SARATOGA SPRINGS - Twenty-two musical groups, highlighted by the Saratoga Performing Arts Center debut of Norah Jones and the return of George Benson and Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue, are slated to perform at the 2019 Freihofer’s Saratoga Jazz Festival June 29-30.
“I am over the moon to have Norah Jones featured at the jazz festival for the first time. And we welcome back, with open arms and hearts, the legendary George Benson, who will make his 12th festival appearance and first since 2009,” said Danny Melnick, the festival producer and President of Absolutely Live Entertainment, in a statement. “The festival has a deep history of, and is committed to, presenting important and diverse new artists and this year’s edition continues that tradition with Kandace Springs, Veronica Swift, Antonio Sanchez, Cha Wa, Donna Grantis, Youn Sun Nah and Kansas Smitty’s House Band.”
Back by popular demand is Los Van Van 50th Anniversary, Django Festival All-Stars with Edmar Castañeda and Grace Kelly, Joshua Redman Quartet, and James Carter Organ Trio. Fifteen emerging artists making their Saratoga debuts include Kandace Springs, Donna Grantis, Joey DeFrancesco Trio, Mercy Project which features Jon Cowherd, Brian Blade, John Patitucci, and Steve Cardenas, Antonio Sanchez & Migration, and Cha Wa. The festival will also feature a record number of groups led by women artists, highlighted by Allison Miller, Veronica Swift, Ruthie Foster and Youn Sun Nah.
The festival takes place Saturday, June 29 and Sunday, June 30 at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center. Performances will begin on the Charles R. Wood “Jazz Discovery” Stage at noon and 11 a.m., respectively, and on the main Amphitheater Stage at 2 p.m. and 1 p.m., respectively.
SPAC also announced that Freihofer’s Jazz Fest Friday will return on Friday, June 28, when scores of live jazz events, themed dining, and social dance options will be held in downtown Saratoga Springs.
Founded in 1978 by jazz impresario George Wein, Freihofer’s Saratoga Jazz Festival is the fifth longest-consecutive-running jazz festival in North America. Initially founded as “the Newport Jazz Festival at Saratoga” the weekend event was renamed Freihofer’s Saratoga Jazz Festival in 1998. With an inside seating capacity of 5,200, and lawn seating of 20,000, the two-day, two-stage festival continues to be one of the largest jazz music events in North America.
Tickets for the festival will be available online at www.spac.org beginning Feb. 15 to the general public and starting on Feb. 4 to SPAC members. Single-day adult tickets range: $68 lawn, $78-$108 inside; Two-day pass: $116 lawn, $136-$196 inside. also, $20 amphitheater ticket options are available for children ages 15 and under and students with school-issued ID at time of entrance. Seating is best available with some exclusions. Lawn seating is free for children ages 15 and under. Parking for the event is free. For more information, go to: spac.org.