NEPA Scene Staff

Grammy-winning a cappella group Take 6 takes main stage at Scranton Jazz Festival Aug. 4-6

Grammy-winning a cappella group Take 6 takes main stage at Scranton Jazz Festival Aug. 4-6
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From a press release:

All of downtown Scranton will serve as center stage for the 18th annual Scranton Jazz Festival as the award-winning music festival returns on Friday, Aug. 4 through Sunday, Aug. 6.

This year’s event continues the tradition of a New Orleans-style festival with live music spread across the Electric City. New this year are two ticketed main stage performances, along with multiple free venues featuring national, regional, and local musicians offering extensive variety and unique experiences that local music fans have grown to expect and love.

In celebration of its commitment to the arts, admission is free on Friday. The ticketed shows are 10-time Grammy Award-winning vocal group Take 6 on Saturday, Aug. 5 at the Peoples Security Bank Theater at Lackawanna College (501 Vine St., Scranton) and the Emmy-nominated Scranton Jazz Festival Big Band with vocalist Kathy Kosins and special guests on Sunday, Aug. 6 at The Ritz Theater (222 Wyoming Ave., Scranton). Read more about these headliners below.

Continuing to work with local businesses, more than 20 venues in the downtown Scranton business district will be participating all weekend, hosting Rogue Chimp, Elephants Dancing, Young Lion, Indigo Moon Brass Band, The Merchants of Groove, Teddy Young Power Trio, Phyllis Hopkins Blues Quartet, the Marko Marcinko Latin Jazz Quintet, Keep Out Brass Band, Electric City Steel Drum Project, Tom Kozic Trio, Pennsylvania Jazz Institute Student Ensemble, Justin Pedro Latin Jazz Trio, Steve Johns, Dan Kostelnik, Bob DeVos, Dave Wilson, Kirk Reese, Steve Meashey, Bill Washer, Gary Keller, Corinne Mammana, Bill Goodwin, Norman Taylor, Tom Hamilton, Steve Rudolph, Steve Kurilla, Ron Oswanski, Kate Anderson, Erin Malloy, Bob Velez, Jacob Cole, Spencer and Nancy Reed, Nate Birkey & Friends, Rick Matt, Danny Gonzalez, John Shannon, Reggie Watkins, Adam Gresko, Dave Mirarchi, Tony Marino, Paul Rostock, Chris Rogers, and Nelson Hill.

While enjoying performances by accomplished jazz, blues, rock, and world beat musicians, listeners are encouraged to explore the many restaurants, pubs, and cafés that will see increased foot traffic generated by the festival, including Adezzo, AV Restaurant, Backyard Ale House, Bar Pazzo, Bartari, The Bog, Catch 21, Commonwealth Coffeehouse, The Garden Mediterranean Cafe, Lavish, The Marketplace at Steamtown, PJ’s 1910 Pub at the Hilton Scranton & Conference Center, Posh, The Railyard, Recovery Bank, the Renaissance at 500, The Ritz Theater, Scranton Cultural Center, Trax Bar + Kitchen and Carmen’s Restaurant at the Radisson Lackawanna Station Hotel, and Voodoo Brewing Company, along with Courthouse Square and Fidelity Bank.

Scranton Jazz Fest has garnered international recognition and been mentioned in U.S. News & World Report for the cultural diversity and integrity it has brought to the region. The event is made possible through partnerships with Blu Elefante Events, PA Jazz Alliance Inc., Lackawanna County Visitors Bureau, First Friday Scranton, Lackawanna County, and Scranton Tomorrow as well as sponsors and media partners.

The festival began in 2005 at the Hanlon’s Grove Amphitheatre at Nay Aug Park in Scranton. After a major snowstorm damaged the facility in 2007, organizers moved the event to the historic Radisson Lackawanna Station Hotel in downtown Scranton, where it has become a permanent fixture on the Northeastern Pennsylvania arts and culture scene and attracted thousands of visitors over the years. Scranton has had a rich history in jazz dating back to the 1930s where jazz legends Tommy and Jimmy Dorsey performed regularly with the famous Scranton Sirens Jazz Band.

