Office of Public Affairs
(315) 312-2265
Oct. 9, 2002
CONTACTS: Rick Balestra, 312-2130
Mary Avrakotos, 312-4581,
OSWEGO -- Performers and teachers from New York to Los Angeles, as well as from around Central New York, will lead sessions at the daylong Jazz Guitar Festival on Saturday, Nov. 16, at SUNY Oswego.
Peter Leitch, a renowned jazz guitarist and composer hailing from New York City, will present a master class and clinic at 1 p.m. and wrap up the day by leading his sextet in concert at 8 p.m. Admission to the Peter Leitch Sextet's evening performance in Tyler Hall's Waterman Theatre is included in festival registration costs, but tickets also are available to those not attending the daytime event.
The conference will start with a 9:30 a.m. reception with music by the SUNY Oswego Jazz Ensemble. At 10 a.m., Rick Balestra and the Steve Brown Quartet will give a concert. The festival, started last year, is the brainchild of Balestra, a well-known guitarist and teacher who is an adjunct professor of music at SUNY Oswego. Brown is a guitarist, composer and arranger who is also a professor of music and director of the jazz studies program at Ithaca College.
Attendees can choose between two workshops at 11 a.m. "Approaching Solo Guitar" with Gene Bertoncini will feature the internationally recognized guitarist who has played with the likes of Benny Goodman and Buddy Rich and has instructed at such institutions as the Eastman School of Music and the New England Conservatory.
The other 11 a.m. option is a workshop on the "Music of Django," led by the Los Angeles-based Club Django. The five-piece combo promotes the tradition of "gypsy jazz" spearheaded by guitarist Django Reinhardt in the 1930s and '40s.
After a 2 p.m. concert by Bertoncini, attendees can choose between two 3 p.m. workshops: "Concert/Festival Promotion" with arts promoter and longtime Syracuse Jazz Fest organizer Frank Malfitano or "Performing Latin Music" by Bob Sneider. Club Django will perform at 4 p.m.
Those registering by Oct. 15 will receive a special discount rate for the full program: $35 for the general public, $25 for seniors and students, $10 for SUNY Oswego students. After Oct. 15, the costs rise to $45, $35 and $15, respectively.
For more information or to receive a brochure, call the SUNY Oswego music department at 312-2130. For information or reservations to attend just the evening show with the Peter Leitch Sextet, contact the Tyler Hall Box Office at 312-2141 or
The SUNY Oswego music department and Artswego present the Jazz Guitar Festival, which is supported in part by the college's student arts fee and made possible by public funds provided by the Oswego County Legislature, as administered by Arts and Culture for Oswego County, and Hofner Guitar.
WAER Jazz88 Radio and ClearChannel Radio, through its affiliate Y94 FM, provide media support.
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