All articles by Jessica Novak

Fall In for Sonic Delights

As the weather begins to cool, the local music scene heats up in Central New York

Although the temperature drops quickly, music in Central New York never truly cools down. From country superstars to vibrant local venues, the fall music schedule is ramping up.



Local Hop

A number of local musicians are making waves in the industry

John Cadley, The Hard Years (Caity Mae Records): Like so many great singer-songwriters, John Cadley is a storyteller at his core. Every track on The Hard Years takes the listener through an experience, lesson or event. Some songs reflect personal thoughts while in others Cadley seems able to communicate the experiences of those around him through his own words.



Megan on the Move

Megan Davies is knocking on country music’s door

Megan Davies graduated from Nashville’s Belmont University in December 2012 at age 24. She attended the prominent music school with the hope of majoring in guitar performance.



The Skinny on Skaneateles Festival

The 36th Skaneateles Festival will feature a plethora of talent over a four-week span

When the Skaneateles Festival started in 1980, it featured a few concerts in a local library. Now entering its 36th season, it involves more than 125 community volunteers, draws audiences from across the Northeast, spans four weeks and features more than 75 world-class performers in 20 musical events.



Jazz in the City Takes Sides

The traveling music series Jazz in the City returns to Syracuse in August

A reinvigorated Jazz in the City returns on Thursday, Aug. 6, for its first stop at Syracuse’s South Side. The traveling music series, which features national and local jazz artists, is designed to reach urban residents by placing the free shows in their backyards. The four separate music programs will take place on Thursday nights in different parts of the Salt City.



Fests and Furious

Music writer Jessica Novak reports on this weekend’s Northeast Jazz and Wine Festival, which climaxes with Duke Robillard.

The 2015 edition of the Northeast Jazz and Wine Festival features much more than its name suggests. The event, first inaugurated as Jazz in the Square in 2002, has brought all types of jazz and soul to the stage. But this year’s expanded fest will include a variety of vibrations with a trio of themed days: Funky Friday on July 24, Jazz Saturday on July 25 and Blues Sunday on July 26.



Fab Four at Fest

Music writer Jessica Novak previews Jazz Fest outfit Lake Street Dive, which blends classic soul with sultry swing

In an era of Auto-Tune and bubble-gum pop, sugary image over solid substance, sometimes the masses get hungry for something more satisfying. And every once in a while a band comes around that can fill their bellies. This year, the 33rd annual M&T Syracuse Jazz Fest will feature one of those groups: Lake Street Dive, slated to perform Saturday, July 18, 7:45 p.m., at the Onondaga Community College campus.



Bring on the Blues

Blues Artists will perform at the annual New York State Blues Festival on Friday, July 10 and Saturday, July 11 in Clinton Square

The annual New York State Blues Festival returns to downtown Syracuse’s Clinton Square on Friday, July 10, and Saturday, July 11, with a schedule of local rockers and premier national talent. Spanning Los Blancos to Robert Randolph, this celebration of the blues brings all flavors to the stage. The event is free and open to the public.



Mark Hoffmann

Local guitar guru Mark Hoffmann reveals his rockin’ resume to music writer Jessica Novak

As a fixture of the Syracuse music scene for more than five decades, guitarist-vocalist Mark Hoffmann has been involved in major productions (such as the Salt City Waltz and Beatlecuse) and was inducted into the Syracuse Area Music Awards (Sammy) Hall of Fame in 2008. Yet his legacy goes far beyond the city limits.



Ann Wilson: Wild at Heart

Music writer Jessica Novak goes one-on-one with Ann Wilson of Heart prior to their June 30 performance at the Mulroy Civic Center

In the 1970s, a female-led band that sang, wrote and played their own songs was anything but common. But it didn’t stop the Wilson sisters, Ann and Nancy, from pursuing their dreams with their band Heart.