Saratoga Arts - Arts Center | Arts Council

VENDORS

Caffe Lena food from the kitchen with TLC #14

The Farmer's Daughter at the City Center all night #1

The First Baptist Church food from the kitchen with TLC #13

Fritelli-Lockwood cold-weather wear at Saratoga Arts #12

Green Mountain Gourmet Cotton Candy at the Lake Ave School #6

The Hungry Traveller out front of Saratoga Arts #12

The Mason Jar Gourmet Mac & Cheese in the ADT drive thru #17

Moby Dick's Fish Fry at Empire State College #8

The Salvation Army food from the kitchen with TLC #15

 


MEMORABILIA

 

First Night Posters with art by Sharon Bolton:

$20/ $15 - First Night 2019 

$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 2019

$5- Previous First Nights

 

Artists

Introducing our First Night 2019 lineup!

On the mainstage ~

Introduced by Chris Wienk of WEXT- 
listener supported roots and rock music from Albany New York

Sawyer Fredericks is a 19 year old singer-songwriter hailing from his family's farm in central New York State.  He is fast establishing himself as an authentic original, Americana artist with an old soul. His deep, beyond-his-years lyrics and melodies, raw, soulful vocals, and powerful live performances have attracted an ever growing number of devoted fans of all ages, selling out shows throughout the US. As a folk/blues singer-songwriter, who cut his teeth at local farmers markets, open mics, and iconic New York venues like Caffe Lena, the Towne Crier Cafe, and The Bitter End, Sawyer seemed an unlikely match for reality TV, but quickly won over broad audiences with his genuine delivery and unique arrangements of classic songs, going on to win season 8 of NBC's The Voice . Fresh from that whirlwind, Sawyer went forward with the release of his major label debut, A Good Storm , with Republic Records, an impressive blend of soulful Folk, blues, and rock, entirely written or co-written by Sawyer. For 2018, Sawyer has once again gone independent.  His album, Hide Your Ghost, is entirely written and produced by Fredericks and sheds the high gloss major label treatment while staying true to Fredericks’s honest and elegantly stripped down style.  Self-described “free range folk” and incorporating elements of blues, roots rock, and jazz with live instrumental arrangements throughout, Hide Your Ghost, is considered one of the top ten Americana Albums of 2018.  This First Night, Fredericks will have just returned from an extensive tour throughout the US and Canada, in support of this powerhouse album.  (#1: City Center, Main Stage: 10:30pm – 12:10am- Join us for a NYE countdown!)

Professor Louie & The Crowmatix is a Grammy-nominated Woodstock band that plays 150 shows every year in the US and worldwide. Led by Recording Engineer and Producer Aaron 'Professor Louie' Hurwitz on vocals, keyboards and accordion, the Crowmatix repertoire is steeped in rock 'n' roll, blues, gospel and American roots music, and features a compelling collection of original and traditional tunes.  Professor Louie & The Crowmatix began as the studio backing band for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductees, The Band; a relationship which extended for over 17 Years.  In 2018, a new EP, The Lost Band Tracks, was released on Funzalo/Woodstock Records and has been receiving great reviews and much radio airplay. The 2017 recording Crowin' The Blues was voted in the top 50 CD’s of 2017 by RMR Contemporary Blues Charts crossing over to The Americana Charts and Jam Band Charts. Professor Louie & The Crowmatix have 13 CD’s on The Woodstock Records label, have been inducted into Blues Hall Of Fame, New York Chapter and hold a permanent place in The Canada South Blues Museum. The groups consists of Professor Louie (Keys-Accordion,Vocals); John Platania (Guitar-Vocals) who is known for his great performances with Van Morrison for over thirty years and collaborated with Van creating some top hits such as Domino; Gary Burke (Drums) who performed with Bob Dylan’s The Rolling Thunder Review recorded and toured extensively with Joe Jackson. Miss Marie (Vocals-Percussionist-Keys) who preformed and recorded with Levon Helm, Rick Danko, and Garth Hudson; and Frank Campbell (Bass-Vocals) who is Levon Helm’s music director with the Woodstock All-stars touring the USA.  This First Night Professor Louie will be joined by The Woodstock Horns to perform the music of The Band and close out the old year with other Crowmatix original hits.  (#1: City Center, Main Stage: 8:15–10pm)

Sydney Worthley is an up-and-coming young singer/songwriter from New York’s capital region who melds alt-rock, folk, and pop into a sound all her own. Sydney’s debut album, Strong, is a 14-track roller coaster built on strength, courage, and perseverance. From the warm opening guitar riff of title-track “Strong”, to the brooding refrain of “Better Than You”, to the rock anthem “Part of Me”, Strong takes a powerful stance in the face of tremendous loss and heartbreak. We all, at some point, face hardship or feel isolated. Sydney is passionate about sharing her experiences to help others feel connected and understood, and to find the strength to go on.  In 2016, Sydney met Andrew Gabriel of Ambassador Music Group (AMG). Recognizing Sydney’s talent, Andrew signed her to AMG management and, later that year, produced Strong. Sydney has since performed at Mountain Jam Music Festival, Saratoga First Night, across New England, and all over New York’s Capital Region. Her music can be enjoyed on Albany’s 97.7 WEXT and 102.7 WEQX, Woodstock NY’s 100.3 WDST, and WAPS “The Summit” in Akron, OH.  “Sydney Worthley is an artist to keep an eye on. She is young, but don’t dismiss her as a novelty for that reason. Her songwriting is impressive and memorable; a shining star for many releases to come. Pay attention now! She’s on her way.” ~ Brad Savage, Program Director – WAPS “The Summit” Akron, OH (#1: City Center, Main Stage: 6– 7:45pm)

