As of 10 a.m. today, tickets for the 39th annual Freihofer’s Saratoga Jazz Festival are on sale to the public. The two-day weekend event is scheduled for June 25 and 26 at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center.
The festival’s 2016 lineup will feature Motown miracle Smokey Robinson and jazz fusion pioneer Chick Corea headlining the mainstage on Sunday, while Saturday’s headliner is still to be announced.
Several acts performing this year will make their SPAC and jazz festival debut, including drummer and vocalist Jamison Ross, blues guitarist Eric Lindell, 12-year-old Indonesian jazz pianist Joey Alexander Trio, New Orleans funk ensemble, Jon Cleary and The Absolute Monster Gentlemen, and jazz-soul vocalist Alicia Olatuja, who performed at the 2013 presidential inauguration. Last year’s showcase included Sheila E., Erykah Badu and Snarky Puppy, among others, and since the festival was founded in 1978, jazz greats like Miles Davis, Dave Brubeck, B.B. King and Ray Charles have headlined the event.
Celebrating 50 years, the 25,000-capacity venue sits in the historic Saratoga Spa State Park. Camping is not permitted on the grounds (free parking opens two hours before the event), but the town of Saratoga offers many options for nearby lodging. The typical concert rules apply for SPAC — no drugs, open water bottles, guns or pets — but for the jazz festival, the venue does allow food, alcohol, coolers and the use of small personal cameras.
Festival goers can also shop fine arts and crafts on premise, bring home autographed CDs and fill up on Southern-style barbecue, plus other amenities. Stay tuned for jazz fest to announce the June 25 headliner.