How It All Began


History of The Jazz Festival

The Scranton Jazz Festival began in 2005 at the Hanlon’s Grove Amphitheatre at Nay Aug Park, Scranton, Pa. After a major snowstorm damaged the facility in 2007, the festival’s organizers moved the event to its present home at the historic Radisson Lackawanna Station Hotel in downtown Scranton where it has become a permanent fixture on the northeastern Pa. arts and culture scene. Presented in August for a three day weekend, the festival has attracted some of the finest international, national, and regional jazz/blues and world beat artists to showcase their world class talent. Combined with an outstanding staff of artisans, technicians, administrators and volunteers, the SJF literally transforms downtown Scranton in to a vibrant three days of high quality entertainment that has attracted thousands over the years. As a result not only has the festival been a high quality musical event, but it has also had a positive effect on the Scranton region’s economy. Scranton has had a rich history in jazz dating back to the 1930’s where jazz legends, Tommy and Jimmy Dorsey, performed regularly with the famous Scranton Sirens Jazz Band.

Our area is also credited with hosting the first known recorded jazz festival, “The Cavalcade of Dixieland Jazz”, in 1951. Since its premiere in 2005 the festival has drawn audiences from the entire Mid-Atlantic region, resulting in tremendous notoriety and exposure to the international jazz world. The SJF can help revive our region as a cultural epicenter, spreading the arts throughout the northeast, no different than such festivals as Newport, Rhode Island; Saratoga Springs, Florida; and Monterey, California.

The Scranton Jazz Festival simply wants to carry on this rich tradition while becoming a recognized contributor to the world of jazz/blues and world beat music in its own right. Last year, the Scranton Jazz Festival celebrated its first decade. It is the hope and desire of everyone involved that the festival will continue for decades to come. This summer The Scranton Jazz Festival will celebrate its 14th year at the historic Radisson Lackawanna Station Hotel and various downtown Scranton venues.



“Class” Act

Camp Crescendo Jazz/ Scranton Jazz Festival student ensemble.
Camp Crescendo Jazz is the educational wing of the Scranton Jazz Festival. This one week summer program offers an opportunity for students, educators, amateurs and professionals to study and perform with some of New York's and Northeastern Pennsylvania's finest recording,performing and touring jazz artists. Students are gathered from the NEPA region and study jazz theory, harmony, improvisation, history and ensemble coaching.

Faculty members for CCJ are:
James Buckley (jazz history, ensemble instruction)
Tom Hamilton (saxophone and woodwinds)
Marko Marcinko (artistic director, drum set and jazz piano)
Tony Marino (acoustic and electric bass)
Dave Jumper (camp organizer, jazz trumpet and brass)
Bill Washer (jazz guitar, ensemble instruction)

 

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