Saratoga Arts - Arts Center | Arts Council

First Night, Saratoga takes 1st place in the BEST ANNUAL EVENT category!







First Night Posters with art by Sharon Bolton:

$20/ $15 - First Night 2017

$10/ $5 - Previous First Nights

Need to Complete Your Button Collection?

$5 for buttons from 2008 to now and select previous years

First Night 5k Shirts: 

$10- First Night 2017, M and S only

$5- Previous First Nights

Proceeds support the community arts programs at Saratoga Arts to help make the arts affordable and accessible to all.


Thank you to all the performers who applied to FIRST NIGHT 2018: Light Up the Night!

Materials are currently in review and decisions will be made by October 1.  All artists will be notified.     

In the meantime, check out some of our fabulous performers from last year below!

Introducing the First Night 2017 Performers

Headlining the night~

Scott Jameson taught himself how to juggle and perform countless magic tricks at age eight, with the help of a stack of library books. In high school he participated in the theater program and competed in the dramatic speaking league. While attending workshops in comedy, mime, movement, improvisation, dance, etc. at Maine’s Celebration Barn Theatre Scott discovered that the usual notion of what a “magic show” was could be replaced with something far more creative and compelling. In 1998 Scott began his full-time career in solo variety theatre and currently travels throughout the Northeast presenting programs for audiences large and small. (City Center Mainstage, 6 & 7pm)
Joshua Lozoff has been studying and sharing magic around the world for over fifteen years. He regularly performs at public events and corporate & private functions throughout the U.S., and even Japan, Europe and across Latin America.  Joshua's motto is "Life is Magic," and he walks his talk by performing everywhere from penthouse suites to the slums of Guatemala City; sharing magic with Fortune 500 CEOs, folks on the street, and everyone in between. Joshua says, "the most beautiful thing about magic is how it appeals to everyone. I can go from a black-tie gala to a backyard barbeque, and everyone has a few moments in time which transcend our ordinary reality; moments of awe, of astonishment, and just a flat-out fun time."  Recently, Joshua had the honor of being one of only two magicians to receive an invitation to perform at the World’s Fair in Japan. He spent two weeks as a featured performer for the USA Pavilion, entertaining Fair visitors from around the globe.  Before turning his attention to magic, Joshua was a professional actor in Los Angeles, including a notable recurring role on the TV show Cheers, as Gino Tortelli, and as Logan in the movie Clueless. You can even see Joshua's martial arts prowess on display (he holds a 2nd degree black belt in Aikido) in the film Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles! See Joshua’s full film and television credits here.  Joshua loves sharing his craft with people in every setting, and his love and respect for magic come across in every performance.  (City Center Mainstage, 9 & 11pm)
Jon Stetson is America’s Master Mentalist and was the inspiration for the CBS Television series “The Mentalist".  The Stetson Experience is intelligent, interactive, sophisticated fun.  Along with hundreds of corporate and celebrity appearances, Jon has performed for three U.S. Presidents, The King of Sweden, The Royal Family of Monaco, and has appeared on several major Television Networks.  Interjecting uproarious comedy into each program, Jon creates a hilarious and unique presentation that never fails to blow the audience away. Stetson blends the art of Mystery with the study of Psychology, the predictability of human nature and the power of intuition, with a disarming sense of humor. The result is slack jawed amazement, where the most skeptical of audience members begin to feel a renewed sense of wonder as impossibilities become realities. Jon Stetson’s engaging programs are packed with audience participation. Imaginations are wowed, stretched and captured, as thoughts are revealed and minds are being read with Jon’s intriguing  games of mind to mind contact.  Thought Reading has never been this much fun! (City Center Mainstage, 8 & 10pm)
From the top~
Angelina Valente grew up in Galway where she found her love of music. She began writing music in 2013 while pursuing a Musical Theatre degree at Rider University and hasn't stopped since. Her musical theatre background, mixed with her influence of multiple kinds of music, gives her an incredibly unique and enjoyable sound, augmented by her skill on piano and ukelele.  Angelina resides in Upstate New York and spends her time finding various open mics and going to other live music gigs to keep her love for live music current. (Adirondack Trust: 7 & 9pm)
Annie & the Hedonists interprets the songs of the great female blues artists of the ‘20s, 30s & 40s: Bessie Smith, Sippie Wallace, Memphis Minnie, Billie Holiday, Rosetta Tharpe, Blue Lu Barker, Ella Fitzgerald and others.  Fronted by the captivating vocals of Annie Rosen, and backed by Peter Davis, (guitar, banjo, clarinet, piano, vocal), Jonny Rosen, (guitar, vocal) and Don Young, (bass, guitar, vocal), the ensemble's veteran players are each extremely accomplished in their own right.  Annie & the Hedonists also offer workshops from ukulele styles to playing by ear to gospel harmonies and the band has packed clubs and coffee house across the northeast, from New York City to the Champlain Valley. (St. Paul's Lutheran Church: 6, 8 & 10pm)
Ashley Sofia was born and raised in the heart of the Adirondacks where she grew up playing music and writing.  When she was just 11 years old, she picked up her father’s guitar and learned everything he was willing to show her. Today, and over 100 songs later, she plays, sings, and writes all of her own music. After dropping her debut album, LOVE AND FURY, in early 2014, she was immediately picked up by major radio stations, blogs, and fans around the world. Well over half the album went on to become radio singles. Her songs “Judas” and “Love and Fury” and “Young Summer Love” went on to become three of the most requested songs of the 2014/2015 on Hit Music Station Z97.1. Without promotion or label support, it was named one of the “Best Records of 2014,” by The Times Union. Ashley quickly began selling out shows in the Northeast, garnering legions of fans.  Her fresh Folk Rock sound has awoken listeners from her hometown to across the ocean. Known for her ability to sing you into a memory, she makes no apology for her commitment to the lyrics. She says her songs are “poems set to music.” The oldest Folk Rock venue in the United States, the same place Bob Dylan got his start said, “We believe that soon, Ashley Sofia will become a household name.” (Visitor Center: 7, 9 & 11pm)
The Blackouts are a Classic Rock Duo comprised of Tom Lindsay and Jeff Ravreby who have been playing together for 15 years in and around Saratoga. Both Skidmore graduates have enjoyed playing at various well-known hot spots such as Gaffney's, Saratoga Tap and Barrel, Bailey's Cafe, City Tavern, Horseshoe Inn, The Local, Lake Local, Skidmore Reunions and private parties. We play a variety of rock, blues and dance music that gets the crowd dancing, singing and feeling good. Our music spans 7 decades since the 50's up to the present and we occasionally like to throw in an original tune written by Tom that are crowd pleasers. Tom plays electric guitar, sings and plays harmonica. Jeff plays bass, guitar and sings.  (Saratoga Springs Post Office: 7, 9 & 11pm)
Blind Buck Farm is a sustainable farm in Salem, New York, established in 2010, owned and managed by Lubna Dabbagh. The farm raises fiber animals, poultry and eggs, and produce. Currently we have 25 purebred Angora goats, 30 Merino sheep,  1 Llama, and 2 Alpacas, some of which will be joining us on New Years Eve!  We are also very pleased that in 2014, we acquired a flock of 4 Leicester Longwood sheep, a severely endangered species. Today our flock has grown to 14 Leicesters.  By keeping our own flocks, we can guarantee that all of our fiber is natural. Our yarns are spun by local mills, too. All of our animals are raised on pasture, enriched with organic materials.  Our specialty is blending fine fibers in unique combinations. In addition, we  blend our fibers with other natural fibers from local farms.  We dye our own yarn right on the farm, using only heavy metal-free non-toxic dyes. Many of our colors are inspired by our farm. (NBT Bank Parking Lot: all night)
Blues Journeys music pulls from the Delta to Chicago and beyond.  Vocalist Donna Marie Tritico and blues guitarist Andrew Wheeler present this interpretive blues performance to take you down dirt roads of Mississippi, through the piney woods of the deep south, moonlit nights in the delta, highways 49&61, an empty freight train car, and the hustle and bustle of downtown Chicago at the height of pre-World War II blues music. Hailed as "genuine, authentic and engaging", you'll explore music steeped in Americana - the music of such legends as Memphis Minnie, Blind Willie Johnson, Robert Johnson, Bessie Smith, Elizabeth Cotton, Tommy Johnson, Charley Patton, Leroy Carr & Scrapper Blackwell, Tampa Red, Big Bill Broonzy, Muddy Waters and many more. Hear and feel these legends come alive in story and song.  (Empire State College, Meeting Room 105: 7, 9 & 11pm)

