2015 Lineup

Saratoga Performing Arts Center exterior photo

The 2016 Festival will take place on Saturday June 25th and Sunday June 26th, 2016 at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center in Saratoga Springs, NY USA.

You can visit the 2016 Lineup page for the latest 2016 information.

The 2015 Festival took place on Saturday June 27th and Sunday June 28th, 2015.

Music started at noon both days.

Gates opened at 10:00 AM on Saturday and 11:00 AM on Sunday.


Tickets for the festival ranged from $60 to $85 per day. Kids were free on the lawn with a paying adult, and discounted in the amphitheater.

Saturday Lineup – June 27th

For artist biographies and links to free streaming music from festival artists, see our detailed lineup for Saturday.



  • 12:15 -  1:20 ~ Omer Avital Quartet
  •  1:40 -  2:45 ~ Steve Wilson and Wilsonian’s Grain
  •  3:10 -  4:15 ~ Duchess
  •  4:40 -  5:40 ~ Theo Croker
  •  6:00 -  7:05 ~ Mike LeDonne Groover Quartet

Sunday Lineup – June 28th

For artist biographies and links to free streaming music from festival artists, see our detailed lineup for Sunday.


  •  noon -  1:00 ~ Etienne Charles
  •  1:20 -  2:20 ~ Django Festival All-Stars
  •  2:40 -  3:40 ~ Head of State
  •  4:00 -  5:00 ~ Ronnie Earl and the Broadcasters
  •  5:30 -  6:40 ~ Snarky Puppy
  •  7:10 -  8:25 ~ Erykah Badu
  •  8:55 - 10:10 ~ Shiela E



You can vote for your favorite performers.

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.

181 replies on “2015 Lineup”

Hey Always looking forward to another super of Jazz at SPAC. I assume the program has been set Either way a pre XMAS/Hanucha would be nice. Also the gazebo was outstanding lasy year so keep pulling from the great stable of new musicians out of new york. Also for Jazz fans get a copy of the JACO movie-Oscar worthy

@Danny Melnick (producer)
That’s too bad but I am looking forward to seeing this years lineup. I’m sure I will discover a few new favorites as I do every year.

This time last year SPAC already started the building of a season announcements, so hopefully we start hearing something soon.

@DJ Jazzy Joe
They are supposed to debut the project at the 50th Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland, in July, and maybe do a week or two in late August otherwise. They are not available for our festival. Best DM

Boy! Do I agree with Jzz and Chucks comments earlier in the trail. We didn’t attend this year, but provided nearly identical comments in 2014 about the volume and the “bleeding” from the two sites. Is anybody listening?? Or, maybe you can’t hear…?

@Tom Mc
Just a real closing act in general would have been nice, rain or no rain, there were certainly great acts this year but the closers both days have to be better next year.

Danny great show this year even with the weather. Can you consider VINX for next year show I think he would be amazing at the 2016 show. Thanks again for a great weekend.

Dates for the 2016 festival are near the beginning of the article above, and at the top of the sidebar to the right!

The 2016 Festival will take place on Saturday June 25th and Sunday June 26th, 2016.

@Danny Melnick (producer)

Weather notwithstanding, we had a great time at the festival, Danny. Especially enjoyed Sunday’s line-up. Considering the many factors you have to balance (disparate tastes, budget, artists’ schedules) you do a hell of a job! Thanks a million!


I am already planning next year’s festival and look forward to a sunny, warm and fun weekend next year.

Have a healthy, happy and peaceful year. Best always – DM

I wanted to thank Danny and his staff also. The music was very good this year. Highlights for me were Al DiMeola, Cassandra (her band), Monty Alexander (great surprise) and Snarky Puppy. Overall there was no music I didn’t like! Now, we just need to get you to control the weather better 🙂

Thank you Danny and all involved for a terrific festival. Musically it exceeded my expectations. Ronnie Earl was my favorite. Monty Alexander, Theo Croker, Al Di Meola and the perfectly timed and needed Sonny Knight and the Lakers sets stood out. Glad I saw Snarky Puppy to see what all the fuss was about. Good at first and then I got bored. Missed a few sets due to the weather. Heard Kellylee Evans and Etienne Charles were good. Does anyone know the name of the sax player in Theo Croker’s group? Thanks again.

