2014 Lineup

December 23rd, 2015

Saratoga Performing Arts Center exterior photo

The 2014 Festival took place on Saturday June 28th and Sunday June 29th, 2014 at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center in Saratoga Springs, NY USA.

Lineup

Saturday – June 28th

Check out the biographies for Saturday performers.

Gates opened at 10am.

Amphitheater

  • noon - 1:00 ~ Robin McKelle and The Flytones
  • 1:20 - 2:20 ~ Ronnie Earl and The Broadcasters
  • 2:45 - 3:50 ~ Jon Batiste and Stay Human
  • 4:15 - 5:20 ~ Mike Stern/Bill Evans Band featuring Steve Smith and Tom Kennedy
  • 5:40 - 6:45 ~ Terence Blanchard
  • 7:15 - 8:30 ~ Dr. Lonnie Smith Octet
  • 9:15 - ???? ~ Earth, Wind and Fire

Gazebo

  • 12:15 - 1:20 ~ Marc Cary Focus Trio
  • 1:40 - 2:45 ~ Lew Tabackin Trio
  • 3:10 - 4:15 ~ Mary Halvorson Trio with John Hebert and Ches Smith
  • 4:40 - 5:40 ~ Robin McKelle and The Flytones
  • 6:05 - 7:10 ~ Jaimeo Brown with JD Allen and Chris Sholar

Sunday – June 29th

Check out the biographies for Sunday performers.

Gates opened at 11am.

Amphitheater

  • 12:30 - 1:30 ~ Quinn Sullivan
  • 1:50 - 3:00 ~ Newport Jazz Festival: Now 60, with Karrin Allyson, Anat Cohen, Randy Brecker, Mark Whitfield, Peter Martin, Larry Grenadier and Clarence Penn
  • 3:20 - 4:30 ~ Dave Holland Prism with Kevin Eubanks, Craig Taborn and Eric Harland
  • 5:00 - 6:15 ~ Patti Austin
  • 6:45 - 8:00 ~ Eddie Palmieri Salsa Orchestra
  • 8:30 - ???? ~ Trombone Shorty

Gazebo

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

Take our poll: Who were your favorite performers?

See the results of our poll: Who are you most looking forward to seeing this year?

Beware: SPAC has a new policy, no professional cameras will be allowed in the amphitheater. The artists have requested this and the festival organizers have agreed. You can take pics with phones, or small point-and-shoot cameras, but nothing more sophisticated than that.

2014 Saratoga Jazz Festival Logo
SPAC exterior photo on this page licensed via CC-BY-SA-3.0/Matt H. Wade at Wikipedia.

  1. Romona Stewart
    November 23rd, 2014 at 22:38 | #1

    Can we try to get Snarky Puppy please, they will be performing in the area that weekend. Down to the Bone,

  2. Danny Melnick (producer)
    November 10th, 2014 at 16:54 | #2

    Hi Friends – been busy booking the artists for the festival! Lot’s of beautiful musicians will be with us in June.

    Check this out – a little reminder of our last festival as we slide into winter…

    http://www.npr.org/2014/11/08/362482393/teacher-and-prodigy-play-the-blues

    Best – DM

  3. Miriam
    October 10th, 2014 at 12:24 | #3

    So sorry to hear about the loss of your friend Herb Chesbrough. I thank him for his apparent love of music and insight into this great jazz festival.

  4. Tom Mc
    September 29th, 2014 at 08:25 | #4

    Hailey Niswanger is raising money for her new record. She has been at the Gazebo and is gifted player, if you feel so inclined take a look
    http://www.hatchfund.org/project/pdx_soul

  5. Danny Melnick
    September 18th, 2014 at 07:13 | #5

    Hi Friends – My dear friend and mentor, Herb Chesbrough, passed away on Tuesday night. He created the jazz festival with George Wein in 1978 and led SPAC for many years. He was recently the Executive Director of the Newport Festivals Foundation and cared deeply about jazz and the arts.

    http://www.timesunion.com/local/article/Former-SPAC-director-Chesbrough-has-died-5762503.php

    Peace – DM

  6. Danny Melnick
    August 6th, 2014 at 13:33 | #6

    @Andre Le’ Plume
    If I only had a 10th of the funding Detroit has….

    check this out!

    http://thecolbertreport.cc.com/videos/84mh53/sign-off—jon-batiste-and-stay-human

  7. Andre Le’ Plume
    July 28th, 2014 at 12:26 | #7

    Check out Detroit for a “real” free Jazz festival, the lineup and programs they have every year are amazing. That being said the festival at Saratoga is wonderful, you don’t have to be a hard core Jazz addict, which I am by the way, to enjoy the great company plus the festive, picnic atmosphere at SPAC. Groups like Earth Wind & Fire are great entertainment which to me is the point, a great mix, from Lonnie Smith to Sean Jones to Warren Wolfe, Terence Blanchard, plenty of straight up Jazz balanced by EWF, Quinn Sullivan, Ronnie Earl etc. Being allowed to bring in your own food and drinks is a big plus. Nothing is perfect, it’s getting expensive, the picture policy this year was annoying but I look forward to 2015 !

  8. Miriam
    July 28th, 2014 at 09:17 | #8

    @james y
    That’s good to know!

  9. Chuck
    July 21st, 2014 at 11:33 | #9

    @james y
    Is there available shade? Have to confess that at age 67 I don’t find the late hours appealing. I will check it out for next year based on your recommendation.

  10. james y
    July 21st, 2014 at 11:23 | #10

    Chuck,

    Just got back from Hartford. Unbelievable. 20,000- 30,000 fans. That was a jazz festival.
    75% of the people at Freihoffer’s wanted to see Earth, Wind and Fire. Love them, but that is not even jazz. More vendors in Hartford and a better venue. Music until 1:30am.