 

From the top~

A World For You is the byline for Brandon James of Saratoga Springs, New York, the talented multi-instrumentalist and one-man show. A World For You’s mellow and melodic brand of Indie/Blues/Rock is intriguing and delightful. By composing all of the music and playing all of the instruments, Brandon showcases his exceptional talent. (#2: Marriott Courtyard, Yaddo Room: 6, 8 & 10pm)

Arm-of-the-Sea is a performance ensemble that channels the evocative power of mask & puppet theater as a force for joy, insight, and community uplift. Their original shows fuse the cutting-edge discoveries of science with the age-old arts of puppetry to enact stories that matter; stories that communicate across boundaries, revealing our common humanity, and illuminating essential relationships between people and the life-support networks of this blue-ocean planet.   In addition to Marallo & Wadden, the creative team includes designer Jean Whelan, musicians Dean Jones, Eli Winograd, Juan Basilio Sanchez, and performers Kira deCoudres, Anna Haffner, Sam Shippee, and Soyal Smalls. The Theater tours throughout the Northeast & mid-Atlantic states and also hosts an annual hometown extravaganza - THE ESOPUS CREEK PUPPET SUITE – each summer in Saugerties, NY.  Performance credits include: Lincoln Center Out-of-Doors Festival, Detroit Festival of the Arts, Smithsonian Institute, Brooklyn Academy of Music, Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts, Lotus Festival of World Music, and the New Haven Festival of Art & Ideas.  This First Night Arm-of-the-Sea will give us a taste of the spring to come with three performances of “Dirt: The Secret Life of Soil” -a lively primer for urban bumpkins and upcountry gardeners alike. Fusing cutting-edge science and age-old puppetry, DIRT takes audiences on an extravagant journey of discovery into the Great Underneath—revealing
the epic alchemy of plants, the fungi’s dance of mutual delight, and the microbes’ herculean labors. Featuring live music and a myriad of puppet gures ranging from 12 inches to 12 feet tall, the show reminds earthly residents of all ages how profoundly essential is the ground beneath their feet.  (#6: Lake Avenue School, Gym #1: 6, 7:30 & 9pm)

Belle-Skinner is a nostalgic indie-folk and jazz songwriter from Upstate New York and Brooklyn. With a hauntingly beautiful, lilting soprano and innate sense of melody she crafts tales of songbirds, sirens and desert nomads - nuanced and layered stories that bridge the gap between past and present. Though her influences cover a broad range of genres - from French chansons and Russian folk to contemporary alt-pop and rock - her voice often draws comparisons to the likes of Joni Mitchell, Jeff Buckley, and Angel Olsen. Opening for acts such as Saint Saviour, Bill Ryder-Jones, Joy Ike, Sean Rowe, Mitski, Novelty Daughter, Winterpills, and Heather Maloney, she has performed at venerated venues like The Linda, Rocky Mountain Folks Festival, and the Roundhouse Theatre in London.  In 2015 she was a finalist at the Telluride Troubadour Competition; a showcasing songwriter on the main-stage at Rocky Mountain Folks Festival in Lyons, CO; a semi-finalist in The 2015 Great American Songwriting Contest; a finalist in July 2016’s SolarFest Songwriter Showcase; and in August 2016 a showcasing artist at MusikFest, the country’s largest free music festival. In 2013 she was awarded a Maguire Fellowship to study music production in London, where she recorded her first EP, titled Operator. Her second EP, titled We Shut Our Eyes, was released in November 2016 and she is currently working on her first full-length album. For fans of: Joan Baez, Regina Spektor, Jeff Buckley, Joni Mitchell, Lana Del Rey. (#8: Empire State College, Cafeteria: 7, 9 & 11pm)

Big Fez & the Surfmatics are a four-man group performing classic surf and beach music from the early 1960’s. While all four members are journeymen musicians who have individually developed their craft through rock, jazz, country, bluegrass, and celtic music, it is the music of their youth, the “music of the surf”, that has brought them together to form this outstanding combo. Big Fez and The Surfmatics’ repertoire includes the great instrumental hits of the surf era, including songs by such greats as The Ventures, Dick Dale, and The Trashmen. Big Fez also performs many of the great vocal hits of the beach era as well, performing songs by The Beach Boys, Jan and Dean, and many more. A Big Fez and The Surmatics show is not just a run-through of classic hits; it is also an immersion into the camp and fun of the early ‘60’s. The emphasis is on FUN, and audience participation is a huge part of the show, as audience members are encouraged to dance and sing the night away to the great dance crazes of the 60’s, like The Twist, The Bird, The Monkey, The Limbo, and many more. (#10: NBT Bank: 6 & 7pm)

The Blackouts debuted at First Night Saratoga two years ago and played again this past New Years Eve. Jeff Ravreby (Bass, Guitar, Vocals) and Tom Lindsay (Vocals, Guitar, Harmonica) have been playing together for 16 years and are fellow alums of Skidmore College. The Blackouts have entertained audiences from Manhattan to Glens Falls playing play classic rock, blues from the 50's through today and a few original compositions as well. Audiences enjoy an eclectic mix that's always changing and has people singing and dancing along. People who hear them are amazed that just the two people can create a full band sound. (#11: Saratoga Visitor’s Center: 10 & 11pm)

The Bovine Social Club was bred on the northern banks of the Delaware River, Bovine Social Club is a grassy, twangy, swinging breed of Americana sounds sure to get your dancing cow on. One wicked lineup of seasoned jam musicians backs the thoughful lyrics of vocalist, philosopher, memoirist and former monk, Samuel Saint Thomas. The Bovines' carefully crafted twangrass songs of longing, loving, picnicking, gardening, confessing, and making the days go really slow have sure become something to moo about. The Bovine sound is happily fertilized by country, bluegrass, folk, rock, old time, Celtic and gospel vocabularies, their self titled debut charted at #7 on the Roots Charts and #37 on the International Americana charts. BSC is one of the fastest growing and most highly respected new Americana bands in the Northeast, sharing some of the finest festival and concert stages with some of the finest talent. Bovine Social Club continues to grow their musical family while each new performance becomes another great experience for their avid fans. (#1:  City Center Upstairs Meeting Room: 6, 8:30 & 11pm- with a midnight countdown!)

