The Seneca Savings January JazzFest, a fixture on the Syracuse area midwinter music scene since 2011, has moved to February, renamed “Winter Jazzfest.” Still held at Mohegan Manor, Baldwinsville’s multi-story music venue, the event provides a full day of jazz and related musical styles accompanied by fine food and drink, serving as the annual fundraiser for CNY Jazz Central, the region’s primary provider of jazz in public and in schools since 1996.
The event takes place Sunday, Feb. 5.
“We’re adjusting to the longer NFL football schedule, plain and simple,” said Larry Luttinger, CNY Jazz founder and leader. “We’ve always held this event on Pro Bowl Sunday, and when the NFL playoffs expanded last year, we felt the negative effects. So here we are, same great day of music, now in February, one week later on Sunday, Feb. 5.”
This year’s lineup features the nine-piece horn group Brass Inc playing funk, RnB, blues, and contemporary hits on the Manor’s second floor, rising star Vanessa Vacanti and the Jazz Mafia on the main floor, and Rick Montalbano and Julie Falatico curating the lineup in the downstairs bistro. The event always concludes with a celebrity jazz session. A special jazz menu and full drink selection will be available throughout the day.
“We’re going with a more fun dance party vibe this time around,” said Luttinger. “Definitely come ready to party with your best dancing shoes on. Bring some cash for our prize raffles, and remember, everyone gets a wristband for reentry, if you have to pop out for a bit. Consider this a “funraiser,” not your average rubber chicken banquet for sure.”
Proceeds from the festival will support the scholastic activities of the CNY Jazz “Educational Pipeline” of scholastic programs including the SummerJazz Workshop and CNY Jazz Youth Orchestra, as well as their arts-in-education service. A long list of corporate and media sponsors helps underwrite the annual event, including title sponsor Seneca Savings, Mohegan Manor, Riccelli Trucking, Scott Northrup’s State Farm agency, Hearth Cabinets and More, OneGroup, J.R. Clancy, Griffin Insulation, WAER FM88 and CNY Latino. This year’s commercial radio sponsor is The Dinosaur, whose on-air personalities, Bob Brown, John Carucci, and Tony Fallico, will serve as emcees.
Ticketholders will be given re-entry wristbands so that they may come and go at any time during the 7-hour day of continuous music. A “your choice” raffle will be held throughout the day. Mask wearing is encouraged but not required.
Advance sale tickets are on sale now for $25 at https://www.cnyjazz.org/tickets/ and are $30 at the door.
Club Room (Lower Level)
1 p.m. Rick Montalbano
2 p.m. Julie Falatico & Rick Montalbano
3 p.m. Julie, Rick & Friends
6-8 p.m. Celebrity Jam Session
Lounge/Bar (First Level)
2 p.m. Vanessa Vacanti & The Jazz Mafia
3:15 p.m. Vanessa Vacanti & The Jazz Mafia
Green Room (Second Level)
4-6 p.m. Brass Inc.