FULTON, N.Y. (WSYR-TV)– Four nights of festivities and funk will be heard throughout Fulton on August 10-13 as the Jazz Fest is back and groovier than ever! The event will be held at Fulton’s Lock 3 Canal Park and will have an array of headliners.

To kick off the festival on Wednesday, August 10, Drummer and Festival President Joe Cortini will bring his Jazz Mafia Trio with Dave Solazzo on piano and Matt Vacanti on bass with a classically soulful Jazz session. The group is noted for backing regional and national acts.

“The biggest thrill Is playing right here in Fulton, where my dad and grandfather were mainstays on the local scene,” Cortini said. “Matt’s daughter Vanessa is making waves in Central New York as a jazz vocalist, and we will feature her for a set.”

On Thursday, August 11, the Oswego County Musician’s union Swinging Big Band to Bullhead Point, led by pianist Stan Gosek, will perform at 7:00 p.m. Not only will the band be performing their own tunes, but they will also be playing hits from the 1930s and 1940s that have been made popular by today’s Jazz enthusiasts.

On Friday, August 12, the festival will finally settle into place at Lock 3 Canal Park and will begin with a performance from Morris Tarbell & The Hepcats. The group is known to play blues, surf, and rockabilly versions of classic rock.

Following Morris Tarbell & The Hepcats will be jazz vocalist Ronnie Leigh at 6:30 p.m.

Frank Malfitano, founder of the Syracuse Jazz Fest, said the following about the newbie headliner Leigh: “…All I can tell you is that he’s one of the finest song stylists working in jazz today….He’s also one of the finest Soul and R&B stylists I’ve ever heard and an amazing entertainer.”

To end the Friday night festivities, the band Atlas will perform at 8:00 p.m. The band is known for their upbeat rhythmic tunes that “will be sure to get the crowd dancing” says Cortini.

To kick off the last night of the festival on Saturday, August 13, The Instigators will be dishing out the Chicago Blues and Southern Soul at 4:00 p.m. Following The Instigators will be a Fulton Jazz Fest favorite, Nancy Kelly, at 6:00 p.m.

Kelly was twice named “Best Female Jazz Vocalist” in the Downbeat Readers Poll. She has recorded six critically acclaimed CDs, is hailed as one of the premier jazz vocalists of our time, and was inducted into the Rochester Music Hall of Fame in 2021. Following Kelly’s performance, Drummer Nate Brown and Brownskin will take the stage at 8:00 p.m.

Fulton Mayor Deana Michaels says, “Fulton Jazz Fest is the complete package in entertainment. We have a gorgeous location right on the river, amazing, world-class entertainment, and food and beverages to enjoy it with. It’s an event that showcases the very best of what Fulton has to offer.”

There will be gumbo and jambalaya provided by Tavern On The Lock and will be set up on the riverside. There will also be beer, wine, and soft drinks available at a booth across from the outdoor kitchen.

More drinks will be at the inside bar and a full menu will be served both indoors and on the deck.

All performances are free and open to the public.

For further information on the event, visit www.fultonjazzfest.com, call or text Fulton Jazz Fest at (315) 760-5299, or send an email to fultonjazzfest@gmail.com.

Fulton Jazz Fest Lineup

Wednesday, August 10 – Tavern On The Lock Deck

  • 6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. – Joe Cortini and his Jazz Mafia with Vanessa Vacant

Thursday, August 11 – Bullhead Point

  • 7:00 p.m. – Oswego County Musicians Swinging Big Band

Friday, August 12 – Lock 3 Canal View Park

  • 5:00 p.m. – Morris Tarbell & The Hepcats
  • 6:30 p.m. – Ronnie Leigh
  • 8:00 p.m. – Atlas

Saturday, August 13 – Lock 3 Canal View Park

  • 4:00 p.m. – The Instigators
  • 6:00 p.m. – Nancy Kelly
  • 8:00 p.m. – Brownskin Band