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SARATOGA SPRINGS – The Saratoga Regional YMCA concluded the first phase of its outdoor development program by bringing adventure to our very own backyard.

Tucked into the woods on the south end of the Saratoga Regional YMCA (SRYMCA) on West Avenue is the brand new Adventure Course, which had its grand opening on June 22. The 4,340-square-foot course consists of a multiple rock-climbing walls, rope bridges, and tire bridges suspended at varying levels above the ground. Affixed to the top of the main rock wall tower structure is a zip-line, which brave participants can use to ride down to the bottom. When press and other attendees arrived for the grand opening of the course, SRYMCA Board President Alysa Arnold addressed the crowd from the top of the course before riding the zip-line down.

“Today, I am so excited that we are at the point where we have an amazing team that is well-trained, and this summer, kids and adults in our area are going to be able to experience this wonderful adventure course,” Arnold said from the top of the structure. “We have 300-plus campers this summer, and they are gonna have a lot of fun and learn a lot of life skills right on this course.”

Arnold went on to emphasize that the course was far more than just a way for kids and families to have healthy fun, but that it will also give them the opportunity to safely challenge themselves by going outside their comfort zones. Then, using herself as an example of this due to her fear of heights, she ended her speech and rode the zip-line down to a round of applause.

“This is one of those resources that helps us make sure that Saratoga is the healthiest county in all of New York State,” Saratoga County Chamber of Commerce President Todd Shimkus said, introducing the course to the gathered crowd. “As well as, hopefully, the world, someday.”

The Adventure Course is just one part of the first phase of SRYMCA outdoor development initiative. Other aspects of the first phase have included an enclosed pavilion for rainy days and a traverse wall on the north side of the West Avenue location. Planning for the course began approximately three years ago, with construction taking about a year to complete, beginning with the procurement of building permits. The actual time that it took to physically construct the course was around three months. The costs for constructing the course were covered through community fundraising, according to Chief Operations Officer Kelly Armer.

“The best way children learn is through play,” Armer said. “And this is a great structure to add [for that].”

The next phase of development for SRYMCA will begin soon, with plans to build a new pool and another gym, as according to Armer, they are quickly outgrowing their current space. There is currently no set timeline for this second phase.

All photos by Thomas Kika.  

Published in Sports

SARATOGA SPRINGS – One local scholar is on his way to a bright future in the field of medicine.

Matias Kivi, a sophomore at Saratoga Springs High, has been chosen to attend the Congress of Future Medical Leaders in Lowell, Mass., from June 25-27 as a delegate from New York State. According to Kivi, only a handful of young people are selected to attend from each state. While there are a number of other delegates from N.Y., Kivi is the only one from the Saratoga County area. Dr. Robert Darling, the Medical Director of the National Academy of Future Physicians and Medical Scientists, nominated Kivi for the Congress, based on his “academic achievements, leadership potential and determination to serve humanity in the field of medicine,” according to a press release from the Academy.

The aim of the congress is to motivate and direct honors-level high school students across the country that are interested in pursuing a career in medicine. Kivi’s ultimate goal is to become a cardiac surgeon, which he said is inspired by his grandmother’s recent bought with heart problems, as well as a general respect for the bravery of surgeons.

“I’m pretty excited,” Kivi said. “It’ll be a long drive down there, but I’m excited to see what’s really going to be there and all the people I’m going to meet. I’m interested to see who else is going to be there who is about my age and what they do as well.”

At the Congress, Kivi will meet with other young aspiring medical practitioners from across the country and have the opportunity to learn from industry leaders. There will be talks given by Nobel Laureates and winners of the National Medal of Science. Deans from Ivy League and other top institutions will be on hand to advise the young delegates on what to expect from medical schools. Patients said to be “living medical miracles” will be present to share their stories. There will also be opportunities for the delegates to learn about the latest advances in the fields of medicine and medical technology.

