Melissa Gardiner, Byron Cage and William Gorman (MG3) have been chosen as finalists in the International Jazz Competition in Bucharest, Romania. On Saturday, a Funk Gives Back benefit featuring holiday songs with special guest performances and raffles was held to help the band with travel costs. If you are interested in donating to send some of Syracuse’s finest musicians to compete and represent our local talent please contact Melissa Gardiner. [email protected]
The ultra talented trio features SAMMY Award winners Melissa on trombone and vocals, Will on organ and Grammy nominated Byron on drums. They all played on the 2017 SAMMY Award winning Second Line Syracuse CD. Individually the members have impressive resumes. Melissa has played recently with Vulfpeck, Byron and Will have been traveling worldwide with Joe Louis Walker. Luckily for us, we can often find them at Jazz Jam at Funk ‘n Waffles on Sundays 3-5 PM. Melissa hosts the event weekly and it is open to all jazz performers.
It was a soulful and joyful event with original songs combined with special renditions of holiday favorites. Will created the arrangements for the evening’s songs. He even sang! His sister, Gabrielle Gorman, joined the band with killer vocals creating many special moments for their family. Byron’s drum set up was elaborate and added endless options for tones. Melissa always impresses with her trombone playing and last night I thought her voice was stronger than ever. It was a real pleasure to be able to enjoy the multitude of musical collaborations they planned in a small venue with friends and fans.
Other special guests included Nick Fields on trumpet, Jessica Brown on vocals, Tony Greene on alto sax, Tom Kilackey on trumpet, Thomas Carter on bass, and Stephen Pale on guitar. The second set was recorded live and will be available for purchase. A limited run of MG3 graphic T shirts by local designer Michelle Hope Van Dyke are also available. You can pick one up at Funk ‘n Waffles when MG3 hosts jazz jam on Christmas Eve!