SPAC

On October 28th and 30th, Pakistan’s Sachal Ensemble will come to Proctors and the Saratoga Performing Arts Center as part of their first United States tour.

The Sachal Jazz Ensemble was created by Izzat Majeed, a Pakistani investor and hedge fund manager turned philanthropist and music producer. Majeed had been deeply influenced by American Jazz. The Sachal Ensemble, based in the city of Lahore, caught a break when a video of them performing a version of Brubeck’s ‘Take Five’ went viral and caught the attention of trumpeter and composer Wynton Marsalis. This resulted in a collaboration with Marsalis at Lincoln Center.

Their journey from Lahore to Lincoln Center was documented in the film Song of Lahore, which was created by Academy Award® winning director Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy & Andy Schocken. It shows traditional musicians trying to survive under the oppression and brutality of modern day Pakistan.

The film Song of Lahore will be screened at Proctors on Tuesday, October 24 and Bow Tie Criterion Cinemas in Saratoga Springs on Sunday, October 29.

Joining us today is Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy and the President and CEO of Saratoga Performing Arts Center Elizabeth Sobol.

Shawn Stone joins us to talk about what he's seen lately and what cultural events are coming up this week in our region.

Seen: The Glass Castle, The Little Hours

Upcoming:
Trisha Brown Dance Company - Jacob’s Pillow, Ted Shawn Theatre, Becket, Mass. - Thursday 8/17 at 2 and 8 PM; Friday at 8 PM; Saturday 8/19 at 2 and 8 PM
Monica Bill Barnes & Company: “One Night Only” premiere - PS 21, Chatham, Friday 8/18, 8 PM
Khalif Neville, Victory Soul Orchestra - The Low Beat, Albany, Friday 8/18, 8 PM
Nona Hendryx and Nick Cave - MASS MoCA, Galleries and Hunter Center, Saturday 8/19, 7 and 8 PM
Colin Hay - The Egg, Albany, Saturday 8/19, 8 PM
Jazz in the Key of Dylan: Keith Pray, Chuck Lamb, Lecco Morris, Arch Stanton Quartet - Caffe Lena, Saratoga Springs, Saturday 8/19, 8 PM
The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center: French Virtuosity (Debussy, Ravel, Chausson) - Spa Little Theater, Saratoga Springs, Sunday 8/20, 3 PM
Goo Goo Dolls - SPAC, Saratoga Springs, Sunday 8/20, 8 PM
Martine Syms: An Evening with Queen White (video/VR installation) - EMPAC Studio 1-Goodman, Monday 8/21 through September 6
Toy Story 3 - Palace Theatre, Albany, Tuesday 8/22, 1 PM, Free

New movies: The Hitman’s Bodyguard, Step, Logan Lucky, Wind River

Lucas Willard / WAMC

On August 2nd, the Philadelphia Orchestra kicked off its 2017 residency at Saratoga Performing Arts Center.

Shawn Stone joins us to talk about what he's seen lately and what cultural events are coming up this week in our region.

Seen: The Dark Tower, Atomic Blonde

Upcoming:

Godspell 2012 - Theater Barn, New Lebanon, opens 8/10 (Thursday) at 8 PM, through August 20.

The Philadelphia Orchestra American Classics - SPAC, Saratoga Springs - 8/10 (Thursday), 8 PM, All-Gershwin program featuring Marcus Roberts Trio; 8/11 (Friday), 8 PM, Ives, Metheny & Mays, Dvorak program featuring Christopher Deviney (vibraphone) & She-e Wu (marimba)

Spamalot - Mac-Haydn Theatre, Chatham, opens 8/10 (Thursday) at 2 and 8 PM, through August 20.

Suzanne Vega, the DuPont Brothers - Helsinki Hudson, Hudson, 8/11 (Friday), 9 PM

Capitolfest (Vintage Film Festival) highlighting films starring Fay Wray - Capitol Theatre, Rome, 8/11 (Friday) through 8/13 (Sunday)

Tracy Morgan - Funny Bone Comedy Club at Crossgates Mall, Guilderland, 8/12 (Saturday), 7 and 10 PM

The Stick Men featuring Tony Levin - Van Dyck Lounge, Schenectady, 8/12 (Saturday), 6:30 & 8:30 PM

Banjo Revelry VI - Caffe Lena, Saratoga Springs, 8/12 (Saturday), 8 PM

Buddy Guy - The Egg, Albany 8/15 (Tuesday), 7:30 PM

Ambrose Akinmusire Quartet - EMPAC Theater, Troy, 8/16 (Wednesday), 8 PM

New movies: The Glass Castle, An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power, The Midwife, City of Ghosts, The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature, Annabelle: Creation

Elizabeth Sobol, a veteran of the classical music and recording industry, is spending her first summer as the President and CEO of the Saratoga Performing Arts Center. She joins us this morning to tell us what is happening on stage and behind-the-scenes at SPAC over the coming weeks.