Some of the major medical leaders attending the congress include Dr. Pardis Sabeti, who used real-time DNA sequencing during the most recent outbreak of Ebola to prove that the disease spreads through humans and not animals, and Dr. Bohdan Pomahac, the first surgeon to perform a full face transplant in the United States. The delegates will also hear from Carmen Tarleton, the fifth recipient of a full face transplant in the U.S. Kivi and his fellow delegates will also have the opportunity to watch a live surgery streamed to the congress from a nearby hospital.

Kivi learned that he had been nominated for the congress by Darling last summer. As becoming a delegate for the congress was not something he sought out, it came as a pleasant surprise. Kivi noted his high mark on the Biology S.A.T., which he took last year, and his consistently high marks in high-level A.P. courses as factors beyond his interest in pursuing a medical career that might have caught Darling’s eye. Kivi is also a part of Saratoga Hospital’s “Students Sharing Opportunities and Responsibilities” (SSOAR) volunteer summer program for high school students.

Kivi has already visited and number of colleges, including Georgetown and Utah University, and will be visiting Northwestern sometime over the summer.

“I’m really proud of him doing this,” Di Kivi, Matias’s mother, said. “Because he’s worked very hard, he’s very good student, and he keeps a good balance in his life, and he deserves this. It’s well-earned.”

Photo by Thomas Kika. 

Published in Education

SARATOGA SPRINGS – Saratoga Springs Little League celebrated a season of competition on June 17 with the first-ever Adirondack Cup. Held at West Side Rec, the day-long event kicked off at 9 a.m., pitting the top-seeded teams from both the major and minor divisions of the league against their counterparts from Glens Falls Little League (GFLL). A total of 18 match-ups played out, culminating with the No. 1 seeded major and minor teams from each league facing off, which led to victories for Saratoga Springs Little League in each case.

Majors champions PBA bested their GFLL opponents, Warren Tire, with a strong 16-1. PBA was dominant from the outset, scoring six runs on Warren Tire in the first inning. Minors champions Julie and Co. bested GFLL’s Hudson River Community Credit Union, rallying back against their opponents’ early 3-point lead. Prior to the event, each team had claimed the Saratoga Little League titles in championship bouts on Thursday (Julie and Co. vs. HT Lyons) and Friday (PBA vs. Byrne Orthodontics).

Beyond the numerous match-ups, Saratoga Springs Little League went above and beyond to make the gathering feel like a proper celebration for all the young athletes in attendance. Special announcers were brought in for the games, and music was played between innings. A bounce house was also set up for the enjoyment of the children in attendance.

“This was a celebration of both leagues in their entirety,” league vice president David S. Karpinski said. “We always love to conclude our seasons with a sort of playoff type event.”

Moving on from this season, 36 out of the around 300 players from the normal leagues have been chosen to compete on the All-Stars team. Practice for this higher-level team began on June 20, and the first game will take place June 26 against Mechanicville/Stillwater.

All photos by www.photoandgraphic.com

Published in Sports
Thursday, 22 June 2017 14:10

June 23rd - June 29th

COURTS

Milo E, Martinez, 26, of Ballston Spa, pleaded on June 14 to criminal possession of a forged instrument, a felony, in connection with an incident that occurred in Clifton Park. Sentencing scheduled for Aug. 14. 

William E. Slater, 46, of Gansevoort, was sentenced on June 14 to 20 years in state prison, after pleading to criminal sexual act in the first-degree, in connection with an incident that occurred in Wilton. 

Michael J. Germain, 56, of Greenfield, pleaded on June 9 to felony criminal mischief, and DWAI. Sentencing scheduled for Sept. 8. 

April M. Pixley, 37, of Greenfield, pleaded on June 9 to second degree forgery, in connection with an incident that occurred in Wilton. Sentencing scheduled for Aug. 4. 

Thomas J. Davin III, 34, of Schuylerville, was sentenced on June 9 to time served and five years of probation, after pleading to aggravated DWI with a child. 

POLICE

Moises B. Rodriguez, age 39, Saratoga Springs, was charged on June 16 with aggravated unlicensed operation, no/expired insurance, and operating motor vehicle with improper plates – all misdemeanors, and a variety of vehicle related violations. 

