All articles by Jessica Novak

Aux Records: A Decade of Indie Musicmaking

(Music) Helping bands reach the next level.

Ulf Oesterle was working toward his Ph.D. at Syracuse University in 2003. His dissertation would focus on the impact independent labels had on the music of their artists. Oesterle envisioned working for a bigger major label down the road; after all, he had already studied media management, mass communications, music and marketing and worked extensively in radio.



Royal Treat

Jessica Novak reports on headliners B.B. King and Trombone Shorty at this summer’s M&T Jazz Fest

The M&T Jazz Fest 2014 is all about the big and the new. Over the two-day festival to be held Friday, July 11, and Saturday, July 12, two 18-piece bands, two 11-piece bands and one 10-piece band will cross the busy stage. And with gigantic names like guitar legend B.B. King and New Orleans favorite Trombone Shorty headlining the free summer festival favorite, “mega” -- a word festival founder and producer Frank Malfitano uses often -- might be a more appropriate term.



Destined to Drum

Byron Cage is a different story.

The normal story goes like this: Musician starts playing as a child, studies music during his or her wonder years, forms a band, tries to make it big and scrambles for press, gigs and possibly fame. The musicmaker either works his or her way up to a point of success, which varies in definition -- or else gives up trying.



Fashion Week Struts into Syracuse

The week includes events that take place throughout the city

Lisa Butler promises that the Syracuse Fashion Week, happening April 9 to 12, will be something this city has never seen before. Not only will the event combine fashion, art, food and music (while benefiting the Food Bank of CNY) – it will also feature everything from body painting to magic tricks, burlesque dancers to nude sushi.



From the Vault: Mark Tiffault

Who is Mark Tiffault?

Drummer Mark Tiffault has a band record that would make any musician jealous. He’s played with some of the best groups in Syracuse music history: The Kingsnakes, Built for Comfort, Little Georgie and the Shuffling Hungarians and, today, Los Blancos and the Barking Loungers. He’s entertained fans for years, yet drawn no attention to himself, always emphasizing the importance of staying out of the way of others musically, allowing the song to breathe. And he’s not a drummer that needs a Neil Peart-approved kit: He can do it all with a snare, hi-hat and brushes, as he did on Austin Jimmy Murphy’s CD A History of Blues.



An opera for the masses

Porgy and Bess ‘resonates musically within our culture,’ says singer in upcoming Syracuse Opera production

First premiered in 1935, it took until 1976 for Porgy and Bess to be largely accepted as a legitimate opera, when the Houston Grand Opera mounted a critically acclaimed production. And it wasn’t until nine years later that New York City’s Metropolitan Opera first performed the work. Fast-forward to 2014, and the piece is still one of the most popular, well known and powerful in opera.



French Dressing

Velvet-voiced Cyrille Aimee closes OCC’s Legends of Jazz Series with a Friday showcase

Cyrille Aimee’s voice has been compared to whiskey, one fine and smooth, smoky and rich. Her style matches: mature, but youthfully adventurous. And her attitude completes the combo: one unafraid, and beyond that, yearning to be the new kid on the block and learn from the best.



Try the Tri

Alzheimer’s Association’s annual Indoor Warrior Triathlon is back for more

Although triathlon season doesn’t usually start until late May and early June in this neck of the woods, an upcoming event will get triathletes moving earlier. The Central New York chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association’s second annual Indoor Warrior Triathlon will take place at Gold’s Gym, 7455 Morgan Road, Liverpool, on Sunday, April 6, 1 p.m.



Syracuse Half Marathon takes place on Sunday

Route Loops

Being in charge of a half marathon sounds just as hard as running one. But Rick Streeter, race director of the Syracuse Half Marathon, is on track to make the Sunday, March 23, event a great experience for all involved.



The Ties That Bind

Familial connections yoked the musical memories during the SAMMYS Hall of Fame ceremony

Everyone felt like part of one big family during the March 6 Hall of Fame festivities, which were part of last week’s Syracuse Area Music Awards (SAMMY). Even those not related by bloodline seemed connected to the various inductees and speakers throughout the night. And those that did share last names were the most emotional of all.