Chaka Khan: 2017 Artist Profile

Chaka Khan is scheduled to perform Saturday on the Main Stage from 9:25 until close.

Chaka KhanChaka Khan, a ten-time Grammy(r) Award winner best known for timeless hits “I’m Every Woman” and “Ain’t Nobody,” returns to SPAC for the first time in twenty years. For over four decades, Khan has inspired multiple generations of artists and audiences alike with a voice that enables her to sing in numerous music genres, including R&B, jazz, pop, rock, gospel, country, classical and dance music. She has released twenty-two albums and racked up ten #1 Billboard magazine charted songs, eight RIAA certified gold singles, and eleven RIAA certified gold and platinum albums. She is the recipient of numerous awards, including a BET Honors award, induction into the Apollo Legends Hall of Fame and the Hollywood Bowl Hall of Fame, and received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. A true renaissance woman, Khan is a singer, songwriter, visual artist, author, actor, philanthropist, activist, and mother.

You may also want to check out the entire 2017 Lineup!

Photo credited to Tim Fielding.


Interview With Festival Producer Danny Melnick

The Saratoga TODAY newspaper has published an interview with festival producer Danny Melnick. I learned that the Saratoga Jazz Festival is the fifth longest-consecutive-running jazz festival in North America!

Only a few more days until Jazz at SPAC! See you soon!


2017 Sponsors

The Freihofer’s Saratoga Jazz Festival has remarkable sponsors who not only support the festival, but also want to give guests an unforgettable time. Here are some fun onsite features they are bringing this year:

  • Freihofer’s will be giving away boxes of their signature, chocolate chip cookies and have a full-size, jazz-themed backdrop and photo booth.
  • Stella Artois, sponsor of the “the Hang,” brings a deluxe Airstream trailer to the festival where guests can sample Stella Artois products, relax in lounge chairs and, well, hang.
  • New York Lottery’s exhibit offers you a chance to buy tickets, check your tickets and participate in giveaways and games.
  • Price Chopper is giving away a jazz festival weekend! AT&T is hosting ticket giveaways in its Albany and Saratoga stores! National Grid will have their Sprinter Van at the festival and a number of energy saving exhibits, including the pedal machine which is a hit with kids.

The festival is much more than an event, it is a celebration extraordinaire. If you haven’t experienced it yet, this year is your chance!


Gazebo Construction Photos

Faithful commenter DJ Jazzy Joe sent me a couple of photos of the new gazebo under construction. It certainly looks much larger then the old!

Saratoga Performing Arts Center new gazebo under construction


A New Gazebo for Jazz Festival!

The Charles R. Wood Foundation has generously awarded a $150,000 grant to SPAC that will underwrite the cost of replacing SPAC’s aging gazebo stage with a larger, updated version. The new gazebo will be named in honor of Mr. Wood, a strong supporter of the arts and a member of SPAC’s board in the 1990s. The present stage, which was built in 1981, has become increasingly insufficient for the needs of today’s artists. The new structure will feature 25 x 21 feet of usable performance space; an increase in square footage of 133 percent. Construction of the new gazebo will be completed in time for the Freihofer’s Saratoga Jazz Festival, June 24 – 25.

I’m sure we will never forget the old gazebo!
Saratoga Performing Arts Center old gazebo


Tickets on sale now!

Tickets for the 2017 festival are available online at New this year is a $20 amphitheater ticket option for children ages 15 and under and students with school-issued ID at time of entrance. Lawn seating is free for children ages 12 and under.

Single Day Adult 2-Day Pass Adult
Orchestra Pit $105 $190
Sections 1-7; Boxes $95 $170
Sections 8-12; 15
Front 16-17
$85 $150
Sections 13-14
Rear 16-17; 18-30
$75 $130
Lawn (General Admission) $65 $110

† 2-day pass discounts expired May 1, 2017

  • Children ages 12 and under are free on the lawn!
  • $20 student tickets are available online and in-person at the box office. Student tickets are only valid with school-issued ID at time of entrance (valid only in sections 13 & 14; 18-30).
  • $20 children’s amphitheater tickets, for kids aged 15 and under, are available online and in-person at the box office (excludes pit seats).