Bob Malone has toured the world as a solo artist for two decades and has played keyboards with rock legend John Fogerty since 2011. He is also a busy session player and arranger, and recently played on a track for the upcoming Ringo Starr record. Classically trained, with a degree in jazz and a lifetime playing rock & roll clubs, theaters, and arenas, Bob’s sound is a one-of-a-kind hybrid of rock, blues, and New Orleans R&B, delivered with high-energy piano virtuosity and a voice all his own.  Born and raised in New Jersey, he has lived in New York City, New Orleans and Boston, and is currently based in Los Angeles. As a solo artist, Bob plays around 100 shows a year in the US, UK, Europe and Australia – including sets at Glastonbury Music Festival (UK), Colne Blues Festival (UK), Long Beach Bayou Fest (US), Falcon Ridge Folk Fest (US), Blue Mountains Music Fest (AU), and Narooma Blues Fest (AU). He has been featured twice at WWOZ Piano Night in New Orleans, and has opened for Boz Scaggs, Subdudes, The Neville Brothers, Rev. Al Green, BoDeans, Dr. John, Marcia Ball and many others. As a member of John Fogerty’s band, he has played with Bruce Springsteen, Bob Seger, Jackson Browne, Billy Gibbons, Jimmy Buffett, and Alan Toussaint.  Malone’s latest album, Mojo Deluxe, went to #1 on the Independent British Blues Broadcasters (IBBA) radio chart, was one of the top 100 most played CDs in 2015 on the Roots Music Report radio charts, was top 15 on the Relix/ charts, and appeared on the Living Blues and Americana Music Association (AMA) radio charts. Videos from Bob’s 2016 Mojo Live DVD were premiered by Relix Magazine and Alternative Root Magazine. (Caffe Lena: 6,8 & 10pm)

Brass & Blues is where Dixieland Jazz meets Delta Blues in this trio of Mark Tolstrup on vocals, slide guitar and tenor banjo, Ernie Belanger on tuba and Woody Strobeck on trombone. Mark has been performing his passionate interpretation of Delta Blues in the Saratoga Springs area for many years solo and with acoustic and electric bands. Both Ernie and Woody have many decades of experience playing Dixieland Jazz throughout the region.  Together they produce a sound from the roots of American music moaning low with the blues and rollicking with the joy of traditional jazz of New Orleans. (Caffe Lena, 7, 9 & 11pm)  
Brendan Eprile is a singer-songwriter from Bennington, Vermont now living in Brooklyn. Brendan plays acoustic originals with jazz and blues influences and powerful vocals. As a longtime activist, the songs often have a political message, and Brendan continues to work at the intersection between arts, politics, and music. He has performed at music venues across the world including New York, Boston, Washington DC, London, and Copenhagen. He has worked closely with the GRAMMY Foundation and has been featured on their website, and last year he was a finalist for the Singer-Songwriter Showcase at Solarfest. Brendan Eprile has released one EP titled "The Flow", and is working on other projects. He recently completed finished his degree at Oberlin College, and now lives in New York working part-time at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, part-time at a non-profit music industry organization, and spending the rest of the time performing.  (Visitor Center: 6, 8 & 10pm)
Broadway Showtunes Stars

