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Syracuse Jazz Fest seeking $650K in funding to stage 2023 event

By Eric Reinhardt

Date:

A musical act performs before a sun-splashed crowd at the 2022 Syracuse Jazz Fest. (PHOTO CREDIT: ZOEYADVERTISING.COM)

SYRACUSE — Private and public-sector funding totaling $650,000 is what the executive producer of Syracuse Jazz Fest says the organization is currently pursuing for the 2023 event.

The music festival returned last June following a five-year hiatus.

“The cost of mounting a world class, non-ticketed festival — one that remains free of charge for area residents and visitors — has risen dramatically since large-scale events have returned to the scene in the aftermath of the peak of the pandemic which put a halt to live events nationwide for an extended two-year period,” Frank Malfitano, festival founder and executive producer, said in a release. 

Syracuse Jazz Fest returned in June with the help of a combined $400,000 raised from federal funding through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) that filtered through the City of Syracuse; surplus monies from the Onondaga County room-occupancy tax; and the “game-changing” corporate-sponsorship funding from e-commerce giant Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN). The 2022 event attracted 16,000 attendees. 

“In many cases, major artists fees have doubled and even tripled since the pandemic,” Malfitano said. “People are trying to make up for two years’ worth of lost revenue. While we understand that the financial landscape has changed for artists, agents and management, our desire to continue presenting the biggest name entertainers possible to Syracuse audiences remains unchanged.” 

Malfitano went on to say, “While we were successful in helping revitalize the region’s cultural and music scene by achieving those goals, we simultaneously fell a little short of securing needed and hoped for multi-year funding commitments for Jazz Fest. But, we’re hoping our success in 2022 will lead to even greater success in 2023.”

He also noted that anyone interested in learning more about 2023 Syracuse Jazz Fest sponsorships can email him at the festival’s headquarters at info@syracusejazzfest.com.

Syracuse Jazz Fest — now in its 37th year — ranks as the nation’s 12th longest running festival and as the world’s 24th longest running jazz festival, per the release.            

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