Aretha Franklin to headline Syracuse Jazz Festival

Aretha Franklin will headline this yearâ??s M&T Syracuse Jazz Festival.

The festival, now in its 33rd year, will take place at the hilltop campus of Onondaga Community College on July 17 and 18.

Franklin had previously headlined the 25th anniversary Jazz Fest in 2007. This will be her first Syracuse area appearance in eight years.

Opening night co-headliners on Friday, July 18 include â??Buckwheatâ?? Zydeco, Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra.

Also taking the stage on opening night is the City of Syracuse Parks & Rec All Star Band and a Special Encore Presentation of AppleJazz!-which features a host of Syracuse-area jazz legends and notables, including Charlie Bertini, Ronnie Leigh, Mark Doyle, Ronnie France, Dave Hanlon and Joe Whiting.

Joining Franklin on the festivalâ??s second evening on Saturday, July 18, is Brooklyn based Lake Street Drive.

Two other all-star jazz ensembles with ties to Syracuse and Central New Yorkâ??Noteified, the regional student all-star group discovered by Carrie Lazarus, that features Dunham Hall, Sam Smith, Scottie Madonia, Dave Millen and Rich Bostick, and a group called The Upstate Burners, which features top ranked baritone saxophonist Gary Smulyan, legendary jazz drummer Danny Dâ??Imperio, trumpet great Greg Gisbert, upright bassist Peter Mack and pianist Andrew Carroll-will perform Saturday night.

â??Headliners Aretha Franklin and Wynton Marsalis are superstars, two of the most-recognizable entertainers in the world, and artists that everyone knows and loves,â?? said Frank Malfitano, Jazz Fest founder. â??Theyâ??re true American musical royalty, and two of the greatest American entertainer in history. â??Theyâ??re also American-born artists who never fail to deliver, who have each put their stamp on American music forever.â??

A fireworks display will immediately follow Franklinâ??s performance Saturday night.

Admission to the 2015 M&T Syracuse Jazz Fest is free, and all events are open to the public.

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