Bands Announced for Beacon Jazz Festival

The legendary cosmic jazz of the Sun Ra Arkestra — under the direction of their longtime, nonagenarian alto saxophonist, Marshall Allen — headlines the second annual Beacon Jazz Festival, which will take place on Saturday, June 25 from 2-7pm at the Pete and Toshi Seeger Riverfront Park in Beacon.

In addition to presenting Sun Ra Arkestra and four other world-class jazz ensembles, the five-hour jazz festival, will also double as a Hudson Valley distillery tasting event. Local chefs and Hudson Valley-based craft beverage makers will be providing food and drinks to complement the event.

There will also be a special “pre-game” celebration at Seeger Riverfront Park on the evening before, Friday, June 24 from 7-10pm, featuring the Hudson Valley DJ Bill Skillz from the “Diggin’ in the Crates” radio show, now well into its third decade on Vassar College’s station, WVKR-FM.

Specially priced advance tickets for the Beacon Jazz Festival will be available online from Friday, April 1-Tuesday, May 31. There after, tickets will be $30. Tickets for the June 24 pre-party will be $5 though Tuesday, May 31 and $10 thereafter.

The artists performing at the second annual Beacon Jazz Festival include:

The legendary big band has traveled the spaceways for over six decades, blazing the intergalactic trail launched by the late composer, pianist and cosmic philosopher Sun Ra, and continuing its voyages now under the indefatigable leadership of the Arkestra’s longtime alto saxophonist, 91-year-old Marshall Allen.

The classic sound of keyboard trio jazz is honored and given a alluringly modern slant in the hands of these celebrated figures on their respective instruments: Jamie Saft on Fender Rhodes piano and organ, Steve Swallow on acoustic bass guitar and Bobby Previte on drums.

The Brooklyn-based drummer, singer and composer Willie Martinez leads one of the hottest Latin jazz bands on the planet, here joined by Misha Tsiganov on piano, Jennifer Vincent on bass, Renato Thoms on percussion, J. Walter Hawkes on trombone and Maximilian Schweiger on baritone sax.

The Hudson Valley’s own matchless singer and composer Judi Silvano leads a unique, state-of-the-art band with the twin-guitar front line of Bruce Arnold and Kenny Wessel, as well as Ratzo Harris on bass and Bob Meyer on drums.

The world-renowned multi-instrumental force in boundary-pushing creative music for half a century and long-time Poughkeepsie resident, Joe McPhee (on trumpet and saxophone) leads a dynamic quartet featuring Billy Stein on guitar, Michael Bisio on bass and Charles Downs on drums.

The Beacon DJ Grady Salter will also be spinning classic jazz and R&B selections all day Saturday between acts.

MOVE MUSIC FESTIVAL @ various locations, Albany, April 22-24
ROCK ‘N DERBY FESTIVAL @ Schaghticoke Fairgrounds, Schaghticoke, May 20-22
MOUNTAIN JAM @ Hunter Mountain, Hunter, June 2-5
A TASTE OF COUNTRY MUSIC FESTIVAL @ Hunter Mountain, Hunter, June 10-12
CLEARWATER’S GREAT HUDSON RIVER REVIVAL @ Croton Point Park, Croton-On-Hudson, June 18-19 UPDATE: This festival has been cancelled.
OLD SONGS FESTIVAL @ Altamont Fairgrounds, Altamont, June 24-26
FREIHOFER’S SARATOGA JAZZ FESTIVAL @ Saratoga Performing Arts Center, Saratoga Springs, June 25 & 26
GREEN RIVER FESTIVAL @ Greenfield Community College, Greenfield, July 8-10
COUNTRYFEST @ Schaghticoke Fairgrounds, Schaghticoke, July 9
GREY FOX BLUEGRASS FESTIVAL @ Walsh Farm, Oak Hill, July 14-17
FRESHGRASS @ MASS MoCA, North Adams, September 16-18
JAZZ AT THE LAKE @ Shepard Park, Lake George, September 17 & 18

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