Scenes From SPAC’s 2021 Saratoga Jazz Fest

This year's headliners included Christian McBride and Dianne Reeves.

Dianne Reeves hits a high note at the 2021 Saratoga Jazz Fest. (Francesco D'Amico)
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When the Saratoga Performing Arts Center (SPAC) canceled last year’s Freihofer’s Saratoga Jazz Festival for the first time in 42 years—or at least the live, in-person one—fans knew that it would likely be a game-time decision whether the weekend-long event would return the next summer. But with vaccinations beyond the 70 percent threshold and the State wide open again, out came the news of the festival’s triumphant return.

Given that fans already had a jump on the headliners, which included Dianne Reeves, Cécile McLorin Salvant, Christian McBride, Al Di Meola, Joey Alexander and Artemis, along with talented Saratoga Springs–based musicians Garland Nelson and Hot Club of Saratoga, they knew this year’s event was going to be special.

Despite some grumblings about SPAC continuing its effort to provide socially distanced, pod seating, this weekend’s event went off without a hitch. Click on the above image to take a look at some highlights from the 2021 Jazz Fest’s big comeback moment.

Will Levith

Will Levith is Editorial Director at Saratoga Living and Capital Region Living magazine. He's a native Saratogian and graduate of Saratoga Springs High School. His work has been published by Esquire, Playboy, Condé Nast Traveler, Men's Health, RealClearLife and many others. He lives in Troy with his wife, Laura, and dog, Esopus.


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