    Too many known jazz artists to have a lineup like Freihoffer’s. They can do better and they know it.

  11. Tom Mc
    July 11th, 2014 at 11:07 | #11

    I was just reading the ballet crowd wasnt happy with the state of the lawn this year. They seem to be blaming the Phish concert, but that lawn was in the worst shape I ever saw it this year for the jazz festival. Obviously the winter was not a good one, which I am sure contributed to it.

  12. Chuck
    July 10th, 2014 at 16:50 | #12

    @james y
    While the price of the Hartford festival is right , the lineup is hardly impressive. It’s really just nine acts spread out over three days. This year’s Saratoga lineup was solid but they’ve done better even in recent years. SPAC is still the best festival facility around despite this year’s staff, photo and sound volume foul ups.

  13. james y
    July 10th, 2014 at 12:37 | #13

    This is my 6 festival and although I love the venue, the lineups leave a lot to be desired. The ticket prices continue to go up and the lineups are getting considerably worse. Going to Hartford this weekend Saturday acts (David Sanborn, Marion Meadows and Kim Waters) just to name a few. Oh, did I mention that it is FREE.

  14. Danny Melnick
    July 9th, 2014 at 22:36 | #14

    @Chuck
    They have the NYC Ballet this week. They will get back to you for sure. DM

  15. Steve S
    July 7th, 2014 at 08:52 | #15

    Danny, great festival once again! Thanks so much. And please ignore the comments about the music being too loud. For the past two years it has been delightful for us on the lawn. (The amphitheater is a nightmare unless there are lots of people.) For so many years we had a running complaint about how it usually took far too long for anyone in the venue to remember that there were paying customers on the lawn, dying to hear the great music. If anything, the only issue I had with sound this year was that Quinn Sullivan could be heard from the Gazebo (over an entirely unmemorable Patty Austin). I’ll also echo others’ complaints about security (and send a note to SPAC).

  16. Chuck
    July 7th, 2014 at 07:01 | #16

    @Danny Melnick
    I sent an email last week and received no response. Perhaps it’s the holiday.

  17. Danny Melnick
    July 6th, 2014 at 18:44 | #17

    @Rudy
    Friends – thanks so much for your comments. While I am a full partner with SPAC, the ushers and security staff is under their domain. Please send these comments to Lisa Hill at SPAC – lhill@spac.org and she will get them to the proper administrators there.

    All my best – DM

  18. Chuck
    July 4th, 2014 at 18:50 | #18

    @Rudy
    Rudy, the ushers were totally amped up, especially on Sunday. I had a seat in the pit right next to the usher’s chair. There were two ushers there together and I heard most of their conversation between acts. A woman put a drink on the stage as she was sitting in her chair and before she could settle in and remove it, one of the ushers was accosting her. This, by the way, between acts. I heard them discuss a photographer who entered the pit area at the opposite entrance. Observing his large camera, one usher suggested they check the photographer out even though they just observed him pass by the usher check point at the other entrance. On Saturday, early in the day, when few seats were filled, the ushers allowed me to leave the pit where no photography was allowed and sit in the first row for five minutes twice and shoot. The next day I did the same thing for the first act when a supervisor type woman approached me waiving a typed piece of paper with pen cross outs at me. She advised that the photo policy of allowing small cameras in the seats had been changed and that no photography was permitted except at the very back of the amphitheater. Meanwhile the music from the amphitheater was consistently too loud both days and for two acts at the gazebo, McKelle and Sullivan, it was hideously loud so that the bleeding of sound interfered with hearing music from the amphitheater. Perhaps, a little more concentration on providing a better musical service and a little less security effort. In thirty one years this is the first time I’ve ever complained about the sound or the staff.

  19. July 4th, 2014 at 13:24 | #19

    Chuck :
    @Danny Melnick (producer)
    What a great festival except for all that crummy weather! Thanks for a great festival. Thought Earl, Palmieri, Blanchard and McKelle were the best. I hope you will accept some constructive criticism. Our group who sit at the top of the hill by the rotunda area thought the music was too loud. At one point a member of our group said, “I don’t remember having to yell to be heard”. Second, the hyper restrictive and schizophrenic (it changed for the worse as the festival progressed) photo policy was annoying to those of us who like to shoot. Third, one of the ushers was very rude to a member of our group. Around 11:00 A.M. on Sunday morning one of our guys ambled down to the amphitheater and was barked at by one of the ushers or other staff. Rather than a polite request to wait until 11:30 to enter the stage area, he was told “You can’t come in an here, get off the concrete, no one is allowed in until 11:30!” This was done in an aggressive and totally unnecessary manner. Please review the photo policy. You should be accommodating the patrons over performer preferences whenever possible. We are providing their income. Thanks again and see you next year.

    @ Danny Melnick. Great festival again. However, I found the ushers to be consistently rude. I am a press photographer and had to show my badge more than once for most sessions at the amphitheater, many times in a less than polite manner. The restrictions on taking photos made it difficult for us in the press to cover the festival. Shooting from the corners makes it difficult to cover many of the large ensembles on site this year. Note that one of the photographers from the local newspapers left the venue in total frustration. You should know that the resources at the local newspapers are extremely limited. It is rare that they send out a photographer for a local event. I was equally unhappy when a couple was enjoying Eddie Palmieri by dancing in a corner of the amphitheater was told to move and the blame was placed on me!!!! Some sort of accommodation should be made to please all. SPAC should understand we are not a rock festival yet not a classical concert so patrons do not remain in their seats but will get up and enjoy themselves without causing a ruckus!!!

