UPDATE: The recent heavy rains have taken a toll on the Thornden Park Amphitheater, causing it to flood completely, forcing this Sunday’s Family Health Gathering concert with national artist Eric Darius to move to the nearby Thornden Park pool parking area. It runs from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.
SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — The sounds of jazz filled parks around Syracuse this summer. The Syracuse Community Health Center and CNY Jazz partnered to create the Family Health Gatherings.
“It’s a concert series with a heart,” said CNY Jazz Director Larry Luttinger. “There’s great music, great food, great arts and crafts vendors, complete health care village and most importantly, a vaccination area and tent.”
The goal of the event was to address low vaccination numbers in certain zip codes in Syracuse. The gatherings were held at parks in different neighborhoods across the Salt City. Even though Mother Nature made some days more challenging than others, the event still made progress.
“Our vaccinated numbers at one event were as low as seven, but they walked through a rain storm to get there. And they have been picking up, we had 17 or 18 vaccinations at the last one,” Luttinger explained.
“We are now in a pivotal and uncertain time in the history of the pandemic. Black and Hispanic Americans are dying at a much higher rate than others, and urban neighborhoods are still lagging behind in vaccinations and are very high in infection rates.”Derrick Murry, Syracuse Community Health COO
With concerns growing over the Delta variant, Luttinger said if you’re thinking about getting vaccinated, this concert series is a great backdrop to get it done.
“Also, huge incentives to get vaccinated in terms of cash raffle prizes and flat screens raffled away,” Luttinger said, “We think that’s a pretty potent package to get people to come enjoy themselves and bring a loved one.”
Although this series is coming to close for summer, Luttinger said he’d welcome the opportunity to continue this outreach effort in the fall.
Eric Darius is an international contemporary jazz artist.
The event is free and there will be prizes raffled away. A flat screen TV, plus cash prizes of $1,000, $500 and $250 are up for grabs.
The event is rain or shine. For more information you can head over to www.cnyjazzinthecity.org.