Syracuse Jazz Fest 2023 organizers announced global music icons Gladys Knight and Herbie Hancock as the headliners for the 37th annual festival.

The five-day event will take place from June 21 to 25 and is free to the public.

Photographed reveal of Syracuse Jazz Fest headliners. Photo by Yolanda Stewart|Central Current

Visit Syracuse CEO and President Danny Liedka highlighted Syracuse’s Jazz fest as an event that attracts people from all parts of the country to participate in. The festival brings new faces to the city of Syracuse and increases tourism, he said. 

Founder Frank Malfitano provided the opening remarks at a press conference announcing the line-up on Thursday.

“We’re gonna have one hell of a festival this year,” Malfitano said.

Malfitano also highlighted local jazz musicians in the crowd and recognized their contributions to the music genre.

This year’s performers include Harri Stojka and Acoustic Drive, Tuba Skinny, Spyro Gyra, Joyce DiCamillo, Nancy Kelly, Marissa Mulder, Late Nite New York Band with Eric Alexander, Tom Brigandi, Joe Magnarelli, and Somethin’ Else.

The festival will highlight local jazz acts including musician ensembles from Syracuse University, along with a number of additional events and acts, scheduled throughout the festival series. 

The event featured addresses by political leaders and industry public figures who offered speeches about Jazz Fest’s significance to locals and visitors. Those in attendance included Mayor Ben Walsh, County Executive Ryan McMahon, and Rep. Al Stirpe. 

Personnel for the festival’s 20 partnered sponsors, including National Grid, where the announcement was held, were present to speak on behalf of their company’s involvement. 

A display of 2023 Syracuse Jazz Fest sponsors. Photo by Yolanda Stewart| Central Current

The common theme among the speakers was the festival’s cultural importance to the music genre’s fans, showcasing of the community, regional economic investment, and the beloved event’s assistance with communal revitalization.

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