The area is also credited with hosting the first known recorded jazz festival, “The Cavalcade of Dixieland Jazz,” in 1951. Since its premiere 16 years ago, Scranton Jazz Fest has drawn audiences from the entire Mid-Atlantic region, resulting in tremendous notoriety and exposure to the international jazz world and reviving the region as a cultural epicenter, no different than famous festivals in Newport, Rhode Island; Saratoga Springs, Florida; and Monterey, California.

The SJF carries on this rich tradition while becoming a recognized contributor to the world of jazz, blues, and world beat music in its own right. It is the hope and desire of everyone involved that the festival will continue for decades to come.

For more information about the 18th annual Scranton Jazz Festival, a schedule of performances, and to purchase tickets, visit and follow Scranton Jazz Festival on social media.

Take 6

Heralded by Quincy Jones as the “baddest vocal cats on the planet,” Take 6 – Claude McKnight, Mark Kibble, Joel Kibble, Dave Thomas, Alvin Chea, and Khristian Dentley – is the quintessential a cappella group and the model for vocal genius. With 10 Grammy Awards, 10 Dove Awards, a Soul Train Award, and as members of the Gospel Music Hall of Fame, this musical phenomenon has six virtuosic voices united in crystal-clear harmony against a backdrop of syncopated rhythms, innovative arrangements, and funky grooves that bubble into an intoxicating brew of gospel, jazz, R&B, and pop.

With collaborations and praise from such luminaries as Ray Charles, Stevie Wonder, Brian Wilson, Ella Fitzgerald, and Whitney Houston, the multi-platinum-selling sextet has toured across the globe, collaborated across genres, and is recognized as the preeminent a cappella group in the world, emerging on seven Billboard charts simultaneously and seeing their music played all over in various formats.

Take 6 triumphed among a gathering of stars – including Celine Dion, Lionel Richie, Justin Timberlake, Stevie Nicks, and Ne-Yo – at Walmart’s 50th Anniversary Celebration and received a standing ovation by a sold-out audience at the Songwriters Hall of Fame Awards, where they captivated the audience with their rendition of Ben E. King’s “Stand by Me” in honor of the legendary singer/songwriter. As a group that knows no musical bounds, they then brought the house down with their tribute to folk icon Woody Guthrie, singing “This Land Is Your Land.”

Take 6 has come a long way from their days at Huntsville, Alabama’s Oakwood College, where McKnight formed the group as The Gentleman’s Estate Quartet in 1980. They eventually became known as Alliance, but when they signed to Reprise Records in 1987, they found that there was another group with the same name, so they became Take 6. Their self-titled debut album won over jazz and pop critics and they’ve never slowed down, from their exceptional Christmas shows to their innovative symphony shows.

Scranton Jazz Festival Big Band

The Emmy-nominated, award-winning SJF 16-piece big band is comprised of world-class jazz musicians that live in Lackawanna County, Luzerne County, and surrounding areas. Under the direction of drummer/arranger Marko Marcinko, this large jazz ensemble performs classic big band arrangements as well as modern selections that play a monumental role in jazz history. This all-star jazz ensemble will close the 18th annual SJF with an exciting brassy swinging sound that will bring audiences back to the days when big bands were king.

Kathy Kosins

Award-winning vocalist Kathy Kosins resides in Michigan and is steeped in the jazz tradition as well as all of the energy and intensity of soul. Her most recent album release, “Uncovered Soul,” has garnered critical acclaim and was the natural next step in her prolific singing career. Kosins has recorded, performed and/or shared the stage with many well-known jazz and R&B artists, such as Gregory Porter, Terrance Blanchard, Gerald Clayton, Terell Stafford, Randy Brecker, Aaron Goldberg, Reuben Rogers, Eric Harland, Eric Marienthal, Matt Wilson, Peter Bernstein, Tamir Hendelman, Don Was, Michael Henderson, Peabo Bryson, Earl Klugh, The Rippingtons, Jonathon Butler, Cyrus Chestnut, Larry Goldings, James Moody, Kevin Mahogany, Bernard Purdie, Red Holloway, and Was/Not Was.