Cool jazz heats up downtown Scranton for 10th annual festival
For the past decade, on one summer weekend the cool and hot sounds of jazz reverberate through the downtown.
The 10th annual Scranton Jazz Festival was no different.
On Sunday, for the festival’s last night, a small audience was still taking to white chairs on the Radisson at Lackawanna Station hotel’s platform to watch a five-piece New York City/Miami group perform in front of a starry backdrop.
“It’s a great way to kick off a new decade,” producer Bob Shlesinger said of the well-received event.
He estimated close to 3,000 people attended during the three-day festival.
A self-professed “great jazz lover,” Mr. Shlesinger has been on board since before the first note was played that first year. Organizers of that event “felt this area needed a permanent one-weekend festival,” he said. Their original plan of featuring “great music and world-class entertainment” still works a decade later.
Multi-Grammy-winning Manhattan Transfer drew a huge crowd Saturday night. The train-station-turned-hotel was “jampacked” — from the stage to the bar, people crowded in to enjoy the music, Mr. Shlesinger said.
Brass instruments, drums and bass could be heard where Lackawanna becomes Jefferson Avenue on Sunday evening, but on Saturday night the music was all over downtown.
During a Jazz Walk, Marko Marcinko, artistic director, said the tour had stops at Ale Mary’s, the Bog, Posh at the Scranton Club, Trax Patio at the Radisson and Le Bistro.
Musicians were a blend of national, international, regional and local performers, said Mr. Marcinko, who performed during the festival, including at a Jazz Brunch that kicked off Sunday’s events.
Saxophone player Tom Hamilton of Blakely has been playing the festival for 10 years. “It keeps getting better,” he said.
He works with the Keystone College Jazz Institute, which helps high school musicians perfect their jazz technique every year during the last week of July. A band composed of those students took the stage Sunday afternoon.
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