Jeff Boyer takes bubbles to the max in this one-man bubble extravaganza: Bubble Trouble.  A bubble volcano. Bubble roller coaster. A kid in a bubble? Bubble Trouble is the craziest, most creative bubble show around. Jeff juggles bubbles, sculpts and builds with bubbles, makes fog-filled bubbles and more. Mixing comedy, music and interactive bubble-magic, he engages and delights audiences of all ages. A hit at performing arts centers, festivals…anywhere there’s air! (Lake Avenue Gym 1: 6pm, 7:20pm, 8:40pm)


Buffalo Brass Machine is an eight-piece New Orleans-style brass band with Pop and R&B influences. Based out of the wintery wonderland of Buffalo, NY, the Buffalo Brass Machine is sure to get you out of your seat and movin'!  (Outside Saratoga Arts, all night long)

Broken Box Mime Theater (BKBX) is an NYC-based, collaborative theater company that performs original, contemporary short stories through movement.  Join us for a family-friendly showing of plays that range from realistic to metaphorical, heart-wrenching to hilarious, and cinematic to intimate, done in a classic style with a contemporary flair. Imaginations of all ages will ignite, engage, and jump for joy as we ring in the New Year together. Since forming in 2011, BKBX has received New York Innovative Theatre Awards for Outstanding Ensemble, Outstanding Performance Art, and Outstanding Choreography/Movement. BKBX has received grants and funding from the White Pines Residency, CUNY Dance Initiative Residency at City College, A.R.T./New York Creative Space Grants, the Nancy Quinn Foundation Grant, the Cultural Development Fund, and NYSCA.  In August BKBX worked in residency with Bennington Center for the Arts. (Lake Avenue School Auditiorim: 6pm, 7:20pm, 8:40pm)

