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‘Kristen sings and plays and rings’

Kristen Shiner McGuire is a drummer, jazz singer, solo marimbist, orchestral timpanist and contemporary chamber musician. No wonder she’s so multi-talented. Kristen’s got great genes.

When war ended, ‘Cuse nightclubs rocked

After more than five years of death and destruction, of buzz bombs and A-bombs, Panzer tanks and kamikaze planes – after 60 million men and women had perished during World War II, if you were one of the lucky ones who survived, well, it was time to dance!

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The Redhouse rocks eight days a week

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know that the Redhouse stages some of the edgiest theater, films, concerts and gallery exhibitions in Central New York.

A Thousand Islands mystery

Downtown After Dark

Nineteenth century Broadway star May Irwin never wore blackface, but she was known far and wide as one of America’s best-loved “coon shouters.”

Customers paid for services not rendered

Downtown After Dark

As owner of Yardsmith Groundskeepers in Syracuse, Craig Smith profited handsomely this winter even though his customers rarely needed their driveways cleared.

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Cat Russell carries on her family’s musical legacy

Downtown After Dark

Vocalist Catherine Russell possesses one of the most impressive pedigrees in jazz.

'Why Jazz?' offers short answers to big questions

Downtown After Dark

Here’s a book that should be required reading for Jazz 101 courses worldwide.

Joe Riposo's new jazz tune recalls Three Rivers Inn

Downtown After Dark

When we were kids my mom and dad would take us out for dinner and a show at Three Rivers Inn, up in Phoenix, N.Y. We heard top-shelf singers such as Paul Anka, Teresa Brewer, Brenda Lee and Nat “King” Cole. So when I heard that Joe Riposo recently composed a tune about Three Rivers titled “Through a Child’s Eyes,” naturally I recalled my childhood visits to the legendary CNY nightspot owned by the late Dom Bruno. But that’s not what it’s about at all.

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Marissa Mulder climbs from Syracuse church basement to NYC spotlight

Downtown After Dark

It’s a long way from a church basement in Taunton to the spotlit stages of midtown Manhattan! Marissa Mulder, who got her start singing in musicals and concerts at St. Ann’s Church on 4461 Onondaga Blvd., in Syracuse, is now a 20something budding cabaret star being reviewed by The New York Times.

Bing, Yip and ‘It’ at Cinefest 32

Downtown After Dark

One of the best vocalists of the 20th century, Bing Crosby, got his start singing with the Rhythm Boys, a vocal trio featured with the Paul Whiteman Orchestra. When the Syracuse Cinephile Society presents its 32nd annual Cinefest March 15 through 18, at the Holiday Inn in Liverpool, one of the five dozen featured films will show a dashing young Crosby harmonizing with the Boys, Harry Barris and Al Rinker.

From Masters of Reality to Moyuba Jazz

Downtown After Dark

Drummer Vinnie Ludovico can play any style of music.

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A voice that could move mountains

When Whitney Houston’s death was announced on Feb. 11, my thoughts flashed back to one of the best concerts I’d ever heard, and I’ve attended thousands.

All-star band sweetens ‘Caroline’ at Syracuse Stage

Downtown After Dark

When a Jewish child and a black maid bond during the waning days of Jim Crow in St. Charles, Louisiana, musical magic ensues. Even the washing machines and dryers sing like archangels! So you can imagine the width and breadth of the tunes’ genres in “Caroline, or Change,” the unconventional musical by Tony Kushner and Jeanine Tesori now playing at Syracuse Stage, 820 East Genesee St.

Orange host Huskies; Crunch pursue playoffs

Russ Tarby offers his best bets for the week of Feb. 9.

George Bedigian withstood both paralysis and prison

Downtown After Dark

Super Bowl Sunday didn’t feel the same here this year. Someone was missing. The city’s most prominent bookmaker – George Bedigian – died Jan. 28, exactly one week before the biggest betting day on the calendar. He had celebrated his 67th birthday on Dec. 6.

Downtown After Dark: Arts quietly blossom in Hawley-Lodi neighborhood

While we hear lots of noise from the West Fayette Street-Delavan-Lipe Park art initiatives, the Hawley-Lodi neighborhood continues to quietly blossom into a vibrant arts district.

Downtown After Dark: Jack ‘Penetrator’ perseveres with debut solo disc

No wonder Jack Lipton calls himself “Forgotten Boy.”

Downtown After Dark: First Night fall-out; Frisina fired

Is there anything quite as satisfying as being able to say “I told you so”? I don’t think so.

Downtown After Dark: Community doctor recalls massaging Lennon’s heart

Dave Halleran wants to set the record straight.

Downtown After Dark: Maheu made his mark on N’awlins

A century after its origin, traditional jazz remains the definitive music of New Orleans and an international hallmark of the City that Care Forgot.

Downtown After Dark: The reporter who unmasked organized crime in Syracuse

It was only a matter of months after Dick Long began working as a reporter for the Herald-Journal that he began to suspect the cops were on the take.

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Dynamic drama recalls doomed dynasty

Downtown After Dark

Syracuse’s award-winning playwright and producer Garrett Heater adds his meticulously researched stage play, “The Romanovs,” to the list of dramas documenting the undoing of Russia's Romanov Dynasty.

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Occupy Syracuse takes aim at Wall Street

A grass-roots movement protesting greed and corruption on Wall Street is sweeping the nation. Here in the Salt City, a group calling itself Occupy Syracuse set up camp on Oct. 2, in Perseverance Park, at the corner of Fayette and South Salina streets in the center of downtown’s financial district.

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Two Hour Delay delivers dynamic disc

Downtown After Dark

A relatively new Syracuse rock band named Two Hour Delay is rocking the socks off the rest of the field.

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Tipp Hill remembers Big Ed’s rise ball

Downtown After Dark

It’s no easy feat to hit a home run at the Burnet Park softball fields, but Big Ed Zacholl routinely whacked ’em over the fence. In fact, a Tipperary Hill neighbor claims Big Ed once drove a ball all the way to Monkey Island in the Burnet Park Zoo

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‘Swingin’ on a Star!’

Downtown After Dark

The world knew him as Jimmy Van Heusen, songwriter for the stars. But in Syracuse he was Chet Babcock from down in The Valley.

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Crunch seeks hot Ice Girls

Downtown After Dark

The Syracuse Crunch — this city’s American Hockey League franchise, the top farm club of the Anaheim Ducks — seeks attractive young women willing to shake their booties.

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Lensman chronicles Upstate’s urban landscape

Bruce Jackson is Buffalo’s Brahmin of pop culture.

State Fair drops Dixie dudes

Downtown After Dark

After seven years of entertaining New York State Fair goers with authentic Dixieland jazz, the State Fair Four have been let go.

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We told you so: SU will save the symphony!

It was Feb. 2, in the middle of the Syracuse Symphony’s Orchestra’s unsuccessful attempt to raise $1.7 million to save its 50th anniversary season. Our headline said it all: “SU should save SSO!”

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Vintage Vadeboncoeur

Downtown After Dark

Like many newspaper reporters, Joan Vadeboncoeur met plenty of famous people. When her estate was auctioned off last weekend, autographs inscribed by entertainers such as Judy Garland and Erroll Flynn were among the items sold.

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