2023 Lineup

The Saratoga Jazz Festival will return to the Saratoga Performing Arts Center (SPAC) on its traditional weekend, Saturday June 24 and Sunday June 25, 2023!

New this year, per festival producer Danny Melnick: “All of the amphitheater groups will perform longer sets and we’ve built in more time in between sets to allow the audience to go from stage to stage more easily.”

Saturday June 24 Lineup

All times subject to change.

Amphitheater

  • noon – 1:15 ~ Cindy Blackman Santana Band
  • 1:45 – 3:00 ~ Chucho Valdes Quartet
  • 3:30 – 4:45 ~ Tower of Power
  • 5:15 – 6:30 ~ Cory Wong
  • 7:00 – 8:15 ~ Angelique Kidjo
  • 8:55 – 10:25 ~ Snarky Puppy

Charles R. Wood “Jazz Discovery” Stage

  • 11:00 – noon ~ Nduduzo Makhathi
  • 12:20 – 1:20 ~ Kurt Rosenwinkel
  • 1:40 – 2:40 ~ Emmet Cohen Trio
  • 3:00 – 4:00 ~ Claudia Acuna
  • 4:20 – 5:20 ~ Glen David Andrews
  • 5:40 – 6:50 ~ Carolyn Wonderland

Sunday June 25 Lineup

All times subject to change.

Amphitheater

  • 12:45 – 2:15 ~ Pat Metheny Side-Eye
  • 3:00 – 4:15 ~ Hiromi: The Piano Quintet feat. PUBLIQuartet
  • 5:00 – 6:15 ~ St. Paul & The Broken Bones
  • 7:00 – 8:30 ~ Bonnie Raitt

Charles R. Wood “Jazz Discovery” Stage

  • 11:30 – 12:30 ~ Skidmore Jazz Institute Faculty All-Stars Centennial Celebration of Wes Montgomery, Tito Puente & Dexter Gordon featuring Clay Jenkins, Jimmy Greene, Michael Dease, Dave Stryker, Bill Cunliffe, Todd Coolman and Dennis Mackrel
  • 1:00 – 2:00 ~ Melissa Aldana
  • 2:25 – 3:25 ~Samara Joy
  • 3:50 – 4:50 ~ Mark Guiliana
  • 5:20 – 6:35 ~ Jupiter & Okwess

Tickets

Tickets are available to the general public on the SPAC website. Before June 15th two-day passes are available at a 10% discount. Children 12 and under get half off tickets in the amphitheater and are free on the lawn. Full-time students with a school issued ID get 25% off tickets in the amphitheater, or $28 tickets on the lawn; a student ID must be presented at will call.

As always SPAC members are able to purchase tickets before the general public. New for 2023, SPAC members will also receive a discount of 15-20% on their ticket purchase, depending on their level. 

2024 Festival

The 2024 festival dates have been set: June 29 and 30!

34 replies on “2023 Lineup”

Freihofer’s Saratoga Jazz Festival – 2024

SATURDAY, JUNE 29

Lake Street Dive
Samara Joy
Yussef Dayes
Joey Alexander Trio with special guest Theo Croker
Cimafunk with special guest Pedrito Martinez
The New Orleans Groove Masters featuring Herlin Riley, Jason Marsalis &
Shannon Powell
Tia Fuller
Steven Bernstein’s Millennial Territory Orchestra
Theo Croker
Coco Montoya
Harold Lopez-Nussa
Sara Caswell Quartet

SUNDAY, JUNE 30

Norah Jones
Laufey
Stanley Clarke N*4Ever
Terence Blanchard Sextet
Cory Henry Operation Funk
Pedrito Martinez Group
Miguel Zenon Quartet
Olatuja!
Helen Sung presents Quartet+
Skidmore Jazz Institute Faculty All-Stars Centennial Celebration of
Max Roach, Bud Powell & J.J. Johnson featuring
Clay Jenkins, Steve Wilson, Steve Davis, Mike Moreno, Bill Cunliffe, Todd Coolman & Dennis Mackrel

subject to change
Tickets and info at spac.org

I hope everyone had a nice Thanksgiving weekend.

