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Jazz Fest turns 35

Some of the big names performing at this year’s Jazz Fest at SPAC include Diana Krall, Chris Botti, Esperanza Spalding, Trombone Shorty and Hiromi. Submitted photo.

Some of the big names performing at this year’s Jazz Fest at SPAC include Diana Krall, Chris Botti, Esperanza Spalding, Trombone Shorty and Hiromi. Submitted photo.

— Summer is the perfect time to sit back and relax to the sounds of cool and soulful jazz. And the perfect opportunity will be at Freihofer’s Saratoga Jazz Festival to be held at SPAC on Saturday, June 30 and Sunday, July1.

The festival is in its 35th year and will offer two venues to enjoy jazz greats at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center’s amphitheater stage and the gazebo stage. Tickets are $55 and children under 12 are free, as is parking.

Saratoga Springs Mayor Scott Johnson has also declared June as Jazz Month following a proclamation adopted by the New York State Senate. Sen. Roy McDonald was the lead sponsor of the resolution.

“For 35 years, the City of Saratoga has warmly welcomed thousands of fans each June for this world-class event, which draws jazz and music lovers from across the Northeast and beyond,” said Johnson.

SPAC President and Executive Director Marcia White said the proclamation was “an incredible honor”.

New this year is an encore series on the gazebo stage and brewer Stella Artois, which is sponsoring the lawn area between the two stages known as “the hang.”

“We’re bringing back jazz artists who have played at the gazebo in previous years … a lot of people were asking for artists to come back and they wanted a repeat of them at the festival. This is kind of a thank you to all those loyal jazz fans who have come back every year,” said Jazz Fest Marketing Assistant Laura Stewart.

Many artists have indeed returned to SPAC, like Diana Krall.

“This is her fourth appearance at the festival. She tops both jazz and pop with her songs and we’re really excited to have her returning,” said Stewart.

Other big acts include Trombone Shorty, reportedly a favorite of the Obamas, pianist/composer Hiromi and Chris Botti. Stewart said Botti is the largest selling American jazz instrumental artist, and he’ll be returning for a fourth appearance

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