Caricatures are drawn by Rich Conley, a professional caricature artist since 1988, although he has been drawing since he was old enough to hold a pencil.  Currently he does caricatures in both traditional and digital formats and is a proud member of the International Society of Caricature Artists. He has worked with such great groups as Albany Tulip Festival, MAAC and ECAC tournaments, Saratoga Racetrack, Gilda's House, Ronald McDonald House, Albany Conquest,Tri-City ValleyCats, State University at Albany, and Oneonta, RPI, Union, Sage, Albany College of Pharmacy, General Electric, Macy's, JC Penney, Boskovs, Albany Institute of Art and many, many more. He has also provided character design for various companies including all the design work for Saratoga Sweets.  He tries to bring a fun creative approach to any event by capturing the personality as well as well as the person. “It's important to me to make sure the people who sit for me have a fun and memorable time. My hope is that you leave with a great drawing and an even better memory.” (Free at the Saratoga Springs Post Office, all night)
Collette & the Mudcats have been playing music in the Capital Region, Massachusetts, and Vermont since 2009. A hard hitting, four-piece, female fronted band offering originals, rockin' and sultry Blues, R&B as well as a variety of Classic, Southern and Pop Rock. (Saratoga Music Hall: 7, 9 & 11pm)
The Comedy Works showcases the funniest, hardest working loal comedians as they work to make a name for themselves while making you LAUGH. Comedian line-up, TBA!  Empire State College, Rotunda: all night)
Darling Valley’s latest folk rock album, Crooked Orchards, fits together neatly. This isn’t by accident: it’s the work of a quartet that has hit a comfortable stride. The album, which came out June 24th on Sounds and Tones Records of North Adams, Mass., is full of folk ballads, quick rhythms and imaginative lyrics, all rooted in real experience. It’s the first record Darling Valley, two husband and wife duos from the capital region, released with Sounds and Tones. Previously, the band released two full-length albums and an EP under the name Accents. Since those releases, multiple songs have been featured in hit MTV dramas and other productions. The band’s unique blend of folk and indie-rock has a clear direction, despite—or maybe due in part to—the wide variety of instruments used. Lauren Foster, one of the band’s three vocalists, breaks out a pocket-trumpet during You’ll Go Far, Kid. Ashleigh Whitfield, another of the band’s vocalists, weaves theatrical-esque piano throughout band-favorite Five Years at Sea. All four members of Darling Valley play percussion live, on different drums, at different times. It all combines to create pretty, rich folk-pop with lyrical authenticity, even when a song takes place at sea or during a revolution. “With their complimentary male and female duets and penchant for storytelling, [this is] basically what The Decemberists would sound like on anti-depressants…” — Decoy Music (Saratoga Arts Dee Sarno Theater: 10 & 11pm) 
Deja Vu Jazz features Neil Giammatteo on trumpet, Dennis Maher on reeds and the vocal stylings of Bea Roman.  We play Traditional Jazz, Swing, and Music from the Great American Songbook. Bea is a retired NYC school teacher residong in Hudson Falls, NY who was a NYC caberet performer and has been singing with Deja Vu Jazz for 2 years. Dennis Maher is a retired Presbyterian minister from Lake Luzerne, NY who played sax in high school and college and is one of the original members of DeJa Vu Jazz. Neil Giammatteo is retired business executive who has been playing trumpet since 1947 and is the founding member of DeJa Vu Jazz. Neil resides in Wilton, NY. (Empire State College, Meeting Room 103: 7, 9 & 11pm)
Grafton Street Trio is named for the famous pedestrian walkway in Dublin, Ireland where street musicians entertain passers-by. The trio performs traditional Irish and other Celtic style music on uilleann bagpipes, fiddles, mandolin and guitar. The group especially enjoys high energy dance tunes from the Irish and Quebecois traditions and performs in the region for dances and festivals. (The Salvation Army, 6 & 7pm) 
Harold Ford – the Spirit of Johnny Cash demonstrates an uncanny vocal and physical resemblance to the great American musician. Raised on the old American pioneer songs, at the age of four Harold began singing duets and harmonies with his sister, Dorothy. His father accompanied them on the banjo, and mother followed along with the piano. Music and a pioneering love of America became an integral part of his existence. Over the years, Ford weaved his way north, south, east and west, exploring the back roads, country woods and people of this great land. As a true American figure and artist himself, Harold Ford’s many experiences make him a storyteller in his own right and lend a deep identification to Johnny Cash’s music. (First Baptist Church, 7, 9 & 11pm)
Hellcat Maggie is an up and coming Celtic rock band that has started to take the capital region by storm.  Established in 2015, all seven members are seasoned local area musicians with years of experience. Combining traditional Irish and Celtic music with a full rock and roll band, Maggie has all the pieces to produce a full sound that gets the audience's attention the moment they hit the stage. Currently gigging from Lake George to Albany, including Harvey’s in Saratoga, Maggie is gaining admirers of all ages. (The Salvation Army: 8 & 9pm)
Hetko, SiegelSyracuse were brought together 7 years ago by the late great pianist Lee Shaw.  Syracuse and Siegel (bass & drums) were Shaw’s rhythm section and recorded several demos for then high school student pianist Nick Hetko – who has gone on to a career of incredible acclaim while still only 24 years old.  Rich Syracuse and Jeff Siegel were quite taken with the young prodigy and have kept up a relationship over the seven years performing both in upstate New York and New York City.  As a trio they also recorded on the cd Luna on the Argentinian record label Tamaba with Buenos Aires guitarist Ale Demogli.  Hetko has just been named the winner on piano of Lee Ritenour’s worldwide Six String Theory Competition and will be performing in Japan and L.A.  He has also performed with James Moody, Chris Potter, Matt Wilson, Kenny Burrell and more. Syracuse was the long time bassist for saxophonist Nick Brignola, while also performing along the way with Lee Shaw, Joey Calerazzo, Jeff “Tain” Watts,  Mose Allison, the Brubeck Brothers and more.  Siegel has worked with many jazz luminaries including Sir Roland Hanna, Dave Douglas, Ron Carter, Kurt Elling, Wadada Leo Smith, Jack DeJohnette and countless others.  The trio performs a wide range of material ranging from original compositions (drawing on the tradition of jazz and modern influences including odd meter and world music) to classic jazz, not to mention the original music of upstate New York favorite Lee Shaw.   This promises to be a most exciting and special event!  Don’t miss! (Saratoga Arts Dee Sarno Theater: 8 & 9pm)
Holly & Evan Band features Holly Toarmina and Evan Conway who have joined together with drummer Bob Morris and saxophonist Josh Greenberg to create an eclectic mix of soul, blues, jazz, and funk to create a unique alt-rock style with just a touch of hip-hop thrown in for good measure.  They have opened for Jim Weider (formerly of The Band), Johnny A. of the Yardbirds, competed twice at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis and have played the main stage at Albany's Tulip Fest. (Temple Sinai, 7, 9 & 11pm) 