Caricatures at Saratoga Arts are created by Mary A. Thompson who has been involved in the arts for many years and has been drawing at First Night Saratoga since 1998. Formal training includes studies at Clark University School of the Worcester Art Museum and Rochester Institute of Technology. She opened her business Caricatures And More in 2004, joined the International Society of Caricature Artists, and has drawn for numerous organizations and weddings. She taught caricaturing, cartooning, doodling, zen and classical drawing in area workshops & courses at BOCES and has illustrated a cookbook and a children's book among other illustration projects. Before that she was involved in the fiber arts with NYC gallery shows and sales of her work at Henri Bendels, NYC and her shop in Waitsfield, VT as well as teaching weaving for the NH League of Craftsmen, the John C. Campbell Folk School in Brasstown, NC and the Adirondack Folk School in Lake Luzerne, NY. (#12: Free in the Saratoga Arts Gallery, 6-10pm)

Caricatures at the Lake Avenue School are created by Rich Conley, a professional caricature artist since 1988 who 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.” (#6: Free at the Lake Ave School, Gym #2: 6-10pm)

The Comedy Works showcases the funniest, hardest working local comedians as they work to make a name for themselves while making you LAUGH.  The talent of the night will include James Camacho, a NYC based comedian who was seen last season on CBS' "Kevin Can Wait". James is also featured in the upcoming film "The Golden Phoenix". James is a half Chinese, half Puerto Rican, only child.  He clearly is unique.  Couple that with his on-stage likability, and his sharp wit, and James Camacho has all the makings of a young comedian on the rise! Open for James will be local up and coming star, Cody Montanye. Based out of East Greenbush NY, Cody can be seen performing frequently throughout the Capital Region at venues such as the Comedy Works, the FunnyBone, and the Cohoes Music Hall. Recently Montanye opened for headliners Nick Dipaolo, Chris Kattan, and Tim Meadows. In 2018 Montanye was featured in a Times Union article, recognizing him as a promising up and coming comic within the area.  (#8: Empire State College, Rotunda: all night)

Deja Vu Jazz is a swing jazz combo that performs the music of Billie Holiday, Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Fats Waller and many others from the Great American Song Book.  The members are: Bea Roman, vocalist, Lew Petteys tenor sax, Phil Brink trombone and Neil Giammatteo trumpet/flugel horn; arranger and music director.  They have played all around the Capital district for the last 10 years and look forward to entertaining you this First Night. (#3: Hampton Inn Suites: 7 & 9pm)

The Dyer Switch Band plays hard-driving traditional , original and unique bluegrass and acoustic music. Performing since 1992, Dyer Switch was inducted into the New York State Country Music Hall of Fame and nominated for five consecutive years as Bluegrass Band of the Year by the Northeast Country Music Association. In 1998 , “Gotta Feelin',” from the band's third recording, “American Airwaves,” was nominated for “Song of the Year” by the Northeast CMA. Dyer Switch has received considerable air play in North America and Europe, and a song that band member JoAnn Sifo wrote was number one on the European country charts. The band has been featured on Northeast Public Radio and has opened for Ralph Stanley and for the Larry Stephenson band. This versatile, engaging band with dynamic stage presence has captivated audiences throughout the Northeast, Midwest and the South at festivals, clubs, coffeehouses, fairs and live radio shows. The band brings together hard-driving renditions of traditional tunes from first-generation bluegrass giants like Bill Monroe, Ralph Stanley, their own powerful originals and fresh and innovative versions of songs from other genres. (#2: Marriott Courtyard, Canfield Room: 6, 8 & 10pm)

Elvis Live! Featuring Matthew Boyce, a nineteen-year-old Elvis Tribute Artist who has performed at countless events since the age of 8. With his band, The Suspicious Minds, Matthew has competed at Elvis Festivals in the US and Canada, placing first at the Lake George Elvis Festival in 2017 and earning the title of Grand Champion from the Rock and Roll Remembered Contest in Oshawa, Ontario, Canada. This past year, he starred in the touring show "On Tour: A Tribute to the King," in Philadelphia, Boston and Pittsburg. In addition to paying tribute to Elvis, Matthew has performed in over 40 musical theater productions throughout the capital district. Matthew plays guitar, piano and drums and enjoys performing as a solo acoustic artist, singing all types of music, including his own originals. (#6: Lake Avenue Auditorium: 6 & 8pm)

