Thursday, 27 June 2013 13:32

36th Annual Freihofer’s Saratoga Jazz Festival

By Staff Report | Entertainment


Featuring Tony Bennett, Buddy Guy, David Sanborn and Bob James, Kevin Eubanks, Mccoy Tyner Quartet with John Scofield, Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Ladysmith Black Mambazo and More

SARATOGA SPRINGS — The Freihofer’s Saratoga Jazz Festival, one of the longest-running and most celebrated jazz events in the world, will be held at Saratoga Performing Arts Center, June 29 and 30. This year’s festival features a star-studded lineup of more than 20 top artists—from legends to luminaries.


TONY BENNETT: The iconic crooner and timeless star with 17 Grammy Awards to his credit, brings his singular voice to this year’s Jazz Festival. The Kennedy Center Honoree and NEA Jazz Master has continued to top the charts in his seventh decade as a recording artist with best-selling albums of duets in both 2011 and 2012. His latest project is a collaboration with Lady Gaga. He last appeared at SPAC’s jazz festival in 1993.

BUDDY GUY: In a career that spans nearly 50 years with over 50 albums released, living legend of the blues, Buddy Guy, will make his long-awaited return to the festival after becoming a Kennedy Center Honoree in 2012.

ARTURO SANDOVAL: One of the most dynamic live performers of our time, 9-time Grammy-winner Arturo Sandoval has been seen by millions at the Oscars performing with Celine Dion, at the Grammys with Justin Timberlake and in his own right as a headliner. He has recorded with Dizzy Gillespie, Woody Herman, Johnny Mathis and Frank Sinatra among others. He also won an Emmy for composing the score to HBO’s documentary about his life “For Love or Country,” starring Andy Garcia.

DAVID SANBORN: Smooth jazz masters and multiple Grammy Award winners, venerated saxophonist David Sanborn and keyboardist Bob James reunite for their first collaboration since their landmark 1986 album Double Vision. The duo will be performing material from their upcoming OKeh release, Quartette Humaine.

MCCOY TYNER QUARTET featuring special guest JOHN SCOFIELD: Considered to be one of the most influential pianists of the 20th century, Tyner will feature special guest guitarist John Scofield, who will be returning for his fourth time at the festival. 

KEVIN EUBANKS: Perhaps best known as the leader of The Tonight Show with Jay Leno band, the guitarist has also established himself as a prolific composer and jazz guitarist. Eubanks will be touring in 2013 in support of his new album The Messenger.  

PRESERVATION HALL JAZZ BAND: The legendary jazz group, which Rolling Stone said, “shines like a beacon of New Orleans jazz,” has traveled worldwide for decades. Recently receiving a NAACP Image Award, the group performed alongside Dr. John and The Black Keys at the 55th Annual GRAMMY Awards. 

LADYSMITH BLACK MAMBAZO: The male choral group from South Africa who rose to prominence as a result of singing with Paul Simon on his album Graceland will make their festival debut this year.

GREGORY PORTER: Signed recently to Blue Note Records & Universal Music Classics for his major label debut, vocalist Gregory Porter is rising swiftly to the top of the jazz world. This follows his recent GRAMMY nomination in the Best Traditional R&B Performance category for his Motéma Music album Be Good. He makes his debut at the Freihofer’s Festival this year




Fireworks for Freihofer’s 100th Anniversary on Saturday

Adding to the celebratory spirit of the weekend will be special festivities surrounding the 100th Anniversary of Freihofer’s Baking Company, the title sponsor of the festival since 1998. In recognition of the milestone, the company will have an expanded presence at this year’s festival that will include giveaways of its famous chocolate chip cookies throughout the two days and a dazzling fireworks display on Saturday night.


Festival Fast Facts

  • Over the past 36 years, more than half a million fans have attended the jazz festival. 
  • Founded in 1978 by jazz impresario George Wein, the festival has featured a Who’s Who of music greats including Miles Davis, Sonny Rollins, Dave Brubeck, Tito Puente and Joshua Redman. 
  • It’s all about the “the hang!” A sea of colorful tents and umbrellas is a signature of this event, as people celebrate, picnic, relax and enjoy exhilarating, live music.
  • A festival feast of southern-style barbeque, international specialties as well as beverages (alcoholic and non-alcoholic) are available for sale.  
  • Guests are welcome to bring in food, beverages and tents....parking is free.  
  • Music starts at noon both days.
  • Tickets start at just $55 (lawn/general admission); kids are free on the lawn.

Special Event: Jazz Legend Dave Brubeck (1920–2012) Honored with Walk of Fame Star on Sunday 

SPAC will pay tribute to jazz legend Dave Brubeck (1920–2012) with the installation and dedication of a “star” in its Walk of Fame on Sunday, June 30 at 4:40 p.m. at the Freihofer’s Saratoga Jazz Festival. The iconic American jazz pianist, composer and bandleader who passed away in December at the age of 91, performed at SPAC’s jazz festival a record 13 times during his storied career. 

“Dave Brubeck was one of the most important figures in the history of American jazz and in the history of SPAC’s jazz festival,” said Marcia J. White, SPAC’s president and executive director. “He performed at our festival a record 13 times, a longstanding partnership which reflects his popularity with our festival audience and his special affection for Saratoga.” 

Members of the Brubeck family will be attending the dedication ceremony.


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