Second Line Syracuse (SLS) is a high energy eight-piece band inspired by both traditional and modern-day New Orleans’ style brass bands. Their diverse repertoire speaks to all generations, with influence from many genres including jazz, funk, hip hop a la the Rebirth Brass Band, or Trombone Shorty for example.
The band was initially awarded a grant by Salt City Dishes to kick off the summer of 2015 with a neighborhood parade where they passed out percussion instruments and beads and were joined by several community members. Things have really taken off since then. They have performed at a variety of community events like the NWS Multicultural Block Party and Art on the Porches, the Great New York State Fair, and on the WAER main stage at the Westcott Street Cultural Fair.
In addition, the Second Line Syracuse Brass Band has shared the stage with the world famous Dirty Dozen Brass Band at the Westcott Theater in Syracuse and is quickly adding Syracuse to the musical map as a Northeast “home” for up and coming modern brass band groups. Second Line Syracuse won “Best Jazz Band” in the 2015 Syracuse NewTimes Readers Poll. The group will be one of the featured performers at the 2016 Syracuse Jazz Festival, on a bill also shared by Trombone Shorty himself.
The band, whose core group features 2 trumpets, 2 trombones, saxophone, sousaphone, and drums, is led by first call Central NY jazz trombonist Melissa Gardiner. Gardiner received her master’s degree in jazz performance at The Juilliard School where she studies with SNL trombonist Steve Turre. She also graduated with a bachelor’s degree at The University of Michigan where she studied with Dennis Wilson. Other former teachers include jazz giants Curtis Fuller and Wycliffe Gordon.
The group will take the Phat Kat Foods Stage in East Park on Saturday, July 29 at 3:30 p.m.