CNY Jazz Central Executive Director, Larry Luttinger, seems to have hit his stride with the NE Jazz & Wine Festival by connecting people's passion for music and wine and presenting it in an urban setting. He will do so again July 25-26 in Clinton Square with the 2014 iteration of the popular event.
This year's festival will see the return of Sherma Andrews to the Syracuse area. Some festival attendees will recognize the beautiful and gifted signer & songwriter from her February 2014 performance at the CNY Jazz Black History Month Cabaret. She performs at 8:15 PM on Friday.
The festival's headliner, Marcus Johnson, looks to be a natural choice for the event since the self-taught smooth jazz pianist is literally putting the jazz and wine in the Jazz & Wine Festival. In addition to owning his own record label, the chart-topping pianist also owns Flo Wine once named to USA Today's 10 Best Celebrity Wine Lines. Johnson will close the festival on Saturday at 10:00 PM.
3rd Scenario is the band that has potential to steal the show because of its dynamic leader Scott "Bugs" Allen. The multi-instrumentalist "Bugs" Allen brings vision and creativity to a band that has the smooth jazz world buzzing with excitement.
"Bugs" formed 3rd Scenario along with Earl "Tee" Harris in Baltimore, MD when they were 14 years old. A proficient musician on both trumpet and bass, "Bugs" gravitated to bass early on "because none of the neighborhood kids wanted or needed a trumpet player when they were forming bands and the girls didn't find it particularly impressive either."
"My career is considered to be unique because I'm a bit of an anomaly," Allen says. "I'm certainly not the best bassist, trumpeter, percussionist or vocalist, but the fact that I can approach a song from any of these four directions certainly gives me a diverse perspective."
"Bugs" Allen and 3rd Scenario are working on a new album and NE Jazz & Wine Festival attendees will be among the first to sample the new material. They perform at 8:15 PM on Saturday. Click here for the full festival schedule.