Marc J. Brynczka, age 42, Ballston Spa, was charged on June 16 with misdemeanor DWI, and misdemeanor aggravated DWI.

Darrick D. Conners, age 43, Saratoga Springs, was charged on June 15 with misdemeanor criminal trespass.  

Dylan M. Capone, age 18, Saratoga Springs, was charged on June 15 with misdemeanor assault and misdemeanor endangering the welfare of a child.    

Eugene McLeavens, age 31, Saratoga Springs, was charged on June 15 with aggravated unlicensed operation, a misdemeanor. 

Renee M. Denstedt, age 19, Saratoga Springs, was charged on June 14 with failure to provide proper food/drink to and animal, a misdemeanor.   

Miley M. Esper, age 23, Saratoga Springs, was charged on June 13 with misdemeanor DWI.    

Jeffrey P. Keegan, age 32, Troy, was charged on June 13 with misdemeanor DWI. 

Shannon L. Tracey, age 33, Saratoga Springs, was charged on June 12 with misdemeanor criminal trespass.  

Cameron L. Hendrix, age 22, of Saratoga Springs was charged on June 9 with grand larceny and falsifying business records – both felonies. Hendrix is suspected of stealing in excess of $3,000 while employed at the Trustco Bank in the Wilton Mall and of making false entries to a business record with the intent to defraud to conceal the theft. He was arraigned at Wilton Town Court and released to pre-trial services, pending further action in the matter.

Devon M. Ostrander, age 22, of Ballston Spa, was charged on June 9 with strangulation in the second-degree, a felony, and misdemeanor assault in connection with an alleged incident that occurred in Stillwater. Ostrander was arraigned at the Milton Town Court and sent to Saratoga County Jail in lieu of bail or bond. The victim, who was known to Ostrander, was evaluated and treated at Saratoga Hospital.

Sean W. Macqueen, age 46, Saratoga Springs, was charged on June 8 with speeding, and misdemeanor aggravated unlicensed operation, a misdemeanor.  

Diogenes Diaz, age 57, and Victor A. Maffetone, age 31, both of Saratoga Springs, were each charged on June 8 with criminal possession of marijuana, a misdemeanor. 

Brandon E. Sewall, age 22, Amsterdam, was charged on June 8 with assault in the second degree, a felony, and criminal possession of a weapon, a misdemeanor. 

John R. Bellon, age 23, Porters Corners, was charged on June 8 with criminal possession of a controlled substance misdemeanor, and criminal possession of controlled substance, a felony.

Grey M. Urbahn, age 18, Saratoga Springs, was charged on June 8 with grand larceny in the fourth-degree, a felony.  

Shawna M. Green, age 43, Saratoga Springs, was charged on June 8 with failure to notify DMV of a change of address, and aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle second-degree, a misdemeanor. 

Sara A. Cummings, age 33, Gansevoort, was charged on June 6 with unlawful use of mobile phones in a motor vehicle, and aggravated unlicensed operation third-degree- a misdemeanor.   

Stephen R. Toussaint, age 46, Saratoga Springs, was charged on June 5 with felony robbery.

Paul J. Demartino, age 38, Greenfield, was charged on June 5 with misdemeanor criminal contempt, and misdemeanor petit larceny.

Published in Police Blotter

ALBANY – The New York State Department of Health announced this week that a healthcare worker employed by Hudson Headwaters has been confirmed to have measles. The highly contagious respiratory disease causes a rash and fever and can be passed from one person to another just by being in a room where someone with measles coughed or sneezed.

Symptoms appear about 10 to 12 days after a person is exposed to measles. The infected individual, in addition to working at Hudson Headwaters, spent time at a Saratoga County Home Depot, the Stadium Restaurant on Broadway, and a Warren County medical practice between June 5 and June 8.

