The 28th annual Syracuse Jazz Fest climaxed with a thrilling performance from multiple Grammy Award Winning singer Natalie Cole. Thousands of people packed the hill at Onondaga Community College on the third night of the festival to listen to Cole who was in command of the stage, her musical catalogue and her vocal skill.
Just before she came out on stage, there were a few raindrops but the show started and the weather held out.
Cole began the evening playing songs from the American song book including Route 66, A Tisket a Tasket and Smile. She had the crowd singing along with a duet with her late father Nat King Cole on her smash hit Unforgettable. She then got people on their feet dancing with selections from the early pop portion of her career in the mid to late 1970's.
Her band hit every note with the help of a brass section made up of Central New York's best professionals. Cole wore a white silky dress with sparkles reaching from her neck to her microphone. She delivered a striking image on stage and moved easily from one musical genre to the next including plenty of jazz rifts throughout the performance.
In talking to people attending Jazz Fest, some said they come to the event every year. Others said this was their first and they wanted to see Natalie Cole perform.
Everyone said the same things about what they like so much about Jazz Fest: It's outdoors, there are great acts, it's an inexpensive night out.
Jazz Fest fan Barry O'Brien said, "You see world class musicians for free and you're outdoors, you can bring your kids and they can play baseball, frisbee everybody's happy, there's good food."Cole's encore brought the last note's to a successful weekend of music at Onondaga Community College. Fans in attendance buzzed about the quality of the performances put together by festival founder Frank Malfitano.