Jun 21, 2018
Summer can officially begin! The 2018 Freihofer’s Saratoga Jazz Festival will take place on Saturday June 23rd and Sunday June 24th, 2018 at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center in Saratoga Springs, NY. As always there is a stellar lineup, and this year a few scheduling changes have made the festival even more fan-friendly.
For the first time in the Festival’s 41-year history, performances will begin at 11 a.m. on the newly built Charles R. Wood “Jazz Discovery” stage. Performances on the amphitheater stage will begin at 3 p.m. This will create less overlap, and more opportunity for fans to see and hear a greater variety of music.
And what music it will be! Saturday’s Main Stage will feature Chris Botti; Herbie Hancock; José James celebrating the music of Bill Withers; piano wunderkind Joey Alexander; and the Anat Cohen Tentet. The Jazz Discovery Stage will present Lakecia Benjamin and SoulSquad; the Alfredo Rodriguez & Pedrito Martinez Duo; Keyon Harrold; critical darling singer Jazzmeia Horn; a tribute to the music of New Orleans @ 300 featuring Evan Christopher, David Torkanowsky & Shannon Powell and the Christian Sands Trio.
Sunday’s Main Stage attempts to top opening night with a vocal heavy lineup of Jon Batiste with The Dap-Kings; Gregory Porter; the ageless Mavis Staples; and the powerful project entitled TEN: Terri Lyne Carrington, Esperanza Spalding, Nicholas Payton. The Jazz Discovery Stage will not disappoint – come hear Scott Sharrard & the Brickyard Band; Deva Mahal; the Cuban Jazz sounds of Jane Bunnett & Maqueque; The Jazz Passengers 30th Anniversary Show; a killer trio of Mark Whitfield, Ben Allison, & Billy Drummond; and Sammy Miller & The Congregation.
I spoke with Danny Melnick, the Festival Promoter and the President of Absolutely Live, and as always he gave us the inside scoop on the weekend, including his picks for the most interesting acts to catch. Musical selections for Podcast 623 include:
Joey Alexander – "Moment's Notice"
Jazzmeia Horn – "The Peacocks"
Christian Sands Trio - "Bud's Tune"
Mavis Staples – "If All I Was Was Black"
Jane Bunnett & Maqueque - "Canto a Babba"