2020 Lineup

Saratoga Performing Arts Center exterior photo

The 2020 Freihofer’s Saratoga Jazz Festival will take place on Saturday June 27th and Sunday June 28th, 2020 at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center in Saratoga Springs, NY USA.

Here is the expected lineup for the festival!

Saturday Amphitheater (12:45 pm start)
  • Nile Rodgers & CHIC
  • Cassandra Wilson
  • Issac Delgado & His Afro Cuban Big Band
  • Ozmosys featuring Omar Hakim, Rachel Z, Linley Marthe & Kurt Rosenwinkel
  • Fly Higher: Charlie Parker @ 100 featuring Rudresh Mahanthappa, Terri Lyne Carrington, Charenée Wade, Adam O’Farrill, Kris Davis, Larry Grenadier & Kassa Overall
  • Amina Figarova Sextet plus Strings
  • Student Ensemble
Saturday Gazebo (11 am start)
  • Little Freddie King
  • Matt Wilson’s Honey & Salt with Dawn Thomson, Nadje Noordhuis, Jeff Lederer & Martin Wind
  • Javon Jackson Quartet featuring Jimmy Cobb
  • Connie Han Trio
  • Emmaline
Sunday Amphitheater (11:45 am start)
  • Kool & The Gang
  • Taj Mahal
  • The Brubeck Brothers Celebrate Dave Brubeck’s Centennial with Chris Brubeck, Dan Brubeck, Mike DeMicco & Chuck Lamb
  • Eliane Elias
  • Matthew Whitaker
  • Student Ensemble
Sunday Gazebo (11 am start)
  • Kurt Elling & Danilo Perez Duo
  • Ranky Tanky
  • Tiempo Libre
  • Carolyn Wonderland
  • Ryan Keberle & Catharsis featuring Camila Meza, Scott Robinson, Jorge Roeder & Eric Doob
  • Caffé Lena Presents Joyful Noise

You can help support this site, and get ready for the festival, by shopping for Jazz CDs on Amazon.com.

SPAC exterior photo on this page licensed via CC-BY-SA-3.0/Matt H. Wade at Wikipedia.

26 replies on “2020 Lineup”

This is getting ridiculous. Bill Withers passed today at 81 though not of Corona. In 2018 we had that wonderful Jose James tribute to Bill.

Two late May festivals just postponed/cancelled in the last two days. Crawfish Fest in New Jersey punted to August and Del Fest in Maryland hasn’t decided on whether it is postponing or cancelling altogether. It’s becoming clearer with each day that this Corona thing isn’t going to be a matter of weeks or even a few months.

Sadly, I got an email from the Saratoga Hilton yesterday telling me that they are “temporarily suspending operations” and “will unfortunately be unable to honor [my Jazz Fest] reservation.”

If hotels in Saratoga are shutting down for the festival weekend, it is a very ominous sign for the festival…

Dan Melnick in previous comments has downplayed the size of the out of town crowd. He’s wrong. Of the morning lineup crowd that I have known over the years. Most are out of towners. Our group of ten and many others are part of group buys by local representatives which skews the numbers.

Hi George – this is news to me and quite unwelcome. None of the hotels have been in touch with us about their policies. Contrary to Chuck’s sunny disposition, I am constantly focused on the out of towners and work very hard to get folks back each year. Have no clue what will be this year. We’re gonna see how things move through April. Stay safe and healthy. I know too many people who are real sick and some who have passed already. Horrible. Best to all DM

Hi George, I just spoke to a representative at the Saratoga Hilton. That email you got was wrong. It was sent out by the national office and they are trying to get new information to everybody. The hotel is indeed closed now for the month of April. They don’t know what will be for May but at the moment they are planning to be open in June and your reservation is secure. Best DM

Hi Danny, that’s great news! Thanks!

I had tried calling the hotel to verify that the email was correct, but there was no answer, so I figured they had already closed. It did seem premature to me to be planing shutdowns 3 months from now — who knows what will be going on in 3 months. Let’s hope we will all be hanging out on SPAC’s warm sunny lawn!

Hi Friends – I hope everyone is healthy and safe. I wanted to take a minute to let you know that the fabulous emerging vocalist Emmaline, who is due to perform at the festival on June 27, is doing online concerts from her apartment on Sunday, March 22.

All of the info is here:


Good luck to all, happy spring, and let’s hope we all get together again on June 27 & 28.

Bless you all – DM

Hi All – what to say? Crazy times….

We are planning to hold the festival but things could obviously change. But, for now, we are on and working on all aspects of the festival – we just chose the new t-shirt artwork, printing the brochures for mailing, processing artist contracts, etc.

Let’s hope……

Stay safe and healthy! – DM

If postponing the festival is being considered, please be aware that the racing season 7/16 to 9/7 would most likely make motels and hotels unavailable for the substantial portion (including our 10 folks) of the audience that comes from out of town for the weekend and would require us to cancel.

I used to say that music festivals were all about the weather. Now it’s weather and the corona virus. Note that the South by Southwest Festival in Austin, Texas was cancelled purportedly by the prospect of the Corona Virus.

Hi just a question. Was wondering why there haven’t been any smooth jazz artists in recent years. Artist such as Eric Darius, Vincent Ingala, Euge Groove, etc.

The young maestro Matthew Whitaker will be featured on 60 Minutes tomorrow evening – Sun Feb 23 – and will make his Freihofer’s Saratoga Jazz Festival debut on Sunday, June 28.

Good variety, there’s soul, blues, Latin, gospel and of course jazz. The Matt Wilson thing looked a little weird on line with the music being joined by local poets.

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