Nile Rodgers, Kool & The Gang top Freihofer’s Saratoga Jazz Festival lineup

Kool and the Gang
Kool and the Gang

Categories: Entertainment, Life & Arts

The 2020 Freihofer’s Saratoga Jazz Festival will welcome some new faces for a celebration-themed festival.

Slated for Saturday, June 27, to Sunday, June 28, at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center, the festival features Grammy Award-winning musicians such as Nile Rodgers and Cassandra Wilson. There are 15 bands/ performers in the lineup that will be making their festival debut, including Kool & The Gang, Ranky Tanky and Tiempo Libre.

“This June we will bring together funk, soul, R&B and classic jazz for a two-day party, unlike anything this iconic festival has ever seen. Our headliners Nile Rodgers & CHIC and Kool & The Gang of hit song ‘Celebration’ will create an irresistible atmosphere,” said Elizabeth Sobol, the president and CEO of SPAC, in a statement.

Rodgers, who co-founded CHIC and was recently elected chairman of the Songwriters Hall of Fame, is known for hits like “Le Freak” and “Good Times.” He’s a member of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame as well as the Songwriters Hall of Fame.

Kool & The Gang, who will perform on Sunday, June 28, has earned many accolades over the years, including two Grammy Awards and seven American Music Awards. The group has recorded 23 studio albums and sold 7.5 million albums in the U.S. The group’s biggest hits include “Celebration,” “Cherish,” “Joanna,” and others.

The Jazz Festival officially kicks off at 11 a.m. on June 27 at the Charles R. Wood “Jazz Discovery” stage and there will be performances on SPAC’s Amphitheater Stage starting at 12:45 p.m. on Saturday, June 27, and at 11:45 a.m. on Sunday, June 28.

SPAC is also bringing back the Freihofer’s Jazz Fest Friday on June 26, which will feature live jazz performances throughout downtown Saratoga Springs.

Throughout the weekend, in addition to the performances, there will be a fine arts and crafts fair, artists CD signings, southern-style barbeque and other food vendors at SPAC’s new concession area, which is currently under renovation. Guests can also bring their own food and beverages.

Tickets start at $68 for a single day lawn ticket. Amphitheater seats for a single day range from $78-108 for adults. A two-day lawn ticket is $116 and two-day amphitheater tickets range from $136-196 for adults. For children, the amphitheater tickets are $23 for a single day and $46 for both days.

SPAC offers a $20 student and child amphitheater pass, available for children ages 15 and under. Lawn tickets are free for children 15 and under. Tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 11, at


SATURDAY, JUNE 27 Amphitheater: 

  • Nile Rodgers & CHIC u Cassandra Wilson
  • Issac Delgado & His Afro-Cuban Big Band
  • Ozmosys featuring Omar Hakim, Rachel Z, Linley Marthe & Kurt Rosenwinkel
  • Fly Higher: Charlie Parker @ 100 featuring Rudresh Mahanthappa, Terri Lyne Carrington, Charenée Wade, Adam O’Farrill, Kris Davis, Larry Grenadier & Kassa Overall
  • Amina Figarova Sextet plus Strings

Charles R. Wood “Jazz Discovery” Stage: 

  • Matt Wilson’s Honey & Salt with Dawn Thomson, Nadje Noordhuis, Jeff Lederer & Martin Wind
  • Javon Jackson Quartet featuring Jimmy Cobb
  • Little Freddie King u Connie Han Trio
  • Emmaline

SUNDAY, JUNE 28 Amphitheater: 

  • Kool & The Gang
  • Taj Mahal
  • The Brubeck Brothers Celebrate Dave Brubeck’s Centennial with Mike DeMicco & Chuck Lamb
  • Eliane Elias u Matthew Whitaker

Charles R. Wood “Jazz Discovery” Stage: 

  • Kurt Elling & Danilo Perez Duo
  • Ranky Tanky
  • Tiempo Libre
  • Carolyn Wonderland
  • Ryan Keberle & Catharsis featuring Camila Meza, Scott Robinson, Jorge Roeder & Eric Doob
  • Caffé Lena Presents Joyful Noise

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