The 20th Annual Jazz-N-Caz festival, set for Thursday, September 15 through Saturday, September 17, will honor Syracuse Jazz Fest Founder Frank Malfitano during the Saturday, September 17 performance at the Catherine Cummings Theatre on the Cazenovia College campus. The evening will begin at 7:00 p.m. with Monk Rowe Family Band followed by Salt City Jazz Collective Big Band.

As a guiding force in jazz, pop and soul, nationally, regionally, and in Central New York, Frank Malfitano founded Syracuse Jazz Fest 40 years ago along with the Syracuse Area Music Awards (SAMMYS), the Syracuse Walk of Stars, the Jazz at the Center Series (Civic Center) and the Arts Across Campus Legends of Jazz Series. Serving as the executive director of the longest running and best attended music festival in the region, Malfitano has brought some of the greatest names in jazz and American popular music to Syracuse including such legends as Dizzy Gillespie, Ray Charles, B.B. King, Aretha Franklin, The Dave Brubeck Quartet, The Count Basie Orchestra, The Neville Brothers, Dionne Warwick, Tony Bennett, Nancy Wilson and Sonny Rollins.

As the largest free jazz festival in the northeast, Syracuse Jazz Fest has drawn more than a million guests, visitors, and tourists from throughout the United States and Canada to Syracuse and Central New York and has received international, national, regional recognition, while generating millions for the local and regional economy,stated Colleen Prossner, theatre executive director. “It is only fitting that we should thank Frank Malfitano for all he has done in our area for music, arts and culture.”

Throughout his career, Malfitano has received numerous awards and honors. Most recently, in 2017, Malfitano was named a “National Jazz Hero” by the Jazz Journalists Association. A Syracuse Mayoral Proclamation and a JAMS Award for Programming Excellence were awarded to Malfitano in 2016. He also received an Honorary Doctoral Degree  in Music from State University of New York in 2012. In the past 10 years, Malfitano has also received the Syracuse New Times “Best of Syracuse” Award seven times for Best Music Festival.


The Jazz-N-Caz performance schedule: 

  • Thursday, September 15, 7:30 p.m., ESP Jazz Band at the Brae Loch
  • Friday, September 16, 5:00 p.m., Loren & LJ Barrigar at the Brewster 
  • Friday, September 16, 7:00 p.m., Montuno Blue with special guest Mike Dubaniewicz 
     at the Catherine Cummings Theatre 
  • Friday, September 16, 8:30 p.m., Mark Doyle’s Guitar Noir at the Catherine Cummings Theatre 
  • Friday, September 16, 10:30 p.m. Jazz After Hours at Lincklaen House
  • Saturday, September 17, 7:00 p.m., Monk Rowe Family Band at the Catherine Cummings Theatre  
  • Saturday, September 17, 8:00 p.m., Jazz ‘N Caz honoree award presented to Frank Malfitano  
  • Saturday, September 17, 8:30 p.m., Salt City Jazz Collective Big Band at the Catherine Cummings Theatre 
  • Saturday, September 17, 10:30 p.m., Jazz After Hours at Lincklaen House


Jazz After Hours House Band Friday and Saturday evening is: 

  • Tom Witkowski - piano 
  • Jason Jeffers - drums 
  • Mark Hoffmann - guitar  

All musicians welcome to join in!


For additional event information, visit  The Jazz-N-Caz weekend is free and open to the public; however, a $10 donation is suggested for performances held in the theatre.

The Catherine Cummings Theatre at Cazenovia College is named in memory of Catherine Cummings, a 1925 alumna who had benefitted greatly by her opportunity to attend the College. Thanks to the Gorman Foundation of Sherrill, N.Y., the Catherine Cummings Theatre provides a venue for cultural events such as plays and concerts, as well as meeting space for the College and the village.