Posts Tagged ‘SPAC’

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.

Advertisement

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.

(more…)

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.

(more…)

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.

(more…)

LIVE: Journey @ SPAC, 6/14/14

Monday, June 23rd, 2014
Neal Schon and Arnel Pineda

Neal Schon and Arnel Pineda

Review by Atsuko Saito
Photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk

Since its inception in 1973, Journey has had a history of heavy-hitter personal changes, including keyboardist Greg Rolie (ex-Santana) and drummer Aynsley Dunbar (ex-Jeff Beck Group), but the nucleus of the group’s hit-making era was guitarist Neal Schon, bassist Ross Valory, keyboardist Jonathan Cain and super-vocalist Steve Perry.

However, after three decades or touring, performing, writing and recording a string of world-wide hits including “Don’t Stop Believin’” and “Wheel in the Sky,” frontman Perry rejected repeated offers from Schon and Cain to regroup and tour again the mid-2000s. So the band had to find a new lead singer who could continue the band’s legacy and bring it into the future.

(more…)

Lightning Strikes @ SPAC

Monday, June 9th, 2014

This week’s upcoming concerts at Saratoga Performing Arts Center include Journey/the Steve Miller Band/Tower of Power on Saturday (June 14) and Goo Goo Dolls/Daughtry/Plain White T’s on Sunday (June 15), but it’s a good thing that there wasn’t a show booked for last Tuesday (June 3) when lightning struck this tree near the SPAC box office…

SPAC Rock Festival Line-Up Announced

Monday, March 31st, 2014

A month and a half ago we announced that the heavy metal headbanging Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival was scheduled to return to the Saratoga Performing Arts Center in Saratoga Springs at 1:10pm on Wednesday, July 23.

There have been lots of rumors swirling about who’s going to be on the bill, but the line-up of bands slated to perform at the fest wasn’t officially revealed until today:

(more…)

Discounted Tickets to SPAC a Find for Early Birds [Berkshire on Stage]

Thursday, March 20th, 2014
Dance, Jazz, Classical and Chamber music are all part of the Saratoga Performing Arts Festival in 2014.

Dance, Jazz, Classical and Chamber music are all part of the Saratoga Performing Arts Festival in 2014.

Tickets for the Saratoga Performing Arts Center’s 2014 classical season went on sale to the public online earlier this week.

And for early birds, those who can order ahead, there are savings to be had.

For one month only, from March 18 until April 18, individuals who purchase tickets online for amphitheater seating to evening ballet or orchestra performances will receive a 10% discount by using coupon code EARLYBIRD; those who are SPAC members are entitled to even larger discounts of 15 to 20% depending on membership level.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage

Cartoonist John CaldwellCaffe LenaHolly & EvanAdvertise on Nippertown!Leave Regular Radio BehindThe LindaBerkshire On StageHudson SoundsArtist Charles HaymesKeep Albany BoringDark Wood DesignAnimalKind