Celebrated bassist Ben Williams and his band Sound EffectFeaturing Food Network's Marc Murphy

Friday, Sept 5 @ 7 p.m.

Celebrated jazz artist Ben Williams & Sound Effect to Perform

Saratoga Springs, N.Y. - The brand new, "BBQ, Brews & Blues" event featuring Food Network star Marc Murphy will usher in a weekend of gourmet events for the Saratoga Wine and Food Festival, September 5 - 7. Murphy, host of the Food Network's hit series Chopped, will host a competition style grill-off in which four of the Capital Region's best chefs face off against four Manhattan grill masters. The event will also feature chef-prepared food, BBQ and a variety of craft beers, wines and spirits as well as music by celebrated jazz bassist Ben Williams. Presented by Certified Angus Beef and Stella Artois, BBQ, Brews & Blues will be held on Friday, September 5 from 7 - 10pm.

"Our festival has grown tremendously in recent years; we needed to evolve with our success," said Marcia J White, President and Executive Director of SPAC. "This year we introduce our first-ever BBQ, Brews & Blues grill-off. A competition between top chefs from the Capital Region and New York City, the challenge will be intense and the food promises to be nothing short of spectacular. We are excited to welcome the famous Marc Murphy to Saratoga to judge this exciting competition. In addition, we are thrilled that the evening will include the music of Ben Williams & Sound Effect. Ben is an award-winning bassist who has wowed audiences at our jazz festival in recent years."

The grilling competition will name both "People's Choice" and "Judge's Choice" winners. Capital Region chefs set to compete include: Chef Sean Comiskey of Druthers Brewing Company; Chef Jaime Ortiz of Angelo's 677 Prime; Chef Maria Mendez of Henry Street Taproom; and Chef Kyle Lewis of The Brook Tavern.

New York City chefs include Chef Cedric Tovar of TESSA; Chef Andy D'Amico of Nice Matin & Marseille; Chef Cesare De Chellis of Tolani; and Chefs Seth Lowenstein & Nick Cataldo of Dukes Original Rodehouse NYC.

Celebrity chef Marc Murphy, who will host and judge the BBQ, Brews & Blues event, is known throughout the nation for his role as a judge on the hit Food Network television show, Chopped. Mr. Murphy has also made appearances on Iron Chef America, Hot Chefs, The Martha Stewart Show, The Rachael Ray Show and the TODAY show, among others. Mr. Murphy owns several restaurants throughout New York City including Landmarc, known for its eclectic French and Italian menu as well as its highly untraditional wine list; Ditch Plains, serving beach-style meals; and Kingside at the Viceroy Hotel, serving his interpretation of New American cuisine.

During the evening guests will also enjoy the highly acclaimed jazz music of bassist Ben Williams & Sound Effect. Mr. Williams is one of the most sought after bassists in the world and is known for his warm, woody tone and melodic phrasing. Mr. Williams received his Master's in Music from the Juilliard School in 2009, the same year in which he won the prestigious Thelonious Monk Institute International Jazz Competition at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC.

The Saratoga Wine and Food Festival is Saratoga Performing Arts Center's primary fundraiser for its educational programming, including Classical Kids, a collaborative program in which SPAC works with local schools to teach elementary and middle school aged children about the classical performing arts.

"At the end of the day, the Festival is a win-win for everyone. It offers our guests a weekend of unforgettable experiences and raises critically needed funds for SPAC's educational programming," said Marcia J White. "Our programs bring the best artists in the world to our kids' schools. Exposing the next generation of SPAC audiences -- and maybe even future performers for the SPAC stage -- to great art is fundamental to who we are at SPAC."


Lisa Hill, 518.584.9330 x 119