Go-go gadget rooftop: A dancer hired to entertain for the opening night of Obcityan, a new event series organized by the Updowntowners, gets down to some funky techno beats. Oh, and the food is mighty tasty too. MICHAEL DAVIS PHOTOS
The shindig will be held each Thursday, 5 to 9 p.m., through Sept. 24 on the top floor of the parking garage on West Washington Street. Obcityan replaces the concert series previously organized by the Updowntowners held in front of the James Hanley Federal Building, 100 S. Clinton St., called Party In the Plaza. Admission to Obcityan is $5 and includes a free drink. Food prices range in the $7 to $9 level, but are admittedly a vast step above the usual oily gyros and soggy french fries found at many Salt City summer series. In an effort to cater to a demographic that fancies the New York City dance club scene, dress is meant to be above the T-shirt and jeans level (Bill Cooper, the Updowntowners’ president, described it as “dress to impress”). For more information, call 471-0363.
• Organizers of the annual Jazz In the City series, a group of concerts held in the neighborhoods that surround downtown, held a press conference at Pomco, 2425 James St., on July 14 to announce its summer programming. Although slightly reduced funding for the series has resulted in three rather than four headlining shows during 2009, the series will continue to present top-notch jazz performers who will cater to the respective ethnic neighborhoods in which they will perform. Larry Luttinger, executive director of the Central New York Jazz Arts Foundation, which assists in organizing Jazz In the City, explained that the series helps the communities in which the concerts are held come together but also that “What it also happens to be is a whole lotta fun.”
Performers will include the BlackLites (who also provided a groovin’ rendition of Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean” as the backtrack to the press conference; the group will also pay homage to Jackson during their performance) and saxophonist Teodross Avery on Thursday, July 30, in the parking lot of Dunk & Bright Furniture, 2649 S. Salina St. Then the party will move to the Pomco parking lot on Thursday, Aug. 6, featuring local saxophonist Evan Knight and jazz flutist Dave Valentin. Jazz In the City will wrap with Vince Seneri and saxophonist Bill Easley at the 400 block of North Salina Street. All of the events will run from 7 to 9 p.m. Admission is free. For more information, call 479-JAZZ.
• Furthermore, although the Syracuse University college crowd is home with their mommies and daddies for the summer, concerts at the Westcott Theater, 524 Westcott St., continue to rock the remaining occupants of the Westcott Nation. This week, techno hounds LFO will play on Wednesday, July 22, 7:30 p.m.; tickets are $25 for general admission and $100 for VIP seating. Then on Saturday, July 25, three local rock bands will perform a showcase for fans starting at 9 p.m., including Free Boody Institute, the Erika DeSocio Band and Ithaca’s Blue Sky Mission Club; tickets are $10. Other events are periodically scheduled at the venue throughout the summer; call 299-8886 or visit www.thewestcotttheater.com for more information and a complete listing of concerts.