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Lake George, NY 12845
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Jazz at the Lake 2018 – Celebrating 35 Years!
September 15 & 16, Shepard Park, Lake George, NY

"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
Please scroll down this page to learn more about our performers from the
Lake George Jazz Weekend, September 15 and 16, 2018.

Lake George Arts Project Executive Director, John Strong, and Paul Pines, LGAP Jazz Weekend Artistic Director, planned the first ever Lake George Jazz Weekend over 35 years ago. We were blessed having Paul Pines, artist, writer, poet, Jazz enthusiast and advocate, curate this event all those years. He never missed a beat - making magic happen every time. Paul passed on June 27, 2018. He created a remarkable legacy for this annual event, and will be missed by so many artists, musicians and Jazz fans, just to name a few. Please scroll down for more info and links on Paul's creative life.

Paul's vision for Jazz at The Lake will continue. We are very pleased to announce that Daniel Kelly, jazz pianist/composer, will continue Paul's work as LGAP's Jazz Weekend Artistic Director and Curator of  the 2019 Lake George Jazz Weekend. Daniel has performed in Lake George at the 2010 Jazz Festival with his EMERGE TRIO and again in 2015 with his trio WORKS featuring saxophonist Joe Lovano. He also performed at our Summer Concert Series in 2016 with violinist Gretchen Koehler.

Daniel Kelly and Paul Pines became close friends during their association over the years. Says Paul:  “I remain convinced that Daniel Kelly is one of the most stunningly original talents both as an improviser and a leader that I have known in a long career of promoting this art form. His musical ideas spring naturally from a visionary imagination.”

Daniel Kelly is also the co-founder and co-Artistic Director of Connection Works, an artist-run non-profit organization based in Brooklyn that, since 2007, has presented workshops for young people and produced over 250 concerts, featuring artists such as Grammy award-winner Joe Lovano, NEA Jazz Masters Dave Liebman & Shelia Jordan and MacArthur “Genius” Grant recipients Dafnis Prieto & Steve Coleman.

Stay tuned for updates on Jazz At The Lake 2019!

Jazz 2018 Performers:

Saturday, September 15:
1 PM:
Robert "Bootsie" Barnes Quartet
Been Here All Along” Quartet

Ryan Keberle & Catharsis
Charlie Sepúlveda &
The Turn Around

Sunday, September 16:
1 PM:
Paul McCandless
Charged Particles

2:45: Jim Ridl Quartet
Sharel Cassity - Elektra
with Ingrid Jensen

Special Saturday evening performance 7:30 PM:
Celebrating the Music of Weather Report
Jason Miles, Joel Fraham, Mino Cinelu, Richie Morales, Karen Briggs-Violin


Saturday, 1 PM:
Robert "Bootsie" Barnes Quartet
Premier jazz saxophonist Robert “Bootsie” Barnes has been proclaimed a Philadelphia treasure.  “Bootsie” began his musical career at age 6 on piano switching to drums at 10.  His grandmother gave him a saxophone at age 19 and he knew he had found his niche. In school, classmates included drummers, Lex Humphries, Bill Cosby, Al “Tootie” Heath; bassist “Spanky” DeBrest, trumpeter Lee Morgan, and a host of Philadelphia giants who went on to help shape the maturing sound of jazz music.  Those who had the biggest influence on him were his father, who played trumpet with Bill Doggett’s 16 piece big band, and his cousin Jimmy Hamilton, saxophonist and star clarinetist of Duke Ellington’s band for 26 years. He is known as “the man with the ‘Tenor Touch’ because of his dynamic style on the tenor sax. His smooth and distinct sound is easily recognizable whether softly caressing a ballad, or swinging hard, during live performances or on CD.  JazzTimes magazine sums up his solos thusly:  “…plays tenor saxophone with self-assured flair and gorgeous depth…”  and  “…plays in a classic style reminiscent of Gene Ammons and Hank Moble.” John Swana, trumpet, EWI and trombone; Byron Landham, drums; Lucas Brown, Hammond B3 organ.

