1 Amherst Street
Lake George, NY 12845
Phone: (518) 668-2616
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"One of the best-kept secrets on the Eastern jazz festival circuit, the Lake George Jazz Festival is a gem worth discovering.”  -  Bill Milkowski, Downbeat Magazine

Saturday, September 16:
1 PM:
Lyric Fury
2:45: Ola Onabule
The Cookers


Sunday, September 17:
1 PM:
Camille Thurman
            & the Darrell Green Trio
2:45: Orrin Evans
4:30: Emilio Solla

Special Saturday evening performance 7:30 PM:
Dave Liebman Tribute to Coltrane

The 34th Lake George Arts Project Jazz Weekend was held on Sept 16 & 17. The 2017 festival was
A Tribute to Jazz Innovation,” featuring a unique lineup of jazz musicians and vocalists.

In his opening remarks, festival curator Paul Pines said, “When I conceived of this particular festival, this grouping, I thought of it as a major celebration, as a kind of dance. The Gruskin Group, who produces our art, has this year, I think, produced an incredible piece of artwork based on Nataraja ‘the lord of the dance’ — the lord Shiva who dances creation, destruction and renewal. I think of this music as doing that dance, and we are going to have that dance this weekend.”

The Gruskin Group is a major supporter of the Lake George Jazz Weekend – CLICK HERE to see a preview of the documentary they are producing - celebrating 30+ Years of Jazz @ The Lake!  The page provides an opportunity for everyone to upload their photo’s, comments, videos and stories for possible inclusion in the documentary. We also have a FaceBook page for the documentary trailer where you can do the same.

George Steeve Has many excellent excellent videos of the last four LG Jazz Festivals.
Check them out HERE. Thank You George!

2017 Jazz @ The Lake Performers:

Saturday, 1 PM: Lyric Fury
Pianist, composer, and vocalist Cynthia Hilts brings her eight-piece Brooklyn-based jazz ensemble to our stage.  The musicians of Lyric Fury bring several worlds of expertise to the repertoire. Each member approaches the music with her/his individual philosophy and voice. DownBeat calls LYRIC FURY “a funky full mambo full of Mingus-meets-Debussy” and their recent CD “one of the more outrageous releases of 2017.”

Saturday, 2:45: Ola Onabule
British born, Nigerian bred vocalist/ composer Ola Onabule follows with “A killer voice, and three-octave range.” Jazzwise says, “He packs more musical ideas into one song than many artists over an entire album.” All About Jazz gives his CD, It’s the Peace that Deafens 4 stars. Those who already know Ola’s work truly appreciate this powerful performer and his capacity to cross cultural and musical boundaries with an unflinching and lyrical pursuit of truth and justice. 

Saturday, 4:30: The Cookers
THE COOKERS, an electrifying ensemble the NY Times brands “the dream team,” summon up an aggressive mid ‘60s spirit with a collection of post-bop originals marked by all the requisite killer instincts and pyrotechnic playing expected of some of the heaviest hitters on the scene today. These are names to conjure with: David Weiss - trumpet, Billy Harper - tenor sax, Eddie Henderson - trumpet, Donald Harrison – alto sax, George Cables - piano, Cecil McBee – bass, and Billy Hart – drums.

Saturday evening performance, 7:30 pm
Dave Liebman Tribute to Coltrane
David Liebman’s career has spanned nearly five decades. It started in 1970s as the saxophone/flautist in both the Elvin Jones and Miles Davis Groups. His artistic output has ranged from straight ahead classic jazz to chamber music; from fusion to avant garde and world music. Our Saturday evening show presents a Tribute to Coltrane, under the direction of Gunnar Mossblad, celebrating Coltrane’s 90th birthday, Liebman’s 70th birthday, and the 50th anniversary of Coltrane’s death. Liebman talks about hearing Coltrane live at the Five Spot as an epiphany. “Leib” will perform Coltrane masterworks arranged specifically for him.

Sunday, 1 PM: Camille Thurman & the Darrell Green Trio
Camille Thurman has been amazing audiences throughout the world with her warm vocals and skilled saxophone playing. DownBeat recognized her as "A rising star [singer with] soulful inflection and remarkable, Fitzgerald-esque scat prowess” and by All About Jazz as a “first class saxophonist that blows the proverbial roof off the place”.  Oakland-raised Green is known for his bedrock groove and inexhaustible creativity. As a group they never fail to entertain.

Sunday, 2:45: Orrin Evans
The Orrin Evans Trio with Joanna Pascale is captained by the Philadelphia born pianist, composer, arranger, and producer. Orrin Evans uses life’s hardest moments to influence his music. The result is raw and thrilling. He incorporates a wide range of influences, from jazz, neo-soul to country and hip-hop. Evans has released a CD every year since 1997 and heads a variety of ensembles including the Captain Black Big Band. All About Jazz says, “Seeing Evans live is a true event. His sheer joy cannot be contained.” He is accompanied by the vocalist one critic compared to a wild flower, Joanna Pascale.