Hot Club of Saratoga, the premier gypsy swing ensemble of the Saratoga/Capital Region, reflects the spirit and style originated by Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grappelli in the 1930’s. Following in the footsteps of a long line of gypsy jazz artists since that time, HCS brings together driving rhythms under dynamic soloing that gives the music a life and vibrancy sure to bring a smile and often an irresistible desire to move. From high energy dancing rhythms to soulful ballads and everything in-between, Hot Club of Saratoga has brought the hot swing sound to coffee houses, restaurants, clubs, swing dances, festivals, fundraising soirees, corporate functions, private parties, weddings, and celebrations of every kind. (St. Paul's Lutheran Church: 7, 9 & 11pm)
The Insolent Willies are the acoustic roots-music duo of Bill Ackerbauer and Frank DeVer Pullen, both singer-songwriters and multi-instrumentalists from the Mohawk Valley. The duo draws on an eclectic mix of influences from all over the musical map: vintage rock, classic country, blues, soul, reggae and traditional Celtic music all are represented in a typical set. Bill and Frank deploy acoustic guitar, upright bass, mandolin, banjo and harmonica to accompany their vocal harmonies as the spirit moves them. They delight audiences of all ages with a sometimes-surprising repertoire and a healthy dose of good humor. (Hampton Inn: 7 & 9pm)
Jimy Graham musical journey has brought him full circle. As a boy growing up in New York, he was heavily influenced by the Motown sound and Carribean beats, and by age 8 he picked up a guitar and started to undergo his experience. As a teenager, his daily practice was overheard by a neighborhood musician that was working with Wilson Pickett and he encouraged Graham to audition for Pickett's band. That audition resulted in his first professional job, occupying the same space in Pickett's band filled earlier by venerated guitar God Jimi Hendrix. Another parallel with the life of Hendrix occurred years later, when Graham portrayed him in the production of "Morrison: A Rock Opera" at the Hollywood Palace. On the west coast, Graham performed and recorded with Los Angeles Based reggae band Babylon Warriors and opened for UB40 with Reggae Superstar Pablo Moses. After an extensive tour to Zimbabwe Africa With Reggae Superstar Don Carlos From The Legendary Black Uhuru, Graham returned to New York, where he was in demand for studio sessions with Peter Tosh, Dennis Brown, Grace Jones and Sly and Robbie. His live performances include an impressive array of artists from every genre imaginable including Chuck Berry, Janet Jackson, and Maxi Priest. While in Asia, his spectacular performances at the world famous Japan's Budokan with Japan pop icons TRF garnered critical acclaim. His infectious blues/rock/reggae style packed houses during his artist residences at Shanghai's Piccone Club, Hong Kong's Rock school, The Roomful of Blues in Singapore and both The Hard Rock Cafe and The Roadhouse in Macau, China. Throughout his stay in Japan, Graham taught at The Tokyo School of Music and ESP Guitar Music Institute. Inevitably his homesickness for his native Jamaica set in and he returned there to sell out nights at Kingston's trendy Red Bones Blues Cafe. While working on projects for Kingston based artists like Jack Radics with gold record (Jimmy Cliff) producer, Paul Henton, word got around to the producers of Jamaica's Jazz and Blues Festival. Graham was invited to perform on the main stage at the 15th Anniversary of the festival in 2011. His performance electrified the crowd with a set that included a medley of the National Anthem of Jamaica with the Star Spangled Banner played with his teeth.  (Empire State College, Meeting Room 105: 7, 9 & 11pm)
Joan Scannell - It's in the Cards Tarot and Numerology is a local Tarot reader, numerologist, and author who brings 25 years of experience to her readings and gatherings. Joan combines Numerology and Tarot to give a thorough reading and help individuals answer challenging questions. She also adds Astrology in her readings where appropriate. Public appearances include Saratoga’s First Night Celebrations, NYRA’s Fabulous Fillies event, Project Lift University Fundraiser, World Awareness Children’s Museum Mardi Gras Event, National Dowser’s Convention and Bolton Landings Girlfriend’s Getaway Weekend. Joan is also a regular reader at The Magic Moon, Saratoga’s much-loved metaphysical shop, and is the founder of the Saratoga Springs Tarot Enthusiasts Meet-up group. Come early to make an appointment.  (Empire State College, Meeting Room 125, 6-10pm) 
Jo-Jo’s Fabulous Faces immerses your children in a world of imagination and fun with extraordinary face painting that will transform your child into a wild animal, beautiful fairy princess, or mighty super hero! The possibilities are only limited by your imagination.  We ensure safety standards by the use of FDA hypoallergenic high quality makeup, brushes, sponges, glitter, liquid glitter,  and gems,  to create a range of amazing artistic possibilities. We promise to put a smile on everyone's face! (Lake Avenue School, Gym 2: 6-9:30pm)
Katie Louise is a 20 year old singer/songwriter from Saratoga County, New York. She is an acoustic pop and soul musician who continually beats at her craft. Determined to be unlimited, she has sought after the in and outs of both online media and performing live. Her unique voice and sense of musical direction has led her to build a growing fanbase. She continues to get more and more people interested in her music. Her success singing live has led to a continuous line-up of gigs, including opening up for bigger artists such as the DollyRots and Ryan Clark. Her original songs can be heard at any live performance. She plans to release m​usic as her fanbase grows. (Adirondack Trust: 6 & 8pm)
Kevin Richards is an award winning Country Dance instructor (6 Northeast CMA Awards), producing Country dance shows for the Wildhorse Saloon (96,97,98,08), Dollywood (08), Walt Disney's Magic Music Days (99,00,08) and hosting and opening shows for singers like Chris Young, Lee Brice, Easton Corbin, Randy Houser, Craig Campbell, LoCash, Jana Kramer and Dustin Lynch at Vapor in Saratoga Casino.  Richards is also a well-known Country Radio Broadcaster and Country Music promoter most noted for winning a national CMA Award as medium market radio personality of the year in 2006. In all, the Northeast radio veteran has earned 7 national Country Music Association (CMA) Award nominations since 2000, and one nod from the Academy of Country Music (ACM) in 2014.  Kevin Richards began his broadcasting career at the age of 12 on WSCG in Corinth, New York. After winning a contest on the radio, the young country fan found himself applying for a child actor's permit to legally work on the air after school. After working at several Northeast Country Stations, and a stint on Sirius Radio, Richards is currently heard on 100.9 The Cat and Froggy 100.3 in both the Albany and Glens Falls, New York markets. In addition to his radio shows, Richards has hosted and produced Country themed events all over the nation.  (Military Museum: 6 & 7pm)
L.B. Walker has been described in simple terms: a “stellar performer with a rich voice.” With the help of a 1930 National Steel Guitar, blues harmonica and a foot-stompin' tambourine, L.B. attracts audiences of all ages with his enthusiasm for the blues, his renditions of classic American standards, and his own original tunes. From the street sounds of Memphis and the rhythm of North Mississippi to the soulful sounds of the Delta, L.B. Walker is ready to display musical artistry that lives up to the immortal tradition of American blues music. (Empire State College, Meeting Room 103: 6, 8 & 10pm)

