Thursday, September 4, 2014

UPDATE: Albany Jazz Festival this Saturday Moved to Rain Location

Due to the threat of thunderstorms, The City of Albany’s 13th Annual Jazz Festival will be held at the Corning Preserve Boat Launch tomorrow from 1 – 9 p.m.
Albany, NY – The City of Albany presents the 13th Annual Albany Riverfront Jazz Festival tomorrowSeptember 6. This all-day, FREE concert event takes place from 1 to 9 p.m.Due to the threat of thunderstorms, the festival will be held at the Corning Preserve Boat Launch, under the 787 overpass at Water & Colonie Streets. Find directions to the site here, and information on parking at The previously announced fireworks will take place if weather conditions permit.

For over a decade, the Albany Riverfront Jazz Festival has featured a veritable “who’s who” of jazz greats, critically acclaimed up-and-coming artists and local favorites on the banks of the Hudson River. The Jazz Festival an event for all ages- and admission is still free! 

From a prior release:
The City of Albany’s 13th Annual Jazz Festival takes place on Saturday, September 6 at Jennings Landing* from 1 – 9 p.m.
ALBANY, NY – The City of Albany presents the 13th Annual Albany Riverfront Jazz Festival this Saturday, September 6. This all-day, FREE concert event takes place at Jennings Landing from 1 to 9 p.m. *In the event of inclement weather, the festival will be moved to the Corning Preserve Boat Launch under the 787 overpass at Water & Colonie Streets; a rain call will be announced by 5 p.m. Friday.

For over a decade, the Albany Riverfront Jazz Festival has featured a veritable “who’s who” of jazz greats, critically acclaimed up-and-coming artists and local favorites at one of the area’s most spectacular venues. Great food, beverages and a fireworks show make the Jazz Festival an event for all ages- and admission is still free!Riverfront Garage at Broadway and Columbia Street is the official parking location for the Albany Riverfront Jazz Festival, with a connection to the pedestrian bridge to Jennings Landing. $5 flat fee and handicap parking is available at this garage. Find more parking options at
For more information on the Jazz Festival, please call 518.434.2032 or visit
The lineup for the 13th Annual Albany Riverfront Jazz Festival is:
1:00 - 1:45 p.m.
Maria Zemantauski is one of the world’s most heralded female flamenco-style guitarists and composers. She’s brought her nylon-string guitar fusion to Spain, Italy and across the continental United States to great acclaim. Naming her the Capital Region’s best acoustic guitarist, Metroland wrote, “Zemantauski has continually pushed the boundaries of the possible with her trusty 6-string, blending genres that have little or no business appearing on the same bill, much less in the same song. It's rarely less than electrifying to watch her do it." She believes that the expressive possibilities of the guitar are limitless and pursues her music with passion, confidence and grace.

MICHAEL BENEDICT JAZZ VIBES[website] [press contact]
2:15 - 3:15 p.m. 
A unique project from celebrated local vibraphonist and drummer Michael Benedict, Jazz Vibes features a wealth of Capital Region talent melding Brazilian, bossa nova and straight-ahead jazz sounds. The group has released two albums, The New Beat and The Next Phase, and has quickly become one of the most popular jazz groups in the Capital District. Nationally renowned bandleader Michael Benedict has extensively toured the United States, performed in Europe and Africa, and collaborated with jazz luminaries like Gary Smulyan, Ralph Lalama, Bruce Barth and Nick Brignola.

