For the 42nd year, Saratoga Springs is set to hold the two-day Freihofer’s Jazz Festival. Scheduled to take place on Saturday, June 29 and Sunday, June 30, the lineup presents a roster of 22 acts.
Headlining performances will be done by jazz-legend George Benson, Grammy award winner Norah Jones, and Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue, a festival favorite. Returning performers include Joshua Redman Quartet, James Carter Organ Trio, Django Festival All-Stars, and Los Van Van 50th Anniversary. ‘
15 others will be making their debuts at SPAC, including Kandace Springs, Donna Grantis, the Joey Defrancesco Trio, Mercy Project, Antonio Sanchez & Migration, and Cha Wa. Furthermore, the annual festival is set to hold a record number of groups led by female artists including Allison Miller, Youn Sun Nah, Ruthie Foster, and Veronica Swift.
Saturday’s performances begin on the Charles R. Wood “Jazz Discovery” Stage at 12 p.m. and 11 a.m. respectively. Artists include Antonio Sánchez & Migration, Lionel Loueke & Raul Midón, Veronica Swift with The Emmet Cohen Trio, Black Art Jazz Collective, and Joe Locke’s Subtle Disguise with special guest Raul Midón. Acts on the Amphitheater Stage begin at 2 p.m. and 1 p.m. respectively and include George Benson, Los Van Van 50th Anniversary, Kandace Springs, James Carter Organ Trio, Mercy Project, and Donna Grantis.
Sunday’s performances follow the same time schedule as Saturday. Performers on the “Jazz Discovery” Stage include Ruthie Foster, Allison Miller Boom Tic Boom featuring Jenny Scheinman, Carmen Staaf, Kirk Knuffke, Ben Goldberg and Todd Sickafoose, Cha Wa, Youn Sun Nah, Joel Harrison’s Angel Band featuring Jon Cowherd, Jaleel Shaw, Stephan Crump and Brian Blade, and Kansas Smitty’s House Band. Acts on the Amphitheater Stage include Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue, Norah Jones, Django Festival All-Stars with special guests Edmar Castañeda & Grace Kelly, Joshua Redman Quartet with Aaron Goldberg, Reuben Rogers, & Gregory Hutchinson, and Joey DeFrancesco Trio featuring Billy Hart.
Prior to the event-filled weekend, the Albany Times Union will be presenting the festival’s kickoff on Friday, June 28 with local musicians and jazz-themed events. This is an annual collaboration with the city of Saratoga Springs meant to emphasize and celebrate the history of jazz in the region.
Additionally, attendees can enjoy various amenities such as food vendors, including a southern style barbecue, a fine arts and crafts fair, and CD signings by artists. Guests are welcome to bring personal food and drink, as well as blankets, tents, and lawn umbrellas. Parking is free for event-goers.
Tickets for the festival will be available online at SPAC on Feb. 4 at 10 a.m. for members, and February 15 at 10 a.m. to the general public. Although children aged 15 and under are free on the lawn, SPAC is bringing back the $20 student and child amphitheater pass for this age group due to popular demand. The discount is also available for students with school-issued ID at the time of entrance.