Dunbar Christmas Jazz Fundraiser

Just in time for Christmas, Dec. 17 marks the Third annual Dunbar Christmas Jazz Concert to take place at 8 p.m. at the Palace Theatre, 2384 James St.

The Dunbar Christmas Jazz concert is a fundraiser to help raise money primarily for the center’s youth services.

“Unfortunately we have really been hit hard with cut backs, and our youth programs are the ones that really need the help, plus there is such a need for it especially on the South Side of the city,” said Darla Chase, the coordinator for this event.

The Dunbar Center, a previous settlement house, has been around for 93 years and has developed a total of 14 programs to assist the city’s youth and senior citizens, according to Chase.

The Dunbar Community Center has partnered with Syracuse Jazz Festival founder and executive producer Frank Malfitano to organize the talent for this event. Malfitano has introduced two big names in Jazz for the two previous Christmas concerts including Freddy Cole, the brother of the great Nat King Cole, and the second year, smooth Jazz legend Spyro Gyra. This year, Malfitano has booked the New York Voices to come and grace the Syracuse community with sounds of Christmas.

“The New York Voices is a seven-piece group, a three-piece back-up band and four singers, two males and two females,” Malfitano said. “They have been around for about 20 years or more. They’ve won Grammy’s, and they are just a wonderful group.”

What makes this show so unique from other Christmas concerts is that it provides that same traditional Christmas songs with a hip Jazz style, and it’s for a good cause, Malfitano added.

“Dunbar is a worthy cause, and they have done a ton of work in the inner city for seniors and at risk youth,” Malfitano said. “I think they are a phenomenal agency, and I’m really honored to be partnering with them.”

Last year’s concert was sold out with 750 people in the Palace Theatre. This year, Chase said she hopes for the same results and more money to be raised for the city’s youth.

“The youth are extremely important,” Chase said.  “And we need programs like this for our youth today.”