3:45 – 4:45 p.m.Led by Australian reedman Adrian Cunningham, "a young jazz artist who plays as if he has been playing for over a century" (All About Jazz), The Professor's syllabus is taken from the finest New Orleans repertoire, from Sidney Bechet to Fats Domino. Since forming in 2012, the NYC-based band has quickly become a favorite at clubs and festivals throughout the land, inspiring spontaneous Lindy Hop parties wherever they roam. “Professor” Adrian Cunningham is widely recognized as one of his home country's best jazz exports. With fluent command of the saxophones, clarinet, and flute, he is one of the finest multi-instrumentalists in contemporary jazz. As well as performing in every continent but Antarctica with his own groups, Adrian has become an in-demand freelance musician, working with everyone from Bucky Pizzarelli to the Cat Empire to Men At Work’s Colin Hay.
CATHERINE RUSSELL [website] [press kit] [press contact]
5:15 – 6:15 p.m.
The Wall Street Journal calls Catherine Russell “one of the outstanding singers of our time,” her voice “drenched in emotion, drama, experience and pure swing.” Russell’s rich career began as an in-demand background singer working with stars like Paul Simon, David Bowie, Steely Dan and Roseanne Cash. Since launching her solo career less than a decade ago with the stunning Cat, Russell has built a reputation as one of the foremost interpreters and explorers of mid-20th century American music. Her latest album, Bring It Back, follows 2012’s chart-topping Strictly Romancin’, and finds Russell fronting an expanded 10-piece band and covering her widest artistic ground yet – from the early days of jazz through the swing era and into the R&B explosion – but with her most personal stamps. That takes extra inspiration and depth from her mother, pioneering jazz musician Carline Ray, who passed away shortly after the album was finished, as well the very strong presence of her father, long-time Louis Armstrong bandleader and arranger Luis Russell. Most profoundly, the album features the first-ever recording of “Lucille”, a song of her father’s, recently discovered in the Armstrong archives. Through it all, she makes the most of what NPR calls “a voice that wails like a horn and whispers like a snake in the Garden of Eden”.

featuring Ravi Coltrane and Matt Garrison  
[website]  [press kit] [press contact]
6:45  – 8:30 p.m.
“Generally regarded as one of the finest living jazz drummers” (Los Angeles Times), NEA Jazz Master & Grammy winner Jack DeJohnette’s career spans five decades and includes collaborations with some of the most iconic figures in modern music. DeJohnette’s unparalleled drumming has fueled 50 years of innovation, and his creative associations read like encyclopedia of jazz history: he helped change the direction of jazz in Miles Davis’ monumental late ‘60s/early ‘70s group (describing that period in his autobiography, Miles said, “Jack DeJohnette gave me a deep groove that I just loved to play over”), and has performed with John Coltrane, Ornette Coleman, Sonny Rollins, Thelonious Monk, Stan Getz, McCoy Tyner, Herbie Hancock, Keith Jarrett and Esperanza Spalding, among many others. As a bandleader, he’s a tireless creative force, recording a diverse array of acclaimed albums with some of the music world’s finest players. Along the way, he has developed a versatility that allows room for hard bop, world-music, R&B, avant-garde, and just about every other style to emerge in the past half-century. Twenty years ago, DeJohnette brought saxophonist Ravi Coltrane and bassist Matt Garrison together for the first time, forming a historically significant trio representing the prestigious lineage of today’s great jazz families while exploring open improvisation and their own compositions.
FIREWORKS at 8:30 p.m!

Food and beverages will be available to purchase.

Ground rules: No glass, animals or recording of performances.

The 13th Annual Albany Riverfront Jazz Festival is brought to you by:Capital Bank
Saratoga Eagle Sales & Service

Barefoot Wine
Clough Harbour & Associates
Public Employees Federation

Green Mountain Energy
Silver Leaf Resorts
Waste Management

A Place For Jazz

Albany Hilton
Albany Parking Authority
Arthur J. Gallagher & Co.
Hodgson Russ
Mohawk Ambulance
Whole Foods

Media partners:
Berkshire Homestyle
Magic 590
88.3 The Saint
Spiral Design Studio
Times Union
Gain experience, meet new people and have fun while volunteering at City of Albany Events! Many positions and flexible hours are offered. Plus, get an official Jazz Festival Volunteer t-shirt! Call 518.434.2032 or email for more information.

For more information on the City of Albany’s FREE festivals and events, visit, call the City of Albany Special Events Office at 518.434.2032 or follow Albany Events on Facebook ( and Twitter (@albanyNYevents). 

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