  20. Howie Goldberg
    July 3rd, 2014 at 14:29 | #20

    Thank you for putting on a great festival, with a fantastic diverse line up. As a long time attendee I was disappointed to find out that inside seats were being sold for the same price as lawn tickets at the box office Friday and Saturday. It is not fair to the people who bought their tickets in advance. I agree that there were numerous sound issues which seems to happen every year. We did leave our inside seats during the Eddie Palmieri set because it was just too loud. All the gazebo acts were really good, and you always find the hidden talents which make the festival so enjoyable. Ronnie Earl, Mike Stern, E.W.F., Dave Holland and Kevin Eubanks really put on great sets. Wish list for next year…bring back Pieces of a Dream!

  21. Anita Gillespie-Wallace
    July 2nd, 2014 at 14:43 | #21

    @Chuck
    I completely agree with you. Saratoga is more like a true Jazz Fest & Capital is an R&B Fest with some jazz.

  22. Danny Melnick
    July 1st, 2014 at 20:56 | #22

    @Chuck

    Chuck – this is a venue issue. Please send your email to lhill@spac.org and she will get back to you. DM

  23. Tom Mc
    July 1st, 2014 at 08:13 | #23

    Great year, great lineup. Thanks for all you do @Danny Melnick (producer)

  24. Chuck
    July 1st, 2014 at 07:34 | #24

    @Danny Melnick (producer)
    What a great festival except for all that crummy weather! Thanks for a great festival. Thought Earl, Palmieri, Blanchard and McKelle were the best. I hope you will accept some constructive criticism. Our group who sit at the top of the hill by the rotunda area thought the music was too loud. At one point a member of our group said, “I don’t remember having to yell to be heard”. Second, the hyper restrictive and schizophrenic (it changed for the worse as the festival progressed) photo policy was annoying to those of us who like to shoot. Third, one of the ushers was very rude to a member of our group. Around 11:00 A.M. on Sunday morning one of our guys ambled down to the amphitheater and was barked at by one of the ushers or other staff. Rather than a polite request to wait until 11:30 to enter the stage area, he was told “You can’t come in an here, get off the concrete, no one is allowed in until 11:30!” This was done in an aggressive and totally unnecessary manner. Please review the photo policy. You should be accommodating the patrons over performer preferences whenever possible. We are providing their income. Thanks again and see you next year.

  25. Danny Melnick (producer)
    June 30th, 2014 at 07:32 | #25

    Whew! I am tired!!! But happy too! What a great weekend. 2015 dates are June 27-28.

    Take care everyone. DM

  26. DJ Jazzy Joe
    June 29th, 2014 at 21:55 | #26

    Can’t believe it is over already. Thanks Danny for another great year.

    Was next years dates announced?

  27. DJ Jazzy Joe
    June 28th, 2014 at 15:32 | #27

    Day keeps getting better. Nothing beats jazzfest .

    @DJ Jazzy Joe

  28. DJ Jazzy Joe
    June 28th, 2014 at 11:46 | #28

    What a great opener! Great energy to get it started, add perfect weather and anyone that is not here needs to get here right away.

  29. Danny Melnick
    June 27th, 2014 at 09:44 | #29

    Here’s a podcast interview I did on the line-up…

    http://straightnochaserjazz.libsyn.com/podcast-43-previewing-the-freihofer-s-saratoga-jazz-festival-with-danny-melnick

    Looking forward to seeing everyone this glorious weekend. Say hi! Have fun! – DM

  30. Chuck
    June 26th, 2014 at 18:01 | #30

    @Danny Melnick (producer)
    Thanks from this compu-phobe.

  31. June 26th, 2014 at 14:06 | #31

    @Chuck
    SPAC’s site has a # of layers so it is a bit confusing but the schedules are there:

    http://saratogajazzfestival.org/saturday-jun-28-lineup/

    http://saratogajazzfestival.org/sunday-jun-29-lineup/

  32. Chuck
    June 26th, 2014 at 09:16 | #32

    Isn’t it curious that the set times are available yet the SPAC Jazz Fest web site hasn’t bothered to post them?

  33. June 24th, 2014 at 11:43 | #34

    SPAC has a new policy – no professional cameras allowed in the amphitheater. The artist’s have requested this and we are agreeing. You can take pics with iphones, or small point-and-shoot cameras but nothing more than that. DM

  34. June 24th, 2014 at 11:42 | #35

    @Anonymous
    Based on artist travel times. Lots goes into this. DM

  35. Steve S
    June 24th, 2014 at 08:06 | #36

    Can’t wait for Saturday! Just watched a couple EWF videos — gonna burn!!!

  36. Anonymous
    June 24th, 2014 at 07:12 | #37

    @Danny Melnick (producer)
    Ronnie Earl is too early, thats my only minor complaint. Cant wait for Saturday!!!

  37. June 23rd, 2014 at 17:30 | #38

    Hi Friends – the weather forecast for the weekend looks great at the moment. We are going to be “instagramming” and tweeting with the hashtag #saratogajazz Please use it freely!

    DM

  38. June 23rd, 2014 at 17:28 | #39

    @Ari Silverstein
    No. Only taxis.

  39. Ari Silverstein
    June 23rd, 2014 at 10:36 | #40

    @Danny Melnick (producer)
    Is there a shuttle from the Amtrak station to the fairgrounds?

  40. DJ Jazzy Joe
    June 21st, 2014 at 10:43 | #41

    One week to go! Really looking forward to this years festival.

