CNYJO returns for a rare public performance

They enjoyed the vibe at the Oneida Scholastic Jazz Fest so much that the members of the Central New York Jazz Orchestra decided it was time to make their music for the public of Syracuse again.

Central New York Jazz Orchestra, ready to swing Sunday. (From

Central New York Jazz Orchestra, ready to swing Sunday. (From

The cool ensemble will play at 4 p.m. Sunday at Jazz Central at 400 E. Washington St., Syracuse. The suggested donation is $5.
It will be the band’s first public concert since the CNYJO’s series in 2011.

Financial troubles woes halted the season series after that, but the musicians’ enthusiasm remained.

“We’ve been doing day residencies for school districts, and our every-other-year appearance at the Rochester International Jazz Festival, but that’s about it,” says Larry Luttinger, drummer for the CNYJO and also executive director of the presenting Central New York Jazz foundation.

“We’ll be playing selections by Thad Jones, Francy Boland, and several past and present members of the orchestra: Bret Zvacek, Calvin Custer, John Jeanneret, Angelo Candela, Mike Dubaniewicz, and Rick Montalbano. This gig will show off the considerable national-caliber writing talent coming from the ranks of our big band,” Luttinger said.

I covered dozens of the CNYJO concerts for the big daily, and they are an impressive jazz collective.

Next year will be the CNYJO’s 20th anniversary season since the late Roy Shiner founded the group. Luttinger says he’d like to raise money for a big gig to celebrate the occasion. I’d love to see Jeff Jarvis, who also was music director before leaving to join the faculty at Cal State Long Beach, come back for that party concert to join these cats to honor Shiner and Custer.

10 thoughts on “CNYJO returns for a rare public performance

  1. I am so glad you have this jazz collective back since they were having financial and other woes since 2011. It is a good reminder of the challenges for members of the musical community. It is tough times to get ahead, let along being part of such a trendy industry. I liked the poster, the fact they help schools and the price, Mark! The writers of their music, lyrics written by actual members of the group is very impressive. I have gone to listen to local jazz on the stages in Columbus and in the local bars, they usually play other people’s music, Mark!


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