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The Jazz Festival released the following vendor map.
The Jazz Festival released the following vendor map.

Everything you need to know about Northwest Lewiston Jazz Festival

Fri, Aug 25th 2023 11:05 am

Submitted by the Upward Niagara Chamber of Commerce

An exceptional level of talent featuring jazz all-stars and rising stars will grace the stage on Friday, Aug. 25, and Saturday, Aug. 26, at the 2023 Northwest Jazz Festival. Headlining performances include the United States Air Force Rhythm in Blue Band, the Benny Benack III Quartet, and, on Saturday, experience the highly anticipated festival appearance of the supergroup SOMETHING ELSE! 

The two-day festival runs from 5-10:30 p.m. Friday, and again from noon to 10:30 p.m. Saturday. Center Street in historic Lewiston will come alive with live music and food/beverage vendors with five stages throughout the festival grounds.

The festival is free to attend (no coolers or carry-ins), with a limited number of tickets available for preferred seating at the main stage. Tickets are $25 each and available online at www.LewistonJazz.com. A limited number of tickets will be available at the festival.

Performances begin with The United States Air Force Heritage of America Band presenting Rhythm in Blue, the unit’s dynamic jazz ensemble, at 6 p.m. Friday. This stellar group presents exciting and uplifting music to inspire.

Friday evening showcases rising star jazz trumpeter and vocalist Benny Benack III, along with the talented pianist Emmet Cohen, who headlined the 2022 festival.

On Saturday, SOMETHING ELSE!, an elite gathering of award-winning jazz stars led by saxophonist Vincent Herring, headlines the main stage shows. These world-class musicians are going to captivate you with their unique tribute to the spirit of soul, jazz, and the 1958 Cannonball Adderley classic album of the same name.

The Northwest Jazz Festival has also partnered with Artpark & Company for special performances on Saturday at the Center Street stage, featuring entertainment between performances.

Local food and beverage vendors will line Center Street, with local favorites including Casa Antica, Brickyard Brewing Company and Viola’s Submarines.

The festival is free to attend, made possible by the support of sponsors. The presenting sponsor is Northwest Bank, with Modern Disposal Services, Sevenson Environment and the Niagara Falls Bridge Commission as stage sponsors. A full sponsor listing is available online.

For additional information, visit www.LewistonJazz.com.

Air Force Rhythm & Blue Jazz Ensemble (Photos courtesy of the Lewiston Jazz Festival Committee)

Benny Benack III



•Friday, Aug. 25, 5-10:30 p.m.

√ Main Stage

6-7:30 p.m., Air Force Rhythm & Blue Jazz Ensemble

8:45-10:15 p.m., Benny Benack III Quartet

√ Center Street Stage

6-7:30 p.m., MMVPT

8:15-9:45 p.m., Encyclopedia of Soul

√ Frontier House

5:30-7 p.m., The Quentet

7:45-9:15 p.m., The Cousins Trio

√ Peace Garden

5:30-5:45 p.m., poet Robert M. Giannetti

7-8 p.m., Lindsey Holland Duo

√ DiCamillo Courtyard

7:30-8:30 p.m., Bob White

SOMETHING ELSE! (Photos courtesy of the Lewiston Jazz Festival Committee)


•Saturday, Aug. 26, noon to 10:30 p.m.

√ Main Stage

1-1:45 p.m., UB Zodiaque Dance Co

2:15-3 p.m., Vibrant Strings

3:45-5:15 p.m., Janet Evra & Randy Brecker

6-7:30 p.m., Greg Abate Quartet

8:45-10:15 p.m., SOMETHING ELSE!

