SPAC Jazz Fest Announces Three More Bands

The 38th annual Freihofer’s Saratoga Jazz Festival continues to roll out the line-up of performers for the 2015 fest, which is slated to take over the Saratoga Performing Arts Center in Saratoga Springs on Saturday & Sunday, June 27 & 28.

Here’s the low-down on the three new acts who are slated to jazz up SPAC:

Saturday, June 27
A consummate master of Afro-Cuban folkloric music, Pedro Pablo “Pedrito” Martinez doesn’t just play the obligatory handful of standard batá rhythms – he plays the monumentally complex Oru seco exquisitely on each drum, or on all three at once. He’s also the world’s first-call rumbero – playing, singing and dancing with dozens of groups and on over 100 recordings and contributing to or appearing in several important films, including “Calle 54” (2000) and “Chico and Rita” (2010). Martinez is certainly no stranger to Greater Nippertown, as he’s performed at numerous area venues from Schenectady’s A Place for Jazz to the Belleayre Music Festival in Highmount. He’s returning to SPAC for the first time since 2012.

Honors that Pedrito has received include the Thelonius Monk Award for Afro-Latin Hand Percussion in 2000; the 2014 Sphinx Medal of Excellence; the 2014 Jazz Journalists Association’s Percussionist of the Year; the 2014 Modern Drummer Readers Poll #1 Percussionist of the Year; and one of Downbeat Magazine’s “80 Coolest Things in Jazz Today.”

Sunday, June 28
Rising star singer-songwriter Kellylee Evans is a chameleon-like performer, whose natural charm and improvisational jazz vocal style have shined on her adventurous journey through jazz, soul, pop and hip-hop over the past decade. With a thriving career in her native Canada and a growing legion of fans globally, Evans has released two indie solo albums of original songs in Canada, earning the Juno Award for Best Jazz Vocal Album for Nina, her impassioned tribute to Nina Simone.

Her U.S. debut album, I Remember When, released last year on the Motéma Music label, puts her own unique stamp on songs by hip-hop royalty Eminem, Dr. Dre, Snoop Dog, Kanye West and others.

Sunday, June 28
Grammy-nominated saxophonist Yosvany Terry burst onto the jazz and contemporary music scene in New York in 1999, where he “helped to redefine Latin jazz as a complex new idiom,” according to The New York Times. Born in Cuba, Terry incorporates American jazz traditions with his own Afro-Cuban roots to produce music that flows from the rhythmic and hard-driving avant-garde to sweet-sounding lyricism.

His latest project, the Grammy-nominated New Throned King, is his third solo album, continuing the exciting trajectory and musical vision that he established in Latin jazz with his inaugural 2005 release Metamorphosis and 2012’s Today’s Opinion. In addition, Terry has been featured on albums by Avishai Cohen, Steve Coleman, Gonzalo Rubalcaba and Brian Lynch’s Grammy Award-winning Con Clave 2.

Cassandra Wilson
Sonny Knight & the Lakers
Theo Croker

  1. cheryl valentine says

    what happen to earth, wind, and fire

  2. Greg says

    Cheryl, If you’re referring to the line-up listed at the Freihofer’s Saratoga Jazz Fest web site, you should note that it’s last year’s (2014) roster of bands – not the upcoming schedule…

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