SARATOGA SPRINGS – A day of quality, of diversity. A day of uniform excellence.
A day in which there were no “Headliners” in the classic sense. Although you can concede that the combined credentials of this day’s last performers, The Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, made them deserving of that spot, and deserving of their appreciative audience, an informal survey of attendees picked many other acts as their favorites of the day.
Certainly Cha Wa, making their second appearance at Freihofer’s Saratoga Jazz Festival, started with an SRO audience in the blazing late afternoon, and just blew things up, had many votes. But earlier, those who came for the “kickoff” acts beginning about noon – IMHO notably Garland Nelson’s Joyful Noise, Tiempo Libre and prodigy Matthew Whitaker (the only performer on the Amphitheater Stage born in this century!) were treated to something special.
The gallery which follows is a mashed-up mélange of two perspectives -and where better to do that than on a day when improvisation is a central feature? Perspectives from one who was attending her first Jazz Festival (Maryika Stubbs), and the other whose first “hang” was forty years ago! I have a feeling that this won’t be her last Freihofer’s Saratoga Jazz Festival, and (hopefully) won’t be mine! Thank you, ‘Rika’!
Enjoy the gallery.
Arthur Gonick – July 4, 2022