  41. June 17th, 2014 at 14:39 | #43
  42. Danny Melnick
    June 14th, 2014 at 22:18 | #44

    @Chuck
    I noticed that too! Ronnie’s a “trip” and it actually made me laugh. I’ll see if he remembers once he arrives at SPAC! DM

  43. Chuck
    June 14th, 2014 at 13:29 | #45

    @Danny Melnick (producer)
    Ronnie Earl indicated that he had never been at Saratoga before. I suppose he can be forgiven for forgetting that he opened the festival on the main stage in 1997. He may have forgotten but I haven’t. It was a scorching set and I’ve been a fan ever since.

  44. Danny Melnick
    June 13th, 2014 at 10:40 | #46

    The 18th annual Jazz Journalists Association award ceremony was held in NYC on Wednesday and three of our artists won awards on their respective instruments:

    Terence Blanchard – trumpeter of the year
    Dr. Lonnie Smith – keyboardist of the year
    Anat Cohen – clarinetist of the year

    Congratulations to them and all the winner (and nominees) and we look forward to seeing and hearing them in only TWO WEEKS! – DM

  45. Danny Melnick (producer)
    June 12th, 2014 at 09:32 | #47

    Hi Friends – check this out – http://www.spac.org/getcloser/tags/selfie-project

    DM

  46. Anonymous
    June 12th, 2014 at 09:30 | #48

    @Tom Mc
    Probably the beginning of next week. I have to get SPAC to add it to the official website. DM

  47. Tom Mc
    June 12th, 2014 at 09:09 | #49

    Is there a timeframe for the start times being posted? Im just curious, not being annoying, I hope!

  48. Danny Melnick (producer)
    June 8th, 2014 at 08:03 | #50

    @Chuck

    My favorite is “Colour of Love.”

    I think his band will be all instrumental but I’m not 100% sure yet. DM

  49. Chuck
    June 7th, 2014 at 15:29 | #51

    @Danny Melnick (producer)
    Ronnie’s 1996 Grateful Heart: Blues and Ballads remains a favorite disc. Will he have Diane Blue with him for this performance?

  50. June 5th, 2014 at 16:06 | #52

    Congratulations to Ronnie Earl, who recently won Best Guitarist at the 25th annual Blues Music Awards. See you back at SPAC on June 28 Mr. Earl. (New CD coming out in two weeks too!)

    DM

  51. May 30th, 2014 at 15:19 | #54

    @Rhonda
    We will announce all the set times soon. EW&F will play Saturday night starting at approx. 9:15pm.

    I was just watching this – http://vimeo.com/31652609

    Looking forward to seeing y’all real soon. DM

  52. DJ Jazzy Joe
    May 30th, 2014 at 08:48 | #55

    Nice update adding the biographies.

    The countdown is on, I’m looking forward to this years lineup.

  53. Rhonda
    May 28th, 2014 at 22:12 | #56

    Any idea of start times, in particular earth wind and fire?

  54. Vincenzo
    May 23rd, 2014 at 15:55 | #57

    I am thrilled that finally Dr. Lonnie Smith will be playing SPAC. Those in the know, has missed him here. The wait is over. I can’t wait until, Thank you SPAC JAZZ

  55. peter
    May 17th, 2014 at 15:22 | #58

    Listening to some Warren Wolf out on the patio… can’t wait to see his group at the Gazebo..

  56. Danny Melnick
    May 4th, 2014 at 20:29 | #59

    @Barb
    Hi Barb – thanks for your interest in the festival. I am the producer and we’d love to have you with us!!! We have a full bar there too so don’t worry too much about your wine!!! 😉

    All my best – Danny Melnick

  57. Chuck
    May 4th, 2014 at 07:46 | #60

    @Barb
    Most folks set up on the lawn despite having underneath seats. It’s a wonderful picnic and offers a change of pace for those hard seats. Coolers are allowed for jazz fest. I guess you have to go with box wine or transfer some from bottles to a plastic container. Parking is near the grounds. Best bet is the Route 50 side of the park. The earlier you come the closer you will be able to park. Gates open at 10 AM on Saturday and 11 AM on Sunday. People line up somewhat earlier. The earlier you enter the better the spot you will get, depending on your requirements. The choice spots in the shade and by the gazebo go early. But no matter what time you arrive, you will find a lawn spot. Many people cart their gear in on wagons and travel totes.

  58. Barb
    May 3rd, 2014 at 22:12 | #61

    @Chuck

    Chuck – appreciate the comments and suggestions. A couple of things. So you are saying I should buy seats – any seats – but sit on the lawn, right?

    All the information on the website says no coolers. Goodies I understand, and since glass is not allowed, how would we get wine in?

    Lastly, how far is the parking lot from the lawn (for carrying all this stuff!)

    Thanks again!

  59. Chuck
    May 3rd, 2014 at 21:18 | #62

    @Barb
    One more thing Barb. I’m 67 and this will be my 31st consecutive year at the festival. You’ll fit right in. Welcome aboard.

  60. Chuck
    May 3rd, 2014 at 21:16 | #63

    @Barb
    Barb, the lawn is great if the weather holds. Most people spend more time on the lawn than in the amphitheater. But I recommend that you buy underneath seats just in case the weather gets harsh. You will be glad you spent the extra money if we get a thunder shower. Bring a tarp, chairs and a cooler of goodies (no glass) and set up shop. It’s a very relaxed and mature scene, especially by music festival standards. Chuck.

  61. Barb
    May 3rd, 2014 at 20:32 | #64

    We are interested in coming to Freihofer’s Saratoga Jazz Festival 2014 (anniversary surprise). This will be our first time at the event and there are very few seats left and only good ones seem to be through brokers. Since we have never been, are lawn seats any good or would I be better off buying through a broker? We are late 40’s with no kids coming. Thanks for your help and any information you could give me would be great!