She comes to Saratoga Springs from Miami Beach, where she was president and CEO of Universal Music Classics. Before that she spent nearly three decades at IMG Artists as its managing director.

After a successful with the NYC Ballet, she is here to tell us about the Philadelphia Orchestra coming to SPAC tonight as well as SPAC on Stage and the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center.

Elizabeth Sobol, a veteran of the classical music and recording industry, is spending her first summer as the President and CEO of the Saratoga Performing Arts Center. She joins us this morning to tell us what is happening on stage and behind-the-scenes at SPAC over the coming weeks.

She comes to Saratoga Springs from Miami Beach, where she was president and CEO of Universal Music Classics. Before that she spent nearly three decades at IMG Artists as its managing director. After a successful weekend of Jazz, she is here to tell us about the NYC Ballet, the Mini-Argentinian Festival and Café Lena @ SPAC.

Acclaimed pianist Simone Dinnerstein and the young, virtuosic Havana Lyceum Orchestra led by José Antonio Méndez Padrón will bring their remarkable cross-cultural Mozart in Havana tour to Skidmore’s Arthur Zankel Music Center on June 20 at 7 p.m., in a concert co-presented by Saratoga Performing Arts Center and Skidmore College. 

Simone Dinnerstein joins us to tell us more.

April was designated as "Jazz Appreciation Month," known as JAM, in 2002 by the Smithsonian Museum to herald and celebrate the extraordinary heritage and history of jazz. The year 2017 also marks the centennial of the first recorded jazz album and the first commercial use of the word “jazz,” when the Original Dixieland Jazz Band recorded their New Orleans rooted music at Victor Talking Machine. The recording was an instantaneous success, ushering in a new era of popular music, the “Jazz Age.”

To celebrate all of this, and to preview an event at The Freihofer’s Saratoga Jazz Festival this summer, we welcome Danilo Perez. Pianist, composer, educator and social activist, Pérez is among the most influential and dynamic musicians of our time. 

On Saturday, June 24th, he'll perform Jazz 100: The Music of Dizzy, Mongo and Monk with Joe Lovano, Jason Palmer, Josh Roseman, Roman Diaz, Ben Street and Adam Cruz.

The Freihofer’s Saratoga Jazz Festival is one of the most renowned and longest-running jazz festivals in North America and it marks its 40th anniversary this year. 

Lucas Willard / WAMC

Saratoga Performing Arts Center and stalwart city venue Caffe Lena have announced a new programming partnership.

Lucas Willard / WAMC

Saratoga Performing Arts Center has just announced the lineup for its summer season. The Philadelphia Orchestra, New York City Ballet, and Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center are all returning for their summer residencies this year.

Freihofer’s Saratoga Jazz Festival turns 40 this year.

The annual showcase of jazz, blues, rock and soul is held at Saratoga Performing Arts Center in Saratoga Springs.

The line-up will include several artists including Chaka Khan,  the Gipsy Kings, Jean-Luc Ponty, and Dee-Dee Bridgewater.

Bridgewater, a Grammy and Tony award-winner, performed at the first Saratoga Jazz Festival in 1978. In June she will visit the festival for the sixth time, shortly after the release of a new album and recognition as a National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Master.

Coy Bowles is the guitarist of the Grammy Award–winning Zac Brown Band. He is also a children's book author and his latest is When You're Feeling Sick - a book full of encouraging (and super-silly) rhyming advice on how to face sick days with courage and a positive attitude.

Saratoga Performing Arts Center has selected a new President and Executive Director. Elizabeth Sobol will step in this October after the conclusion of SPAC’s 2016 50th Anniversary Season.

David Finckel and Wu Han
Lisa-Marie Mazzucco

  Wu Han and David Finckel join us to talk about their performance with The Philadelphia Orchestra at SPAC and the final two concerts this season to be performed by The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center in the Spa Little Theater. 

SPAC revealed Elizabeth Sobol as the next President and CEO of the performing arts organization Thursday.

  Shawn Stone joins us to talk about what he's seen lately and what cultural events are coming up this week in our region.