Fab the Duo presents: You & Me (But Mostly Me), A Cabaret. This powerhouse duo has a fierce and unique sound comprised of an eclectic variation of styles and genres including pop, Broadway, rock, jazz, and blues.  Greg Driscoll grew up on a farm in Texas and moved to Austin after graduating high school. In high school he was a recognized tuba player throughout the state but then he found his real love in theater.  After becoming a household name in Austin, he moved to New York in 2016 to follow his dreams of being a singer and actor and has since performed at esteemed venues throughout the city including The Triad Theatre, The Metropolitan Room, Birdland Jazz Club, The West End lounge, and the legendary Don’t Tell Mama’s. He will be making his off-broadway debut in November 2019.  His partner, Brendan Thabo Eprile, is a singer-songwriter from Bennington, Vermont.  Since moving to New York after graduating college in 2017, he’s performed in such notable venues as The Duplex, The Bitter End, The Friars Club, Rockwood Music Hall, and The Plaza Hotel. He has also performed across the world, in places as diverse as Boston, London, and Copenhagen. He was a finalist in So You Think You Can Belt at The West End and The Solarfest Singer-Songwriter Showcase, as well as being labeled a Spotlight Artist by The GRAMMY Foundation. Brendan recently released one EP titled The Flow and his debut single Gravity Girl is now available on all streaming platforms.  He made his regional theater debut as Woof in Hair at the Cultural Arts Playhouse on Long Island in September 2018.  (#12: Saratoga Arts, Dee Sarno Theater: 7, 9 & 11pm)

Flame is a group of musicians with powerful vocals, smooth harmonies and a rich array of instruments.  The 10-person cover band from Gloversville, NY also happens to include people with disabilities. They have performed at the Rock and Roll Hall of Flame, House of Blue, Apollo Theater and more, sharing the stage with Darius Rucker and Kenny G. Today,  Since 2003, Flame has been known and celebrated worldwide for their music and inspirational message. Flame’s mission is to change the world through music. They inspire people with disabilities and give hope to them and their families – hope that they can do great things and live a fun and fulfilling life. Flame’s performances increase awareness and acceptance of all people and help change how the public perceives people with disabilities. Flame has a busy schedule and performs more than 70 times per year, touring the greater Northeast area and beyond in a custom bus. Flame gives concerts at national and statewide conventions, corporate conferences, civic events, schools, dances and private parties. Their repertoire includes more than 100 classic rock, pop, country and blues songs from the past 5 decades, as well as some original tracks. In 15 years of work, they have produced six albums and a single. (#10: NBT Bank: 8 & 9pm)

The Georgie Wonders Orchestra took its place in Big Band musical history in March 2003.  Georgie Wonders has been a professional musician since 1953.  He started his career with local groups such as The Valentino's and The Act III, and performed rock and roll with The Bits and Pieces for 25 years.  Georgie never gave up his life-long dream of playing the music of his idols from the 1930's, 1940's and 1950's: Glenn Miller, Jimmy Dorsey, Benny Goodman, Artie Shaw, Harry James, Bunny Berrigan and others.  The dream has now become reality.  The Georgie Wonders Orchestra is unique in its diversity.  Many of its musicians, some of whom have been associated with Georgie for over 30 years, play in their own bands or combos.  (#1: City Center Room 2: 10pm to 12:10am with a midnight countdown!)

Girl Power duo plays regularly in the Lake George and Glens Falls area. Vocalist Erin Powers has played for ten plus years touring every year in Tennessee. Erin has worked with Brian Michael of Gem Fest and Larac as well Jason Irwin Kelly & Sons and John Eisenhart. Erin’s vocals and emotion keep her fans coming back for more. This First night she will join forces with Jeromie Charpentier who is a local favorite and has played with bands such as Headwall and Just Looking.   (Saratoga Visitors Center: 8 & 9pm)

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, Quebecois, and New England traditions and performs in the region for weddings, dances, and festivals. Regular guest dancers Leanne Sauvé and Chris Forstbauer will join the trio to bring traditional Irish dance and American tap.  This First Night The Mise Eire Irish Dancers of Saratoga will also be joining the group to make for a very lively evening! (#1: City Center, Room 2: 8 & 9pm)

Harold Ford presents the Spirit of Johnny Cash with a voice and physical resemblance that are unmistakable and make him a natural as a Johnny Cash tribute artist. Harold Ford grew up in the foothills country between the Berkshire and Green Mountains bordering New York State. Raised on the old American pioneer songs, at the age of four, Harold began singing duets and harmonies with sister Dorothy. 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.  (#6: Lake Avenue School Auditorium: 7 & 9pm)

Hasty Page is a group of innovative musicians from Upstate New York that came together to create an exciting, inspirational new sound for their fans. Their original music paints a theatrical image through the use of creative lyrics and intricate musicianship. With a mix of popular cover tunes and invigorating original music, their live shows are sure to entertain and keep you wanting more. Josh Morris, Zane Agnew and James Paolano formed the group in November, 2015. Since then, they have released an EP, “The Coming of Age,” and a full length album, “Distance.” They have played over 100 shows in and around New York’s Capitol Region, including several at Jupiter Hall, Move Music Festival 2016/2017, and Pearlpalooza 2017. They are influenced by artists such as Kings of Leon, Incubus, The 1975, Catfish and the Bottlemen and Nothing But Thieves to name a few, but have formed a musical identity that won’t soon be forgotten. (#1: City Center,  Downstairs Room: 6, 8 & 10pm)

The Heldeberg Marionettes have been performing their strolling marionette show at fairs and festivals throughout the capital district for many years. Originating at Voorheesville's Heldeberg Workshop, the show has developed a unique style of puppetry that is the icing on the cake for a moving festival event.  Audience members get to try the controls and get the feel of handling a real marionette. The puppets stroll to the sound of their own original music by Joe Hetko and look like they are just another kid at the fair, except that sometimes they are frogs!  (#6: Lake Avenue School, Gym #1: 7 & 8:30pm)