  62. Chuck
    May 2nd, 2014 at 20:53 | #65

    @Danny Melnick (producer)
    Did you catch the Alabama Shakes set? Saw it on AXS TV. They would be a great blues act for Saratoga next year.

  63. Danny Melnick (producer)
    May 1st, 2014 at 18:26 | #66

    Greetings from JazzFest in New Orleans. Incredible music, food, weather etc. It’s such an inspirational place in so many ways and my home away from home. I hope y’all have a chance to visit sometime (or return) soon.

    Dr Lonnie Smith is smokin’ up the JazzTent now and I can’t for his set in Saratoga on June 28. See you there. Danny

  64. GEF
    April 21st, 2014 at 14:46 | #67

    @Joe
    Lineup “degrading” the past few years? I might concede that last year’s lineup wasn’t near the top of all the jazz festivals I’ve attended since 1978. It was okay, not great. I might even concede that about the 2011 lineup, but the 2012 lineup proved to be excellent with each act stepping up to the task of honoring the 35th year of the Newport/Kool Jazz/Freihofer festival at SPAC.

  65. Chuck
    April 1st, 2014 at 17:35 | #68

    Apples and oranges Joe! Saratoga is a Jazz Festival. My impression of Capitol Jazz is that it is an R&B/Pop Festival with a few jazz artists along for the ride. Of the 23 acts at Capitol Jazz 15 clearly fit within the R&B/Pop genre (Erika Badu, John Legend, Chaka Kahn, Brand New Heavies, Klymaxx, Dwele, Regina Belle, Kem, Incognito, Ojays, Faith Evans, Peabo Bryson, Joe, Loose Ends and Marcus Johnson). Of the remaining eight acts only five fit squarely in the jazz category (Rick Braun, Dianne Reeves, Michael Franks, Jeff Lorber and Keiko Matsui). The remaining three walk a line: Down To the Bone is a groove band in my book; Rachelle Ferrell is a great jazz singer but for this fest she’ll probably break out her soul catalogue; the Al Jarreau/Stanley Clarke George Duke tribute will probably tiptoe that smooth jazz/soul line.) Nonetheless many of these artists have appeared at Saratoga (Belle, Ojays, Jarreau, Clarke, Reeves, Franks, Ferrell, Matsui).

  66. Tom Mc
    April 1st, 2014 at 13:14 | #69

    @Joe
    Can you specify what acts you would like to see Joe? Trombone Shorty is a burgeoning superstar, Earth Wind and Fire are a fairly popular act. I have to imagine there are budgetary restraints that factor into the booking for the festival. Ive been going to the festival for almost 30 years. it has evolved over the years. But I feel like this is solid lineup being presented here.

  67. Joe
    March 31st, 2014 at 15:51 | #70

    I have been going to Sarartoga Jazz for more than 25 years, but the past 5-6 years, the lineup has been degrading almost every year. Can something be done about it? Attract new crowd. Check the lineup for CaptoL Jazz you will see what I am implying to. You don’t have to bring the whole lot of popular artits, but 3-4 will do.

  68. Chuck Manning
    March 26th, 2014 at 19:14 | #71

    In response to my and my cousin’s repeated complaints about the sound and lighting, the executive director of “The Space” called me yesterday. He indicated that the artists had overruled their sound and lighting preferences at many of the shows. He further indicated that they would make every effort in the future to get greater control over sound and lighting. He said that he also had to wear ear plugs for the Trombone Shorty show. So it’s good to know that the festival keeps control of those issues rather than the performers. I’ve never had any complaints regarding sound and lighting at SPAC.

  69. March 26th, 2014 at 15:44 | #72

    @Chuck
    I can’t comment on Shorty’s show at the moment but I have been to The Space a few times myself and love it. I have experienced nothing but great sound, lights, etc. It’s all about how the artist’s production team can “control” the situation. We don’t allow that at the festival but it happens at venues a lot. DM

  70. Chuck
    March 25th, 2014 at 14:40 | #73

    Not dead, just different.

  71. Tom Mc
    March 25th, 2014 at 07:05 | #74

    @Chuck
    I find any reports of Trombone Shorty’s demise to be greatly exaggerated.

  72. Will Riddick
    March 24th, 2014 at 03:26 | #75

    Allways great people great food a great time and yea Great Music

  73. Chuck
    March 22nd, 2014 at 13:35 | #76

    Bad news from America! Saw Trombone Shorty last night and it sucked. The old Shorty is gone. That New Orleans/modern jazz Creole that he played with great virtuosity has been replaced by a hard driving rock and roll show. It’s over based, over drummed and repetitive. The guitar screaming is annoying. The two saxes are nothing but fill, and overrun at that, by the relentless rhythm section. Every song sounded the same until near the end when he did “St. James Infirmary” and another New Orleans classic. But even they were tainted by the rock approach. In the effort to become a national act, Shorty has surrendered what made him unique. He still is super talented but it rides on the crest of the noise machine that his act is now. Saw the show at the new venue The Space at Westbury which is a nice plant but is run by nincompoops. Been there four times now and the volume is hideously loud no matter what the act. The lighting is the worst I’ve ever seen. No backdrop, full stage under lit and then the subjects over spot lit. So beware, the Trombone Short of two years ago is not what is closing the festival this year. Oh yeah, bring your ear plugs.

  74. Danny Melnick
    March 18th, 2014 at 09:37 | #77
  75. Tom Mc
    March 17th, 2014 at 06:57 | #78

    Well said @Chuck!