The state DOH warns anyone who visited the following locations may have been exposed: Home Depot (garden section of store), 3043 Route 50, Wilton-Saratoga Springs border between noon and 2 p.m. on June 5; Saratoga Stadium restaurant, 389 Broadway, Saratoga Springs, between 6:15 - 9:30 p.m. on June 7, and the following three Hudson Headwaters Health Network locations: Warrensburg Health Center, 3767 Main St., between 7:25 a.m. - 7 p.m. on June 6, or between 10:30 a.m. – 6:30 p.m. on June 7; Hudson Headwaters Health Network, 9 Carey Rd., Queensbury, between 7 a.m. - 12:15 p.m. on June 7; Hudson Headwaters Health Network West Mountain Health Services, 161 Carey Rd., Building 1, Queensbury, between 7:45 – 10:35 a.m. on June 8.

The times reflect the period that the infected individual was in these areas and a two-hour period after the individual left the area, as the virus remains alive in air and on surfaces for up to two hours. This explains the overlap in times. A person with measles can pass it to others from four days before a rash appears through the fourth day after the rash appears.

Symptoms generally appear in two stages.

In the first stage, which lasts two to four days, the individual may have a runny nose, cough and a slight fever. Eyes may become reddened and sensitive to light while the fever gradually rises each day.

The second stage begins on the third to seventh day and consists of a red blotchy rash lasting five to six days. The rash usually begins on the face and then spreads downward and outward, reaching the hands and feet. Although measles is usually considered a childhood disease, it can be contracted at any age.

Individuals lacking immunity or not sure if they have been vaccinated, should contact their health care provider if they develop measles symptoms. Symptoms include a fever, rash, cough, conjunctivitis or runny nose. Symptoms usually appear in 10-12 days after exposure.

To prevent the spread of illness, the state DOH advises anyone who may have been exposed and who has symptoms consistent with measles to contact their health care provider or a local emergency department before going for care. This will help to prevent others at these facilities from being exposed to the illness. After contacting their health care provider, symptomatic individuals should also contact the local health department.

A person is unlikely to get measles if they were born before Jan. 1, 1957, have received two doses of the MMR (Measles, Mumps and Rubella) vaccine or have a lab test confirming immunity.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 100 people from 11 states – including New York - were from Jan. 1 to May 20, 2017 reported to have measles. In 2016, those reports numbered 70 people, and in 2015 -188 people. In 2014, the United States experienced a record number of measles cases, with 667 cases from 27 states reported to CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases - marking the greatest number of cases since measles elimination was documented in the U.S. in 2000.

For more information about measles, go to: https://www.health.ny.gov/publications/2170/.

Published in News

SARATOGA – A city woman was found inside her overturned vehicle just before 6 p.m. Tuesday by state Police responding to a report of a vehicle submerged in Fish Creek.

The woman, 66-year-old Ellen T. Steinberger, of Saratoga Springs, was pronounced dead at the scene.

Investigators, who responded to the incident at Brown Point Lane in the town of Saratoga, found the 2007 Toyota Solara overturned after it had exited the bridge that crosses the creek. They do not suspect foul play.

“She was generous, funny, and a tremendous caregiver,” said Sue Edwards, who worked with Steinberger at the Saratoga Springs Public Library, where Steinberger was a volunteer at the Saratoga Room. She also provided walking tours at the Saratoga Springs Preservation Foundation. It is believed Steinberger – who was passionate about the arts in Saratoga - was originally from Long Island.  

Authorities said the bridge is a single lane path with railroad ties as side barriers on a private roadway. An autopsy is expected to be conducted Wednesday. 

Published in News

 

SARATOGA SPRINGS - Keeping up with potential development projects in the city can sometimes be a daunting task, but this Thursday's Planning Board meeting – held 7 p.m. at City Hall - offers residents the opportunity to learn more about three major project proposals in their infancy stage and looming on the future horizon.

