Riverfront Jazz Fest Line Up Announced for September 7

The City of Albany presents its 18th Annual Albany Riverfront Jazz Festival on Saturday, September 7th. The all-day free concert event will be held at the Jennings Landing. The event kicks off this year at 12 p.m. and will conclude at 8 p.m. with a fantastic fireworks display.

In the event of inclement weather, the festival will move to the Corning Preserve Boat Launch at Water & Colonie Streets.

Since its debut in 2002, the City of Albany Jazz Festival has featured an eclectic array of all-time musical greats, critically acclaimed up-and-coming artists and local favorites. Great food, beverages, and vendors make the Jazz Festival an event for all ages- and admission is still free!

The City of Albany’s Riverfront Jazz Festival will celebrate its 18th year continuing our partnership with Zero Waste Capital District, a newly formed volunteer coalition.  With the combined efforts of Zero Waste Capital District and City of Albany Department of General Services teams we hope to make this the most environmentally friendly festival in the area.  Representatives will also be on site to give helpful tips to festival attendees on how to compost and recycle at home.  

You can help with our efforts to make the Jazz Festival a Zero Waste event by bringing reusable water bottles, cups and utensils from home and bringing your waste to one of our Zero Waste Stations at the Festival.  At a Zero Waste Station, one of our friendly Zero Waste Ambassadors will help you sort your Festival waste into compost and recycling bins first, and then put what’s left in the landfill basket.  Together we can reduce the amount of waste we add to the almost-full Rapp Road Landfill, recycle material for further use, and put valuable nutrients back into the soil where they belong.

No animals, glass or tobacco products are allowed at this festival. Please do not record any of the performances. Dancing, however, is encouraged.

The musical lineup for the 18th Annual City of Jazz Festival will feature: 

6:30  – 8:00 p.m.

The Bad Plus came together at the end of the 20th century and has avoided easy categorization ever since, winning critical hosannas and a legion of fans worldwide with their creativity, unique sound and flair for live performance. The intensely collaborative trio has constantly searched for rules to break and boundaries to cross, bridging genres and techniques while exploring the infinite possibilities of three exceptional musicians working in perfect sync.

The band consists of founding members Reid Anderson (bass) and Dave King (drums) and new member Orrin Evans (piano) — a group of passionate collaborators with no single “leader.” Never Stop II is the first full-length release from this lineup, comprised entirely of original music with each member contributing fresh compositions. The New York Times calls it “an exhilarating document” that sparks an exciting new chapter for the iconic group.

4:30 – 6:00 p.m.

The All-Stars perform as an ensemble of 6-8, and the program material is based on the music of the 40s and 50s. This includes  tunes such as “A Night In Tunisia”, “Anthropology”, “BeBop”, “Birks Works”, “Blue ‘N’ Boogie”, “Con Alma”, “Dizzy Atmosphere”, “Groovin’ High” “Hot House”, “Oop-Pop-Sh’-Bam”, “Ow”, “Salt Peanuts” and many others.  The line-up varies depending on availability, but usually includes some of the stellar body of musicians who used to work with Dizzy, plus some of the best and brightest young up-and-comers of the next generation of jazz. Previous line-ups have included John Lee, Cyrus Chestnut, Lewis Nash, and Antonio Hart.  The Queen of Soul herself once described the band by saying, “OH MAN, THEY ARE SO GOOD IT’S JUST RIDICULOUS… ” – ARETHA FRANKLIN

3:00 – 4:00 p.m. 

Black Tie Brass is a horn-driven jazz/funk band from NYC. We combine the presence of a New Orleans brass band with the sound of a funk band to create a musically invigorating experience. Having played together for many years, the core of the group came together in 2013. Drawing from many genres such as jazz, pop, funk, R&B, and hip-hop, they created a fulfilling musical experience for performer and listener. Black Tie Brass is a versatile group that has performed with Sal “The Voice” Valentinetti, Epic Records’ Nick Tangorra, American Idol’s Robbie Rosen, and many more!

1:30 – 2:30 p.m.

Skip, together with friends Tom Brown on drums and Don LaVoie on cornet, organized the Riverboat Jazz Band in 1956.  The band became a success in the Albany, NY area very quickly and began to travel the college and night club circuit, in addition to many private clubs and night spots. In 1963 and 64, New York-bound, the group found itself aboard the Oslofjord, pride liner of Norwegian-American lines, including shows with comedian Jackie Leonard. Later years of the ’60s brought about concerts with some jazz celebrities — Cutty Cutshall, Jimmy McPartland, Wild Bill Davison, and several others. Radio and TV became a reality too with people like Woody Herman, Mary Ann Mobley, and Jack Smith. During the ’70s, Skip continued to front the band as well as making appearances with Pee Wee Erwin, Bobby Hackett, Ed Hubble, Russell Moore, Vic Dickinson and made several engagements with a band fronted by Doc Cheatham. 1970’s concerts with the Riverboat Jazz Band saw additional jazz players Joe Muranyi, Bobby Pratt, Jack Maheu, Will Alger, Spiegel Wilcox, Ed Hubble, Kenny Davern. Spanky Davis, and more. To begin the ’80s the Riverboat Jazz Band was selected to be the official jazz band at the Lake Placid Winter Olympics.  Employment by ABC sports projected the Riverboat Jazz Band sound, literally around the world on international TV, throughout the entire duration of the games. Skip and the group also presented the Lake George Hot Jazz Party into the new century.  RJB continues to entertain throughout the Northeast in arts centers, concert halls, parks, gazebos, cruises, festivals, educational programs, jazz venues and more. Let the “Good Times Roll” with the Riverboat Jazz Band!

12:00 – 1:00 p.m.

Guitarist Charlie Apicella is the leader of Iron City.  The band’s sixth CD, Groove Machine features Charlie’s hard-bop inspired originals and arrangements of classic Blue Note Records gems. Charlie Apicella is an Eastman Guitars Featured Artist, a Guild Guitars Sponsored Artist and a ZT Amplifiers Official Artist.  He is a regular contributor to Vintage Guitar Magazine’s YouTube channel.  He has written lessons for DownBeat and Just Jazz Guitar magazines and has been profiled in Downbeat, Vintage Guitar, and Hot House magazines.

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