  76. Chuck
    March 12th, 2014 at 16:53 | #79

    I think the overall SPAC plant is excellent. The grounds are beautiful and offer a significant amount of shade. The festival is rarely overcrowded other than the area near the Gazebo. And even that crowding actually offers an ambiance that enhances that stage. Therefore the two biggest problems of most festivals, including Newport, sun and overcrowding are generally solvable at SPAC. Also the parking is adequate and close by. The agony of dragging your junk in and out by shuttle bus at many festivals, including Newport, is not required. Also our group loves the ability to bring in coolers with drink and food. Further, the town is nearby making the drive to and from its many Inns, hotels and motels easy.

    True, the screens are not effective in sunlight, but I do not find this a significant negative. The sound on the lawn is excellent. I agree that the sound in the Amphitheater is problematical when not crowded. I tend to spend most of the day outside on the lawn and tend to be in the Amphitheater later when it is more crowded and the sound is better. The indoor plumbing facilities are adequate and something not easily and adequately available at many festivals. The covered amphitheater provides protection against bad weather. There is a significant but not oppressive security presence. The festival is generally run on time and is quite orderly. Compare this to the chaos of Jazz Fest in New Orleans. Finally, the beautiful Saratoga crowd generally sets a very high standard in performance courtesy.

  77. David
    March 10th, 2014 at 09:12 | #80

    I’ve seen Warren Wolf, and he is excellent.

  78. David
    March 10th, 2014 at 09:10 | #81

    Dave Holland group will be very interesting, as will Tim Berne and Snake Oil. Wish this was comparable in any way to Newport Jazz Fest, but it isn’t. Facility is in need of upgrading. Video monitors are a joke, and the sound is uneven unless you’re in the front rows. That said, it’s close, and it is a good time. Merchandise is excellent.

  79. March 6th, 2014 at 18:45 | #82

    Hi Friends – spring soon? I hope the time change this weekend helps. We have the Newport 60th band at the Jazz Standard through Saturday night and in Philly on Sunday night. They are stunning and so much fun. If you’re around NYC or Philly definitely try to check them out.

    We have the young maestro, Warren Wolf, at the festival on Sunday, June 29. He filmed this concert at the Berklee College of Music last night. It’s amazing:

    http://www.npr.org/event/music/283138553/warren-wolf-and-wolfpack-live-at-berklee

    Tix on sale March 18 at spac.org.

    Best – DM

  80. Danny Melnick
    February 11th, 2014 at 19:02 | #83

    @Tom Mc

    Thank you Tom, Keith and Phil. Chuck – you & I could talk for hours! Whew.

    We have received excellent response and I can’t wait for the music, sunshine, and food. Enough of this winter!

    Also — I was with the Newport Now 60 band in Atlanta on Saturday for their tour opener and the band was sensational. They play Boston on Thursday night (I am here now), at the Jazz Standard club in NYC March 4-8 and in Philly on March 9. If anyone is in these areas please come and see this great band. They’ll be at the fest on Sunday, June 29 too (and in Newport on Aug 1).

    All my best – DM

  81. Tom Mc
    February 10th, 2014 at 08:08 | #84

    @Danny,
    I think you did a terrific job, this lineup looks top notch to me. It certainly is not an easy task trying to please everyone with the lineup, and maintaining a budget. I think you sprinkled enough of everything to keep the crowd happy. Thank you!

  82. Chuck
    February 9th, 2014 at 13:30 | #85

    The sure things would appear to be Shorty, Ronnie Earl and Karrin Allyson. I’m hopeful with Patti Austin and Robin McKelle. Hoping Eddie Palmieri can rock the house. Will have to see if a larger dose of Quinn Sullivan is palatable. I’ve seen John Batiste in a club setting. I hope he can carry the big room. I’ve also seen Sean Jones and he should be right for the Gazebo. Lonnie Smith can be good but I’ve seen him go off on some bizarre tangents also. I’m intrigued by Warren Wolf though vibes are not a favored instrument. Also interested to see Mary Halvorsen and hope she doesn’t get too scientific. Hoping Stern/Evans is melodic enough to be entertaining. Dave Holland has bored me in the past but he does have the great Eric Harland on the drums. Listening to Melissa Aldana on line left me flat but she also has a great drummer in Francisco Mela. Terrance Blanchard usually does nothing for me but who knows, maybe this time. Tim Berne could be a science project but I’ll check it out anyway. Lew Tabackin has bored me in the past and I don’t know much about Cary and Brown. Hoping for the best. A nice varied lineup, just what you want in a festival. Some old favorites, some new hopefuls and some experiments. Now it’s all about the weather.

  83. Keith Perla
    February 9th, 2014 at 11:11 | #86

    Dan..fantastic lineup!!! Most pumped I have been in years..Great Job!!

  84. Phil Rassier
    February 9th, 2014 at 10:44 | #87

    I might have to go the whole weekend this year! Fantastic lineup for both days!! Congratulations for booking these acts!

  85. February 8th, 2014 at 13:30 | #88

    John Coltrane, Roland Kirk, Charlie Parker have all departed this mortal coil, but Ornette Coleman and Little Jimmy Scott are still with us! And would love to see John Zorn, if for no other reason, than to set the twilight reeling.

  86. Danny Melnick
    February 8th, 2014 at 10:23 | #89

    We are announcing the complete festival line-up in Sunday’s Albany Times Union (and online, of course). Let the games begin! (Or is that in Sochi?)

    Best – DM

  87. Sal Manila
    February 5th, 2014 at 08:02 | #90

    Looks like a young guitarist who brought down the house last year at the fesitval has leaked it on his website as June 29th Friehofers Jazz Festival Saratoga.

