Michael McDonald, Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings, Angelique Kidjo, Dianne Reeves and Bad Plus Headline Jazz Festival at SPAC

Michael McDonald

Michael McDonald

(SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y.) –  On Saturday, June 25 and Sunday, June 26, the Freihofer’s Saratoga Jazz Festival at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center (SPAC) marks its 34th year with  a dynamic lineup of more than 20 acclaimed artists and ensembles on two stages, including five-time Grammy-winning R&B singer-songwriter Michael McDonald; the gritty gospel, soul and funk of Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings; Sing The Truth!, a tribute to the jazz and civil rights legacies of recently departed legends Miriam Makeba, Abbey Lincoln and Odetta, featuring vocalists Angelique Kidjo, Dianne Reeves and Lizz Wright; the Jack DeJohnette Group; A Night In Treme: The Musical Majesty of New Orleans, music inspired by the HBO series Treme, with Mardi Gras Indian Chief and alto saxophonist Donald Harrison Jr. and special guests presenting the music and flavor of New Orleans; vocalist Dee Dee Bridgewater in a tribute to Billie Holiday; jazz bassist Ben Allison, hailed by JazzTimes as a “visionary composer, adventurous improviser, and strong organizational force on the New York City jazz scene, [emerging] as a rising star over the past decade”; cutting-edge jazz trio The Bad Plus, celebrating a decade together this season; and tenor and soprano saxophonist Marcus Strickland and his quartet, performing a distinctive blend of jazz, hip hop, soul and world music.

Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings

Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings

In addition, the festival will feature a fine arts and crafts fair, CD signings by artists, a full-service bar in the Hall of Springs, southern style barbecue and other food vendors, and a children’s craft area.

During the festival, there will be a dedication of a star in SPAC’s Walk of Fame for NEA Jazz Master, jazz producer and festival founder George Wein.  The world-famous impresario and founder of numerous jazz and music festivals across the U.S. founded the Newport Jazz Festival – Saratoga, in 1978.  Modeled after his highly successful Newport Jazz Festival, Wein, in his 2002 memoir, Myself Among Others: A Life in Music, credited his decision to start a Festival in Saratoga as “one of the smartest moves I ever made,” remarking that the event “captured the spirit of the old Newport.”

 

2011 SPAC JAZZ FESTIVAL SCHEDULE

Saturday, June 25

Gates Open at 11, Music Starts at Noon

Main Stage

Michael McDonald

Dee Dee Bridgewater – “To Billie with Love”

George Wein & the Newport All Stars with Howard Alden, Lew Tabackin, Anat Cohen, Randy Brecker, Peter Washington and Lewis Nash

Jack DeJohnette Group featuring Rudresh Mahanthappa

Eliane Elias

Ben Allison Band

Lionel Loueke Trio

 

Gazebo Stage

Hilary Kole

DOWNBEAT Magazine “Blindfold Test” w/Ben Allison

Lionel Loueke Trio

Steve Cardenas Trio with Ben Allison & Rudy Royston

Marcus Strickland Quartet

 

Sunday, June 26

Gates Open at 11AM, Music Starts at Noon

 

Main Stage

Sing The Truth! with Angelique Kidjo, Dianne Reeves & Lizz Wright

“A Night In Treme” (The Musical Majesty of New Orleans) w/Donald Harrison Jr. and special guests

Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings

The Bad Plus

Tia Fuller Quartet

Pedrito Martinez Group

 

Gazebo Stage

David Binney

Matt Slocum Trio

Brian Mitchell Band

Pedrito Martinez Group

Rebecca Coupe Franks

 

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