Albany Riverfront Jazz Festival Line-Up Announced

The line-up of bands has been announced for the annual Albany Riverfront Jazz Festival at Jennings Landing (formerly Albany’s Riverfront Park) at the Corning Preserve in Albany on Saturday, September 7.

The fest will begin at 1pm with an opening performance by the yet-to-be-determined winner of the Downtown Albany JazzFest Competition, which is being held at various downtown venues from 5-9pm on Friday, September 6. The festival will conclude with a fireworks display at 8:30pm.

This year’s festival line-up has been trimmed back from recent years with only two national headliners – guitarist Charlie Hunter and vocalist Oleta Adams. Three Local 518 bands will also perform – the Jazz Competition winner, Sensemaya and the Arch Stanton Quartet.

Last year’s fest was cut short by a major storm, and performances by headliners Terri Lyne Carrington’s Mosaic Project, Charlie Hunter and Delfeayo Marsalis were washed out.

Here’s the line-up of bands for the 12th annual Albany Riverfront Jazz Festival:

To be determined on Friday, September 6 at the Downtown Albany JazzFest Competition, which will be held at a veriety of different locations in downtown Albany from 5-9pm.

Sensemaya fuses hot Latin dance rhythms with the cool sophistication of jazz improvisation. Their repertoire ranges from funkified interpretations of classic salsa to originals written in the revolutionary timba style of Cuba. Their own Latin jazz compositions include a variety of styles from Puerto Rico, Jamaica, Brazil and the Dominican Republic. While Sensemaya can cater to the intimate jazz listener, their true purpose is to get audiences out of their seats and onto the dance floor.

Capital Region powerhouse ensemble the Arch Stanton Quartet is putting a new spin on bop and post-bop jazz, with angular funk and Latin grooves, expansive improvisation and inventive original tunes. Their acclaimed debut album, Along For the Ride, showcases skilled playing, intriguing compositions and adventurous arrangements. The band was voted Best Local Jazz Band in the 2013 Metroland readers’ poll and recently returned from a U.S. Embassy-sponsored tour of Egypt, culminating in a performance at the Cairo Jazz Festival.

With a career spanning 20 years and nearly as many albums, guitarist Charlie Hunter consistently ups his game as an innovative writer and bandleader. The man Downbeat calls “a terrific guitarist” has worked with the likes of Norah Jones, Stefon Harris, Mos Def, John Mayer, D’Angelo and countless others over the years. He is widely considered the authority on the seven and eight-string guitar, and continues to stun audiences with his ability to simultaneously bust out tasty bass parts, melodic leads and swinging rhythms. Critics have touted his genius technique, but it’s his profound artistic sensibility that propels his original music.

Since the runaway success of her 1990 debut album Circle of One and her impassioned hit single “Get Here,” the internationally-acclaimed vocalist, pianist, composer and producer has inspired legions of fans, earned four Grammy nominations and sold more than 2.5 million records. Nurturing her career with collaborations and worldwide tours with Tears for Fears, Phil Collins, Michael Bolton and Luther Vandross, Adams’ own music draws deeply from her roots in gospel while crossing effortlessly into the realms of jazz, soul, R&B, urban and pop. With her latest album, Let’s Stay Here, Adams embraces a soulful jazz sound that showcases her spectacular voice and songwriting chops.

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Caramoor Jazz Festival @ the Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts, Katonah, 7/26-28/13
African American Family Day @ the Empire State Plaza, Albany, 8/3/13 (FREE)
The Big Up @ Hemlock Hollow Farm, Clavarack, 8/8-10/13
New York State Food Festival @ the Empire State Plaza, Albany, 8/14/13 (FREE)
The Felice County Fair @ Opus 40, Saugerties, 8/31/13
Restoration Festival @ Contemporary Artists Center at Woodside, Troy, 9/6&7/13
Hispanic Heritage Celebration @ the Empire State Plaza, 9/14/13 (FREE)
FreshGrass Festival @ MASS MoCA, North Adams, 9/20-22/13
Farm Aid @ Saratoga Performing Arts Center, Saratoga Springs, 9/21/13 (SOLD OUT)
PearlPalooza @ North Pearl Street, Albany, 9/28/13 (FREE)

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