The last time famed Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson bandleader Doc Severinsen was at Caffè Lena in Saratoga Springs, his lip got the better of him.
It was the summer of 2019, and the then 92-year-old trumpeter was in the Spa City with his band, the San Miguel Five, to play a three-night stand at the historic Saratoga folk venue. The first night went off without a hitch, but on the second night, Severinsen developed a small blister on his lip—and well, when you’re a nonagenarian trumpeter, your career balances firmly on the performance of your lips, which blow the horn that makes the sweet music Severinsen’s been making for nearly a century. The third night, the blister kept Severinsen from performing, but he graciously emceed as the San Miguel Five filled in for him.
Between then and now, Severinsen has had two birthdays, weathered a global pandemic and had a documentary about his life, Never Too Late: The Doc Severinsen Story, released (the film was co-directed by Saratoga resident and former Friends executive producer and director, Kevin Bright). What will he have up his sleeve this coming Travers weekend? You’ll just to pay him more than just lip service to find out.
Get tickets to either show (or both) here.