CNY Jazz Central’s annual winter jazz festival fundraiser, The Seneca Savings January JAZZfest, will be held Jan. 27 at Mohegan Manor, Baldwinsville’s historic, multi-story event center. This year’s national guest artist is Dave Brubeck’s long-time saxophonist, Bobby Militello.
Continuous music on all floors of the venue will showcase a multiplicity of styles, from bebop, cabaret, funk, and soul to acoustic swing. A pair of Syracuse University men’s basketball tickets will be raffled as the grand prize in an event-long auction.
Headliner Bobby Militello is renowned internationally as the saxophonist in the legendary Dave Brubeck Quartet from 1982 until Brubeck’s death in 2012. He is also known for his tenure with Maynard Ferguson’s big band from 1975 to 1979, his stint with Doc Severinson in the “Tonight Show” band, and many other collaborations, recordings, TV, and film appearances.
Other acts performing throughout the day include Miller and the Other Sinners, whose sound encompasses funk, soul and Memphis Blues, led by David Michael Miller; the acoustic swing of Stringdom, with guests Joe Davoli and Frank Grosso; the cabaret vocals of Melody Rose, hailing from Brooklyn; pianist Andrew Carrol; The Lawless Jazz Collective, a quintet comprised of star grads from CNY Jazz training programs, in a celebrity jam; and an event-closing professional jam session that runs until 9 p.m. Mohegan Manor’s fine food and drink will be available at all times throughout the eight-hour festival. A complete hour-by-hour performance schedule is available at cnyjazz.org/january-jazzfest.
New sponsor Three Chord Bourbon — founded by Neil Giraldo, legendary guitarist with Pat Benatar, Kenny Loggins, John Waite and others — will conduct tastings of its small batch whiskeys in the afternoon. Three Chord is also sponsoring the appearance by national artist David Michael Miller. A large family of corporate sponsors makes the event possible, led by Seneca Savings and Mohegan Manor, including Syracuse University athletics, Riccelli Trucking, OneGroup, Hearth Cabinets and More, Burritt Motors, Scott Northrup State Farm Agency, J.R. Clancy, Onondaga Beverage, the Red Mill Inn and new sponsor Emerald Equipment Systems.
Raffle items will also be available, including the centerpiece prizes of two tickets to the SU vs. Louisville men’s basketball game in the Dome, and a guitar autographed by Neil Giraldo.
“We call this event our annual ‘fun-raiser,’ because you’d never know it was a charity event,” said Larry Luttinger, founder of CNY Jazz and creator of the event, now in its ninth year. “We couldn’t make this happen without the loyalty of Seneca Savings, Mohegan Manor and all of our other fine sponsors. I am continually humbled by the support we get from the area’s finest musicians as well, who make this shindig a sampler of America’s music from soup to nuts. There’s a room with a style of music catering to every taste at this festival.”
All proceeds from the event will support the many programs of CNY Jazz Central, upstate New York’s largest year-round provider of jazz and American music in public and in schools, presenting over 340 events to an annual audience of over 58,000. They include a summer season of festivals and concerts like the Northeast Jazz and Wine Fest, the Stage of Nations ECOfest, and Jazz in the City; the CNY Jazz Cabaret Series, a busy arts-in-education service, shows at downtown’s Jazz Central theater, the SummerJazz Workshop, two music series held at Le Moyne College’s Le Moyne Plaza, the new Jazz at the Cavalier Series at the historic Marriott Syracuse Downtown, Jazz at the Magnolia, Jazz on Tap, and other series and educational programs of all kinds throughout the extended region.