Dave Stryker: 2017 Artist Profile

June 20th, 2017 No comments

Dave Stryker Organ Quartet featuring Eric Alexander, Jared Gold, & McClenty Hunter is scheduled to perform Saturday on the Main Stage from noon until 1:00, and on the Gazebo Stage from 3:05 until 4:10.

Dave StykyerDave Stryker Organ Quartet featuring Eric Alexander, Jared Gold, & McClenty Hunter will make their Freihofer’s Saratoga Jazz Festival debut. Stryker, a jazz guitarist, has recorded twenty-seven albums as a bandleader and has recorded and published over 150 of his own compositions. His 2015 album, Messin’ With Mister T, is a celebration of the man he worked with for over a decade – Stanley Turrentine. The work was named one of Downbeat’s Top CDs of 2015 and earned Stryker his 7th recognition in Downbeat Critics and Readers Poll.

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

Photo credited to Chris Drukker, provided by davestrkyer.com.

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The Suffers: 2017 Artist Profile

June 19th, 2017 No comments

The Suffers are scheduled to perform Saturday on the Main Stage from 5:50 until 7:00.

Kim Franklin, lead singer of The Suffers The Suffers, the Houston band known for their unique, self-coined musical style “Gulf Coast Soul,” will play selections from their 2016 self-titled album at their Freihofer’s Saratoga Jazz Festival debut. In 2016, the band performed for NPR’s Tiny Desk, Newport Folk Fest Festival, Austin City Limits Festival, and The Late Show. NPR has described their blending of rock & roll, country, Latin and Southern hip-hop music as “a perfect mix of power and delicacy.” Their 10-musician ensemble is led by singer Kim Franklin, whose warm and powerful voice was compared to Chaka Khan’s by the New York Times writer Andy Langer.

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

Photo provided by The Suffers’ website.

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Jacob Collier: 2017 Artist Profile

June 19th, 2017 No comments

Jacob Collier is scheduled to perform Saturday on the Main Stage from 7:30 until 8:40.

Jacob Collier -1180632Jacob Collier is one of the world’s most distinctive, inventive and prodigious young musicians. Based in London, Jacob has embraced the world of the internet to share his uniquely creative talent. He is best known for his trademark multi-faceted YouTube videos, wherein he sings all of the parts, plays all the instruments, and adds visual elements through a mosaic of video screens. Jacob has spent the last year collaborating with Ben Bloomberg at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), designing and building a groundbreaking solo live performance vehicle, which brings his one-man, multi-instrumental, multi-visual format of music making to the stage in a way that has never been seen or heard before. The Guardian heralded Collier as “jazz music’s new messiah.” His debut album, In My Room, released in July, ranked number one on the iTunes Jazz chart in twenty-three countries and debuted at number one on the Billboard Contemporary Jazz Album chart.

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

Photo by Harald Krichel (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 or CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons

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Jean-Luc Ponty: 2017 Artist Profile

June 19th, 2017 No comments

Jean-Luc Ponty is scheduled to perform Saturday on the Main Stage from 1:20 until 2:30.

Jean-Luc Ponty at the Nice Jazz Festival 2008 Pioneering jazz and rock violinist Jean-Luc Ponty returns for his 4th Freihofer’s Saratoga Jazz Festival appearance with hits from his Atlantic Records albums including Imaginary Voyage, Enigmatic Ocean, and Cosmic Messenger. Ponty began his career in France as a classical violinist, but quickly developed his own horn-inspired style without vibrato. The recipient of lifetime achievement awards in four countries, Ponty was also awarded the 2016 Officier de la Legion d’Honneur, the highest civilian honor in France.

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

Jean-Luc’s photo at the Nice Jazz Festival in 2008 is licensed via CC-BY-SA 2.0/Guillaume Laurent.

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The Gipsy Kings: 2017 Artist Profile

June 19th, 2017 No comments

The Gipsy Kings are scheduled to perform Sunday on the Main Stage from 8:35 until close.

The Gipsy KingsAlso celebrating their 40th anniversary in 2017, The Gipsy Kings make their Freihofer’s Saratoga Jazz Festival debut with music from Savor Flamenco, their ninth studio album since their first release 25 years ago. Their distinctive blend of traditional flamenco styles with Western pop and Latin rhythms has reflected the diverse influences of the gypsy heritage, and has remained visible over the years throughout popular culture. Their rendition of “Hotel California” was included in the film The Big Lebowski and on the HBO series Entourage. The 2010 film Toy Story 3 featured a Gipsy Kings version of the movie’s popular, Randy Newman-penned theme, “You’ve Got a Friend in Me.”

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

Photo credited to Marie Claire Margossian-Fotor.

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Chaka Khan: 2017 Artist Profile

June 19th, 2017 No comments

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.

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Interview With Festival Producer Danny Melnick

June 17th, 2017 Comments off

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!

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2017 Sponsors

June 17th, 2017 No comments

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!

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Gazebo Construction Photos

May 30th, 2017 No comments

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
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A New Gazebo for Jazz Festival!

May 18th, 2017 1 comment

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

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