Danny and all the staff at SPAC Thanks for another great weekend.Although it was cold and rainy the music more than made up for it. Outstanding sets for me were on Sat Omer Avital,Christain MCbride and his all star big band,Mike Ledonne
On Sun -Etienne Charles Django Festival All-Stars Head of State Ronnie Earl and the Broadcasters
Snarky Puppy
Looking forward to next year
As for the sound Ouside is great and clear and sure there was bleeding form the 2 stages
My complaint has been on the inside where the vocals are completely lost until you go outside where they are clear.
Harvey Bloomfield Follow me on twitter @jazztubeonline

Chuck Wrote: “Which brings up another issue, in recent years the outdoor sound at the amphitheater has been louder than in previous years…”

I agree completely. It is too loud on the lawn. The ampitheatre is for serious listening, and if that’s what people want, they can hang in there. But it has been too loud for too long. I’ve had to wear ear plugs on the lawn. AS the day goes on, the volume on the lawn gets louder and louder, to the point that last year, even with ear plugs, my ears were hurting after Trombone Shorty. It was ridiculous. There is not need to have the volume that lout – particularly at a jazz festival.

Which brings up another point – The Gazebo if often so loud that you can hear it on the lawn – so you get two acts playing at the same time. Not really good. And, no, the answer is not to turn the ampithetre lawn volume up 🙂 Just turn each down a bit, then neither is bleeding over to the other, and no one’s ears hurt, and conversations can be had at reasonable levels.

So, please, please, please, turn the volume down on the lawn and at the Gazebo.

I beg you!!!!

Eugene G :@Jayla Loved Eddie Palmieri’s set last year. His set was so infectious my girlfriend and I started to dance. I had covered seats but was out in the sunshine. We began dancing in the flat area just behind the covered seats( in no one’s sight line) and not even in the sight lines of the those seated in the grass. Both my girlfriend and I are accomplished salsa/mambo dancers and were rushed by ushers and security who directed us to dance on the cemented area in front of the grass seats. I hesitantly argued that I was a covered seat ticket holder and was blocking no one’s vision.I guess any dancing beyond grooving in place is greatly frowned upon.It was a shame because Eddie Palmieri was on fire, and it really was dance inducing!!

I will not be attending this year due to the treatment that this gentlemen and his partner received and the manner it was delivered. He added color to Eddie’s performance. On top of the rude treatment of the ushers by the press. We were asked for our badges many times rudely and overzealously. Many of the ushers have been less than polite for a festival for people roaming. Goodbye Freihofer until this is resolved.

Chuck :
@Terry Lewis
I respectfully disagree Terry. It’s a pleasant break between the sets to comfortably converse with friends and relax without shouting over the music. Which brings up another issue, in recent years the outdoor sound at the amphitheater has been louder than in previous years, making conversation, which frankly most people are doing, difficult.


I agree with the first half of this post — except when the wannabe percussionists start up. Anything to drown them out would be appreciated. 🙂 But when it’s music time, I appreciate not hearing the conversations of those around me. Only 4 days!! Can’t wait!

If any of you never heard Frankie Beverly you are in for a real treat. I was surprised to see him on this venue. I will be there!

Two more awards/accomplishments for our artists:

Snarky Puppy has a new #1 album –

The instrumental collective Snarky Puppy, which released its first major label album, Sylva (Impulse!/Universal Music Classics), on May 26, is seeing major commercial success with the album. According to a press release, “After reaching #1 on the iTunes Jazz Chart on release, Sylva debuted on multiple Billboard charts including #1 on the Heatseekers Chart, #1 Top Current Jazz Album and #1 Contemporary Jazz Album.”

And Gary Bartz, who is playing in “Heads of State” on Sunday as well, is to receive BNY Mellon Jazz 2015 Living Legacy Award in a ceremony at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., on October 16. The award, a program of Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation, sponsored by BNY Mellon, honors living jazz masters from the mid-Atlantic region who have achieved distinction in jazz performance and education.

c u all really soon! DM

Good Luck with Stanley Clarke! He’s awesome, but it takes his road crew 2 hours to set up. By the time they were ready last year in Detroit the skies opened up and most everyone took off for cover

The Blue Note Jazz Club is hosting a BB celebration next Wed., May 27 with our own Ronnie Earl and the great Joe Louis Walker plus blues master Popa Chubby.

