Jazz Fest week­end set to be­gin

The Saratogian (Saratoga, NY) - - LOCAL NEWS - Staff re­port

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. >> Jazz Fest week­end is kick­ing off early with the re­gion-wide Jazz Fest Fri­day.

Ahead of the 2019 Frei­hofer’s Saratoga Jazz Fes­ti­val on Satur­day and Sun­day at Saratoga Per­form­ing Arts Cen­ter, other lo­cal venues are of­fer­ing live jazz mu­sic through­out Saratoga County for the Jazz Fest Fri­day event, which is back again af­ter a suc­cess­ful in­au­gu­ral year.

This new ini­tia­tive, launched in 2018 by SPAC and the Saratoga County Cham­ber of Com­merce, in­vites fes­ti­val vis­i­tors and the lo­cal com­mu­nity to fre­quent area busi­nesses and restau­rants, show­cas­ing Saratoga Springs as a world-class jazz city.

Jazz Fest Fri­day was founded last year to ex­pand the fes­ti­val’s role as an eco­nomic driver for the re­gion by in­creas­ing col­lab­o­ra­tion among the lo­cal busi­ness com­mu­nity, and at­tract­ing more jazz fes­ti­val at­ten­dees and the lo­cal com­mu­nity to down­town es­tab­lish­ments. Ad­di­tion­ally, it serves as the kick-off for the fes­ti­val week­end.

“Our Frei­hofer’s Jazz Fest Fri­day event has grown tremen­dously as a city-wide cel­e­bra­tion of jazz, show­cas­ing the in­cred­i­ble lo­cal artists and venues that Saratoga has to of­fer,” SPAC pres­i­dent and CEO El­iz­a­beth Sobol said in a press re­lease. “This year we are build­ing off of last year’s suc­cess, at­tract­ing even more out-of-town guests to our vi­brant down­town as a fes­tive kick-off to our world-class Frei­hofer’s Saratoga Jazz Fes­ti­val.”

Jazz Fest Fri­day also cel­e­brates Saratoga’s rich his­tory as a jazz city, and the con­tin­ued con­tri­bu­tions of in­sti­tu­tions like Caffè Lena, the Skid­more Col­lege Jazz In­sti­tute, and the many clubs that fea­ture live mu­sic.

“We’re so ex­cited to again part­ner with the Saratoga Per­form­ing Arts Cen­ter to host Frei­hofer’s Saratoga Jazz Fest Fri­day for a sec­ond year,” said Todd Shimkus, Pres­i­dent of the Saratoga County Cham­ber of Com­merce. “This is a cel­e­bra­tion of our com­mu­nity’s amaz­ing lo­cal Jazz mu­sic scene and a way to lo­cally kick off of the Saratoga Jazz Fes­ti­val week­end. We have venues in Wil­ton, Schuylervi­lle and Saratoga Springs that are host­ing lo­cal Jazz per­form­ers and ev­ery­one is in­vited to at­tend.”

The cham­ber is hon­ored to or­ga­nize this com­mu­nity event that has quickly be­come a pop­u­lar and unique warm-up to the Frei­hofer’s

Saratoga Jazz Fes­ti­val week­end, Shimkus said in the re­lease, not­ing that the event show­cases lo­cal jazz mu­si­cians who are hired to per­form live at Saratoga County Cham­ber mem­ber ho­tels, restau­rants, shops and stores.

Jazz Fest Fri­day will fea­ture cham­ber busi­nesses wel­com­ing lo­cals and vis­i­tors with scores of live jazz events, themed din­ing, and so­cial dance op­tions that will serve as the kick-off to the Frei­hofer’s Saratoga Jazz Fes­ti­val in Saratoga Springs.

Par­tic­i­pat­ing restau­rants, bars and venues in­clude The Adel­phi Ho­tel, Sperry’s Restau­rant, The Lo­cal Pub & Tea­house, Kru Cof­fee Saratoga, Im­pres­sions of Saratoga, Burger Fi Saratoga, Dark Horse Mer­can­tile, Sa­vory Pantry, G. Wil­lik­ers Toys, Life­styles of Saratoga, Em­bassy Suites Saratoga, Hamp­ton Inn – Saratoga Springs, Home­wood Suites, Wish­ing Well Restau­rant, Ami­gos Cantina and more.

A high­light of the jazz in­spired fes­tiv­i­ties sched­uled around the county, SPAC and Caffè Lena will pre­sent An Evening with Jazz Pi­anist & Com­poser Fred Her­sch: 50 Years Af­ter Stonewall at Caffè Lena. Per­form­ing two shows at 6 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. on June 28, the 14time Grammy-nom­i­nated jazz pi­anist and com­poser Her­sch will play orig­i­nal pieces in ad­di­tion to iconic jazz works, while also shar­ing how The Stonewall Riots shaped him, his ca­reer, and his growth as a mu­si­cian, draw­ing from his mem­oir Good Things Hap­pen Slowly.

More in­for­ma­tion about Jazz Fest Fri­day and sched­uled per­for­mances is avail­able on­line at www.saratoga.org/tourism/jaz­zfest-fri­day.


A duo per­forms in front of G. Wil­liker’s Toys on Broad­way in Saratoga Springs.


Caffe Lena is one of the venues par­tic­i­pat­ing in the sec­ond an­nual Jazz Fest Fri­day.


Hot Club of Saratoga is set to per­form at The Lo­cal for Jazz Fest Fri­day.


A trio per­forms jazz mu­sic in front of Broad­way shop The Sa­vory Pantry for the in­au­gu­ral Jazz Fest Fri­day in 2018.

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