Smokey Robinson, Chick Corea set for Freihofer’s Jazz Fest

Smokey Robinson, the man who wrote "Tears of a Clown" and was inducted into the Music Hall of Fame in 1987, will be the headliner at this year's 39th annual Freihofer's Saratoga Jazz Festival June 25-26 at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center.

Lead singer for The Miracles and a vice-president at Motown Records, Robinson, 75, will perform on SPAC's main stage on Sunday, along with 22-time Grammy Award winner Chick Corea.

"As we celebrate SPAC's milestone 50th anniversary season, and the 39th year of this world-class festival, we bring our audiences a truly remarkable lineup — a blend of familiar favorites and debut artists, all musicians of the greatest national and international acclaim, " SPAC president and executive director Marcia J. White said in a press release.

"Each year, I personally look forward to seeing the familiar faces of generations of Jazz Fest audiences. I couldn't be more proud of the experience that our guests will share this June as they listen to, and engage with, our incredible musicians."

Robinson, who also performed as the lead vocal on most of The Miracles' recordings, is a recipient of the Grammy Living Legend Award, and also earned Kennedy Center Honors and the National Medal of Arts Award in 2011 from President Obama.

Danny Melnick, president of Absolutely Live Entertainment and co-producer of the festival, added in the press release; "The Saratoga Jazz Festival has a rich history with a deeply committed audience. We have successfully maintained our cultural relevance, while still throwing a fantastic party, by presenting the best artists in jazz, blues, soul, Latin, funk and beyond."

Along with Robinson and the Chick Corea Trilogy, other performers on tap include Joey Alexander, Steps Ahead Reunion, Pieces of a Dream, Pat Martino Organ Trio plus Horns, and Christian Scott.

Along with the musical performers on two different stages, fans of the Freihofer Jazz Festival can enjoy a host of amenities, including a fine arts and crafts fair, CD signings by artists, a full-service bar in the Hall of Springs, southern style barbecue and other food vendors.

Guests are welcome to bring their own food and beverages, as well as blankets, tents and lawn umbrellas. Parking for the event is free.

"SPAC's postcard-perfect setting in the majestic Saratoga Spa State Park creates the perfect atmosphere to sit back and enjoy this world-class line-up you won't find anywhere else, " reflects White. "There is truly no better way to welcome in the summer."

More information about what to bring to the Jazz Festival can be found online at
Festival Artists

Saturday, June 25, Main Stage

— Headliner act, to be announced

— Steps Ahead Reunion featuring Michael Mainieri, George Garzone, Eliane Elias, Marc Johnson & Peter Erskine

— Pieces of a Dream, 40th anniversary tour

— Joey Alexander Trio

— Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah presents Stretch Music

— Shemekia Copeland

— Eric Lindell

Saturday, June 25, Gazebo stage

— Elio Villafranca

— Eric Lindell

— Jamison Ross

— Karrin Allyson sings Rodgers & Hammerstein

— Vincent Herring & The Kings of Swing featuring Mike LeDonne, David Williams & Carl Allen

Sunday, June 26, Main Stage

— Smokey Robinson

— Chick Corea Trilogy featuring Christian McBride & Brian Blade

— Lizz Wright

— Pat Martino Organ Trio Plus Horns

— Jon Cleary & The Absolute Monster Gentlemen

— Bria Skonberg Quintet

Sunday, June 26, Gazebo stage

— Aaron Diehl Trio

— Bria Skonberg Quintet

— LaFayette Suite featuring Walter Smith III & Laurent Coq

— Alicia Olatuja

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