Second Line Syracuse (SLS) is a high energy eight-piece band inspired by both traditional and modern-day New Orleans’ style brass bands. Their diverse repertoire speaks to all generations, with influence from many genres including jazz, funk, hip hop a la the Rebirth Brass Band, or Trombone Shorty for example.

The band was initially awarded a grant by Salt City Dishes to kick off the summer of 2015 with a neighborhood parade where they passed out percussion instruments and beads and were joined by several community members. Things have really taken off since then. They have performed at a variety of community events like the NWS Multicultural Block Party and Art on the Porches, the Great New York State Fair, and on the WAER main stage at the Westcott Street Cultural Fair.

In addition, the Second Line Syracuse Brass Band has shared the stage with the world famous Dirty Dozen Brass Band at the Westcott Theater in Syracuse and is quickly adding Syracuse to the musical map as a Northeast “home” for up and coming modern brass band groups. Second Line Syracuse won “Best Jazz Band” in the 2015 Syracuse NewTimes Readers Poll. The group will be one of the featured performers at the 2016 Syracuse Jazz Festival, on a bill also shared by Trombone Shorty himself.

The band, whose core group features 2 trumpets, 2 trombones, saxophone, sousaphone, and drums, is led by first call Central NY jazz trombonist Melissa Gardiner. Gardiner received her master’s degree in jazz performance at The Juilliard School where she studies with SNL trombonist Steve Turre. She also graduated with a bachelor’s degree at The University of Michigan where she studied with Dennis Wilson. Other former teachers include jazz giants Curtis Fuller and Wycliffe Gordon.


SLS is available for a variety of educational workshops and performances. Each event is carefully crafted to be age and grade level appropriate, and can be planned to match content/curriculum in a fun and interactive way. Our band members include college professors, high school music teachers, and more. For example, through a partnership with the Partners in Learning program, SLS conducted an interactive performance with the MANOS preschool program. Students got to take part in a mini parade, learn more about each instrument, and dance, sing, and play along with percussion instruments. The event was made possible by a Jazz 2 U grant provided by The Herb Alpert Foundation. Please contact directly for more information.

Photo by Langston Masingale

Photo by Langston Masingale


Spice up your event with a brass band! This high energy band works perfectly for outdoor festivals, weddings, and parties. We can join in on any parade, and are 100% mobile and acoustic. We do not require a stage or sound amplification, but are flexible depending on the nature of your event.

Rates depend on the length of time, instrumentation, and distance. Fill out the form below to get a quote started.