A Fistful of Festivals
by Jessica Novak - Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014
This weekend’s downtown double-fest, presented in conjunction with Syracuse ArtsWeek, offers the Northeast Jazz and Wine Festival and the Stage of Nations Blue Rain ECOfest.

Summertime schedules get overwhelming in sunny Syracuse as every festival packs into the short and sweet season. This weekend’s downtown double-fest, presented in conjunction with Syracuse ArtsWeek, offers the Northeast Jazz and Wine Festival and the Stage of Nations Blue Rain EcoFest.

Both events are free, open to the public and take place alongside ArtsWeek, a weeklong program (running through Saturday, July 27) that combines visual and performing arts thanks to the combined efforts of more than 20 arts and cultural organizations.

Northeast Jazz and Wine Festival

This free fest at Clinton Square combines fine music with fine wines through two days of jazz and rhythm’n’blues acts. Wines include Trainwreck, Chateau Belingard Bergerac, FLO, Tesch Unplugged, Deering, Laird and more with tasting times available on Friday, July 25, 7 to 10 p.m., and Saturday, July 26, 3 to 6 p.m. and 7 to 10 p.m.

Musical highlights include:

Morning Sun and The Essentials (Friday, 6:30 p.m.): This New York City group brings old reggae themes to life with new energy.

Sherma Andrews (Friday, 8:15 p.m.): Armed with an amazing stage presence and captivating voice, she has opened for artists such as Michael Feinstein.

Michael and Anjela Lynn and the Critics (Friday, 10 p.m.): They blend funk and jazz and walked away with a 2009 Syracuse Area Music Award (Sammy) for Best R&B.

Marcus Johnson (Saturday, 10 p.m.): With 15 studio albums under his belt, Billboard rankings and NAACP Image Award nominations, Johnson is a powerhouse in modern jazz. He’s also the owner of FLO (For the Love Of) wines, which will also be featured at the festival.

Late Night Jams: These 11 p.m. sessions will take place at nearby Jazz Central, 441 E. Washington St., and are open to players and fans alike.

Other musical acts at various stages include:

Friday, 5, 7:30 and 9:15 p.m.: Longwood Jazz Project

Friday, 5, 7:30 and 9:15 p.m.: Jeff Houston Experience

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Stage of Nations
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Saturday, noon: Stan Colella Parks and Recreation All-Star Big Band

Saturday, 1 p.m.: NOTEified

Saturday, 2 p.m.: Jazz Kats

Saturday, 3 p.m.: Tradewind

Saturday, 4 p.m.: Easy Money Big Band

Saturday, 5, 7:30 and 9:15 p.m.: CNY Alumni Jam

Saturday, 5, 7:30 and 9:15 p.m.: Djangoners

Saturday, 6:30 p.m.: Wolff-Clark Expedition with Gil Parris

Saturday, 8:15 p.m.: Scott “Bugs” Allen & 3 Scenario

For a full schedule and list of acts and wines, visit: cnyjazz.org/nejwf.

Stage of Nations Blue Rain EcoFest.

Blending art, music and Haudenosaunee culture and values, this eco-friendly fest sits next door to the Jazz and Wine Festival in the ArtsWeek corridor, in and around Hanover Square.

Highlights include:

Haudenosaunee singers and dancers (Friday, 5:30 p.m., Saturday, 12:30 and 5 p.m.) : The group performs traditional social dances in full dress.

Los Blancos (Friday, 7:45 p.m.): Local blues-rockers bring their roots and rhythm to the main stage.

Morris and The Hepcats (Saturday, 2 p.m.): This big-sound trio brings a twist and a kick.

The Fabulous Ripcords (Saturday, 8 p.m.): This roots, rockabilly, blues and swing band has rocked around New York state playing on bills with acts spanning from Blues Traveler to Kim Simmonds. The band will also share a stage with Jackie Greene later this year.

For more information and full schedules, visit: bluerainecofest.org.

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