The projects slated for discussion are:

Mixed-use development on West Avenue (here’s a link to our original story : http://www.saratogatodayonline.com/home/item/6043-you-are-looking-at-significant-development-saratoga-springs-grows-west);       

South Broadway (diner) redevelopment (learn more here: http://www.saratogatodayonline.com/home/item/6353-diner-to-be-razed-at-saratoga-gateway-and-a-new-vision-for-south-broadway ); and a new condominium complex at 120 Henry Street (city application link here: http://saratoga-springs.org/AgendaCenter/ViewFile/Item/1855?fileID=7394).

Published in News
Friday, 16 June 2017 10:34

June 16th - June 22nd

COURTS

Charles B. “Chip” Locke, 44, of Porters Corners, was sentenced on June 8 to six months in jail and five years of probation, after pleading to felony grand larceny. Locke was also ordered to pay $15,070.02 in restitution to the Greenfield Home School Association, from which he admitted stealing money from September 2014 to September 2015, according to a statement released by the Saratoga County District Attorney’s Office.

POLICE

Christopher J. McSwiggin, age 28, Clifton Park, was charged on June 3 with aggravated unlicensed operation third degree, failure to stop at stop sign.

Faith Schmitt, age 24, Gloversville, was charged on June 3 with misdemeanor DWI, motor vehicle equipment violation.

Averi M. Comfort, age 20, Ballston Spa, was charged on June 3 with misdemeanor DWI, unreasonable speed, operating unregistered motor vehicle on highway, failure to stop at stop sign.

Daniel J. Grau, age 24, Ballston Spa, was charged on June 3 with misdemeanor DWI, fail to keep right.

Adam L. Friddle, age 36, Bradenton, Florida, was charged on June 3 with misdemeanor DWI, wrong way on a one-way street, refuse pre-screen test.

Jacqueline R. Torrisi, age 24, Watervliet, was charged on June 2 with criminal possession of marijuana fifth degree, a misdemeanor.

Michael R. Rafferty, age 63, Saratoga Springs, was charged on June 2 with felony DWI as a second offense, operation of a motor vehicle by unlicensed driver.

Kevin D. Germain, age 58, Saratoga Springs, was charged on June 2 with criminal mischief misdemeanor.

Megan H. Zeh, age 30, Greenfield Center, was charged on June 2 with three counts of harassment in the second-degree.

Meghan L. Crozier, age 27, Saratoga Springs, was charged on June 2 with misdemeanor DWI and aggravated DWI, failure to signal a turn.

Vittoriano Ruscio, age 47, Ballston Spa, was charged on June 2 with misdemeanor DWI, failure to keep right.

Lisa M. Mann, age 31, Ballston Spa, was charged on June 2 with aggravated unlicensed operation misdemeanor, failure to signal a turn.

Brad J. Mulligan, age 49, Schuylerville, was charged on June 2 with misdemeanor DWI, improper lane use, failure to signal a turn.

Alexander A. Moniot, age 30, Clifton Park, was charged on June 1 with failure to signal a turn, failure to stop at stop sign, aggravated unlicensed operation

Michael K. Barnes, age 38, Saratoga Springs, was charged on June 1 with criminal mischief misdemeanor.

Louis F. Decker, age 25, Ballston Spa, was charged on June 1 with misdemeanor assault, felony criminal mischief.

Betty M. Scoville, age 60, Saratoga Springs, was charged on June 1 with misdemeanor welfare fraud, offering a false instrument for filing first, a felony.

Ryan W. Boyce, age 25, Porter Corners, was charged on May 29 with aggravated unlicensed operation, vehicle equipment violation.

Thomas J. Dingmon, age 28, Saratoga Springs, was charged on May 29 with aggravated unlicensed operation, vehicle equipment violation.

Amanda D. Putman, age 32, Saratoga Springs, was charged on May 29 with harassment.

Maliek R. Fontes, age 27, Gansevoort, was charged on May 29 with failure to signal a turn, speeding, aggravated unlicensed operation.

Timothy N. Raiche, age 49, Hartford, Connecticut, was charged on May 29 with misdemeanor DWI, failure to stop at stop sign, refuse pre-screen test, failure to signal a turn.

Antonio Gonzales, age 33, Stryker, was charged on May 28 with felony criminal mischief.