Seen: Suicide Squad, Anthropoid 

Upcoming:

• The Hudson: River at Risk, plus Q&A w/director Jon Bowermaster - Madison Theater, Albany, 8/18 Thursday, 7 PM

• The Big Takeover - Helsinki Hudson, Hudson, 8/19 Friday

• Pretty Much the Best Comedy Show: Nore Davis - Underground at Proctors, 8/20 Saturday

• Dawes, Basia Bulat - The Egg, Albany, 8/20 Saturday

• Buster Keaton’s Sherlock Jr. (and cartoons, including Felix the Cat) with live music by the BQE Project - MASS MoCA, 8/20, Saturday, 8 PM

• Borromeo String Quartet (Haydn, Beethoven & Russell Platt’s Mountain Interval, a world premiere)

• Maverick Concerts, Woodstock, 8/21 Sunday, 4 PM

• Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center at the Spa Little Theater, Saratoga Springs

    “Classical Legacy,” Mozart, Schumann & Mendelssohn, 8/21 Sunday, 3 PM

    “Russian Fireworks,” Gliere, Moszkowski, Rachmaninoff & Tchaikovsky, 8/23 Tuesday 8 PM

• Goo Goo Dolls, Collective Soul, Tribe Society - SPAC, Saratoga Springs. 8/21 Sunday

• Celtic Thunder - Palace Theatre, Albany, 8/23 Tuesday

 New Movies: Ben Hur, Hell or High WaterKubo and the Two StringsOur Little Sister

Renée Fleming
Decca/Andrew Eccles

  This Thursday at 8pm the Philadelphia Orchestra, under the baton of its music director, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, will take the stage at SPAC and be joined - for her first time at that venue - by opera star, Renée Fleming.

Ms. Fleming joins us to discuss that concert, travel, language, and her role as Kennedy Center Artistic Partner.

  The Philadelphia Orchestra's Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Musical America’s 2016 Artist of the Year and newly appointed Music Director of The Metropolitan Opera, returns to SPAC for the final week of the orchestra's summer residency. 

He joins us to talk about this week's concerts in Saratoga.

**Correction - in the audio introduction of this interview it is said that Andre Watts will perform - sadly he has had to cancel. The opening concert will feature Czech pianist Lukas Vondracek.

  The Philadelphia Orchestra will present Sophisticated Ladies on Saturday, August 13th at SPAC. The concert is a celebration of the groundbreaking icons of American popular song, from Ella Fitzgerald to Sarah Vaughan to Dinah Washington and of course, Billie Holiday. Montego Glover, Capathia Jenkins, and N'Kenge will join the orchestra to sing songs like "Strike Up the Band," "Stormy Weather," "Love is Here to Stay," and "Come Rain or Come Shine."<p>

Steven Reineke will conduct and he joins us to talk about the concert.

  The puppeteers that brought the world the unforgettable Broadway Musical War Horse will once again amaze audiences as they bring to life the timeless Russian fairytale ballet "The Firebird."

SPAC, along with the Mann Center for the Performing Arts, Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts, Ravinia Festival, Sun Valley Summer Symphony, and Hollywood Bowl — has commissioned the South Africa-based puppet company Janni Younge Productions to create a live puppet performance set to Igor Stravinsky’s 1910 masterpiece.

  Led by co-Artistic Directors David Finckel and Wu Han, The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center returns to the Spa Little Theater at SPAC for six innovative and diverse programs that get underway on Sunday.

The first concert – Sunday at 3PM – is entitled: Symphonic Spirit and will feature the music of Ravel, Haydn, Copeland and Schubert. This morning for a preview we welcome two of the musicians taking part in the program. We welcome Bassoonist Marc Goldberg and Clarinetist Alexander Fiterstein. 

  Internationally acclaimed composer Michael Torke has been commissioned by SPAC, Charles and Candace Wait and The Adirondack Trust Company to create an orchestral work for The Philadelphia Orchestra to premiere during the 2016 anniversary celebration.

Torke's longtime connections to SPAC and Saratoga are deeply personal as he is a nine-time resident of Yaddo, an artists' community providing an opportunity for artists to work without interruption in a supportive environment located on a 400-acre estate in Saratoga Springs, New York.

The piece is entitled Unconquered and will be performed --for the first time-- on Friday, August 5 performed by The Philadelphia Orchestra and conducted by Stéphane Denève.

  On August 3, 2016, Saratoga Performing Arts Center (SPAC) will present Hannibal Lokumbe’s work for full orchestra, soloists and choir, “One Land, One River, One People,” on the Opening Night of The Philadelphia Orchestra’s SPAC residency.

Vocal accompaniment for The Philadelphia Orchestra’s performance will be provided by soprano Laquita Mitchell, tenor Rodrick Dixon, and combined choirs of Morgan State University and Albany Pro Musica. Conductor Stéphane Denève will lead the performance.

We are joined by Albany Pro Musica's Artistic and Executive Director, Dr. José Daniel Flores-Caraballo, and bass singer, Frank Leavitt.

