Jazz Festivals | Music Feature | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

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Jazz Festivals 

Published May 23, 2007 at 3:19 p.m.


Yeah. Yeah. I'll get to the BDJF starting tomorrow. Our blog mistress " demands" more daily entries. You'll probably get sick of my "war" stories before the festival is over with. The following are festivals in New York state that interest me because of their line ups:

Rochester International Jazz Festival (6/8 through 6/18). Never attended, but they have 70 concerts at 20 venues which include  free street, museum, gallery performances and some ticketed concerts.

JVC Jazz Festival--NYC (6/17 through 6/30). 300 artists and 200 concerts. It's four decades since I lived in the Big Apple and I can not conceive of a "jazz" festival taking place then. There were just too many jazz clubs to see and hear musicians on a nightly basis in those days. It was a festival of music any night of the year. Performer's booking usually lasted for 4 or 5 days. I wonder what the club scene is like today.

I've perused their schedule for last several years and have contemplated making a trek down, but every time I get close to making preparations, I consider the parking problems, lodging expenses, and ticket costs, and give it up. For example, recently I paid nearly $40.00 to see the
Spanish Harlem Orchestra perform at the Flynn (Seat #1, Row M) and soon there after they appeared at this festival and the ticket cost was nearly $90.00.      

Syracuse Jazz Festival (6/29, 6/30, 7/1) They bill themselves as "The Largest Free Jazz Festival in the Northeast"  The only time I attempted going to Syracuse is when I missed the exit on the Northway for Vermont.

Caramoor Jazz Festival Located in Katonah, NY(one hour north of NYC). Music on several dates over the summer which are mostly Classical in nature, but there are two dates that I think are worth investigating. The 7/28 date is an all Latin Jazz line up which is VERY interesting for me personally. The 8/4 date includes Odean Pope. Both dates have 5 artists. Performances start at 3:00pm with a "dinner" break around 6:00pm and music restarts around 7:00pm/8:00pm. You can save some money by purchasing online. As far as I can determine one ticket gets you through the whole day.

Friehofer's Jazz Festival (Saratoga Springs) Two day event (Saturday-6/23, Sunday-6/24.) I've
been to several festivals at this location and have made it a day trip each time. Several couples I know rent a RV for the weekend and stay both days. 

There are two stages, the mainstage, and one that I think is referred to as the "B" stage. I tend to gravitate to the "B" stage. Lesser know artists perform there with a lot more vigor and experimentation. Performances start at noon and continue into the evening at both stages. One ticket allows you on the grounds for the entire day.

Lake George Jazz Festival (9/15-9/16) Great little outside venue in the middle of town. I pile a car load of people in my vehicle with some wine, picnic baskets, and several blankets. I make it a day trip after I choose the best day for booked players that interest me(weather is also a factor). And best of all, they post the next year's artists on the back of their festival guide. I can start making plans for the 2008 festival while I'm listening to the 2007 performers.

I will speak of this when I begin my discussion concerning the BDJF. I feel a rant coming on. All the concerts are free.

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