  88. Keith Perla
    February 4th, 2014 at 13:55 | #91

    Dan..last year was the worst festival music in the 35 years i have gone..way too avant-garde and unmelodic..just not festival music for a beautiful afternoon

  89. Tom Bartchak
    January 31st, 2014 at 11:55 | #92

    Gordon Goodwin Big Phat Band or any other big band (jimmy heath)

  90. January 29th, 2014 at 17:14 | #93

    @DunzJazz
    We are announcing the entire line-up next Sunday, Feb 9. You will be happy. I promise! DM

  91. January 28th, 2014 at 18:52 | #94

    Milo Z and the ZFunk / Jazz Band from NYC perfect for the Gazebo. They have played at the Parting Glass Pub and would energize SPAC. This is our 26th consecutive year. Great Line-up so far this year Danny. Looking forward to Lonnie Smith, Warren Wolf & Sean Jones. Always like a BLUES band thrown in, or some FUNK to mix it up. THANKS !!!

  92. Peter
    January 26th, 2014 at 14:36 | #95

    @Danny Melnick
    Thank you for booking Dr. Lonnie Smith, that set
    will be a real treat !

  93. Anonymous
    January 22nd, 2014 at 19:40 | #96

    @MO’H
    I agree! We LOVED Trombone Shorty!! What a great time that was, lots of dancing!!

  94. Johnny R
    January 22nd, 2014 at 15:32 | #97

    Jeff Antoniuk is a wonderful sax player from Maryland. He and his group would be the perfect Gazebo Stage act. I attended one of his summer workshops a few years ago and was very impressed with him and his staff (comprised of his band members and others). Check him out at jazzupdate dot com

  95. RetSgt
    January 20th, 2014 at 17:07 | #98

    Why not some latin jazz? Check out Ray Vega the trumpet player – a north country (VT) heavy weight. I see you are bringing in Lew Tabackin. I remember him from the early 70’s and is a fantastic woodwind musician. Good to see you’re bringing in some good folks. This year I’ll be there.

  96. Danny Melnick
    January 20th, 2014 at 11:26 | #99

    @Chuck
    Don’t worry.

    DM

  97. Chuck
    January 20th, 2014 at 10:25 | #100

    I see Renee Marie, Pharaoh Sanders and the dreadful Al Jarreau are performing at Jazzfest in New Orleans. Freihofer’s has had performers who played that same fest in the same year. Renee Marie is good but she has an Eartha Kitt tribute disk out that I find the material and style wanting. Pharaoh Sanders’ performances can turn into science projects. Al Jarreau who was once excellent hasn’t sung a melody in two decades. It’s just that rhythmic baby talk junk that you get from him now. Hopefully we will do better.

  98. CJ
    January 17th, 2014 at 14:04 | #101

    Nicole Zuraitis

    @CJ

  99. CJ
    January 17th, 2014 at 14:02 | #102

    Need some upbeat New Orleans jazz. How about Harry Connick Jr one year? Some young talents such as Dani Elliot (gazebo stage)?

  100. Harriet
    January 14th, 2014 at 21:39 | #103

    Need some pizazz, I have been going since the 80’s and it has become too mellow.
    How about reaching out to Bob Baldwin-Marcus Johnson-Peter White-Brian Culbertson-Boney James-

  101. Vito
    January 14th, 2014 at 11:48 | #104

    @MO’H
    PLEASE bring Trombone Shorty back! He made the 2012 festival!

  102. MO’H
    January 14th, 2014 at 08:51 | #105

    Danny………..Bring back Trombone Shorty.

    just saw him at the Egg……..he was great but that isn’t the best venue to see him.

    he was the highlight of the 2012 show and took many in Saratoga by surprise

  103. Debbie
    January 14th, 2014 at 06:22 | #106

    We’re newcomers to the festival. This will be only our 3rd year. Wish we had attended every one! Not knowing which Canadian content (except Diana) you’ve had in the past perhaps some blues with Canada’s first lady of the Blues – Shakura S’Aida! Check her out. She travels quite a bit with B3 organ player Lance Anderson. She’s going to performing a tribute to the music of Ray Charles in March in Toronto with a fantastic lineup of Toronto musicians.

  104. Phil Rassier
    January 11th, 2014 at 22:11 | #107

    I have to say looking back, I think the best festival was in 1982. Pieces of a Dream opened up the day and there were Buddy Rich, Ella, George Benson, Jerry Mulligan, Ron Carter and Bobby McFerron. What a day!!

  105. Phil Rassier
    January 11th, 2014 at 22:05 | #108

    @Danny Melnick (producer)
    Dan, you are going to have a busy spring and summer

  106. Phil Rassier
    January 11th, 2014 at 22:02 | #109

    @Miriam
    Miriam, I cannot agree with you more. I have loved Basia for years and would love to hear her in concert. I have not been disappointed the passed decade and I have bought and enjoyed the performers including Dave Brubeck, Anat Cohen, Chris Botti, Gerald Albright and others including the mind blowing singer, Dee Dee Bridgewater. I can’t wait until June!

  107. Mary
    January 8th, 2014 at 16:41 | #110

    As a travel agent who organizes large groups for hotel stays for this event, clients want to see more smooth jazz performers as well as traditional groups.
    Please try to arrange this and you might see complete sell out !

  108. January 7th, 2014 at 18:58 | #111

    Happy New Year friends – we are announcing a very exciting artist on Thursday. One that I believe will be a star in just a few years.

