After 20 years, Chaka Khan returns to SPAC to rock the Freihofer’s Saratoga Jazz Festival

The excitement over the new surprise booking was plainly evident, “We are delighted to welcome superstar Chaka Khan to headline the 2016 Freihofer’s Saratoga Jazz Festival,” said Marcia J. White, SPAC’s President and Executive Director.

“With her legendary voice and incredible charisma, Chaka Khan will sing beloved hits and new favorites in a simply unforgettable performance.”International music icon Chaka Khan will headline the Freihofer’s Saratoga Jazz Festival, on Saturday, June 25 at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center. A ten-time GRAMMY® Award winner, best known for timeless hits “I’m Every Woman” and “Ain’t Nobody,” Khan returns to SPAC for the first time in 20 years.

For over four decades, Khan has inspired multiple generations of artists and audiences alike with a voice that enables her to sing in numerous music genres, including R&B, jazz, pop, rock, gospel, country, classical and dance music. She has released 22 albums and racked up ten #1 Billboard magazine charted songs, eight RIAA certified gold singles and eleven RIAA certified gold and platinum albums. She is the recipient of numerous awards, including a BET Honors award, induction into the Apollo Legends Hall of Fame and the Hollywood Bowl Hall of Fame, and received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. A true renaissance woman, Khan is a singer, songwriter, visual artist, author, actor, philanthropist, activist, and mother.

“Our unofficial motto for the Freihofer’s Saratoga Jazz Festival is ‘give the people what they want,’ and I am thrilled we are bringing Chaka Khan back to SPAC,” said Danny Melnick, the festival’s producer. “She is gonna’ rock the house.”

More News

And there’s more…

Joey Alexander 13th Birthday:

On the day of his Freihofer’s Saratoga Jazz Festival debut, Indonesian jazz piano prodigy Joey Alexander will experience another major milestone – he will become a teenager! On June 25, Alexander’s 13th birthday, the Freihofer’s Saratoga Jazz Festival will lead thousands of festival attendees in a birthday celebration Alexander will not soon forget! The now 12-year-old pianist will perform selections from his double GRAMMY® nominated debut album, My Favorite Things, and his forthcoming album, both recorded for the Harlem-based label Motema Music. Alexander has recently performed at venerated jazz venues including the Newport Jazz Festival, Jazz at Lincoln Center, a TED conference, on the 58th Annual GRAMMY® Awards telecast, and was recently profiled on 60 Minutes.

Walk of Fame Star Dedication to Chick Corea:

On Sunday, June 26, SPAC will present keyboard virtuoso Chick Corea with a Walk of Fame Star in honor of his contributions to jazz music and to SPAC throughout his career. Corea performed at the inaugural 1978 Saratoga Jazz Festival, founded by jazz impresario George Wein. Currently celebrating his 75th birthday year (June 12), Corea returns to SPAC for his 9th jazz festival appearance, in a trio format featuring Christian McBride on bass and Brian Blade on drums. Corea has received 22 GRAMMY® Awards, including a 2015 Award for Trilogy, and 63 GRAMMY® Award nominations—making him the 4th most nominated artist in GRAMMY® history. A DownBeat Hall of Famer and NEA Jazz Master, Chick Corea has attained living legend status after five decades of unparalleled creativity and staggering artistic output.

Jarrod Lawson, Rising-Star of Soul:

Rising-star of soul Jarrod Lawson will make his Freihofer’s Saratoga Jazz Festival debut on Sunday, June 26 at the Gazebo Stage. The Portland, Oregon singer will perform original songs from his 2014 album, Jarrod Lawson, which catapulted him into the national spotlight last year. Lawson’s mastery of the jazz keyboard, sweet falsetto vocals, and popular appeal has rendered him Jazz FM’s 2015 Soul Artist of the Year. Whether he sings and plays funk, folk, R&B, rock or jazz—everything Lawson touches turns to soul.

So here is how this year’s lineup is looking:



Chaka Khan Smokey Robinson
Steps Ahead Reunion

featuring Michael Mainieri, George Garzone, Eliane Elias, Marc Johnson & Billy Kilson

Chick Corea Trilogy

featuring Christian McBride & Brian Blade

Pieces Of A Dream 40th Anniversary Tour Lizz Wright
Joey Alexander Trio Pat Martino Organ Trio plus Horns
Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah presents Stretch Music Jon Cleary & The Absolute Monster Gentlemen
Shemekia Copeland Bria Skonberg Quintet
Eric Lindell  
Elio Villafranca Aaron Diehl Trio
Eric Lindell Bria Skonberg Quintet
Jamison Ross Lafayette Suite

featuring Walter Smith III & Laurent Coq

Karrin Allyson Sings Rodgers & Hammerstein Alicia Olatuja
Vincent Herring & The Kings of Swing

featuring Mike LeDonne, David Williams & Carl Allen

Jarrod Lawson


Tickets to the festival are available online at or by calling (518) 584-9330.

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