We are announcing the festival line-up on Dec 7 at 10am. The festival will be June 29-30 and tickets will be available for SPAC members/subscribers through the holidays into the New Year. Public on-sale will likely be January 5. We will confirm all the on-sale info when we make the announcement. Looking forward everyone at the start of the summer! All my best – Danny

Just saw Broadway/cabaret singer Melissa Errico perform and she was terrific. I understand she has and will be touring with George Benson with his band backing her show. That would be great for Saratoga. We last saw George in 2019 so it will be five years since he last appeared. It also falls under the category of see the living legends when you can.

Tony Bennett passed today at 96. He last graced Saratoga in 2013 and he still was great at 86. Saw him in 2017 and he had started to fade. One of the greatest ever. Thanks Danny and your predecessor for the many times he sang for us at Jazz Fest.

My wife and I travelled up from Texas for this festival. Thank you so much to you Danny and all who made the event possible. Hearing Pat Metheny live and sharing the space with him after decades of loving his music was profoundly moving. The Side Eye power trio format was phenomenal!

Great bounce back from last year’s poor lineup to an outstanding year 2023. Best of day for me Saturday was Kurt Rosenwinkel. Best of fest was Samara Joy Sunday again at the gazebo. She is emerging as a possible long term reigning jazz diva. It is great that the increased staggering of acts at the main stage is allowing more attendance at the gazebo. However, the down side is that the gazebo is now often intensely overcrowded. The heat in and around the tent is so excessive due to the crowding that it is hard to stay for the full set. A bigger stage and a bigger tent are needed. Biggest disappointment was Corey Wong who was OK but a one trick pony. Great Saturday at the not overcrowded gazebo where I saw 5 of the 6 acts unfortunately missing Emmet Cohen while opting for Chucho Valdez. St. Paul and Bonnie Raitt one of the best final two closers ever.

It was a jazz fest miracle that Carolyne wonderland played early, got to catch all of her and all of Cory Wong!

1 week! It’s kinda’ hard to believe as time keeps tick tick ticking away. The strange thing about the festival is that it’s always on my mind because we’re working on it every day all year long. And it’s always, kinda’, “next year”, “next summer”, “months away.” And then it’s next week. And then it’s happening. And then it’s a memory. I suppose most everything in life is that way whether we realize it or not. Acknowledgement goes a long way.
As I meditate for a moment on this year’s festival, I’ve been thinking about you. When we are planning, meeting, zooming, talking, we are always doing so with “our crowd, our people” at the forefront of our thoughts and actions. When I’m talking to an artists agent or manager, I am constantly saying, “our audience…”
We have planned and continue to fine-tune what we are hoping and expecting to be a fabulous, fun, exciting, and life-affirming weekend. The artists will bring their awe-inspiring talent to the stages and we will do our very best to give you the best weekend of the year, if not your lives.
We look forward to seeing everyone on the beautiful grounds of the Saratoga Performing Arts Center next weekend to celebrate our grand reunion once again.
With love, affection, appreciation and dedication… DM & the amazing team at SPAC.

3 weeks….as we speed towards festival weekend, I want to remind/inform everyone of a few things:

We are selling VERY well so please prepare to get an early start if you like to get in and set-up in the morning. SPAC will be pre-checking bags, coolers, etc. No glass containers, no plastic tarps, limited sized beach chairs (nothing over 43″ when folded) or beach umbrellas on the amphitheater lawn.
The set times and set lengths in the amphitheater are bit different this year to make for (hopefully) a better experience and to give folks more time to get from stage to stage.

