Scranton Jazz Festival kicks off August 5th

All of Downtown Scranton will serve as center stage for an award-winning music festival as the 17th Annual Scranton Jazz Festival (SJF) returns to the Electric City, Friday through Sunday, August 5, 6 and 7. The festival is made possible through partnerships with Blu Elefante Events, PA Jazz Alliance Inc., the City of Scranton, First Friday Scranton, Lackawanna County, and Scranton Tomorrow, and with the generous support of sponsors and media partners.

This year’s event continues the 2021 format, reminiscent of a New Orleans style festival. Instead of utilizing one, large main stage, performances will be held in multiple venues throughout the Downtown. Featuring national, regional and local musicians, SJF fans will enjoy the extensive variety and unique experience they have grown to expect, and love. 

The SJF will also provide a much-needed economic boost for musicians and also supports local businesses. While enjoying performances by accomplished jazz, blues and world beat musicians, visitors to Downtown Scranton are encouraged to explore the wonderful restaurants, pubs and cafés in the Business District. So many establishments have struggled financially, and these small businesses will benefit from the extra foot traffic generated by the festival. 

The SJF has garnered international recognition and has been mentioned in U.S. News and World Report, for the cultural diversity and integrity it has brought to the region.

 In celebration of its commitment to the arts, admission is free on Friday. There will be two ticketed events at The Ritz Theater featuring The Royal Scam, a Steely Dan Tribute Band, on Saturday, and the SJF Big Band featuring the legendary Four Freshmen on Sunday.  Everyone is invited to enjoy live music in more than 20 venues in the Downtown Scranton Business District all weekend.

For more information about the 17th Annual Scranton Jazz Festival, tickets, a schedule of performances, and artist info, visit www.scrantonjazzfestival.org and follow Scranton Jazz Festival on social media.

Athlete of the Month: Morgan Quinn

By Steve Svetovich

You only need to talk to Dunmore junior softball player Morgan Quinn a few minutes to notice her positive demeanor.

And it’s that positive demeanor, combined with her team first attitude and hard work, that makes her a special member of the Dunmore Lady Bucks softball team.

Daughter of Krissy and Sam Quinn, Dunmore, Morgan was second on the team with a .393 batting average and .782 slugging average. She was third on the team with a .433 on base percentage and added five homers, five doubles, a triple and 16 runs scored.

Morgan was primarily the right fielder for the Lady Bucks.

She talked about what it takes to excel in the outfield.

“You need to focus and hustle,” she said. “You need to know where the next play is. You are the last road of defense, so you need to make the play.”

She talked about hitting. “You need to constantly practice. And you need confidence. Confidence is the most important factor in girls softball. If you think you can do it, then you can. It’s a mind set.”

Morgan’s parents are strong role models.

“They tell me first and foremost to be kind. Work hard and believe in yourself.”

Dunmore veteran softball coach Ryan Ferguson taught her a lot. “He tells me to always be positive. There is always a way to win and have fun. Coach Ferguson is great.”

Always positive and kind-hearted, Morgan played AAU softball for nine years. “I loved it.”

She is a member of the Spanish Club, TACT, and the Earth Club at Dunmore. The scholar-athlete has a 95 academic average. Her favorite academic subject is English. She has made high honors every semester and is a member of the National Honor Society.

Morgan is undecided about a college, but thinks she will choose a science major.

She was a Lackawanna Coaches first-team softball all-star for the past two seasons.

Morgan likes music and would like to see Frank Ocean, a rhythm and blues soul artist, in concert.

Morgan is all about Dunmore. “I absolutely love Dunmore,” she said. “It is a tight-knit community. We all support each other here. And I love Dunmore High School and all my friends, teachers, and coaches.”

Morgan was asked about her future goals and provided an interesting answer.

“I want to be successful, but most important, want to help and be kind to people around me. I want to help people feel loved. Then in turn, feel the love inside of me. I will then feel loved. That is the most important thing.”

Students recognized at UNICO scholarship dinner

Gabrielle Case is the recipient of the Inaugural Kovatch/Perna Family Trades Scholarship presented by Dunmore’s Keystone Chapter UNICO during its 11th annual scholarship dinner at La Buona Vita. 

Front row, seated from left:  Jeffrey Case, recipient’s father; Jordan Case, her brother; honoree Gabrielle Case of the Career Technology Center of Lackawanna County and her mother Justine Case. 

Back row, same order: Keystone UNICO Scholarship Director Sandy Collins, Principal Dr. Karla Carlucci of the Career Technology Center; scholarship provider Gene-O Perna; Yolanda Martinelli, Cosmetology Instructor at CTC., and scholarship provider Tony Kovatch.

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Rocco Mack is the recipient of the Keystone UNICO Family Scholarship.  Shown in the front row, from left:  Jim and Mary Mack Sr., grandparents; Honoree Rocco Mack of Holy Cross High School;. and Joellen Mack, mother. Back row, from left: Sandy Collins, Keystone UNICO Scholarship Director; James Mack Jr., father; and Anthony Mack, brother.

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Scholarship awardees who attended the annual Keystone UNICO Awards Dinner are, front row, from left: Dunmore High School’s Olivia Amico receiving the Frank and Mary Ann Coviello Military Family Appreciation Scholarship; Dunmore High School’s Micah Madrazo receiving the Keystone Chapter Service Award, and Gabrielle Case receiving the inaugural Career Technology Center Kovatch/Perna Family Trade Award. 

Back row, same order: Keystone Chapter Scholarship Director Sandy Collins; Dunmore High School’s Joseph Cardillo, receiving the Brian Piccolo Athletic Award; Holy Cross High School’s Ryan Legg receiving the Keystone Chapter Service Award; and Keystone Chapter UNICO President Mary Ann Coviello. 

Missing from photo are Rocco Mack of Holy Cross receiving the Keystone UNICO Family Award; Sophia Calzola of Carbondale Area H.S., receiving the Keystone Brian Piccolo Award; and Marilyn Vitali, Brian Piccolo Awards Chairman.