Story and photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk
Mayor Scott Johnson and the City of Saratoga Springs officially proclaimed June to be “Jazz Month” in honor of Freihofer’s Saratoga Jazz Festival’s 35th Anniversary.
On a scorching hot Wednesday afternoon, representatives from the Saratoga Performing Arts Center, regional business leaders and the city’s Mayor held a press event (open to the public) outside of the Saratoga Springs Visitor’s Center, located downtown on Broadway, opposite Congress Park.
SPAC President Marcia White had started the ball rolling by speaking briefly on the wide scope of jazz styles presented by this year’s festival performers (Chris Botti, Esperanza Spaulding, Trombone Shorty, etc.) and the economic benefits the annual event brings to the community at large.
Todd Shimkus, president of the Saratoga County Chamber of Commerce Todd Shimkus followed, expanding on economic virtues of the city hosting such an important event. Many of Saratoga Springs’ restaurants and shops have embraced the festival by offering jazz-themed drink and menu items.
“For 35 years, the City of Saratoga Springs 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 Mayor Scott Johnson, during his turn at the podium. “In recognition of the festival’s iconic status and the 35-year milestone, I am proud to declare June as “Jazz Month” in Saratoga. We are looking forward to an extraordinary festival this year, as well as many more in the years to come!”
Celebrated Saratoga-based artist and gallery owner Frankie Flores was also on hand for the official unveiling of his original 35th anniversary jazz festival design.
Live jazz music was provided by saxophone and trombone playing brothers, Nate and Tyler Giroux. There were also tastings of BBQ shortribs from Angelo Mazzone’s Hall of Springs Catering and giveaways by festival sponsors Freihofers (their world-famous chocolate chip cookies) and Stella Artois (world-class Belgian beer).