Best DM

@Tom Mc
I have this salient memory of being in the Amphitheater, probably in the 80s, looking out upon a crowd on the lawn bopping to BB in the pouring rain, having surrendered to the elements just drenched with rain and joy.

Rest in Peace B.B. King. Saratoga Jazz Festival 79,81,83,84,86,89,92,95.
I just quickly looked through the database, I may have missed one or two.

Thanks for the memories!

Hi Friends – back from New Orleans. What an amazing, inspirational, incredible time, as always! I really got my fill of music, food, rain, sun and lots of good vibes.

If anyone is in NYC this evening or over the weekend, the wonderful saxophonist Steve Wilson, who will be with us on Saturday, June 27, will be at the Jazz Standard tonight through Sunday. I am going tonight. Should be pretty sweet! Best DM

Hi Friends – greetings from the Big Easy, NOLA, JazzFest!!! I arrived today and already saw the stellar Mario Abney Effect. So proud of him and want to bring him back to SPAC in the future. He’s still kickin’ butt. Festival starts Friday and I’ll be here for 10 days. Wish y’all could be here too. Best DM

We are going to post them soon at spac.org but I can tell you that Bartz et al will be on from 2:40-3:40pm on Sunday.

Best – Danny

Have the performance times and order come close to being set? I would love to catch a couple shows, (particularly the Bartz group) but would be traveling some distance from an event earlier that day. I am trying to find out if it is even worth securing tickets if the times will not work out.

Our 2nd award winner was announced today! Etienne Charles, who will play on both stages on Sunday was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship today. $43,200. We have a famous big-time Sunday line-up with Etienne & Yosvanny. Really proud to be presenting these incredible musicians on our festival.

RE: Amphitheater sound – there will be no music between sets. We all need to give our ears and minds a break. It’s better for the sound guys to hear what they are doing during the change-overs too. The sound in the amphitheater its greatly effected by how many people are in there and the absorption rate. If the sound is bouncing off mostly cement and plastic, there’s not much that can be done. We are always monitoring it and listening and doing the best we can.

Hope some of you will be with me at the Apollo tomorrow night with Cassandra Wilson. We’re totally sold out and honored to be celebrating Billie Holiday during her centennial year at the Apollo and at Saratoga.

Best DM

@Terry Lewis
I respectfully disagree Terry. It’s a pleasant break between the sets to comfortably converse with friends and relax without shouting over the music. Which brings up another issue, in recent years the outdoor sound at the amphitheater has been louder than in previous years, making conversation, which frankly most people are doing, difficult.

Please have music playing in between sets, it was horrible last year without it, especially when the lineup was less than impressive.

Five of the acts at Saratoga this year have prominent positions at the multi stage New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Fair. Cassandra Wilson has the next to last slot at the main Jazz Tent on the first Saturday, Monty Alexander closes the main Jazz Tent on Thursday, Snarky Puppy closes the main Jazz Tent on the first Friday, Christian McBride closes the main Jazz Tent and the festival on the second Sunday and Maze closes the Gentilly Stage (second largest) and the festival on the second Sunday.

@Danny I guess I can see that point, though Ramsey Lewis, Michel Camilo and Trio of Oz all seemed to do well on the main stage. Regardless, Benny Green is a top notch act for the festival and I’m glad he’s there. Speaking of top notch, if Aaron Diehl isn’t on the future festival radar, please check him out. Caught him at an NYC club and he’s unbelievable. Ditto Bill Charlap (not sure when/if he’s played SPAC). Thanks!!!!

I second what CPF says ” That’s never a good reason not to go because you never know who you’ll hear and like”
My wife and I and now my son been going to SPAC every year since the 80’s and we have seen so many artists some still with us and many playing a gig upstairs- every year we will have differences but many times a performance that remains with you forever. One thing for sure jazz is not dead and comes in many forms and SPAC JAzz along with others is at he forefront of presenting this music.
Look forward to another great year

If you don’t know Snarky Puppy, check them out on YouTube. Most of their recording sessions are there along with live performance from Java Jazz Fest and Stockholm. Indescribable genre – original instrumental music. They sell out world wide.

