Cover Story

Foodie with Flair

Writer Margaret McCormick chats with Tom Kiernan, named Chef of the Year for his kitchen cuisine

For Tom Kiernan, 2015 has been a year of accomplishments, achievements and experiences to savor and remember and build on. And the year is still young.

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.

Flower Power

Stage critic James MacKillop profiles the Covey Theatre Company, which mounts the hippie musical “Hair” starting Friday, July 10

Twenty-three Syracuse New Times Syracuse Area Live Theater (SALT) Awards in five years. Sold-out houses at community theater’s priciest venue, the BeVard Studio of the Mulroy Civic Center. Turn-away crowds not only for hot musicals like Rent or Avenue Q but also for subtle, cerebral original dramas like Playing God and The Romanovs.

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.

Teens in Transition

Writer Renée K. Gadoua highlights the local transgender community’s goal of social acceptance

The transgender community is having a pop culture moment. When former Olympic star Bruce Jenner shared his story of transitioning to female to 20.7 million TV viewers, barely anyone blinked. Perhaps that’s because of months of breathless media speculation about his gender identity. Or maybe it’s thanks to groundbreaking, award-winning TV shows like the Netflix series Orange is the New Black, starring Laverne Cox, a transgender actress who plays a transgender inmate in a women’s prison. Amazon’s streaming series Transparent also set the stage with its touching comedy about a divorced father of three who transitions from Mort to Maura.

A Note-Worthy Endeavor

Writer Jessica Novak details the mission of Signature Music, which sends needy kids on new musical journeys

Every human on the planet is affected by music, for most of us on a daily basis. Yet music is still something that is often misunderstood. Music programs are often cut from school schedules. And viable job opportunities in composition, performance, music therapy, music industry, recording and theater are often overlooked when students are weighing their career options. Many people fail to realize how much time and money goes into preparing a student simply to audition for music school.

The Mo’ the Merrier

Music writer Jessica Novak chats with Keb’ Mo’, who will soon bring the blues to Syracuse

Hot on the trail of his 12th studio album, BLUESAmericana, Keb’ Mo’ is bringing his sound to Syracuse. The disc was nominated for Best Contemporary Blues Album at the 2015 Blues Music Awards and recently named one of the Top 100 Americana Albums of 2014 and Mo’ has been performing to support it over the past year.

Lazarus Sims: He Still Got Game

Former SU hoops star Lazarus Sims comes home to run the parks he grew up in – The Syracuse New Times Interview

Mayor Stephanie Miner never saw Lazarus Sims play point guard for Syracuse University in the Carrier Dome. “I was out trying to find myself in the world,” she reflects on graduating in 1992, the year he started caging. When she had to find someone to replace Baye Muhammad as city parks commissioner, however, a number of trusted colleagues suggested she interview Sims, 42.

Market Values

Writer Leanna Garfield profiles refugees who find community at Syracuse’s first Nepali grocery store

When loyal customer Devi Siwakoti enters the All Asian Store, the first and largest of four Nepali grocery stores in Syracuse, a thick waft of cumin, dill seeds and a sense of home greet him.