Twenty Syracuse-area jazz musicians are set to return to The Square for the first time in 20-years as Jazz Fest gets underway Thursday in Syracuse.

Being held Thursday, Friday and Saturday - June 23-25 - it marks the return of the annual festival's to Downtown Square and Clinton Square, the first gig since the year 2000. It also end a five-year hiatus for the festival itself.

To mark the occasion, organizers have planned a three-day Jazz binge-session with 30 bands performing at 20 different venues.

All performances, whether they be club shows or on the mainstage are free.

"The Syracuse jazz scene has so much incredible talent, we wanted to do everything we could this year to showcase our homegrown stars at Jazz Fest 36 for all of the out-of-town visitors and guests who will be coming in from all over the US and Canada," said Frank Malfitano, director of the festival.

Acts include Joey Defrancesco Trio, Average White Band, David Sanborn, Nathan Williams & The Zydeco Cha Cha's, Boney James, The Urban Knights, Salt City Jazz Collection and more.

Among the venues are Press Room Club, Pastabilities, The Fitz, Mulrooney's, Benjamin's on Franklin, The Clinton Street Pub, Saltine Warrior, Modern Malt, Funk 'n' Waffles, Wunderbar, Redfield's, King of Clubs and many others.

A full schedule of acts, times and locations can be found here.

Organizers say the last time Syracuse Jazz Fest came Downtown in 2000, headlined by Ray Charles, Dave Brubeck, Pete Fountain and Dianna Krall, which smashed a previous record for an event held in The Square.

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