I have found that trios and more intimate groups have sometimes had a challenging time in the cavernous amphitheater and it serves the artists, the audience and the festival better if an artist like Benny performs on the gazebo. He graciously accepted our proposal to play there and I think we’re very fortunate that he did. Best Danny

Benny Green played the amphitheater on Sunday June 30th, 1991 as part of a group titled “Jazz Futures” along with Mark Whitfield, Marlon Jordan, Roy Hargrove, Tim Warfield, Tony Hart, Carl Allen and Christian McBride.

Pretty amazed the Benny Green isn’t on the main stage. This guy is world caliber – had a contract with Blue Note when he was about 20 – and deserves greater prominence at the festival.

What a lineup! Plenty of straight-ahead jazz and something for everybody without an overload (mercifully) of Smooth Jazz. One friend of mine said he didn’t intend to go this year because he hadn’t recognized anyone on the lineup prior to it’s completion. That’s never a good reason not to go because you never know who you’ll hear and like. However, when I told him about the remainder of the lineup (Frankie Beverly, Erykah Badu, Sheila E.), he’s back in the mix again. Proving again, something for everyone. My wife and I look forward to “The Hang” once again.

I was listening to the Mike LeDonne Groover Quartet last night… looking forward to seeing the group perform live at the gazebo !

I used to like when they had the one act at the Gazebo that was geared for the kids. It was a great way to get them involved and help pass on the music to the next generation.

It drives me nuts when my friends teenage daughters are sitting there surrounded by great music and they have headphones on. I see this more and more every year.

I you want to keep the Spac Jazz tradition alive, bring your children to listen to the artist. This allows them to develop an appreciation for Jazz at an early age. My son loved Quinn Sullivan. Now he looks forward to this every year. I hope he wheels me in when I am old and can’t attend by myself lol..

Very nice job on the lineup Danny, there are, many acts at the gazebo to look forward to…Benny Green Trio, Mike LeDonne, Theo Croker, Kellylee Evans just to name a few ! Cassandra Wilson’s Billie Holiday tribute is surely something to look forward to, as is Al Foster playing with Gary Bartz group, can’t just name them all, just know I really look forward to the company I will see and the music I will hear,in late June at SPAC href=”#comment-144396″>@Danny Melnick (producer)

Yosvany Terry Quartet will feature Osmany Paredes, Yunior Terry & Obed Calvaire.

Also, you may notice that the Sunday program will have the same number of artists as Saturday. We will end a bit earlier than Saturday but we wanted to see if we could have the same number of groups as Saturday and still run the program efficiently so that everyone could still get home at a reasonable hour. Don’t y’all run out on the last artist! 🙂 DM

You always do a great job Danny, but you’ve outdone yourself this year!!! Stellar lineup… THANK YOU!!!

OMG!!!!!! Erykah Badu AND Frankie Beverly!!!!!! I am soooooooo happy and excited!!! This will be another great weekend! Thank you Danny!!

Wow Snarky Puppy is amazing!! Please let Erykah badu close the show she tends to come late and shuts it down. She blew it away at the Capital Jazz Fest last year.. Great Job Danny on the line up!!! Wheeeww looking forward to this year…


With Theo Croker and Etienne Charles already on the program, I’m not sure you need another trumpeter, Chuck. But it’s moot, anyway.

We are posting the line-up on Sunday, March 15. Finishing up press release and marketing materials now. Thanks for your patience. DM

Chris Botti is a possibility for Sunday as he is Montreal on Saturday. He is playing Newport this year and sometimes artists play both Newport and Saratoga. He played Saratoga in 2008 and 2012.

Just saw the Mavs again at Town Hall. They are the best performing live band at the moment. They don’t fit the usual Saratoga format so it is unlikely. I was hoping for Alabama Shakes to fill a blues slot.

If you live in or near NYC and remember how brilliant the harpist Edmar Castaneda was at the festival in 2006 or 2012, please join us at Carnegie Hall’s Zankel Hall for his concert this coming Friday night. The hall is pristine and his playing is better than ever. DM

Congratulations, Danny. It sounds like a Herculean effort this year. The question is: will snow still be with us in June?? Can’t wait.

