who we are

          “What you hear from a man’s horn is what he is.” – Louis Armstrong


Ultimate responsibility for the Festival rests with the Board of Directors. The members of our Board are not entertainment industry professionals or entrepreneurs. We are local residents who share a profound love for jazz and derive immense satisfaction from bringing top-quality performers to the region we call home.

Board of Directors

Carol Calato, Chair:  is former owner and President of Calato Manufacturing / Regal Tip, manufacturer of drumsticks, drum brushes and percussion accessories. She is currently Chairwoman of the Jazz Festival Board of Directors and has volunteered for the festival for the past 13 years. Carol has served as a board member on the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM), Youngstown Yacht Club and Niagara Falls Area Chamber of Commerce.  She has also served on Governor Mario Cuomo’s World Trade Council.

Kevin Montante, First Vice Chair

Margaret Toohey, Treasurer:  has been involved with the event from its inception. Margy has been involved in many community organizations within Western New York. She has served as secretary of the Board of Trustees of Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center, a sustaining member of the Junior League of Buffalo, Secretary of the Niagara River Region Chamber of Commerce and past president of the Greater Lewiston Business & Professional Association. She has received several awards including business of the year, business person of the year and a nomination for the Athena award. Margy is committed to the continuation of the Jazz Festival as  a  preeminent entertainment event in our area. Margy is married, lives in Lewiston and has three grown children, two of whom live in New York City and one in Washington D.C.

Donna Tomkins, Secretary

Fred Albrecht

Simon Fletcher is an alumnus of Eastman School of Music and NYU in jazz performance and music theory who has enjoyed a nearly 25-year career as a musician, composer, and educator. A recent arrival in Western New York, Simon currently teaches band and general music in the Buffalo Public Schools. Simon brings to the Board his experience as a jazz musician, festival volunteer, and prior employment with the Rochester International Jazz Fest. He has already been impressed with the dedication of the Lewiston audience, community, and festival staff.

Frank Fracassi is Vice President and General Superintendent at Sevenson Environmental Services, Inc., and Vice President of the Niagara Falls Music Hall of Fame. Frank is proud to bring to the Board his 55 years of experience as a performer on piano, organ, and synthesizer, along with a profound admiration for the creativity and independence of those who live in the Jazz sector.

Jim Gardner leads a double life. He is a lawyer and longtime professor at the University at Buffalo School of Law, where his service includes a stint as Interim Dean. In his other life, he is a working jazz pianist who honed his chops studying with Johnny Morris, longtime pianist for the legendary drummer Buddy Rich.

Michael Hibbard

David Hobba

Claudia Marasco

Kathleen Neville: Formerly in both television and radio broadcasting, Kathleen holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing from the Rochester Institute of Technology and received a Master of Arts degree in Interdisciplinary Studies from Niagara University. She studied clarinet and dance for many years, sang with the music group “Scarborough Fair” and later served as a choreographer and producer for various productions. Her appreciation and admiration for musicians, theatre and the performing arts is lifelong.

Skip Mazenauer is the publisher and CEO of Niagara Frontier Publications, a media corporation that produces three weekly newspapers and the website wnypapers.com.  He takes pride in providing local news coverage to Grand Island and northwestern Niagara County.  Over the years, Skip has served the community as a Grand Island Rotary Club officer and an Artpark board member.  He currently serves on the board at Old Fort Niagara.  Skip is a founding member of the Lewiston Jazz Festival and happy to support the tradition of bringing live jazz to the community.

Jackie Nightingale

Susan Reinhardt

Bill Savino is a senior partner at the Buffalo law firm of Woods Oviatt & Gilman, began playing bass guitar in bars at 16 with fake proof. At the University of Rochester, Bill took Eastman’s two-year music theory program and Chuck Mangione’s jazz lab. At the University of Buffalo, he and fellow Niagara Falls residents Bobby Previte and Richard Shulman were the jazz trio in residence. As a music reviewer for various publications, Bill interviewed Thelonious Monk, Bill Evans, B.B. King, and more. His jazz program, “Inside the Changes,” ran for over four years on WBFO.  Today, he performs in WNY in a soul band, “Jelly Jar” and award winning jazz octet, “My Cousin Toné”.  Bill also serves on the board of Niagara Falls Music Hall of Fame

Curt Stuart is a lifelong resident of Lewiston and owner of a local business for the past 40 years. He takes pride in serving on the Northwest Jazz Festival board in order to contribute to what he considers to be Lewiston’s premier (and free) event of the year.  Curt recognizes that making an event this popular doesn’t happen by mistake, and he is inspired by the passion and tireless efforts of the Chamber, volunteers, businesses and other board members.  The atmosphere at this musical (and social!) event is like no other and Curt is proud to be a small part of it.