Dave BrubeckSaratoga Springs, NY (January 28, 2009) – Saratoga Performing Arts Center announced that its 32nd Annual Freihofer’s Jazz Festival will feature performances by Patti LaBelle, George Benson, Gary Burton Quartet featuring Pat Metheny and a celebration of Miles Davis’ seminal album, Kind of Blue by jazz great Jimmy Cobb who was part of the original recording. The Festival, scheduled for Saturday, June 27 and Sunday, June 28, will feature more than 20 jazz performances over two days on SPAC’s Amphitheatre and Gazebo stages. Tickets start at $41.50/day and can be ordered via online order form at www.spac.org beginning Wednesday, January 28. Located in Saratoga Springs, New York, SPAC has been the site of the Freihofer’s Jazz Festival since it was founded in 1978 by George Wein. With an inside seating capacity of 5,200 and lawn seating of 20,000, and just three hours driving time from Boston and New York, SPAC’s Jazz Festival draws thousands of jazz aficionados from across the Northeast and the US. “We are proud to announce our Freihofer’s Jazz Festival lineup early this year and separately from our full Season Announcement because we believe this year’s program truly deserves a spotlight of its own. With headliners that include Dave Brubeck, Patti LaBelle, George Benson and the Gary Burton Quartet featuring Pat Metheny and tributes to seminal works Time Out and Kind of Blue, this year’s Festival will be a showcase for jazz artists and works that have literally written the story of American jazz,” said Marcia J. White, President and Executive Director of SPAC. “Complementing these legendary artists will be performances by many of today’s finest jazz musicians – innovators in their own right whose styles and works continue to expand the rich jazz genre. Artists such as pianist Aaron Parks, the Dred Scott Trio, saxophonist John Ellis and other contemporary artists will offer audiences a taste of where the art form is moving in the year 2009,” she added. “In addition to world-class jazz, the Freihofer's Jazz Festival is known and loved by jazz fans from across the Northeast for its idyllic setting. Our lush lawn, framed by the majestic pines of the Saratoga Spa State Park, is the perfect place to stretch out and relax. With free parking, the opportunity to bring in food and beverages, blankets and tents, our Festival offers a welcoming, vibrant atmosphere that enhances the whole jazz experience,” White added. The 32nd Annual Freihofer’s Jazz Festival is co-presented by SPAC and Absolutely Live Entertainment, LLC, a festival, tour and concert production company led by industry veteran Danny Melnick. Melnick served as the festival’s artistic director and producer from 1999-2008. Further information on ALE can be found online at absolutelylive.net. The following Festival highlights were announced with a complete lineup to follow in early March when SPAC’s full classical season is announced. Performances begin at noon both days.
Saturday ? Patti LaBelle, the “Queen of Rock and Soul,” last appeared at the Festival in 1985. Called ‘the high priestess of good vibrations,” by the New York Times, Patti LaBelle has a new album entitled Back to Now. ? The Gary Burton Quartet Revisited features five time Grammy winner and pioneering vibraphonist Gary Burton with celebrated jazz guitarist Pat Metheny, bass guitarist Steve Swallow and drummer Antonio Sanchez. ? Herbie Hancock described Miles Davis' Kind of Blue as “a cornerstone record, not only for jazz...but for music.” Drummer and recent NEA Jazz Master Jimmy Cobb, who performed on the original recording, is joined by members of his “So What Band” - Wallace Roney, Vincent Herring, Javon Jackson, Larry Willis & Buster Williams to perform a tribute to the historic album. ? The Village Voice said of the Dred Scott Trio, “blending pop, bop, pulse, and clatter, they get to a place that swings on its own terms.” ? Grammy award winner and Miles Davis protégé Wallace Roney, performs with the members of his Quintet. ? One of the most exciting tenor saxophone players in the jazz world today, John Ellis performs with the John Ellis Quartet. Sunday ? George Benson, eight-time Grammy winning singer/guitarist/songwriter performs favorites as well as a tribute to Nat “King” Cole accompanied by a 28-piece orchestra. ? The Dave Brubeck Quartet joins the Festival to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of his landmark work, Time Out – the first jazz album to go gold. ? New Orleans trombone/brass funk band Bonerama, famous for bringing the “brass band concept to places unknown,” brings their distinctive style to the Festival main stage. ? Named as a “New Visionary” by JazzTimes magazine, critically acclaimed pianist Aaron Parks performs works from his Blue Note debut album, Invisible Cinema. ? Dynamic, young jazz guitarist and composer Julian Lage brings his unique style that melds blues, classical, folk and jazz in his first Festival appearance.

Ticket Order Forms for the Freihofer’s Jazz Festival are available on SPAC’s website at www.spac.org or by contacting SPAC at 518-584-9330. Tickets will be available for purchase online, via phone charge at 518-584-9330 and in-person at SPAC’s Box Office beginning Sunday, May 10 at noon.