Saturday, 2:45:
Ryan Keberle & Catharsis
Since arriving in New York City in 1999, trombonist/composer Ryan Keberle has performed with a jaw-dropping roster of legendary musicians across a vast array of styles. He has performed with jazz greats including Maria Schneider and Wynton Marsalis; hip-hop and R&B superstars like Beyonce, Justin Timberlake, and Alicia Keys; Latin jazz leaders like Pedro Giraudo and Ivan Lins; played in the house band at Saturday Night Live, and in the pit for the Tony-winning Broadway musical “In the Heights”; and most recently toured with indie rock ground-breaker Sufjan Stevens, ushering him into a new arena of fresh, emotionally charged music. Keberle combines that wealth of influence and experience into a bold group sound with the debut of his pianoless quartet, Catharsis. Culminating in an approach rich with melodic invention, heavy groove, and a subtle indie rock sensibility, the band comprises some of the most compelling up-and-coming voices in jazz: Camila Meza, voice, guitar; Scott Robinson, tenor saxophone, trumpet; Jorge Roeder, electric and acoustic bass; Eric Doob, drums.

Saturday, 4:30:
Charlie Sepúlveda
& The Turn Around

World-Class Trumpeter, Composer, Bandleader, Educator, and Latin Grammy Winner, Charlie Sepulveda stands as one of the few remaining pivotal figures in Latin Jazz music today.  A graduate of New York City College, where he studied with such masters as  William Fielder and Ron Carter, Charlie came up in the fertile artistic New York City music scene of the 1970’s and 1980’s,  when Afro Caribbean, Avant-Garde, Jazz and Latin American musicians were influencing and becoming a part of each other’s music. This environment enabled him to tour and record with an array of great artists including Eddie Palmieri, Tito Puente and the Golden Latin Jazz All Stars, Dizzy Gillespie and the United Nation Orchestra, Wynton Marsalis, Hilton Ruiz, Steve Turre, Dave Valentin, Danilo Pérez, Jon Secada, and Paul Simon among others. He is the musical director of the Jazz at Lincoln Center and the Rockefeller Foundation in Puerto Rico, and a professor of the Conservatory of Music of Puerto Rico. With 12 recordings as a band leader, a Latin Grammy for his Big Band recording  with Jon Secada, “To Benny With Love”(BMG, 2017), two Grammy nominations and a Billboard Award, Charlie Sepulveda is recognized as one of the premiere artists in Latin Jazz.

Saturday evening performance, 7:30 pm
Jason Miles
Celebrating the Music of Weather Report
In 1970, saxophonist Wayne Shorter and pianist Joe Zawinul, fresh from their stint with Miles Davis, created an ensemble that performed with a jazz sensibility coupled with a groundbreaking use of electronics. Known as Weather Report, their band undertook evolutionary explorations that one writer then described as "folk music of the future." By the time Weather Report disbanded in 1985, some of the brightest stars of the post-'60s era had passed through the group, including bassist Jaco Pastorius, drummer Peter Erskine, and guitarist Steve Khan. Now another Davis sideman, keyboardist Jason Miles has produced a heartfelt tribute to WR with over 20 all-star performers. -Eugene Holley, Jr. The Grammy Award winning New York native has consistently brought the highest level of artistry to his multi-faceted recordings and live performances. Jason Miles has not only helped shape the landscape of contemporary jazz, but also brought his rich sonic textures as a keyboardist, arranger and producer to artists in a multitude of genres, from R&B/pop to Latin Jazz. Jason Miles, keys; Karen Briggs, violin; Fema Ephron, bass; Joel Frahm, sax; Mino Cinelu, percussion; Richie Morales, drums.

Sunday, 1 PM:
Paul McCandless with
Charged Particles

Paul Brownlee McCandless Jr.is a multi-instrumentalist and founding member of the jazz group Oregon. He is one of few expert jazz oboists and also plays bass clarinet, English horn, and soprano saxophone. In 1996, McCandless won a Grammy Award for Best Pop Instrumental with Béla Fleck and the Flecktones. He also won Grammys in 2007 and 2011 with the Paul Winter Consort, for Best New Age Album, and in 1993 for Al Jarreau's album Heaven and Earth. Murray Low, keyboards; Aaron Germain, bass; Jon Krosnick, drums. “Inventive. Invigorating. Slick.  Stunning. Mesmerizing. Hard-hitting. Beautiful. Lyrical. Striking. Delicate. Rhapsodic. Virtuosic. Joyful. Something special." - Bill Milkowski, Downbeat Magazine