HellCat Maggie is a high-energy Celtic rock ensemble that will have you dancing and singing to a wide range of rocking music drawn from Ireland and across the Celtic nations. Formed on the eve of the Easter Rising centennial (2016), HellCat Maggie honors the memory of those Celtic characters, new and old, real and fictional, that inspire us all. Having performed at the Troy Irish Fest, The Irish 2000, and many pubs and venues in between, Maggie is gaining momentum around the Capital region - and beyond. While continuing to write and perform their own material, the band plays traditional music and cover songs in their own way. Neither “pure drop” Irish, nor Celtic punk, HellCat Maggie is more than the sum of its elements, bringing you plenty to enjoy when they take the stage! (#13: The First Baptist Church: 6, 8 & 10pm)

HetkoSiegel & Syracuse were brought together 8 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! (#7: St. Paul’s Lutheran Church: 6 & 7pm)

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. (#14: Caffe Lena: 9, 10 & 11pm)

Jimy Graham is an award-winning Blues/Rock/Reggae Artist/Musician whose 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 had picked up a guitar. 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. Later, Graham would portray Hendrix 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.  (#18: Saratoga Springs Post Office: 7, 9 & 11pm)

Joan Scannell 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.  (#8: 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, a 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)

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.  (#9: Church of St. Peter, Parish Center: 6 & 7pm)

L.B. Walker has been described as 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. (#17: Adirondack Trust Bank: 6, 8 & 10pm)

The Lied To's, Susan Levine and Doug Kwartler, were successful solo singer-songwriters before fate brought them together in 2014. The two found connection not only through the Boston music scene, but through their parallel personal lives which included recent divorces, single parenthood and the need to create music to make it through. In 2015 they released their self-titled debut which explored the emotional turmoil of divorce. Their new album, The Lesser of Two Evils, examines the life that comes next. Like their debut, Lesser was produced and recorded by Kwartler at his Hollow Body Studios in Chelmsford, MA, and is divided equally with songs from Levine and Kwartler. But after 3 additional years of performing together, The Lied To's have honed their sound, giving the album a more expansive, collaborative feel. Levine's unique soprano wraps itself around Kwartler's gritty baritone with their trademark harmonies, and Kwartler's Americana, country and rock-influenced production provides the perfect atmosphere for their honest, edgy, poetic songs. (#2: Marriott Courtyard, Canfield Room: 7, 9 & 11pm- stay for a midnight countdown!)

Logan Spaleta is a 12 year old Rock Vocalist and Pianist who began performing in the Saratoga region at 8 years old. He has rocked Saratoga Race Track, Gaffney's, The Parting Glass, Caffe Lena, Troy Music Hall, and Troy's Rockin' on the River. Logan has been an opener twice at the popular SVAN Summer Music Series and Rick Bolton's Summer Friday Happy Hours, is a member of the Troy Academy All Stars, and in New York City has performed at Lincoln Center and at the Bitter End in his U2 Cover Band. He is excited to bring his performance to First Night 2019 and serenade the crowds with songs from Billy Joel, Elton John, The Beatles, Rod Stewart, Journey, Fleetwood Mac, Aerosmith, and more! (#11: Saratoga Visitors Center: 6 & 7pm)

Maddy Hicks is a singer songwriter from Saratoga County who has been sharing her own music at local coffee houses and open mics for the last six years. Her influences include Sara Bareilles, John Mayer, Taylor Swift, Vampire Weekend, and Paramore. A graduate of Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake High School, Maddy is now a freshman at Belmont University’s Curb School of Music in Nashville, Tennessee studying songwriting. Maddy is excited to return to First Night Saratoga to showcase all new original music. (#16: Lifestyles of Saratoga: 7, 9 & 11pm)

Mark Tolstrup plays traditional and original songs that meld blues, rock, ragtime and jazz but sticks closest and most authentically to the sounds of the Mississippi Delta blues. His slide guitar and unaffected raw real vocal sound show him to be the genuine article. He becomes completely at one with his instrument, with the journey of the song, with the rebirthing of it into the present moment. But when the song is over, he brings all that same energy into developing a rapport with the audience.  (#18: Saratoga Springs Post Office: 6, 8 & 10pm)

The McKrell’s brought their brand of Celtic influenced Folkgrass to venus throughout the U.S and Ireland through the late 90’s and into the 2000’s. Their formula of red hot picking stunning vocals and the songs of Kevin McKrell took the group to festival, coffeehouse and club stages including Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, The Kennedy Center, Falcon Ridge Folk Festival, Winterhawk Bluegrass Festival, The Town Crier, Celtic Classic, The Milwaukee Irish Festival. Kevin McKrell’s songs have been recorded by groups from around the world, from Ireland, The Furey Brothers, The Druids,The Dublin City Ramblers. From Australia Pat McKernan. From Scotland, North Sea Gas. From the U.S. The Kingston Trio, Woods Tea Company, Hair of The Dog. With The New McKrells Kevin has once again put together an ensemble of wonderfully talented pickers . On guitar and vocals John Kribs who toured as a member of The McKrells through the 2000’s. A founding member of Adirondack super group The Raquette River Rounders and the iconic Johnny and the Triumphs. On mandolin Orion Kribs of The Black Mountain Symphony is a player perfectly in step with The McKrells take no prisoners picking. Fast as lightning, smooth as silk. On bass Arlin Greene, Arlin toured with The McKrells back in the early days, he is of bluegrass royal blood, his father is legendary player Smokey Greene. On fiddle Doug Moody, from the legendary Buffalo based The Steam Donkeys. Doug has been with Kevin since 2006, his Alt Country fiddle style perfectly suits Kevin’s songs and his background vocals are a signature of McKrell tunes. (#13: The First Baptist Church: 7, 9 & 11pm)