√ Center Street Stage

1:30-3 p.m., My Cousin Toné

3 p.m., special entertainment by Jonas Woolverton, presented by Artpark

3:45-5:15 p.m., Banjo Juice Band

5:15 p.m., special entertainment by Ryan Shinji, presented by Artpark

6-7:30 p.m., Joey Gonzalez Collective

7:30 p.m., special entertainment by Amy G, presented by Artpark

8:15-9:45 p.m., John Troy/Alex McArthur Quartet

√ Frontier House

1-2:30 p.m., Adam Bronstein Quartet

3:15-4:45 p.m., Kevin Hall Band

5:30-7 p.m., Dave Hill Group

7:45-9:15 p.m., Trigger and the Sermon

√ Peace Garden

1 p.m., Fanzini Productions, presented by Artpark

2:30-3:30 p.m., Griff Kaz and Bob Sneider

4:45-5:45 p.m., Cheryl Ferris & Lisa Hasselback Duo

7:15-8:15 p.m., Machine Dream Duo

√ DiCamillo Courtyard

3-4 p.m., John Snell

5:15-6:15 p.m., Ian Liedke

7:30-8:30 p.m., Katie Ann Grossi

(Photos courtesy of the Lewiston Jazz Festival Committee)



The Jazz Festival released the following vendor map:

Click to enlarge (PDF)


Parking Restrictions

Center Street will be closed Friday and Saturday, from Eighth Street to Seventh Street, for the Jazz Festival. There will be no parking on Center Street after 3 a.m. Friday morning. The road will reopen at approximately 6 a.m. Sunday.


Jazz Festival Scholarship Winner Announced

The Lewiston Jazz Festival Inc. board of directors announced Benjamin Mekinulov as the recipient of the 2023 Carol Calato Jazz Scholarship.

He is a senior cello performance major at the Cleveland Institute of Music. Mekinulov started lessons with professor Feng Hew of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra when he was 6 years old, and cello has been his passion ever since. He also has studied with David Yink (Eastman School of Music) and Dr. Melissa Kraut (Cleveland Institute of Music).

Mekinulov has served as the principal cellist for the Greater Buffalo Youth Orchestra. He was a first-prize recipient of the “Tuesday Morning Competition,” and gold medal winner of the Cleveland Cello Society Scholarship.

The $1,000 Carol Calato Jazz Scholarship is awarded each year to a student majoring in a music field, via an application and judging. The process for the 2024 scholarship will start in March, with information online at www.LewistonJazz.com.

Carol Calato and Benjamin Mekinulov outside of the Upward Niagara Chamber of Commerce office on Center Street in Lewiston. (Submitted photo)


Northwest Jazz Festival Announces Jazz Ambassador Awardee

The Northwest Jazz Festival highlights local, national and international musicians each year at the two-day festival. The board of directors also takes time to recognize the accomplishments of those who give their time and talent to further jazz in the community through the Jazz Festival Ambassador Award.

This year, the award is given to Lázara Martinez, violinist and owner of PAUSA art house in the historic district of Allentown in Buffalo. As Lázara will be out of town during the event, festival music director Tony Zambito will accept the award on her behalf.

PAUSA art house is the winner of JazzBuffalo Poll 2022 – “Best Small Jazz Venue," presenting a wide variety of music shows and artistic exhibitions from local, national and international artists. The relaxed atmosphere of the venue attracts patrons who wish to attend an intimate concert or an art exhibit while enjoying a glass of wine, beers or spirits, or dining on tapas and panini sandwiches. Lázara cofounded PAUSA art house in 2013 and is currently the sole owner and manager of all PAUSA business operations.

Chairwoman Carol Calato nominated Lázara for the award, with full board approval.

“Ask any jazz musician, or jazz lover, their opinion of PAUSA: They rave about it,” she said. “Thanks to the foresight, determination and talent of Cuban-born musician Lázara Martinez, Western New York has an intimate, award-winning venue to listen to fine performances from local, national and international artists in an intimate and relaxed setting. Lázara Martinez is well-deserving of the 2023 Jazz Ambassador Award.”

Lázara Martinez photo courtesy of the Northwest Jazz Festival


The Northwest Jazz Festival, Lewiston, NY is a 501(c)(3) organization under the name of Lewiston Jazz Festival Inc. The Village of Lewiston is host to the region’s most-popular, two-day free music jazz festival featuring nonstop performances on five stages and an abundance of culinary delights with Niagara Region wineries.

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