June-30th-2012, 01:46 PM
Scranton Jazz Fest
Downtown Scranton will once again be swinging when the eighth annual Scranton Jazz Festival returns Aug. 3-5.
On Friday, festival organizers Marko Marcinko, Laurie Cadden and Bob Shlesinger held a news conference at the Radisson at Lackawanna Station hotel, site of the festival's main stage.
Lackawanna County Commissioners Jim Wansacz and Patrick O'Malley also were on hand. The county is among the festival's primary sponsors.
As always, the festival will boast an eclectic lineup of acts representing various jazz subgenres. The first night's headliner is Scottish funk combo Average White Band, known for their 1970s hit, "Pick Up the Pieces."
The second day will include a quintet led by acclaimed jazz drummer Bill Goodwin, a performance by Grammy-nominated jazz vocalist Roseanna Vitro and the Gypsy-style jazz of Hot Club of Detroit.
Highlights of the third and final day will be Giacomo Gates and Friends, the Festival Big Band Tribute to the great jazz bassist Jaco Pastorious and the Jazz Jam finale.
Also back this year is the Jazz Walk, featuring a number of acts playing at venues throughout the downtown on the first and second nights of the festival.
Tickets for the festival are $25 for the first day, and $20 for the second and third, and are available at scrantonjazzfestival.org, local Joe Nardone Gallery of Sound locations and by phone at 487-3954.
"For the ticket price, you can't go wrong. You get a lot of music," said Mr. Marcinko, noting the festival has become one of the biggest of its kind on the East Coast.
"You don't have to go too far to get the same quality stuff that you would get in New York City or anywhere else in the world," he said.
Mr. Shlesinger added, "The reason why I think this festival is great is that it's unique to Lackawanna County. We bring in a lot of musicians from outside the region. But we also hire musicians from inside the region. It's a nice meld of musicians."
Mr. O'Malley and Mr. Wansacz stressed the economic jolt the festival brings to the community.
"It's a great way to get people out and get them involved, and show them what we have to offer," Mr. Wansacz said.