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Jazz Fest needs $80k

{Q}"The festival is a tremendous economic engine," Mahoney said. The thousands who attend it every year spend millions of dollars in Onondaga County, she said. "So it's really an investment."{Q}

The festival received $70,980 from Onondaga County in December.

The 2008 festival, headlined by Chaka Khan, cost about $360,000. Malfitano has budgeted $280,000 for this year, but he's still $80,000 short.

"It's attainable," he said. "We know it's a competitive arena right now, but we also know corporations need to entertain and recruit, so we've created a new model that enables them to stage a quarter million-dollar event at a fraction of the cost, an event which features the world's greatest entertainers."

The festival's new model will accommodate corporate sponsors at 13 different tents ringing the OCC site. The tents will allow for individual catering operations, seats with sight-lines to the performances and will be wired for stage sound and video feeds.

Suggested prices for the tents range from $100,000 for a title sponsor to $60,000 for a main-stage sponsor and $40,000 for a scholastic-stage sponsor. Eight other tents would cost $20,000 for the two-day fest.

The 2009 festival is dedicated to the late guitarist Hiram Bullock who died July 25, 2008, at age 52. Malfitano, who presented Bullock a half-dozen times at past festivals, called him "a master showman and studio wizard."

The festival's first-ever late-night jam session, dedicated to Bullock, will feature many of his colleagues including Spyro Gyra, the Randy Brecker/Bill Evans Soulbop Band and David Garfield's Creatchy & The Cats Band with Will Lee and Steve Ferrone.

Spyro Gyra, led by saxophonist Jay Beckentsein and keyboardist Tom Shuman, will celebrate the Buffalo group's 30th Anniversary here June 26.

Kenny G, the 52-year-old Seattle saxophonist who has recorded more than 30 albums totaling 50 million in sales, will close out the fest on June 27.

"Kenny has crossed over into pop in a way no other jazz instrumentalist ever has," Malfitano said, "so for us, his Jazz Fest debut this year is historic."

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