By Elisa Walker
For the first time in the Syracuse community, a jazz party will be hosted at various venues around Syracuse Sept. 7-9. A wide variety of jazz bands playing traditional and swing styles for locals and visitors to enjoy and dance to.
Put on by Chautauqua Wawasee, a local non profit organization focusing on bringing the community together, the committee is excited for the large three day event that’s been planned for a year. With the assistance of Dan Young, one of the founders of the ‘80s Elkhart Jazz Festival, bands from all over will be traveling to perform.
“We have musicians coming from Florida, Chicago, Kalamazoo, Canada and Elkhart. They’re well known and have a great following,” stated Tammy Cotton, director of operations at Chautauqua Wawasee. “Dan has a long history with the jazz musician community, so we used all his connections.
“We’ll have a dance floor for people to dance. We want everyone in the community to have the opportunity to get to at least one venue so they’ll be able to experience the music.”
The small committee consists of Cotton and her two employees, Young and a few people from the community. While it was a big undertaking, Cotton commented, “Anytime you do something for the first time, you never know what to expect.”
The family friendly event will take place at The Owl’s Nest, Lakeland Eagles and Oakwood Resort Friday; Wawasee High School, Lakeland Eagles and Oakwood Resort Saturday; SS Lilypad and Oakwood gazebo Sunday. There will be free stage bands at Lakeside Park Friday and Saturday, featuring local musicians and bands.
Programs of when, where and which bands will be performing can be picked up at the front desk of Oakwood Resort, front desk of Brook Pointe Inn, Syracuse Eagles, Horizon Bank and Chubbie’s
Pub & Grub.
“We would love for the community to experience this. Even if you can’t come out for the whole weekend, you can still pop in at one of the venues,” said Cotton. “I think it’s a great experience for anybody, even if you’re not a huge jazz fan. I hope people take advantage of it since you’d normally have to go to Chicago or a big city to see most of these bands.”
Food and drinks will be available at each venue. With art being one of the pillars of Chautauqua Wawasee, the committee was excited at the new never-done-before idea. Visitors will be able to have a good time appreciating the music, dancing and relaxing with friends and family.
Volunteers are still needed for different venues and times. For more information about volunteering, call (574) 377-7543.