Lucy found its beginning in an old carpet factory in Queensbury, NY in 2009. Front man, Jake Brooks, then 14, and guitarist, Johnny Gravitt, then twelve, joined forces in after being paired from their guitar instructor. The pair quickly discovered an effortless and natural shared vision, and passion for songwriting.  After a bout of trial and error, Brooks and Gravitt found drummer, Kyle Squires, and keyboardist/vocalist Ali Genevich in 2014. Since, the group has gone on to support a number of national acts, including: Coldwar Kids, Circa Waves, July Talk, and Colony House.  The band spent much of 2017 crafting their forthcoming debut EP with Producer/Songwriter, Tommy Eichmann (Alex Winston, Twin Wave, VHS Collection). With a sound equal parts gut wrenching and heartwarming, the band deftly manuevers through Indie Rock and Pop, creating a sonic world beyond their years. This is Lucy.

Maddy Hicks is a singer songwriter from Saratoga County who has been sharing her catchy, heartfelt music at local coffee houses and open mics for the last four years. Her influences include Sara Bareilles, Ed Sheeran, Kacey Musgraves, and Taylor Swift. A junior at Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake High School, Maddy plans to attend college after graduation to study songwriting. She has already taken classes and workshops through Berklee College of Music to better herself as a musician. Her set includes new original music that showcases her distinct voice and sound.  (Adirondack Trust Bank, 7pm)
Matthew Boyce & the Suspicious Minds is fronted by a 17-year-old Elvis Tribute Artist who most recently, placed second in the adult, 70s division at the Lake George Elvis Festival in 2015 and 2016. He also placed 3rd in a fan’s choice Elvis Contest in Montreal. A tribute artist since 2007, Matthew has taken his love for Elvis all over, performing in New York, Vermont, Massachusetts, Canada and more. Locally, you may have seen Matthew at Fall Festival, First Night 2015, Polish Fest and more. This band strives to be the most accurate representation to seeing Elvis live on tour. With their vintage microphones, instruments, and the replica jumpsuits, this show is one not to miss! Whether you’re a die hard Elvis fan or you just enjoy the music, you’ll be glad you came to this show! (Presbyterian New-England Congregational Church, 8pm & 10pm)
Michael Ray has been a staple in the North Country, bringing his unusual talent to schools and other charitable organizations. Michael Started entertaining audiences as a magician at the young age of 9. While attending college, Michael studied the art and techniques of hypnosis. Combining his skills with over 30 years of experience and his unique sense of humor, Comic Hypnotist - Michael Ray has a way of involving the entire audience in this over the top show. Michael Ray's high energy comedy hypnosis show is guaranteed to have you laughing and talking about it for days to come. (Saratoga Hilton, Broadway Ballroom, 7 & 9:30pm)
Mike Campese is an American guitarist and composer best known for being a member of the multi-platinum group Trans-Siberian Orchestra. Mike was picked over several guitarists in 2004 during the band's fourth CD, The Lost Christmas Eve and received a gold record for his work. Mike has been featured in many national guitar magazines such as Guitar Club in Italy, Guitar One and writes lessons for Guitar Player magazine, Guitar World magazine and Guitar Club Magazine. Mike is a versatile musician who describes his style as Rock Fusion and writes vocal and instrumental arrangements, electric and acoustic.  (Lifestyles of Saratoga, 7, 9 & 11pm)
MJ Henion has been studying and practicing rune divination for many years and uses the Elder Futhark for her readings. The Elder Futhark, consisting of 24 runes is the oldest form of the runic alphabets and was used by Germanic tribes as a communication system starting in the 2nd century. Many believe runes have mystical powers and are more direct at targeting what is going on in our lives. MJ is Senior Druid of Tear of the Cloud Grove, ADF and teaches runes, tarot and other metaphysical classes for those looking to expand their knowledge and empower themselves. Her interests besides divination include Civil War history, paranormal research, nature photography, hiking and sports medicine. Show up early to make a reservation!  (Empire State College, Room 125, 6-10pm)
Nitro Jive is a unique band to the upstate New York region. Since their debut in 2006, they have brought their high-energy style of Jump, Blues and Swing to audiences of all ages.  Nitro Jive's sound is heavily influenced by the horn driven Jump and Swing bands of the late 1940's and modern bands like Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, Brian Setzer and Royal Crown Revue.  Fronted by Billy Deuel, a swingin' male vocalist and excellent showman, Nitro Jive delivers a vibe and show that swings the audience with toe- tapping grooves. The smokin' hot rhythm section of Jeff Dowd on drums, Sam Farkas on guitar and Kevin Norris on bass deliver the pulse of the music. Eric Walentowicz / saxes, Peter Bellino / trumpet and Ken Olsen / trombone combine their considerable talents to provide one of the very hottest horn sections heard anywhere.  Nitro Jive remains a favorite among the swing dancers, drawing record- setting crowds to the Saratoga Savoy Diamond Dances and Spa City Swingers dance events. Their appearances at events like Downtown Albany's Lunchtime Concert Series, Summertime Park Concerts and The Saratoga Polo Club prove they can “wow” an audience of listeners as well.  So, get ready to JUMP! Whether it's to the full seven-piece band or our Jazz flavored quartet/quintet version, Nitro Jive will present our unique show in a hip format certain to please dancers and listeners alike! (City Center, Upstairs Meeting Room, 6, 8 & 10pm)
Origami by Dan Busha has been folding and teaching origami for over 20 years. He has taught classes in Japanese paperfolding in Saratoga Springs, Glens Falls, Troy and Albany. He has also been one of the participants in Larkfest’s Family Fun Zone for three years and has provided decorations for several weddings and birthday parties, including a Saratoga event that celebrated Philly Dake’s 80th birthday in 2006. He has held workshops at the Saratoga Springs Library, Crandall Library and Saratoga First Night in years past. Through his workshops and classes, he has given children, teens and adults the opportunity to discover the world of origami and all its beauty for themselves.  This New Years Eve he will be providing instuctions for a modular origami pieces that will form a Sonobe Ball.  Write your resolution on the inside for good luck! (Saratoga Arts: all night)
Patrice Gandalfa has been reading and teaching tarot for over thirty years and will offer a workshop on tarot reading this First Night.  She will guide small groups through the meaning of the symbols and positions in the cardspread, and she’ll work with you to synthesize the story that the cards are telling.  Together you can learn to interpret hints the universe is offering and gain a better foundation for your won tarot work in the future.  (Empire State College Cafeteria, 6, 7, 8 & 9pm)