Hi Friends – As fall became winter and winter stayed with us, the booking process went on and on and on, just like the snow. It’s impossible to explain why artists can’t or won’t accept offers, but it’s part of the game and as a producer, you just have to move on. I am thrilled to say I have finished booking the festival! And I am really excited about who will be with us in June. We will announce the line-up very soon and we hope everyone will find something, or a lot, they will love about it and join us when the sun is shining and warming our bodies and souls.

Thanks to everyone for their continued passion of the festival and for music in general. Love you madly. Danny

Please consider returning Gregory Porter (exceptional vocalist), Earl Klugh (has a great new CD), Rachelle Ferrell (very entertaining and remarkable range), Lalah Hathaway(outstanding vocalist daughter of Donny Hathaway), and India Arie this year.

I agree with Harriett Lewis. I have gone to the SPAC for more than 30yrs. I enjoyed contemporary jazz artist for years. I would love to see Jakim Joyner, Richard Elliott and most of all Brian Culbertson.

I think the lineup looks interesting and I suspect I will go one day. But I miss the days of bookings like Ahmad Jamal and wish other classic bepop style players such as Joe Lovano, Joshua Redman, Christian McBride, etc would get booked.

What about Dave Weckl, Tal Wilkenfeld, California Transit Authority (I know Danny Seraphine and Bill Champlin would love performing at SPAC) c’mon make an effort to get some top acts

If you cannot get these musicians this year, how about next year:
Marcus Johnson -outstanding pianist -same for Bob Baldwin-superb
Boney James
Dave Koz
Peter White
Euge Groove
Brian Culbertson

I would love to see Brian Blade and the Fellowship Band at SPAC. They played Newport last year and killed. Also on the “wish list”: Charles Lloyd, Keith Jarrett (I know, I’m DREAMING on that one!), Gerald Clayton, Robben Ford, and Rudresh Mahanthappa (who just put out new album that is amazing!).

Thank you, Danny, for all that you do! So far the lineup looks great!!

@Jim Smith
I’ve seen Al Dimeola before he is an absolutely great performer for those who do not know he was the lead guitarist for the great Return to Forever featuring Stanley Clarke Chic Corea & Lenny White. If you guys can bring in another performer of that caliber I will surely make the drive from Cincinnati to your great city.

@Jim Smith
We are planning to announce the line-up within two weeks. I am still working to get one more artist to confirm. It’s been a heck of a process this season but I am very happy with the line-up. Anyone in this business knows you can’t please everyone all the time so it will be what it’s gonna’ be! Happy Mardi Gras and stay warm! Best DM

@Pauline Linton

The line-up does not look great, Pauline? Seriously?! Cassandra Wilson? Al DiMeola? The very exciting Pedrito Martinez Group? And those are just the lures Danny is danging at this early point in time, four months in advance of the festival. If those names don’t pique your interest, all I can say is, different strokes…

The line up does not look great! When are tks going on sale? If not within next two weeks will not go to Saratoga this year’ . See you hopefully in 2016!

when is the full schedule coming out. I need to buy some tix for other shows and don’t want to buy them if the artists will be at jazz fest?

I agree with Barbara, Kem, Charlie Wilson, Frankie Beverly would definately soothe my soul to see. I love them all!

I would like to add Kool and the Gang, Stephanie Mills, Rachelle Ferrell, WAR, Walter Beasley or The Whispers. .

I would LOVE to see: KEM, Charlie Wilson ,The GAP Band, Frankie Beverley & Maze, and Anthony Hamilton.

If you think that Earth, Wind and Fire drew a large crowd ….. just think what anyone of these great performers will bring.

