Jazz Fest weekend set to begin
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.