Planetarium Adventures takes you on a journey through space and time exploring the universe and ancient cultures. The Starlab Learning Dome, a portable planetarium, is an interactive teaching tool designed to inspire young minds.  Disguised as a “spacedome”, the visual impact in the Starlab is guaranteed to capture the attention and enthusiasm of students! (Lake Avenue School, Gym 2: 6-10pm)

Racing City Chorus, Saratoga Springs' Ambassadors of Harmony since 1956, are the reigning Mountain Division Champions of the 22,000 member Barbershop Harmony Society.  A long-time First Night participant popular with all age groups, the chorus performs a cappella standards, show tunes, pop songs and patriotic favorites in the unique American art form of barbershop four-part harmony. Their recent engagements include such diverse performances as the National Anthem for the Houston Astros affiliate Tri-City Valley Cats professional baseball team and the Saratoga Springs City Council's inauguration; traditional holiday carols for the Saratoga Springs' Downtown Business Association's Victorian Streetwalk; SPAC's Community Picnic; the Saratoga National Cemetery's Korean War Veterans memorial service; the City Center's Chip Festival; the Saratoga Springs Chamber of Commerce's Hat's Off festival; the New York Racing Association's Veteran's Appreciation Day; and the "Barbershop on Broadway" series of sidewalk mini-concerts.  (Church of St. Peter, 10 & 11pm)
Ramblin Jug Stompers are seasoned performers who spent years touring and recording in notable combos such as Blotto, Star Spangled Washboard Band, Commander Cody and the Lost Planet Airmen, The Neanderthals and The Stomplistics. Now Bowtie, Cousin Clyde, Wild Bill and Mister Eck return to their acoustic beginnings in jug band music, old time country and blues. Their signature ramblin style of music and witty stage antics create an American roots ruckus tangled up in ragtime melodies, country harmonies and their patented "dual banjo attack". (City Center, Downstairs Meeting Room, WEXT STAGE, 7 & 10pm)
Saratoga Soundtrack Chorus is an award winning women's a cappella group, singing four-part harmony. Singing everything from standards and jazz to ballads and contemporary songs the chorus has been performing under the direction of the talented composer/arranger/director Nancy Faddegon since 2008. Their musical performance is visually enhanced through characterization and choreography. Through the years this musical group has delighted local audiences at many popular events and venues: Congress Park, Saratoga Race Course, Dance Flurry, Saratoga Memorial Day Parade, and First Night. Saratoga Soundtrack Chorus is chartered with Sweet Adelines International, a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting the art form of barbershop harmony through education and performance. The members of SSC recently were awarded Master Singers status by scoring 601 points at the Sweet Adelines Region 15 Greater NewYork/New Jersey competition in Albany. Currently, Saratoga Soundtrack Chorus maintains fourth place worldwide in the Harmony Classic Sweet Adelines International Competition which was held in Las Vegas. Ring in the New Year with the melodious sounds of the holidays as performed by these gifted musicians! (NYS Military Museum, 7 & 9pm) 
Saratoga Youth Symphony was founded in 2012 by three dedicated musicians in New York’s Capital Region:  Sue Nazzaro, Ubaldo Valli, and Ellen Madison. The symphony orchestra was founded on the belief that great music should be available to all students and that the musicians of the orchestra should be able to share their love for music with each other, and within the community.  Under the leadership of Music Director Katie Gardner, the SYS provides an orchestral experience for talented student musicians ages 18 and under. Members of the Youth Symphony represent more than two dozen schools throughout the Capital District. The SYS continues to build upon its reputation for musical excellence while maintaining its commitment to music education and community activities.  (Church of St. Peter, 6 & 7pm)
SIRSY is a rock and soul duo with lots of pop sensibility and just the right amount of sass. The Boston Globe sums it up, “Little band. Big Sound.” Although the only thing “little” about Sirsy is that there's just two of them.  SIRSY is fronted by powerhouse vocalist Melanie (Mel) Krahmer, who is described as “one of the most powerful & flexible voices you’ll ever hear.” (-Times Union). Still, there is more to Mel than her soul-inspired vocals: she also plays a full drum kit while standing up (she’s been featured in Modern Drummer Magazine and is officially endorsed by Paiste Cymbals and Vater Percussion). Mel also plays bass parts with a drum stick (on a keyboard mounted on her drums). She even throws in an occasional flute solo, too.  Guitarist Rich Libutti plays a well-loved and road-worn Rickenbacker through a pedal board of vintage effects. “The guitar player is flawless and raw. Clean enough to be enjoyed, and just edgy enough to make you grin.” (-SXSW Music Blog, Austin TX). Rich also plays bass on a keyboard with his feet. Sirsy has played over 250 shows a year nationally for the last 10 years. They average about 60,000 miles per year in their little white van aptly named "Miles" -- as they tour for a living. You will normally find them in the headline slot but they have also been special guests of such musical stalwarts as Maroon 5, Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, Train, RaRaRiot, Third Eye Blind, Lifehouse, Blues Traveler, Cheap Trick, and many more. SIRSY has played official showcases at CMJ and SXSW as well as marquee venues like The Viper Room and Gramercy Theater. Their energetic live show often includes stories and laughter from the stage. SIRSY is currently hard at work writing new songs for a follow-up to their latest EP Sketches and Ghosts and their most recent full-length offering, Coming into Frame. SIRSY’s song Cannonball was featured on the Showtime original series Shameless. Their music video for Lionheart was in the rotation on MTVu and their song Revolution was the theme song for a PBS documentary So Right So Smart.  (City Center Mainstage, 7 & 10pm)