A Brazilian group would be great (Milton Naceismento was awesome some years ago) Maybe Bebel Giberto or Djvan.
Also a big band (Gordon Godwin)

Hi Friends – cold enough for ya’? Geez! I was at SPAC the other day and took some great pictures of the place all covered in snow and ice. We are very close to completing the line-up and hope to go on sale in a few weeks. In looking over the comments about the artists, I really think many of you will be very happy. Some maybe not but that’s the way the dice rolls. I am very proud of the artists I’ve chosen and think we’ll have an amazing weekend of great music. Just a few notes on some of the artists mentioned — The Neville Bros. are doing their farewell concert in New Orleans on May 2. Santana’s fee is way too high for our budget. And George mentioned Dave Brubeck a while back — sadly he’s passed so I can’t present him again! 😉 Stay warm but be cool. All my best Danny

Any big band (Gordon Godwin Phat band) would be great! I am a hard core jazz fan and I thought EWF was the best closing act ever (except for Ray Charles)

While I did mention that the closeout acts are usually more R&B based, prompting me to mention Frankie Beverly, another great act would be the Neville
Bros. Again this year some New Orleans-based jazz-funk-blues that they do so well would be a great closeout as well.

Did not make it last year not a great line up but the previous years were great. It would be great to see Vinx play and Lee Ritenour or Earl Klugh. Cassandra Wilson should be great. Vinx would be a real treat. I will look forward to the rest of the lineup. See you there !

Eric Alexander, All 4 One, The Heath Bros., all would make a nice addition. Since the closing performers usually seem to be more R&B based, Frankie Beverly & Maze would be a knockout closing act. Oh, and it would be good to see Joshua Redman and George Cables.

I agree with most,! Let’s see Sanborn,Boney, Braun, Euge Groove, . For vocals what about Maysa?
I will support you but have been so disappointed for a few years.

Joshua Redman is playing Montreal Jazz Fest on the 28 with the Bad Plus. I’m hoping he has a stop at SPAC planned for the 27!

@george potts
I would love to hear some of the great horns who are hot on the scene now, Elliot,Koz,Euge Groove, Oliver etc, Voices like Maysa, Kem and George Benson would really get the party started, not to mention the “new” talent that you all always presents as “STARS” to watch.

Truth be told, I’ll be there to kick off my retirement of 32 years in EDUCATION!
Thank you all for helping groove through the journey

How about ,Fourplay , David Sanborn, Paul hardcastle jazzmasters , Al Jaurau Marion Meadows, Larry Carlton Diane Reeves just to name a few !!

@Tom Mc
Hi Friends – I am printing all of these posts regarding the venue security and will share with management there. Best – Danny

I do have to agree that I found the security staff acted a bit over the top last year. Ive been going to the festival for close to 30 years and I was put off by the behavior. I personally had no specific problems, but I witnessed numerous confrontational issues that seemed to be instigated by the security team for very abitrary reasons.I do understand that this is a venue related matter, but id like to think the producer(Danny) has some input into this. (Just minimally voicing some concern on the issue)
Saratoga Jazz Festival is populated by a fun loving, non violent crowd and should be given that respect. Thats my two cents on the issue.

Last year was my first year so I really have no frame of reference. The entire weekend for us was incredibly pleasant until that dancing incident. My girlfriend and I were very cool about the situation, the usher and guard told us that they were instructed to move us from dancing in the rear of the covered area to the lawn area. My point which I unsuccessfully argued was that we were blocking way more peoples line of sight dancing on the cement in front of the lawn than were at the rear of the seated area.
I’d like to think that our dancing was a bit distracting to folks, but unfortunately the Eddie Palmieri Band see’s dancers like us way closer to him than we ever got, on a nightly basis.
I actually think that Eddie Palmieri might have been a bit upset if no one was dancing too, and I secretly hoped he would have taken pity on us and invited us on stage to dance, like so many salsa/mambo/ latin jazz artist do.
My issue is they should somehow state or have it in their policy if they don’t want dancing by a few folks in the rear of the seated area.
I’m sure the security folks and management have learned from this.
Lets go 2015!

@Eugene G
I have been going to the festival for the last 31 years and found the staff always laid back and courteous until last year when they were often obnoxious. Whoever was in charge last year of the staff, security and volunteers had them amped up to a fare the well. There also was a stupid and changing photo policy throughout. I sent an email to an address that Danny Melnick suggested complaining about the behavior and received no reply. There’s a lot of competition for festival attendance dollars these days. Whoever is running the place ought to pay attention to customer friendliness.

Derek Trucks-Susan Tedeschi Band, and Medeski,Scofield,Martin and Wood both would make extremely nice additions to the lineup.