  On August 3, 2016, Saratoga Performing Arts Center (SPAC) will present Hannibal Lokumbe’s work for full orchestra, soloists and choir, “One Land, One River, One People,” on the Opening Night of The Philadelphia Orchestra’s SPAC residency. SPAC’s program will be only the second complete performance of the work which was commissioned by The Philadelphia Orchestra. The work had its world premiere in November 2015 at the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia.

Described by the composer Hannibal Lokumbe as a “spiritorio,” a term that encompasses the work’s libretto and choir elements and its influences from blues, jazz and spirituals, the work speaks to the universality of human struggle, injustice and ultimately, spirituality.

Vocal accompaniment for The Philadelphia Orchestra’s performance will be provided by soprano Laquita Mitchell, tenor Rodrick Dixon, and combined choirs of Morgan State University and Albany Pro Musica. Conductor Stéphane Denève will lead the performance.

  Shawn Stone joins us to talk about what he's seen lately and what cultural events are coming up this week in our region.

  The 16th annual Saratoga Choral Festival takes place at the Spa Little Theater in Spa State Park - this Sunday, July 31st, at 3:00 PM. The festival will present a concert of music for children featuring a semi-staged production of the popular Magic Tree House: The Musical. 

The Magic Tree House: The Musical is based on the popular series of children’s books by Mary Pope Osborne. This show has seen sold out performances for its national tour. Several musical selections have been adapted for chorus, and special guest performers from the Saratoga Children’s Theater will provide extra speaking roles and also sing with the choir.

Also included on the program - Never-Ending Song, a Young Person’s Guide to the Choir. Originally premiered by the Vancouver Chamber Choir in 2001, the Never-Ending Song takes children through a brief history of choral singing through music.

The Saratoga Choral Festival began in the summer of 2001 and we are joined by Festival Director, Andrea Goodman, and by chorus members Mira DeGregory and Jackson Cherry. 

Jonathan Stafford
Henry Leutwyler

  Our final guest today is Jonathan Stafford. Jonathan is a ballet master at New York City Ballet and a member of the faculty at the School of American Ballet, NYCB’s official school.

Born in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, Mr. Stafford began his dance training at the age of eight. He was invited to become an apprentice with New York City Ballet in October 1998 and joined the Company as a member of the corps de ballet in February 1999. He was promoted to the rank of soloist in March of 2006 and became a principal dancer in May 2007. After retiring from the Company in May 2014, he was appointed an NYCB ballet master.

At the School of American Ballet, Mr. Stafford served as a member of SAB’s guest faculty during the 2006-07 school year and joined the School’s permanent faculty in September 2007. Mr. Stafford received the Martin E. Segal Award from the School of American Ballet in 1999.

NYCB performs Balanchine's A Midsummer Night's Dream
Paul Kolnik

  Marquerite Mehler is the Director of Production of New York City Ballet and has been stage managing for more than 20 years, primarily in dance. Since joining the Production Department of New York City Ballet in 1995, she has stage managed more than 2000 performances of more than 150 ballets in the New York City Ballet repertory, including world premieres by Peter Martins, Justin Peck, Alexei Ratmansky, Jerome Robbins, and Christopher Wheeldon.

With the production staff, Ms. Mehler supervises scenery, lighting, and all other production elements of the NYCB repertory both at home and on tour. She also coordinates with the other NYCB departments and supervises the NYCB and State Theatre stagehands.

Maria Kowroski
Paul Kolnik

  Maria Kowroski is a principal dancer with New York City Ballet. She began her training in Grand Rapids, where she was born.

Ms. Kowroski entered the School of American Ballet in the fall of 1992. She became an apprentice with New York City Ballet in the summer of 1994 and was invited to join the Company as a member of the corps de ballet in January of 1995. In the spring of 1997, Ms. Kowroski was promoted to the rank of soloist and in the spring of 1999, she was promoted to principal dancer.

Ms. Kowroski was a recipient of the Princess Grace Award in 1994. She will perform the principal role in Balanchine’s Agon while at SPAC.

  Troy Schumacher is a choreographer and member of New York City Ballet’s corps de ballet.

In 2010, Schumacher founded BalletCollective, and as the company’s director and resident choreographer, he collaborates closely with composers, artists, and designers on original works. He was born in Atlanta, Georgia, began his ballet training with Atlanta Ballet and the Chautauqua School of Dance before entering the School of American Ballet in 2002.

He became a New York City Ballet apprentice in 2005 and a member of the corps de ballet in December of that year. His second work for New York City Ballet, Common Ground, will have its SPAC premiere at the sold-out Gala performance. He will also perform the role of “Puck” in Balanchine’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

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