Seina Shirakura is a violinist, violist, fiddler and teacher, who aims to spread her love of music with others. Shirakura got her start in fiddling in middle school and played in the Saratoga Springs High School Fiddle Club. She teaches both fiddle and classical music and has had performances at Carnegie Hall, Tanglewood, Troy Savings Bank Music Hall, SPAC, and more. She attended the Manhattan School of Music for Precollege and will graduate this year from the Hartt School in CT with a BM in Violin Performance and Suzuki Pedagogy. (Saratoga Arts Gallery, 7, 9 & 11pm)
Shakespeare Approves invites you to join Will Shakespeare as he takes you on adventures full of merriment, sword fights, mistaken identities, star-cross’d lovers, romance, shipwrecks, musical numbers, and … being pursued by a bear! The Shakespearean adventures are a family-friendly, madcap, zany time where everyone gets involved, whether you want to jump onstage as a performer or sit back in the audience & enjoy the fun! Where there’s a Will, there’s a Play! (Saratoga Springs Post Office, 6, 8 & 10pm)
Shane Guerrette is a fresh 18-year-old singer-songwriter with big dreams and an ever-expanding fan base, whose future as a performer looks quite promising. Drawing on modern influences from artists such as Ed Sheeran and John Mayer, Guerrette also pays tribute to familiar greats—from Jimi Hendrix to Dave Matthews. Still, hearing Guerrette’s music is all you need to see that the up-and-coming singer-songwriter has blended his influences of electric and acoustic rock to form a style that is uniquely his own. (Adirondack Trust Bank, 6 & 8pm) 
Silent Wings Raptors bring birds of prey up close courtesy of the Wildlife Institute of Eastern New York.  Owls, hawks, eagles and falcons; all have remarkable adaptations and skills for survival in the wild and all are breathtakingly beautiful and fascinating to watch!  Admired for their strength, speed and astounding grace raptors are some of the most successful hunters in the animal kingdom. Their fierce independence and tenacity has been the source of admiration for countless generations.  Learn about them, their unique behaviors and the conservation issues that impact them including natural selection and the “human” impact on species survival. (Lake Avenue School Cafeteria: 6-8pm & 8-10pm)
The Storycrafters, Barry Marshall, and Jeri Burns, PhD, have been working together since 1991, and have been storytellers for even longer than that. They perform and teach their art form in schools, libraries, and other venues all over the US and the British Isles.   Jeri and Barry believe in the time-tested wisdom of traditional stories, and share that wisdom with today’s audiences. They strive to honor world cultures by telling the old stories in respectful ways, often integrating the musical instruments, songs or dances indigenous to that region. The Storycrafters have been recognized nationally and locally, from the prestigious Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Platinum Award and Parents Choice Awards, for their storytelling recordings, to Artists of the Year in their county. Their family radio show, “Just Imagine” has been showered with awards from the NYS Broadcasters’ Association. Publishers’ Weekly describes them as "top-notch family entertainment". (Presbyterian New-England Congregation Church, 6 & 7pm)
Uncharted Wild is a group dedicated to bringing learning and fun to audiences of all ages through their one of a kind, interactive live animal programs. They bring the wild to you, with bugs, snakes, turtles, and lizards from around the world that you definitely won't see in your backyard. Learn how a frog swallows with its eyes, a snake smells with its tongue, or a tortoise saves entire ecosystems! They guarantee you've never laughed so hard while learning about snakes and spiders! You can feel, see, and learn up close why reptiles and other "creepy crawlies" aren't as scary as they may seem.  (Lake Avenue School, Gym 2: 6-10pm)
Vedrana Kalas, soprano, is a native of Bosnia, a war torn country, from which she emigrated as a teenager with her family. She graduated from Crane School of Music at SUNY Potsdam with honors and several vocal awards.  As a non- native English speaker, she is especially passionate about working with children from different cultures. Growing up through the Bosnian war she is particularly sensitive to children who come from similar underprivileged circumstances. In September of 2013 she dedicated her solo recital "Ouvre ton coeur" to children and youth of Bosnia who don’t have the opportunities that many of us are blessed with every day. This concert will be reprised on First Night in an effort to continue this awareness.  In her recent appearance as Mimi (La Boheme), Ms. Kalas “touched hearts bringing a specific vocalism to every situation she was in”.  Equally comfortable as a concert soloist Ms. Kalas performed with the Nacre Dance Company of Saratoga Springs, Opera Saratoga, Octavo Singers, Jubilate Singers, Mendelssohn Club of Albany, and Albany Pro Musica. Most recently, Ms. Kalas appeared as a soprano soloist with the NYC Ballet and Orchestra in A Midsummer Night’s Dream at SPAC in Saratoga Springs. Throughout her training she has worked with the world renowned artists such as Justino Diaz, Sherrill Milnes, Warren Jones, and John Wustman. Recently selected as the finalist for the prestigious Jenny Lind- Barnum Festival Voice Competition in Bridgeport (CT), Ms. Kalas is also a two time recipient of the Joel Dolven Vocal Award from the Mendelssohn Club of Albany. 

What is First Night Saratoga?

One of the oldest and largest celebrations of its kind in the country:

  • 15,000+ revelers;
  • The 5k roadrace at Skidmore College;
  • 30 venues throughout Historic Downtown Saratoga Springs;
  • 70+ regional and touring acts performing live music, dance, comedy and magic from 6pm to midnight!


The most affordable, accessible, safe and exciting all-ages New Year's Eve event in the region:

  • 9,000 admission buttons priced at $20 and under;
  • Kids 12 and under are admitted for free; 
  • All venues are alcohol-free;
  • Free CDTA bus service;
  • Fireworks in Congress Park at midnight!


First Night Saratoga will be the highlight of your outgoing year!



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