Born in Philadelphia, Gerald Veasley has a varied and impressive resume that includes work with Joe Zawinul of Weather Report; his longtime friend and mentor, the late Grover Washington Jr.; McCoy Tyner; The Dixie Hummingbirds; Odean Pope; Special EFX; Joe McBride; Teddy Pendergrass; Phil Perry; Chieli Minucci; Dianne Reeves; George Howard; Philip Bailey of Earth Wind & Fire; Kenny Blake; Pamela Williams; Eric Marienthal; Onaje Alan Gumbs; Omar Hakim; and many more. He also has shared stages and tours with Miles Davis and Dizzy Gillespie. Veasley has been named "Best Electric Bassist" in Jazziz magazine's annual readers' poll and Philadelphia Magazine named his band the “Best Jazz Band.”He is the founder of Gerald Veasley's Bass BootCamp, now in its 14th year, which offers the ultimate experience for bassists looking to grow and develop during a weekend getaway.
A featured artist in the festival-closing All-Star Jam Session, Grammy-nominated guitar virtuoso Gil Parris is known for his special blend of blues, jazz, rock, and smooth jazz. One of the nation’s most in-demand studio musicians, he has recorded and toured as both a solo artist and sideman with major artists like Dr. John, Blood, Sweat & Tears, Diane Schuur, David Mann, Billy Vera, Bobby Caldwell, and Toni Braxton, to name just a few. He recently released an acclaimed DVD with Paul Shaffer, Bernie Williams, Randy Brecker, and David Mann deemed by Vintage Guitar Magazine “ a perfect introduction to one of the finest players around." He has appeared on N.B.C.'s The Today Show, B.E.T.'s Studio Jams, The Food Network, and on the national DVD release Masters of the Stratocaster (2006).
Keyboardist, composer, arranger, leader and music director Michael Wolff is a walking compendium of jazz history. His career list of musical association indicates the breadth of his stylistic powers. Starting in the business as a member of legendary West Coast vibist Cal Tjader, Wolff has performed in or led musical organizations fronted by Airto Moreira, Cannonball Adderley, Sonny Rollins, Thad Jones/Mel Lewis, Nancy Wilson, Joe Zawinul, Christian McBride, and Tony Williams, and was Music Director for the Arsenio Hall Show for four years. He is active in film, and with his sons Nat and Alex, received the BMI Film and TV Award for their contributions to the music on “The Naked Brothers Band” Nickelodeon TV Show. From the heavy grooves of his band Impure Thoughts to intimate solo and duo recitals, Wolff the artist is a man of many musical skills and moods.
A boundary breaking power trio created as an outlet for the performing and writing talents of Noah Kellman, Max Calkin and Conor Szymanski, SQUID explores the boundaries between jazz, rock, pop and classical music. The members met at the Manhattan School of Music, where they immediately blended their talents to create a unique and moving musical experience. Touring this summer across the East Coast, their debut album, "Bigger Boxes" is now available and can be purchased as a digital or physical copy on their website, www.ilovesquid.com.
ATLAS XXXIII REUNION
Upstate NY RnB powerhouse Atlas celebrates its thirty-third year as our region’s leader in funk and RnB.
BLOWIN’ IN THE WIND
Emerging smooth jazz sensation Blowin’ in the Wind makes its festival debut with the show that earned them instant acclaim at the Palace Theater – led by saxophonist and Marion Meadows protégé Al Cutri.
BATTLE OF THE COMMUNITY JAZZ BANDS
This year’s coming together of the best of CNY’s corporate music makers features Tradewind, The Rhythm-Airs, The Jazz Kats, and the Easy Money Big Band. This important community outreach element of the festival is hosted by Eagle Newspapers and organized by Russ Tarby.
Brownskin--inspired by Mint Condition, The Roots, and Tony! Toni! Toné!--was formed in August 2007 by drummer Nate Brown. The current line-up includes Gary Carter on vocals, Joe Cummings on keyboard and vocals, John Dale on bass, Danielle Mitchell on vocals, and Ekwan Brooks on keyboard.
TRUMP TIGHT 315
TRUMP TIGHT 315 was created in April 2012 with the goals of carrying the best of R&B, Funk, Jazz and Rock to the public. Its seven hand-picked members represent a Who’s Who of regional veterans, including Berny Williford on keys, Jamar Lacey on drums, Donny Silver on guitar, Terence Robinson on bass and Marty Klueber on sax, ably backing the dynamic duo of Ms. Belov'e and Mr. Eric Love Jones on lead vocals.
J.A.S.S. DIXIELAND JAM HOSTED BY THE SODA ASH SIX
Soda Ash Six is Central New York’s Premier Dixieland jazz band from Syracuse and Skaneateles, New York. The band was formed in the early sixties and has continued to provide upbeat music for trad jazz events and festivals in the Central New York area for half a century.
CNY ALUMNI REUNION BANDS
The CNY Alumni Reunion Bands will be led this year by several bandleader-keyboardists representing the 550-plus graduates of the SummerJazz Workshop, Stan Colella All-Star Parks & Rec Big Band and Scholastic Jazz Jams. These young musicians who have gone through the ranks include working professionals and educators from across the country, as well as current teens immersed in CNY Jazz training activities.
STAN COLELLA PARKS & RECREATION ALL-STAR BIG BAND
A paying summer job for students exclusively from the Syracuse City School District, the Stan Colella Parks & Rec All-Star Big Band plays concerts at city events, nursing homes, schools, parks, and public places throughout the urban area. CNY Jazz provides a home base for its “youth orchestra” at Jazz Central in downtown Syracuse.
WILL GORMAN COMBO
Formed at a CNY Jazz Alumni Event, this group represents the cream of the emerging crop of budding professionals now in training by CNY Jazz. Recent grads of the 8th through 10th grade in CNY school districts, this independent group is led by Nottingham junior Will Gorman. They have an impressive record of local media appearances to date including Bridge Street (Channel 9) and Financial Fitness (WCNY).