2017 Lineup Announcement

We are proud to announce the 2017 festival lineup!

The 2017 Freihofer’s Saratoga Jazz Festival features an extraordinary lineup of musicians, ranging from emerging artists making their festival debuts, to the return of two legendary musicians who performed on the inaugural 1978 festival, Dee Dee Bridgewater and Jean Luc-Ponty. Headlining the weekend are Chaka Khan, “the queen of R&B,” and the Gipsy Kings, who bring their irresistible rhythms to the Jazz Festival for the first time. In addition, three boundary-breaking young musicians from the United Kingdom will showcase their inventive approaches to jazz performance. Furthermore, Jazz 100, led by Danilo Pérez, will pay homage to iconic musicians Dizzy Gillespie, Ella Fitzgerald, Mongo Santamaria, and Thelonious Monk in celebration of the 100th anniversary of their shared birth year.

Please see our 2017 lineup page for all of the details including ticket information.


Sharon Jones Remembered

Soul legend Sharon Jones died on Friday November 18, 2016 of pancreatic cancer, at age 60.

She performed at the Saratoga Jazz Festival in 2011, with her band, the Dap-Kings.

For more information about her life and artistic contributions:

She will be remembered through her music.


Who Was Your Favorite 2016 Performer?

Performers in the poll below are listed in order: Saturday Amphitheater, Saturday Gazebo, Sunday Amphitheater, Sunday Gazebo. You can vote for your favorite 4!

Who Was Your Favorite 2016 Performer? (Vote up to 4.)

  • Chick Corea Trilogy (Sunday Amphitheatre) (14%, 24 Votes)
  • Joey Alexander Trio (Saturday Amphitheatre) (14%, 23 Votes)
  • The Isley Brothers (Saturday Amphitheatre) (9%, 15 Votes)
  • Pieces Of A Dream (Saturday Amphitheatre) (8%, 14 Votes)
  • Steps Ahead Reunion (Saturday Amphitheatre) (7%, 12 Votes)
  • Smokey Robinson (Sunday Amphitheatre) (7%, 12 Votes)
  • Lizz Wright (Sunday Amphitheatre) (7%, 11 Votes)
  • Jon Cleary (Sunday Amphitheatre) (5%, 9 Votes)
  • Shemekia Copeland (Saturday Amphitheatre) (4%, 7 Votes)
  • Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah (Saturday Amphitheatre) (4%, 7 Votes)
  • Aaron Diehl Trio (Sunday Gazebo) (4%, 6 Votes)
  • Jarrod Lawson (Sunday Gazebo) (3%, 5 Votes)
  • Pat Martino (Sunday Amphitheatre) (2%, 4 Votes)
  • Karrin Allyson (Saturday Gazebo) (2%, 4 Votes)
  • Bria Skonberg Quintet (Sunday Amphitheatre and Gazebo) (2%, 4 Votes)
  • Jamison Ross (Saturday Gazebo) (2%, 3 Votes)
  • Alicia Olatuja (Sunday Gazebo) (1%, 2 Votes)
  • Eric Lindell (Saturday Amphitheatre and Gazebo) (1%, 2 Votes)
  • Vincent Herring & The Kings of Swing (Saturday Gazebo) (1%, 1 Votes)
  • Elio Villafranca (Saturday Gazebo) (1%, 1 Votes)
  • LaFayette Suite (Sunday Gazebo) (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 57

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2016 Freihofer’s Saratoga Jazz Festival Flyer

Gates open at 10:00 AM on Saturday and 11:00 AM on Sunday. Guests are welcome to bring in food, beverages, and tents. Parking is free.

2016 Freihofer’s Saratoga Jazz Festival Flyer, Side 1

2016 Freihofer’s Saratoga Jazz Festival Flyer, Side 2, including lineup