SATURDAY, JUNE 24
Amphitheater
Cindy Blackman Santana Band 12-1:15pm
Chucho Valdes Quartet 1:45-3pm
Tower of Power 3:30-4:45pm
Cory Wong 5:15-6:30pm
Angelique Kidjo 7-8:15pm
Snarky Puppy 8:55-10:25pm

Discovery
Nduduzo Makhathini 11am-12pm
Kurt Rosenwinkel 12:20-1:20pm
Emmet Cohen Trio 1:40-2:40pm
Claudia Acuna 3-4pm
Carolyn Wonderland 4:20-5:20pm
Glen David Andrews 5:40-6:50pm

SUNDAY, JUNE 25
Amphitheater
Pat Metheny Side-Eye 12:45-2:15pm
Hiromi’s Sonicwonder 3-4:15pm
St. Paul & The Broken Bones 5-6:15pm
Bonnie Raitt 7-8:30pm

Discovery
Skidmore Jazz Institute Faculty All-Stars 11:30am-12:30pm
Melissa Aldana 1-2pm
Samara Joy 2:25-3:25pm
Mark Guiliana 3:50-4:50pm
Jupiter & Okwess 5:20-6:35pm
all times subject to change

3. We still have student discount tickets available. See attached.
We look forward to our annual reunion and to meet all the new folks in a mere 3 weeks!

Opening the festival on Sat 6/24 is the dynamic South African pianist Nduduzo Makhathini. His latest album on Blue Note Records, “In The Spirit of Ntu,” which is a must listen, just won “Best Jazz Album” at the South African Metro FM Awards. This is a prestigious honor in S.A. and we are honored to be presenting him at the festival.

Happy Pesach and Easter to those who celebrate. I learned a few days ago that Cindy Blackman Santana, the masterful drummer, is bringing an all-star band to the festival on Saturday June 24. She’s going to open the amphitheater with Ravi Coltrane on saxophones, Felix Pastorius on electric bass, David Gilmore on electric guitar, and Zaccai Curtis on keyboards. Wowsie! Then she’s gonna take off and play with Santana in Niagara Falls that night!
Saturday at the festival is gonna’ be crazy!

Another legend sadly passed, Wayne Shorter. Per my records he played in ’86, ’88 (with Carlos Santana), ’01 and ’03.

Wayne Shorter was a peerless creative force whose music and grace will live on forever. How lucky we are to be here during his lifetime and to hear his music and playing on recordings and live in concert. He blessed the festival with his presence 6 times including with Weather Report (1981), with his band (1986), co-leading an all-star band with Carlos Santana (1988), with his stellar quartet featuring Danilo Perez, John Patitucci, and Brian Blade (2001 & 2003), and with the all-star quartet with Herbie Hancock, Dave Holland and Brian Blade in 2004. We send love to his family, collaborators, friends and fans. Thank you Wayne!

The festival is thrilled to be presenting 3 Grammy Winning artists from last night. Multi-Grammy winners Bonnie Raitt and Samara Joy will both perform on Sunday, June 25 and Grammy winning band Snarky Puppy will headline Saturday, June 24. Congratulations to them and we can’t wait to have to you up at SPAC!

Freihofer’s Saratoga Jazz Festival – 2023

SATURDAY, JUNE 24
Snarky Puppy
Angelique Kidjo
Cory Wong
Tower of Power
Chucho Valdes Quartet
Cindy Blackman Santana Band
Kurt Rosenwinkel
Emmet Cohen Trio
Claudia Acuna
Carolyn Wonderland
Glen David Andrews
Nduduzo Makhathini

SUNDAY, JUNE 25
Bonnie Raitt
Pat Metheny Side-Eye
St. Paul & The Broken Bones
Hiromi: The Piano Quintet feat. PUBLIQuartet
Samara Joy
Jupiter & Okwess
Melissa Aldana
Mark Guiliana
Skidmore Jazz Institute Faculty All-Stars Centennial Celebration of
Wes Montgomery, Tito Puente & Dexter Gordon featuring
Clay Jenkins, Jimmy Greene, Michael Dease, Dave Stryker, Bill Cunliffe, Todd Coolman and Dennis Mackrel

Hi Dan, I’m a 25yr plus patron of the SJF.
We would love to see ‘Maceo Parker’, (if he’s still in concert’, at a great venue like this, along with his “side-kick” Candy Dulfer. They put on an amazing show! Thanks

I remember when Maceo closed Saturday night in 2012! It was a great time!

According to Wikipedia, he turns 80 in February.

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