SCRANTON, Pa. — Join Newswatch 16's Jeremy Lewan and his mom on their latest journey: to the Scranton Jazz Festival in Lackawanna County.
The streets of Scranton were filled with jazz for the first weekend in August, as nearly 100 artists converged upon the many eateries and open spaces within the Electric City.
With roots in blues and ragtime, jazz emerged from the African-American communities of New Orleans during the turn of the 20th century—and came into its own in the 1920s. Some of the most famous jazz artists include Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald, and Billie Holiday.
Although perhaps not as widely known, the artists performing in Downtown Scranton were undoubtedly just as talented. Over the years, jazz has morphed into several sub-genres, including smooth jazz, jazz-rock, and Latin jazz. All of which were represented here in Scranton.
Jeremy and his mom have been captivated by the rhythm and flow of jazz for many years. "I've been listening to jazz ever since I was a little girl, and my mother gave me an appreciation for jazz," said Raquel Lewan, Jeremy's mother. She continued, talking to Jeremy: "That appreciation grew and I passed that on to you, you were listening to jazz from when you were in my womb. We used to go to jazz concerts over in New York City—open-air jazz concerts—listening to contemporary jazz, classic jazz, Brazilian jazz, and Afro-fusion jazz. An appreciation for all kinds of jazz!"
And Jeremy appreciated jazz so much thanks to his mom, that he took up playing the saxophone from a young age, belting out tunes in his school's orchestra band, and of course, jazz band.
Erin Malloy, a jazz singer who performed several times at different venues across the city, explained that what really makes the Scranton Jazz Festival special is that, "It's free! It's free to the public, and that's kind of amazing that we can keep that live free music happening for a weekend like this in our area."
Jeremy and his mom jumped around from jazz brunches to sets at cafes, to even a concert by 10-time Grammy award-winning acapella group Take 6.
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