Jazz Fest Preparations: Matt's Memo

Matt Mulcahy and guitar player John Tropea.

The late day sun will be starting to set on Onondaga Hill. The smell of barbecue will fill the air. Thousands of people will park their seats in the terraced amphitheatre. The energy of jazz music will soar from the giant main stage of the Syracuse Jazz Fest. Just at that moment the cue will come through my earpiece - "go!". That's when our Jazz Fest Live broadcast will begin.

That hour from 7:00 to 8:00 pm on NBC 3 will be filled with live music off the main stage from national recording acts visiting Central New York for the weekend. By week's endNatalie Cole, Boz Scaggs and Jeff Lorber Fusion will perform. Mix them with world class musicians like Randy Brecker, Will Lee, Richard Bona and Gil Scott-Heron and you have a festival worthy of any price - yet all for free.

The fun of the broadcast is our ability to bring you conversations with the artists who will grace the stage. It's also a thrill to be front and center in the mix of the people, the players and the behind the scenes support that makes this all happen. I look forward to sharing that experience.

Another part of the joy of Jazz Fest Live is the preparation. Digging into the biographies and discographies of a musician I might not know often opens a new world. Richard Bona is a great example. He's a wonderful electric bass player and vocalist originally from Cameroon. His personal story of teaching himself to play is compelling, his musical skill even more so. YouTube has a wonderful clip of him improvising with the great Bobby McFerrin.

That's the joy of a festival. You may come to see one performer and find yourself loving one or two of the other acts even more. I'm looking forward to getting to the site Friday. See you on Jazz Fest Live, I'll be the one tapping my foot.

Any questions or comment please forward them to . I may even use some of your thoughts on NBC 3 News at 5:00, the 10:00 News on CW6 or on

The opinions expressed in this blog are the sole responsibility of the author and are not reflective of the views or opinions of Barrington Broadcasting, WSTM-NBC3, its management or employees.