Jake R. Douglas, age 21, Ballston Lake, was charged on May 28 with misdemeanor DWI, unsafe lane change.

Warren B. Prince, age 21, Clifton Park, and Nathaniel J. Sawyer, age 22, Amsterdam, were each charged on May 28 with criminal possession of a controlled substance, unlawful possession of marijuana.

Darren S. Wodzinski, age 46, Saratoga Springs, was charged on May 27 with felony criminal contempt.

Natasha N. Davis, age 27, Ballston Spa, was charged on May 27 with aggravated unlicensed operation.

William S. Brisson, age 24, Gansevoort, was charged on May 27 with aggravated unlicensed operation, right of way violation / left turn.

Emma K. Soron, age 28, Gansevoort, was charged on May 27 with misdemeanor DWI.

Rekim A. White, age 28, Malta, was charged on May 27 with misdemeanor assault.

Jahkeem P. Davis, age 20, Albany, was charged on May 27 with misdemeanor assault.

Robert F. Murphy, age 59, Saratoga Springs, was charged on May 27 with misdemeanor criminal trespass.

Eric W. Slade, age 28, Saratoga Springs, was charged on May 26 with felony DWI as a second offense, failure to signal a turn.

Harold E. Beck, age 38, Saratoga Springs, was charged on May 25 with misdemeanor assault, criminal mischief, and obstruction of breathing.

Charles P. Tulin, age 27, Saratoga Springs, was charged on May 25 with unlawful possession of marijuana, misdemeanor assault, menacing, reckless endangerment, and criminal possession of a weapon.

Quintan L. Smith, age 18, Ballston Spa, was charged on May 25 with felony grand larceny/ credit card, and felony burglary.

Published in Police Blotter

Danny Melnick grew up on Long Island listening to The Who and the Rolling Stones records the older kids used to play. His friends loved Kiss, the Good Rats, and Twisted Sister; his younger brother had a fondness for pop new wave. 

“Depeche Mode and the Pet Shop Boys,” he bristles. “Music I couldn’t stand then, and music I still can’t listen to today.”

Melnick was more drawn into a world of moody tempo changes, haunting mellotrons and lyrical fantasy. Melnick was a Prog kid.  

“Somehow, I got into Progressive Rock: King Crimson and Yes, Pink Floyd and Jethro Tull. Through that education I learned about Miles Davis and John Coltrane and then quickly on to people like Dave Holland and John Abercrombie, Gary Burton and early Pat Metheny,” he says. “It really opened up my ears to a lot of things.”   

Why this all matters is the reasoning behind what brings thousands of people to the Spa City every year for The Hang. This month, the Saratoga jazz festival celebrates its 40th anniversary with two days of shows on two stages, marking the fifth longest-consecutive-running jazz festival in North America.

Melnick first worked with the festival in 1991, overseeing the transport of musicians from New York City to Saratoga Springs. “The band bus monitor,” he says. Eight years later he was in charge of booking all the artists to perform at the festival.

“The market there is pretty interesting. The audiences in Saratoga have been coming to this festival at SPAC for a very long time. They’re committed to it. We’ve got people coming in from New Jersey, Pennsylvania, the tri-state New York City area, and of course, the Capital Region. So, for me, as a presenter, I’m trying to appeal to all of them with a great mix of artists,” Melnick says. He’s also cognizant of maintaining traditions.

“When I look back at the acts in the late ‘70s and ‘80s there was always blues, always Latin, always straight-ahead jazz, a little bit of avantgarde here and there. I try very hard to continue that. The biggest challenge in modern times is that so many legendary jazz legends have died,” Melnick says, riffing on a memory list of the departed that includes Dave Brubeck and Ray Charles, B.B. King and Dizzy Gillespie, Miles Davis, Art Blakely and Ella Fitzgerald. “I can name fifty artists who have played the festival and who today are gone. So now, I have to mix it up a little more.