Michael Benedict, JAZZ VIBES is an ensemble featuring Michael on vibraphone, David Gleason on piano, Mike Lawrence on bass and Pete Sweeney on drums.  The repertoire of the group includes straight ahead jazz standards, Latin-American songs and original material.  Jazz Vibes has been one of the leading jazz groups in the Capital Region of New York State for over a decade. Michael is a graduate of the Crane School of Music at the State University College of New York at Potsdam where he earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education.  He later attended Rutgers University and graduated with a Master’s Degree in Jazz Studies. Michael has performed and/or recorded with jazz luminaries Gary Smulyan, Harry Allen, Dick Oatts, Steve Nelson, Sharel Cassity, Bruce Barth and Joe Locke. He has toured the United States extensively, performing at numerous concert halls, colleges, clubs and festivals and has performed in Europe.  In 2012, Michael was part of a US State Department tour of Tunisia, Africa where he taught and performed with the Planet Arts Trio. As a drummer, Michael is also the leader of BOPITUDE and THE GARY MCFARLAND LEGACY ENSEMBLE and has released five recordings to date.  Downbeat Magazine listed BOPITUDE “Five and One” as one of the Best Albums of 2013.  His most recent release, “Circulation: The Music of Gary McFarland”, was an Editor’s pick in Downbeat Magazine and listed as one of the Best Jazz Albums of 2015 by National Public Radio and critics Ted Gioa and Scott Yanow. Michael endorses The One Vibe by Marimba One, Grover Pro Percussion Drums, Soutone Cymbals and Regal Tip drumsticks. (#7: St. Paul’s Lutheran Church: 10 & 11pm)

Michael Ray, Comic Hypnotist, 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, Michael has a way of involving the entire audience in this over the top show. His high energy comedy hypnosis show is guaranteed to have you laughing and talking about it for days to come. (#15: Salvation Army: 7 & 9:30pm)

Mike Agranoff takes the notion that Folk Music is passe or boring, and blows that all to Kingdom Come. He presents an intelligent and highly entertaining program of songs, tunes, stories and humor. Mike plays a superb fingerstyle guitar in idioms ranging from traditional fiddle tunes to the American Songbook to contemporary Americana. He is a master of the little-known English Concertina, applying it anywhere from a haunting and poignant song accompaniment to an unexpected virtuoso transcription of a Bach concerto. A performance might include a song of heart-stopping emotional impact, an a cappella Irish patter song sung to the melody of a mile-a-minute fiddle tune, a riveting recitation in the style of Robert Service, a nostalgic reprise of the Crosby, Stills, Mitchell & Garfunkel era folk, and some of the most horrible parodies ever perpetrated on an unsuspecting audience. More a singer-songfinder than a singer-songwriter, Mike combs the canon of contemporary and traditional songs for little-known gems, puts his unique stamp on them, and brings them to the stage. If you've been around the folk scene at all in the Northeast, you've probably seen him. He's that tall thin guy with the beard and the leather fisherman's cap. And when the music starts, he's in the middle of it all, adding to the chorus and probably knowing all the lyrics. His repertoire is vast and varied. Mike is not only a collector of songs and a master at arranging them, but is also a writer of songs and recitations. He has a keen ear for the best of the best, and this only enhances his own writing. If you're sick of the endless stream of singer songwriters who write for the market, you will find Mike to be a refreshing alternative. He makes us laugh, cry and think, all the while entertaining us long into any evening of music. (#8: Empire State College, Room 103: 7 & 9pm)

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. Currently, he has his own guitar column in Italy's top guitar magazine, Axe Magazine for several years. Mike has released 10 solo albums to date and he has played with many known artists. He continues to tour in many areas around the World and he is a versatile musician who describes his style as Rock Fusion. The music he writes is vocal and instrumental compositions. (#2: Marriott Courtyard, Yaddo Room: 7, 9 & 11pm- stay for a midnight countdown!)

Mike Grutka is a singer songwriter who describes his music as 'acoustic based funky modern roots rock-n-roll'. Yeah. That about sums it up. Starting with the violin he quickly added bass, french horn, piano and guitar to his abilities. Mike writes, records and performs nearly all the instruments on his albums. He has toured the East Coast and received radio airtime nationwide charting as high as #12 on FMQB. He has just released his sixth album "Painting the Silence Vol. 1' which landed 2 songs on the WEXT Top 60 of 2017. Performing solo and occasionally with a band, he has shared the stage with The Dirty Heads, They Might Be Giants, World Party, Guster and more. Frequently compared to a mix of R.E.M. Neil Young and Dave Matthews Band, his live shows are a mix of danceable funky acoustic tunes with story telling and lyrically introspective ballads. (#16: Lifestyles of Saratoga: 6, 8 & 10pm)

The New Edge formed early in 2017 as an off-shoot of the Long Running band, “Nitro Jive”.  They all love many styles of swing, jazz and blues and decided it would be FUN to try playing great songs from the jazz-fusion era back in the 70’s an 80s.  Well, the chemistry was instant, and we were off-and-running with a New and EXCITING group! Fans enjoy the infectious grooves and accessible melodies, and have even been caught DANCING AT A JAZZ GIG! Original music PLUS hits from artists like: David Sanborn, Jeff Lorber, Soulive, The Yellowjackets, Joshua Redman, Grover Washington Jr., Marcus Miller, Mike Stern, Charlie Hunter, and many more. (#7: St. Paul’s Lutheran Church: 8 & 9pm)

