Posts Tagged ‘Saratoga Springs’

Parade o’ Shoes: Chris Bergson

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014

Parade of Shoes: Chris Bergson

Photograph by J Hunter

- Chris Bergson @ Freihofer’s Saratoga Jazz Festival at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center, Saratoga Springs, NY, 6/30/13

Blues guitarist Chris Bergson leads his band in concert at Shepard Park in Lake George at 7:30pm on Wednesday (July 23), in support if his recently released album, “Live at Jazz Standard.” Admission is FREE.

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LIVE: James Taylor @ SPAC, 7/19/14

Monday, July 21st, 2014

James Taylor's All Stars

Photographs by Stanley Johnson

Since the Berkshires’ own James Taylor sells out a handful of dates at Tanglewood every July, Local 518 fans tend to take him for granted. It’s hard to believe that his previous tour stop at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center was more than a decade ago.

But Taylor is remarkably reliable in concert. And on Saturday night (July 19) he brought along his nine-piece All-Star Band, featuring Blues Brothers’ saxman Lou Marini, drum master Steve Gadd and noted session guitarist Michael Landau, among others.

Relaxed and comfortable in the spotlight, Taylor told stories about the Beatles (his debut album was released on their Apple Records) and crooned his way through two hour-plus sets of singer-songwriter classics from the ’70s, and a few new selections, too.

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Win FREE Tickets to See the Samples at Putnam Den on Saturday

Monday, July 21st, 2014
Sean Kelly

Sean Kelly

Hot off the release of their new album America, pioneering jam-band the Samples are hitting the road, and they’ll be playing one of only four East Coast tour dates at Putnam Den in Saratoga Springs on Saturday (July 26).

A quarter century after starting his full-fledged music career with the Samples, Sean Kelly continues to delight fans with music that transcends genres, age and shatters the rules of the established music industry. Throughout his career, Sean has been the driving influence of 20 albums and over 1 million records sold.

Fave Local 518 singer/songwriter, Rich Ortiz will get things started with his solo one-man-band show.

Doors open at 8pm. Tickets are $20 advance; $25 at the door.

BUT WAIT… We’re giving away a pair of FREE tickets to Saturday’s show at Putnam Den. To enter the contest, just post a comment below. Please leave your email address, too. We won’t publish it, but we’ll use it to contact you if you win. Deadline to enter in 12noon on Friday (July 25), and the winner will be selected at random and notified on Friday afternoon. Good luck! Congratulations to the winner, who has been notified by email.

A Fearless “Romeo and Juliet” Takes to the Road from Hubbard Hall to the People of NY & VT [Berkshire on Stage]

Wednesday, July 16th, 2014
Romeo and Juliet played by actors who are teens themselves.

Romeo and Juliet played by actors who are teens themselves.

Hubbard Hall Center for the Arts is about to set out on its 20th Free Outdoor Shakespeare Tour. The acting company is bringing Shakespeare’s most famous and popular play not only to its own community but to many other cities and towns in New York and Vermont.

Two young kids in love, running towards each other quicker than they can think…
With the world against them and their hearts entwined,
Their families fight,
Adults try to drive them apart,
Until tragedy – and wondering – how could this have happened?

This fun, fast-paced Romeo and Juliet, directed by Hubbard Hall’s new Executive Director David Snider, will bring the world of the play to vibrant life in 10 beautiful settings. With minimal props and costumes, the focus will be on the words, the actions, the actors and the setting. Each site will inform the production, with an emphasis on a fierce, fearless tackling of Shakespeare’s world and words. Actual teenagers will play Romeo and Juliet. With a mix of young talent and seasoned professionals, this company will mix Shakespeare’s world with our own, exploring how age, authority, religion and family continue to shape us – and what can happen when generations collide, or at least fail to communicate.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

LIVE: Freihofer’s Saratoga Jazz Festival @ SPAC, 6/29/14 (Day Two)

Tuesday, July 15th, 2014
The Eddy Palmieri Orchestra (photo by Rudy Lu)

The Eddie Palmieri Orchestra (photo by Rudy Lu)

Review by J Hunter
Photographs by Rudy Lu
Additional photographs by Richard Brody, Cheri Bordelon, Andrzej Pilarczyk, J Hunter

“We’d like to close our set…” altoist/alt-jazz music mogul Tim Berne began his intro to “Static,” earning a hearty laugh from the Gazebo Stage crowd. True, Berne and his whip-smart quartet Snakeoil – Dave Douglas Quintet pianist Matt Mitchell, reedman Oscar Noriega and (making his second appearance at the Gazebo that weekend) percussionist Ches Smith – had just turned our heads around several times with 15 minutes of free-form madness to kick off Freihofer’s Saratoga Jazz Festival’s Sunday bill at SPAC, but there was no way these guys were going to play one tune for 45 minutes… right?