    Meanwhile, last year, we presented The Cookers. The amazing hard-bop/be-bop all-star band. The bassist, Dwayne Burno, passed away during the holidays of kidney disease. He was only 43 and leaves behind his wife and 7 year-old son. The jazz community has set-up a fundraising page for them here:

    https://fundly.com/our-friend-wendy-just-lost-her-husband-and-needs-help#_

    All my best – DM

  109. Beverly Ivey
    January 2nd, 2014 at 22:57 | #112

    Would love to see Nancy Wilson, Kirk Whalum, Najee, Brian Cullberson (?), Randi Crawford, just to name a few.

    Thanks,

  110. Miriam
    December 30th, 2013 at 14:31 | #113

    @Miriam
    I am also a huge Basia fan! It would be so great to see her and her band at the festival!
    Also:
    Jeff Lorber
    Joe Sample
    Freddie Ravel
    The Rippingtons

  111. Miriam
    December 30th, 2013 at 13:39 | #114

    @Peter
    I so agree with you Tom! It may be cold outside, but all I do is count the days until I’m at the festival in the warm sun! And I also LOVED Trombone Shorty!

  112. DJ Jazzyjayne
    December 29th, 2013 at 08:40 | #115

    How about giving your audiences the excitement of incredible young B3 player, Kevin Coelho
    My other wish favorites are Nancy Harms and Cecile McLorin Salvant. Wishes are good..
    Great festival in every way.!

  113. December 17th, 2013 at 09:01 | #116

    @Ken
    They will be posted, first, at SPAC’s website, here:

    http://www.spac.org/events/building-season

    DM

  114. Ken
    December 15th, 2013 at 20:46 | #117

    Dan, if you are 99% done booking the fest, why don’t you post some of the names?

  115. john gilligan
    December 8th, 2013 at 08:38 | #118

    @Danny Melnick (producer)

    I just recently discovered Anat Cohen’s music. She’s great! Looking forward to more lineup announcements. Thanks again for all you do Dan! Merry Christmas!

  116. December 5th, 2013 at 18:40 | #119

    Hi Friends – I am 99% done booking the festival already! I can say that some of the names included in the last 3-4 posts will be at the festival in June! We are going to start rolling out the names soon. Re: Karrin Allyson – she is going to be there on Sunday as part of an international tour I am producing called “Newport Jazz Festival: Now 60.” It is an all-star band celebrating the 60th anniversary of the Newport Jazz Festival, which will be Aug 1-3 (I am the associate producer in Newport). The band is Karrin, Anat Cohen, Randy Brecker, Mark Whitfield, Peter Martin, Larry Grenadier and Clarence Penn. They will play throughout the US in March & April. Tour dates are here: http://www.absolutelylive.net/upcoming-events

    Best – DM

  117. Peter
    December 2nd, 2013 at 11:27 | #120

    @Shari
    How about Dr Lonnie Smith ? I guess it will always be a case of so much wonderful music how does one possibly narrow it down ? All I know is that as we head into a cold winter I dream of sitting at the gazebo in the hot sun with a cooler 🙂 Trombone Shorty was thrilling a couple of years ago

  118. Shari
    November 30th, 2013 at 12:05 | #121

    I also have a few comments which would be nice to add to your list:

    *Candy Dulfer
    *Joyce Cooling
    *Jeff Kashiwa
    *Norman Brown
    Just a few that would be a nice mix. Thanks

  119. john gilligan
    November 30th, 2013 at 08:51 | #122

    Hey Dan. Wishing you all the best this holiday season. Thanks for bringing Arturo back last year. Personally, I think Buddy Guy’s performance was the best of the weekend. I’d never heard Donny McCaslin before & was impressed. I loved Fabian Almazan at the gazebo as well. I know you’re almost fully booked up for ’14, but I’ve submit a “wish list” on this forum over the last few years, and it is almost Christmas. Here it goes:
    1) Etienne Charles
    2.) Kendrick Scott
    3.) Chicho Valdes
    4.) Sammy Figueroa
    You always do a great job putting together a solid show. I’m looking forward to seeing the 2014 lineup.
    -john

    @Danny Melnick (producer)

  120. Chuck
    November 28th, 2013 at 13:49 | #123

    @DJ Jazzy Joe
    That’s great news. Have seen Karrin twice, Birdland and Jazz Standard, and really enjoyed the shows.

  121. DJ Jazzy Joe
    November 21st, 2013 at 10:18 | #124

    Karrin Allyson lists her playing Sunday on her website. Let the countdown begin!

  122. Tom Mc
    November 8th, 2013 at 16:48 | #125

    I forgot about Mingus. My apologies!

  123. Danny Melnick (producer)
    November 8th, 2013 at 09:05 | #126

    Hi Friends – Remember, we had the Mingus Big Band in 2012. I am very busy booking the festival and about 75% done already. We’ll be announcing some artists rather soon at spac.org and on my website, etc. (absolutelylive.net) I’ll post info here as well.

    Hope everyone is doing well as we head into the holiday season.

    Best – DM

  124. Chuck
    November 4th, 2013 at 13:12 | #127

    Right you are Tom. The last truly Big Band was Sunday in ’09 when George Benson did a Nat King Cole tribute show with a 28 piece orchestra. Personally not a huge big band fan but always like to see variety. I love Brazilian jazz and would love to see Ivan Lins, Gal Costa, Vinicius Cantuaria, Rosa Passos not to mention to mention the huge Caetano Veloso. While I’m at it Patricia Barber and Dena DeRose are great. It may be that the Big Bands are big budget busters plus the set up and take down times are likely lenghty and labor intensive.

  125. Tom Mc
    October 31st, 2013 at 13:18 | #128

    Really hoping to see a Big Band at the Festival this year. Back in 1987 I saw my first Big Band ever at the Festival, The Charlie Watts Orchestra.I was 22 at the time and I never forgot that.Please consider it. All sorts of Jazz is represtented, please include a Big Band in that!

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