Loved Eddie Palmieri’s set last year. His set was so infectious my girlfriend and I started to dance. I had covered seats but was out in the sunshine. We began dancing in the flat area just behind the covered seats( in no one’s sight line) and not even in the sight lines of the those seated in the grass. Both my girlfriend and I are accomplished salsa/mambo dancers and were rushed by ushers and security who directed us to dance on the cemented area in front of the grass seats. I hesitantly argued that I was a covered seat ticket holder and was blocking no one’s vision.
I guess any dancing beyond grooving in place is greatly frowned upon.
It was a shame because Eddie Palmieri was on fire, and it really was dance inducing!!

Has Andy Narell ever played the Festival?? Jazz calypso. He put on a fine performance at the Hartt School of Music (University of Hartford) last year.

Besides the usual local Big Easy suspects the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Fair has several acts that should be making the festival circuit this year, perhaps even Saratoga.
They include Dr. John doing a Louie Armstrong tribute, Kermit Ruffins doing a Satchmo tribute, Cassandra Wilson doing a Billie Holiday tribute, Charles Lloyd Quartet, Christian McBride with Diane Reeves and Jeffrey Osborne, Cecile McLorin Salvant, Monty Alexander’s Harlem to Kingston Express, Butler, Bernstein and the Hot 9, Kenny Garrett, BWB featuring Rick Braun, Kirk Whalum and Norman Brown, Tribute to Jelly Roll Morton featuring Henry Butler, and finally Christian Scott.

Glad you had a chuckle! It was a very lovely night and I was glad how it all came together. I was the one who helped Henry Butler onto the stage. Charlies’ musical life was indeed like a festival. So many different styles, themes, group sizes and instrumentation. Incredible guy.

The festival bookings are almost done. Working on last two artists. More news soon! DM

@Danny Melnick (producer)
It was funny to hear your name mentioned last night at the Charlie Haden Memorial Concert. Anything you did to help is appreciated. Rob Duguay and I thought that the segment with Bill Frissell and Charlie’s children was the best performance. Perhaps because it varied the most with the rest of the show. A key component of the festival experience including Freihoffer Saratoga is variety. Didn’t think of it before but the tribute show is a bit like a mini festival. Thanks again.

I have attended the last four years would love to see Marcus Miller, Stanley Clark and Victor Wooten. It would be nice to have tkts on sale earlier. Coming from Manhattan, hotel must be arranged! Also, Trombone Shorty is outstanding. It is worth the tkt price just to see Sorty!!

I attended the Jazz Festival the past two years for the first time in about 10 years. always a great time. I’ve been attending since my college days at the U of Albany from 1974. However, I have noticed that the crowd has been thinning over the last two years. The big draw last year was Earth, Wind and Fire and they’re not even jazz. How about bringing back some big headliners! At least two for each day. Hope it works for you.

please try to bring Boney James back to the scene ~~I would also like to hear some flavor from artist~ Kem, Paul Midon, and not to mention Tony Bennett and Lady GaGa ~~~
107 degrees in the shade let’s rock it this year !!!!!

I agree with George Potts! I would love to see everyone he mentioned, especially Boney James, Kirt Whalin and Kool and the Gang!! But it would be really, really great to see BASIA!!! LOVE HER!!!

Based on his website, it seems likely that the great Gary Bartz may be returning, which would be a very welcome return. A couple of his contemporaries would make great additions: Charles Tolliver and Jimmy Owens, who are among the last of the great trumpet players from back in the day. If George Coleman were to play SPAC again, that too would be nice.

Happy holidays and best wishes for the new year. We are going to start rolling out the artist line-up over the next few weeks and hopefully announce everything in mid February. I see the agents are posting some of the bookings on pollstar. Please know that Pedrito Martinez (new Grammy nominee) is actually going to be on Saturday.

More real soon and I can’t believe it’s only 180 days to the fest! Best DM

Theo Croker was announced today in SPAC’s Building of a Season. He is great, I saw him at the Detroit Jazz Festival a few years ago. Good one Danny!

Well the building of a season didn’t include any acts for the festival, but pollstar has the Pedrito Martinez Group listed for the 28th.

I just saw that SPACs building of a season announcements start next Thursday (Dec 11)! Can’t wait for the first acts to be announced.

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