With Jazz Appreciation Month in full swing, we’ve started looking forward to our own local nod to the genre, the Freihofer’s Saratoga Jazz Festival. And this time around, there’s extra cause to celebrate. The 40th Anniversary of Saratoga Jazz Fest will take place at SPAC on June 24th and 25th, with a full list of world-class headliners jamming the amphitheater and a line-up of fantastic bands lighting up the gazebo.

As one of the best ways to kick off a Saratoga summer, you can bet we’ll be gracing the lawn with our favorite picnic blanket and basket full of seasonally appropriate food and libations (think a crisp bottle of rosé, berries, fresh cheese and warm baguettes…). We feel like we’ve got a pretty good handle on the best way to enjoy Jazz Fest weekend, so here’s an overview of our plans:

MAKING THE MOST OF JAZZ FEST

DAY 1 (Saturday):
Start with brunch in Saratoga, followed by a morning stroll through the farmer’s market, hitting the regular booths and gathering bits for lunch.

With blankets, baskets, and chairs in tow, head to SPAC and spend an afternoon lounging with friends engulfed in a live playlist of smooth saxes and upbeat baselines. (Note: If primo lawn seats are your priority, you’ll want to get there first thing, lines have been known to start forming as early as 6 am!).
End the day downtown with dinner and cocktails at one of Saratoga’s many incredible restaurants or, of course, at one of the Best Jazz Joints in Saratoga.

DAY 2 (Sunday):
Still hitting up brunch (obviously), but planning to order a SPAC PACK picnic (um, YES to gourmet sandwiches, salads, and wine) from Putnam Market (call 587-3663 in advance).

Today, we’ll spend time inside the amphitheater for a closer look at some favorite bands. And as the night cools off, it’s back into town for a cocktail before we bid the weekend adieu.

We’re considering Jazz Fest the official start to summer, and even though it’s still a few weeks off, we’re clearly ready for it. Feel free to steal our jazzy weekend plans (see what we did there) and rearrange however you’d like.

3 CAN’T MISS SHOWS

The Suffers
Reminiscent of St. Paul & the Broken Bones, Alabama Shakes and the like, The Suffers deliver some old school soul. Regardless of your preferences, there’s something here for everyone.

Cory Henry & The Funk Apostles
If you’ve cruised the internet for music anytime in the past 5 years, you’ve come across a couple of tracks with Cory Henry on the keys. Catch this Grammy award-winner perform with his Funk Apostles in the gazebo, because we have a feeling it won’t be long before we’re listening from the nosebleeds.

Jacob Collier
Talk about being in the company of giants! This shockingly young prodigy busted onto the scene with his manager, the legendary Quincy Jones, and his buddy the great Herbie Hancock. Collier takes the stage as an “up-and-comer” with some serious punch. We’ll let the video speak for itself.

 

OTHER DETAILS

Saratoga Jazz Fest is family-friendly.
Food and drink are available at concession or you can also bring your own.
Line up EARLY for the best lawn seats.
2-Day Passes available until May 1.
Re-entry permitted with a wristband.
Tickets: Lawn Single Day: $65, Lawn 2-Day Pass: $110; Amphitheater Single Day: $75-$105, Amphitheater 2-Day Pass: $130-$190; Lawn for kids 15 and under: FREE; Amphitheater for kids 15 and under and students with a valid I.D.: $20 (excluding Orchestra pit, $90).