Four floors of jazz warms up the winter

From bottom to top, the CNY Jazz plan to keep the genre hopping at Mohegan Manor worked quite well.

The Syracuse arts organization uses its winter one-day festival in the big, old brick building in quaint village of Baldwinsville, N.Y., to raise funds and awareness for America’s own brand of music.

On the last day of January, my great friend Dave Kaspar — quite likely the biggest jazz fan I know — invited my dear wife Karen and I to join he and his sweet Sue to appreciate the party.

I dropped many of my raffle tickets into the bag for the ukulele.

I dropped many of my raffle tickets into the bag for the ukulele.

Executive director Larry Luttinger and his wise volunteers had set up the welcoming foyer to include the ticket raffle and silent auction, featuring donated prizes.

Karen and I bought an arm’s length each for the cause, and dropped our tickets into the bags with which we hoped to walk home as happy new owners.

My favorite was the ukulele. I dream of learning how to play the guitar’s little cousin from Hawaii.

Alas, when we watched the winners drawn and posted hours later, it was not to be.

Hover over any gallery photo for a description. Click on any of the images for an enlarged slide show.

It was a fine afternoon to appreciate Edgar Pagan and his Grupo Pagan’s Latin and World feel in the first floor bar, and crooner Scott Dennis and his saloon-singer feel in the basement lounge, and the Longwood Jazz Project in the bigger room on the second floor. But the big show was the Little Big Band concert put on by Rick Holland, band leader and top trumpet player, which featured his rising star daughter Lindsey as vocalist.

Much of the accompanying ensemble included cats that have hung in for decades, through thick and thin, as part of the Central New York Jazz Orchestra.

I used my iPhone 6 to catch a bit of Scott Dennis and the ensemble of Mike Solazzo on upright bass, Joe Ferlo on guitar and Jimmy Johns on drums performing in the basement level.

How many different rooms of music have you experienced in one place, and what was the occasion? What have you attempted to win in a raffle, and why did you try? What’s your next planned outing?

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11 thoughts on “Four floors of jazz warms up the winter

  1. Small world–my son was just lamenting the fact that he didn’t have a ukelele over dinner. And he said “ooh-kele” because he says that’s the RIGHT way to say it. Whatever. Now my mom is going to purchase one. Fun video of the January Jazz Jam. I think jazz is winning me over to its side, after all these years of avoiding it.

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    • The ooh-kele won me over when my dear wife Karen and I sat on a tour bus in Hawaii seeing the gorgeous sights of Maui with a driver that played his own “mixtape” greatest hits over his PA system for us over a four-hour drive to blend with his comments. It was awesome. Your son keeps getting cooler in his musical tastes, Kerbey. And you, too, with jazz. It’s pretty soothing.

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  2. what a fun event – sorry you didn’t win and i’m with you on the lure of the uke. ) I once won a pair of cowboy pajamas in a silent auction. i am a jazz fan –

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