Sunday, 4:30: Emilio Solla
Argentine born Emilio Solla gathers his gifts as pianist, composer, and arranger under the title of “Music Inventor.”  This Grammy nominated pianist & composer is considered by peers and critics to be one of the most outstanding and personal voices in this musical stream.  He fuses modern Argentine tango and folk with jazz and other contemporary music styles (generally referred to as “Tango-Jazz”). His deep roots in Astor Piazzola’s nuevo tango extend to include a range of ideas represented by the unique orchestration of his Grammie nominated 9 piece band, La Inestable De Brooklyn - A fitting note on which to conclude our Tribute to Innovation in Jazz.

We are again grateful to Kenneth and Susan Gruskin for their continued support, and The Gruskin Group for the art this year most notable on the dancing Shiva poster (thank you Jeff Barcan), as well as on other collectibles. Thanks also to program advertisers, Warren County Tourism, the Town and Village of Lake George, our donors who participated with Ken and Susan Gruskin’s matching donation program, and the New York State Council on The Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.  We encourage contributions from our audience to the continued life of this festival, and urge you to buy raffle tickets and goods under the tent throughout the weekend. On behalf of John Strong, Director of the LAKE GEORGE ARTS PROJECT, myself and those who’ve worked to make this event possible, we look forward to seeing you again at this year’s Jazz At The Lake.    

 - PAUL PINES, Curator of Jazz at the Lake.

"This weekend, for the 34th (2017) year in a row , the Lake George Arts Project put on its free two-day festival of jazz, and the music did its thing, as ever, to soothe my soul and revive my interest in life's best moments. I share decades of memories with friends, strangers, and spouse from this annual gift of musical spirit, and look forward to many more. Endless thanks to John Strong and Paul Pines, who make it happen, and to the musicians who have brought their talents to this extraordinary venue year after year..."
- David Brickman, Get Visual

“The Lake George Arts Project consistently presents a diverse mix of performances at Shepard Park – whether it’s the Wednesday night summer concert series or the amazing fall jazz festival – artists are always of the highest quality. The fact that these are free and open to the public further emphasizes the essential role that the Arts Project plays in heightening the cultural climate of Lake George.”  - Peter Lesser, Executive Director, Empire State Performing Center (The Egg)

“Credit Brooklyn-born jazz impresario Paul Pines—curator for all 33 of those festivals—with maintaining a consistently high level of artistry throughout those years. Former proprietor of Tin Palace, the renowned East Village jazz club he ran from 1970 to ’76, Pines is deeply invested in the music and is blessed with good ears and an open mind... One of the best-kept secrets on the Eastern jazz festival circuit, the Lake George Jazz Festival is a gem worth discovering.”
— Bill Milkowski, Downbeat Magazine, 9/26/2016 (read more HERE)

“The elements of creative culture that The Lake George Arts Project brings to bear vis a vis their gallery exhibits, Shepard Park Concert Series and annual Jazz Weekend, help turn an otherwise typical resort town into a true destination for residents and tourists alike.”
- Mona Golub, Producing Artistic Director, Music Haven Concert Series, Schenectady, NY

“As the longtime curator of the free Jazz at the Lake festival, Paul Pines has taken great pains to make this weekend as far from the “standard jazz festival” experience as possible, and part of that is avoiding the kind of lightweight, commercial fare that’s come to dominate your typical mega-festival. Unlike the bookers for those shows, Pines assumes his audience is of more than average intelligence, so he books bands that don’t insult that intelligence.” - J Hunter, Nippertown, Albany

 “...Expand and learn, enjoy and sway to it, take in the vibe, watch how jazz is done by the best of ’em at the Lake George Jazz Weekend. On a good day, Shepard Park, with its idyllic backdrop to the lake, is the best listening room in the world. But even in years when the weather is imperfect, everyone comes. Why? For so many of us, the Lake George Jazz Weekend is simply a must-see event of the year.”
- Cathy DeDe, The Glens Falls Chronicle

"Shepard Park was created in the early 1900s as a democratic space, a park where everyone could have access not only to a lake that was in danger of being restricted to a privileged few, but to the nation’s richest cultural offerings as well. The Lake George Jazz Weekend, which brings some of the best and most interesting musicians in the country to this beautiful lakeside park at no cost to the audience, fulfills that intention. The park’s founders would have loved the Lake George Jazz Weekend.” - Tony Hall, Publisher, Lake George Mirror