“The festival needs to keep going forward. In order to stay alive and stay relative you need to book a diverse roster of artists who can tell where the music is today,” he says. “I want people to learn about new artists, I want them to be entertained and to have fun. I want emerging jazz artists to have a platform, to be heard, to build careers so that hopefully they will become headliners in the future.”

This year’s Freihofer’s Saratoga Jazz Festival - initially called the Newport Jazz Festival at Saratoga when it launched in 1978 – will feature a new, bigger gazebo stage for emerging artists to showcase their talents.

“Quite a few people who started out playing the gazebo stage have moved on, to the main stage, or are playing bigger festivals around the world. It’s cool that the festival audience is supporting the artists. They’re listening to them, they’re meeting them, they’re getting their autographs, they’re buying their CD’s. And there are no walls between the artists and the audience, it’s all right there,” says Melnick, president and director of Absolutely Live Entertainment. His official title at the Saratoga jazz festival is producing partner and artistic director. 

His accomplishments as a presenter include a world tour commemorating the 50th anniversary of Miles Davis's "Kind of Blue" recording, North American tours celebrating the Monterey Jazz Festival’s 55th anniversary, and the Newport Jazz Festival’s 60th, concerts at Carnegie Hall as part of the JVC Jazz Festival and a Blue Note Records' four month-long 70th Anniversary tour.

“There were nights when I was hanging out with Dizzie Gillespie backstage in Japan and thinking: really? How did this happen?” Prior to forming ALE, Melnick was the artistic director and a senior producer at George Wein's Festival Productions company.

“I have a lot of great memories and incredible stories. I’ve been very lucky over the years to be in the places that I’ve been and do the work that I’ve done, particularly in all the years when I worked as an employee for George Wein,” he says of the jazz impresario who founded the local festival in 1978.  One recent memory involved booking legends Tony Bennett and Buddy Guy on the festival’s closing night in 2013.   

 “Buddy Guy was set to close with Tony Bennett going on before him. A week before the festival, Buddy’s agent calls.

“Buddy has a problem closing,” Guy’s agent told him. “He feels weird going on after Tony Bennett. He doesn’t want to disrespect Tony.”

“I said: What? What do you mean?”

 “Well, Tony is a legend and Buddy feels, who is he to go on after Tony Bennett?” the agent said.

“Listen, ‘Buddy Guy is a legend also,’ I told him. Tony is going to go out there with a jazz trio. He’s going to sing standards. He’s going to put the microphone down at one point and sing an amazing a capella tune, and then Buddy’s going to come out with his electric blues band and rip the place to smithereens,” Melnick recalled. Those in attendance will recall that’s exactly how it all went down.

“It was all vetted with Tony, and he was fine with it. The agent called me back to say Buddy was cool with everything. What was so interesting to me to hear, after all those years and success and awards that an artist like Buddy Guy still had the humility to look at the situation and express themselves in that way.” 

The Freihofer’s Saratoga Jazz Festival will celebrate its 40th anniversary on Saturday, June 24 and Sunday, June 25 at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center. The milestone event features the return of Dee Dee Bridgewater and Jean Luc-Ponty - who performed on the inaugural 1978 festival. Headlining the weekend are Chaka Khan, and the Gipsy Kings. Jazz 100, led by Danilo Pérez, will pay homage to iconic musicians Dizzy Gillespie, Ella Fitzgerald, Mongo Santamaria, and Thelonious Monk in celebration of the 100th anniversary of their shared birth year. For more information about the festival go to:  www.spac.org.

Published in Entertainment

SARATOGA SPRINGS – On the morning of June 9, in the St. Clements Roman Catholic Church in Saratoga Springs, Saratoga Central Catholic High School held its graduation ceremony for the class of 2017, awarding diplomas to its 31 graduating seniors. This year’s valedictorian was Emma VanDeCar, while salutatorian was Paul Ruger. According to Mary Guarnieri, the school’s director of advancement, their graduating class for 2017 has already been offered over $6,425,000 in academic scholarships.

All photos by www.photoandgraphic.com.

 

Published in Education
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