Freihofer Jazz Festival 2019

Rudolph Lu By

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The 42nd Annual Freihofer Jazz Festival in Saratoga Springs, NY was held from June 28-20, 2019 at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center. The broad spectrum of jazz was well represented. Well over 25 artists performed.

There was an unofficial opening on the 28th held at the Caffe Lena, a venue located in Saratoga Springs itself. With local artists performing at various venues throughout the city. Joe Locke and his Quartet was the unplanned last minute opener at Caffe Lena as Fred Hersch cancelled due to a sudden illness. They also opened the festival at SPAC the following morning.

The 29th exposed fans to traditional jazz including rising star Veronica Swift accompanied by the Emmet Cohen trio, festival favorite James Carter and the 50 year old Cuban Jazz big band Los Van Van. Modern jazz was represented by the Black Art Jazz Collective, and Lionel Loueke with Raul Midon. George Benson headlined the evening.

The 30th pushed the boundaries of jazz with Joel Harrison improvising to country and western standards, the other worldly voice of Youn Sun Nah, the down home blues of Ruthie Foster and Allison Miller's Boom Tic Boom. New Orleans funk was also represented with Cha Wa and Trombone Shorty.
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