The Onlys are a rock trio of childhood friends that formed in 2014 out of Richmondville, NY. We began our musical journey together as high school students and have continued to play through college. The group has a simplistic instrumentation including one guitar/vocalist, a saxophonist, and a percussionist. While our group lacks a bass player, the baritone saxophone plays the role of the lower voice much of the time. We experiment with all kinds of genres and styles such as funk, spoken word, jazz, hard and soft rocks, Spanish and Latin rock, blues, and pop. All of our music is original with lyrics and song written by Owen Nied. Each of us brings our own influences to the ensemble, which in turn makes us such a dynamic trio. Our band has performed for numerous occasions such as restaurant settings, graduation parties, battle of the bands, and our music was premiered on radio through exit 97.7 in August of 2017. We also have two albums professionally recorded that are available on bandcamp and Soundcloud. Aside from our performances as a group, each of us brings our own attributes to the table. Owen Nied, guitar and vocals, has performed his own music both across the country and internationally in Paris, London, and Amsterdam. Zoe Stinson, saxophone and keys, has performed classically at venues such as Carnegie hall and has won various solo competitions as a saxophonist. Zack Nickle, drum set, plays with multiple bands and is well known for his musicianship throughout his community. (#19: Temple Sinai: 8 & 11pm)

Paradox Saints are an up and coming rock band based out of Saratoga Springs combining elements of sixties pop songwriting, power-pop, psychedilic and traditional rock 'n roll. They seem to carry an attitude reminiscent of the late '70s new york punk scene or the garage rockers of the '60's. These elements, combined with a large element of improv, they are a live force to be reckoned with. (#9: Church of St. Peter Parish Center: 10 & 11pm)

Pat Attanasio has been active in music since his childhood as a classically trained violinist and self taught guitarist. Originally from Long Island, NY, Pat had played in clubs all over that area opening up for such acts as The Henry Paul Band, The Winters Bros. and Tommy James. Moving upstate in 1994 he continued playing in the upstate area of Albany, Schenectady, Troy and Saratoga Springs NY as both a solo artist and band member. With his diversity in style, Pat has played in such local bands ; Skeeter Creek (country), Lonesome Dove (country), HellCat Maggie (Celtic Rock), and the Lockhart Mt. Boys, (Bluegrass). He started an original jazz/fusion band in 2009 and has been performing in Saratoga Springs at the jazz club; 9 Maple Ave., and continues playing there to this day. He also plays solo guitar venues in the New England area, featuring his unique jazz style. As a songwriter /guitarist, he had won a national contest in 2010 for best original acoustic guitarist sponsored by Musician's Friend and was flown to the NAMM convention center to perform there. Pat continues to write and record original music and perform it in public. (#8: Empire State College, Cafeteria: 6, 8 & 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.  (#4: NYS Military Museum: 6 & 8pm)

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”. (#15: Salvation Army: 6, 8:30 & 11pm)

Robanic with the Caribbean Sound is the only authentic reggae band in upstate New York.  Fronted by Aston Ellis on steeldrums, Robanic plays a wide and colorful range of Caribbean music including old-school reggae, traditional rock-steady, ska, calypso, as well as the latest dance-hall sound from Jamaica. The four member ensemble is made up of talented musicians with decades of experience. And now with a tenor steel pan, the sound is growing.  (#10: NBT Bank: 10 & 11pm)

Roben Kosek Jazz & Blues specializes in the American Songbook music of the mid-20th century that never went out of style.  Also included are Latin Sambas, Bossa Novas, French cafe songs, and a few contemporary selections, keeping their audience pleasantly surprised. Terri Roben is a singer-songwriter who lives in Glenville, NY.  She is the lead vocalist in Roben Kosek Jazz & Blues.   She has performed for 40 years as a soloist  and with duos and trios in a variety of venues.  She has worked with children in music and movement for over 30 years.  She plays guitar, banjo, mountain dulcimer, and ukelele.  She recorded 3 albums, "Terri & Maria", with her first duo of the same name, "Riverwalk and Other Songs" for families, and  "The Path We Make" mostly original songs for adults.  MaryAnn Kosek of Guilderland NY, learned piano and guitar as a young girl, inspired and influenced  to play jazz  by her father, an accomplished local jazz guitarist/bassist.  She is the lead guitarist and  music arranger for Roben Kosek Jazz & Blues.   She  also plays  banjo, ukulele and mandolin and writes music for the Albany Pine Bush Discovery Center.  She has played country, pop, rock and blues with local bands and collaborates with professional jazz  musicians in the area.   Brenda Fisher of Albany is the bass player for the band.  She is an experienced blues and country vocalist, singing harmonies and some leads with the group.  She plays electric and upright bass and also plays harmonica, and ukelele.  She was part of the well-known 1980's area band, Begonia.  She has played with a number of groups, joining Roben Kosek Jazz & Blues three years ago.  John Avallone-Serra was raised in Rockland County, where he studied with nationally renowned session drummer Gary Chester.  John has over thirty-six years experience playing funk, jazz, fusion, country, blues, reggae and gospel.  He plays with the Jazz Connection, RJQ, aConfluence, Roben Kosek Jazz & Blues, and is also working with Slingshot, a local funk and R&B ensemble, providing the back beat along with lead and background vocals. (#3: Hampton Inn: 6 & 8pm)

Robert Capowski is an artist, guitarist and composer. He wrote and recorded his first album, Drinking the Sea in 2013, a collection of songs written in NYC, San Francisco, Paris and New Orleans. Robert's second album, Wild Animals was released in June 2015, inspired by the records of Matthew Sweet, Fleetwood Mac and Joni Mitchell. The CD was produced by John Ashton of the Psychedelic Furs. Robert's newest CD, Back to Blue, released on May 19th, 2017, was recorded and mixed at NRS Studios by co-producer Scott Petito. (#17: Adirondack Trust Bank: 7, 9 & 11pm)