Well… sort-of right: “Static” turned out to be a careening multi-chapter suite that had the ensemble alternating off-its-head rubato with wildly complex melodies and figures – some pounding, some silky soft – that only seemed to lift the soloists to dizzier and dizzier heights. Noriega’s bass clarinet repeatedly traveled the distance between sub-sonic and shrieking, sometimes taking over the foundation so Mitchell could have room to express himself. If Smith played a straight beat, then I missed it, because when the deranged-looking stick figure wasn’t soloing, he was on the fill whether he was on drums or vibes. (Surprisingly, Smith’s vibes work was extremely tender in places.) Jaimeo Brown’s Transcendence may have spun the Gazebo like a roulette wheel to close the Saturday bill, but Berne’s off-world excursions made Brown’s explorations seem simple in comparison.

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Five Firsts: Mike Lewis of the Twangtown Paramours

Tuesday, July 15th, 2014
The Twangtown Paramours

The Twangtown Paramours

NAME: Mike Lewis
BAND AFFILIATION: The Twangtown Paramours
INSTRUMENT: Guitar and background vocals

1. THE FIRST ALBUM I EVER BOUGHT WAS … The first record I ever bought was Help! by the Beatles. Some kid stole it from me at school. I vowed to get my revenge before I die.

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LIVE: Freihofer’s Saratoga Jazz Fest @ SPAC, 6/28/14 (Day One)

Monday, July 14th, 2014
Ronnie Earl (photo by Andrzej Pilarczyk)

Ronnie Earl (photo by Andrzej Pilarczyk)

Review by J Hunter
Photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk
Additional photographs by Richard Brody and J Hunter

You had to feel for Lew Tabackin. Second on the bill at Freihofer’s Saratoga Jazz Festival’s Gazebo stage, the veteran multi-instrumentalist arrived just in time to watch the Marc Cary Focus Trio laying waste to the place with “Taiwa,” drummer Sameer Gupta’s extraordinary East/West mash-up that recalls fusion giants Return To Forever – only with a wicked groove RTF never, ever achieved. Tabackin was expressionless as he watched, but his thoughts had to run along the lines of “I’ve gotta follow this? Really?” (Tabackin later met the fate of artists who substitute effort for ideas.)

“The music is radiating us,” Cary enthused after the piece. “It’s inspired us!” And it had to: Cary and his partners got to the Saratoga Performing Arts Center via an overnight train ride from Washington DC, only arriving in Greater Nippertown that morning. But Cary was celebrating 20 years as a leader, and his band was down with the program and each other. The first 10 minutes of the Focus Trio’s mind-blowing set was completely off the cuff, as Cary built beautifully byzantine structures with Gupta and bassist Rashaan Carter. They switched from bottomless rubato to the Jackie McLean’s hard-bopping “Appointment in Ghana” without taking a breath, and “CD Changer” tossed pieces from 10 of Cary’s early compositions and sent them right at our heads. Cary had the crowd so riveted, they applauded him whenever he switched from acoustic piano to Fender Rhodes – kind of like if the gallery at a golf tournament applauded Tiger Woods whenever he switched from a 5-iron to a sand wedge.

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Festival Fever: Art in the Park @ Saratoga’s Congress Park

Friday, July 11th, 2014
Anthony Fallacaro

Anthony Fallacaro

Art in the Park takes over Congress Park in Saratoga Springs on Saturday (July 12) with plenty of fun in the sun. The one-day runs from 10am-5pm featuring an outdoor fine art show by a wide variety of Local 518 artists – drawing, painting, ceramics, jewelry, sculpture, photography, print-making and more.

Sponsored by Saratoga Arts, the free fest also features great food, a Kidz Art Zone complete with a scavenger hunt and other family-friendly activities.

And, of course, there will be plenty of live music throughout the day’s festivities, as well. Here’s the schedule of musical performers:

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Cartoonist John CaldwellHolly & EvanCaffe LenaAdvertise on Nippertown!Keep Albany BoringBerkshire On StageThe LindaLeave Regular Radio BehindArtist Charles HaymesHudson SoundsThistle Hill WeaversArtist and Musician Michael Eck