Sunday 2:45:
Jim Ridl Quartet
"...an innovative force in jazz, a pianist of the highest caliber, a creative composer and improviser, and one of those rare musicians who stretches the art form even as he honors the established traditions." All About Jazz
Jim Ridl is a jazz pianist, composer, arranger and teacher residing in the New York City area. He performs internationally with the Jim Ridl Trio and Quartet, the Dave Liebman Big Band, the Mingus Big Band, Ximo Tebar’s IVAM Jazz Ensemble of Spain, and the Tim Horner Quintet. For the fall semester of 2012, Jim was as a Visiting Jazz Artist at Princeton University where he created an inspired and successful jazz performance program specifically for 14 auditioned students. As part of the 2010 [email protected] Center’s Rhythm Road program, sponsored by the U.S. State Department, Jim toured the Asia-Pacific with the Mark Sherman/Tim Horner Quartet. The band performed and taught workshops in Russia, South Korea, China and the Philippines. Jim’s tenure with jazz guitar legend Pat Martino received many critically acclaimed reviews of performances around the world and produced 3 outstanding recordings: Interchange, Night Wings and The Maker. His sixth CD, Jim Ridl’s Blue Corn Enchilada Dreams, features the outstanding soloists Terrell Stafford, trumpet; Donald Edwards, drums; and John Benitez,bass, in an inspired quartet setting.

Sunday, 4:30:
Sharel Cassity -
Elektra with Ingrid Jensen
Acclaimed saxophonist, bandleader & composer Sharel Cassity explores new directions with her project "Elektra." Blending various genres including soul, jazz, rock, gospel, hip hop & electronica, Elektra's mission is to create groove based creative music that appeals to a modern audience. Cassity's material for this project includes original music along with crafty reincarnations of popular songs by artists Bjork, Alicia Keys and others. Known for her fiery and soulful style of improvising & her expert ensemble skills, Sharel is a versatile sideman having performed regularly alongside renowned artists Roy Hargrove, Lewis Nash, Joe Chambers & Darcy James Argue. Currently a regular member of the Dizzy Gillespie Big Band, Dizzy Gillespie Afro Cuban Experience, Nicholas Payton’s TSO, Cyrus Chestnut’s Brubeck Quartet and the Jimmy Heath Big Band. Sharel has toured 24 countries and performed at leading venues like the Newport Jazz Festival, Monterey Jazz Festival & the North Sea Jazz Festival. Elektra is comprised of some of the most renowned musicians in the industry today including Ingrid Jensen, trumpet; Mark Whitfield, guitar; Miki Hayama, keys; Rashaan Carter, bass; Luciana Padmore, drums.

We are again grateful to Kenneth and Susan Gruskin for their continued support, and The Gruskin Group for their award winning graphic art since 2009 (Special thank you Jeff Barcan). 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, Jazz Weekend.    

 - PAUL PINES, Curator of Jazz at the Lake.


Paul Pines, Curator and Artistic Director of the Lake George Jazz Weekend for 35 years, died on June 27, 2018 at age 77.

Paul was also a poet, novelist, psychotherapist, literature professor, as well as  jazz entrepreneur. Born in Brooklyn, Paul grew up around the corner from Ebbets Field, a few blocks from where his cherished daughter Charlotte now lives. He attended Erasmus Hall High School and later the Cherry Lawn School in Connecticut, where he first began writing poetry. After graduating from Bard College in 1961, he moved to the Lower East Side of New York where he found his artistic home among the poets, writers, artists, and musicians whose creativity was flourishing synergistically there.  In 1973, he opened his jazz club the Tin Palace on Bowery and 2nd, which became a Mecca for cutting edge music and poetry for many years thereafter. Paul’s first novel, The Tin Angel, a brilliant murder mystery, vividly recreates that singular time and ambience. A NYS Council for the Arts writer-in-residency brought Paul to the Glens Falls /Lake George area in 1984. He was soon introduced to John Strong of the Lake George Arts Project, and the two began planning the first ever Lake George Jazz Weekend. John and Paul remained partners in that endeavor for 35 years. Paul’s “connect” with the world, jazz, musicians and the audience he nurtured is irreplaceable. He leaves behind his loving wife and daughter, Carol and Charlotte, thousands of friends and admirers, and a remarkable legacy for Jazz at the Lake.

Words about Lake George Jazz Weekend:

"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

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 35+ 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.

In 2013 Tom Emmi, of Ace Entertainment, produced this short film: Jazz At The Lake - check it out!

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