say that the community is disappointed. During a recent press conference, Danny Melnick, the Saratoga Jazz Festival Producer, praised the positive impact that the Syracuse festival has had.
Fortunately, though, the festival should return next year in 2019. Malfitano stated that the festival will be bigger and better than ever next year.
“I will never quit on this festival,” he said. “I will never quit on Syracuse. I love Syracuse.”