I didn’t quite believe what I was hearing

For most of the minutes he appeared in front of the crowd of the big and important festival he put together so well for the community of Syracuse this past weekend, founder and executive director Frank Malfitano was a happy guy. As well he should be, I thought from my spot in the roped-off VIP…

Lake Street Dive unveils its Princess

The catch a rising star moment wrapped the M&T Syracuse Jazz Fet in its happy arms early Saturday night. Lake Street Dive, good to know you now. I only hope those plaques proclaiming it your day all four of you brought home, the bouquets placed in the arms of lead singer Rachael Price and bassist…

Aretha Franklin still qualifies as the Queen of Soul

The Queen of Soul still holds courts on a stage. Aretha Franklin took the 10,000 and more folks who pressed onto the campus of Onondaga Community College for her finale set of the M&T Syracuse Jazz Fest and showed them a thing or two about proper soul singing Saturday night. And it was very, very…

A Big Band jump start to the M&T Syracuse Jazz Fest

Into every M&T Syracuse Jazz Fest a little rain must fall. So it seems sometimes in the history of this big party to celebrate good music and hopefully fine times in Central New York. On the first night of the 33rd edition of the summer event on the campus of Onondaga Community College, the precipitation…

It’s the weekend to welcome Wynton and Aretha

It’s a huge weekend for music where I live. Wynton Marsalis leads the Lincoln Center Orchestra onto the stage of the M&T Syracuse Jazz Fest as the headliner Friday night. If you’ve never had the opportunity to sit in the same place as, oh, a couple dozen of the best jazz players on the planet…

Thank you, Riley ‘Blues Boy’ King

It was his time. B.B. King passed away Thursday at the age of 89 after a lifetime of delivering a world of wonder to anybody who opened their ears to the blues. With the famous guitar he named Lucille, Riley “Blues Boy” King rang out notes of beauty that struck you that second, hung out…