A Rochmon Record Club Listening Party is meant to inform and deepen our understanding of the history of the individual performers, songs and stories that went into making some of the most iconic albums of the 60’s and 70’s. The Rochmon Record Club has been doing sold-out shows at the Universal Preservation Hall and Caffe Lena for over 2 years. Every Listening Party begins with a live audio & video presentation by Chuck Vosganian aka “Rochmon”.  Each show features hundreds of pictures, occasionally some video, all the songs from the album and great “stuff” that Chuck thinks is cool! This First Night the artists who will be explored include Tom Petty, David Bowie and Prince!  (#14: Caffe Lena: 6, 7 & 8pm) 

The Ryan Leddick Trio showcases numerous foot tapping fusions that pique ears and turn heads with their new age power trio set up rooted in soulful vocal nuances, and rhythmic acoustic rock. Formed in the fall of 2015 as a side project of Ryan Leddick, the acoustic power trio has grown into a well established group in Upstate New York. Having played many stages, most notable LarkFest, and Move Music Festival - the group is growing followers left and right all over New York State. Not your average power trio set up, pulling from a Dave Matthews style of guitar playing, Ryan Leddick heads the group with his vocal prowess which is echoed with the swooping sound of the Trombone played by Dave Paul. Together both are bound by the momentum and driving nature of the hand drumming of Ryan Szablewski. As a group, they pull from the eclectic to the rock sides of history to create a sound unlike any. Whether recording or performing at favorite venues across the capital district and beyond, their acoustic live sound is always in the forefront and evident. Pulling from the likes of Dave Matthews, The Police, Bernhoft, Trevor Hall, John Mayer, Bob Marley, Damien Rice, Blink 182, and Martin Sexton, the trio’s sound is new and refreshing. They are an act you do not want to miss.  (#19: Temple Sinai: 6 & 9pm)

Saratoga Chamber Players (SCP) has offered concerts with professional musicians for the local region since 1985.  Under the artistic direction of Jill Levy, SCP is a varying group from two to eight professional musicians drawn from around the world presenting traditional and contemporary pieces for chamber ensembles.  Many of the musicians are top prize winners of major competitions and members of major orchestras and chamber groups.  Violinist Jill Levy is concertmaster of the Albany Symphony Orchestra.  Violinist Krista Bennion Feeney is concertmaster of the Orchestra of St. Luke’s.  She has soloed several times with the San Francisco Symphony, St. Louis Symphony and Philadelphia Chamber Orchestra.  Violist Theresa Salomon, a native of Germany, has performed at numerous international festivals throughout Europe.  In New York she performs with the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, NY Collegium and SEM Ensemble. She also plays frequently for Dance Under Construction.  Bassist John Feeney was first prize winner of the 1980 Concert Artists’ Guild and Zimmerman-Mingus International competitions. Tango Fusion Dance Company  is led by co-artistic directors Diane Lachtrupp and Johnny Martinez.  They have performed in New York  City at the Town Hall Tango Fest and at the Fifth Annual  Tango Congress in Argentina.  Locally, they have appeared at Ballet Manchester’s summer series, SPAC’s evening of Astor Piazzolla, National Racing Museum’s Backstretch Latin Festival, and Saratoga Arts Fest.  (#9: Church of St. Peter, Parish Center: 8 & 9pm)

The Saratoga Film Academy (SFA), lead by Jon Dorflinger, has provided filmmaking after school programs and summer camps for students 8-18 years old since 2015.  At First Night, SFA is proud to present their greatest hits from the last three years.  All films that will be screened are original stories written, directed, produced, and edited by student filmmakers from 3rd to 12th grades.  These films will exhibit a variety of genres, such as drama, comedy, horror, and stop-motion animation. This screening showcases several unique voices of young aspiring filmmakers, that will surely move audiences to laugh, cry, or shake in fear.  (#8: Empire State College, Room 103: 10 & 11pm)

Saratoga Soundtrack Chorus is an award-winning women's a cappella group, singing four-part harmony. Performing everything from standards and jazz to ballads and contemporary songs the chorus has been entertaining since 2008. Their musical performance is visually enhanced through characterization and choreography. The chorus is now singing under the direction of Jenn Hunter, SSC’s co-founder and former choreography chair. Through the years this musical group has delighted local audiences at many popular events and venues: Congress Park, Saratoga Race Course, Victorian Streetwalk, 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. Saratoga Soundtrack Chorus recently won second place in Division A (small choruses with 15-30 singing members performing on stage) and the Dody O’Brien Most Improved Chorus Award at the Sweet Adelines Region 15 Greater NewYork/New Jersey competition in Albany. SSC has received numerous regional medals, two placements for Harmony Classic Sweet Adelines International Competition, and a Masters Singers medal. (#4: NYS Military Museum: 7 & 9pm)

Saratoga Youth Symphony is comprised of two orchestras; one is a full symphony orchestra of older students (mostly high school age), and the other is a strings and percussion group of younger students. Both groups perform mainly classical music. They are in our 7th year.  (#1: City Center, Room 2: 6 & 7pm)

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! (#12: Saratoga Arts, Dee Sarno Theater: 6, 8 & 10pm)

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)

SIRSY is a rock & soul duo with lots of pop sensibility and just the right amount of sass. SIRSY is fronted by charismatic lead singer, Melanie, who is also the band's drummer. Melanie plays bass on a keyboard with her drum stick and even throws in some mean flute solos, too. Somehow she seems to do it all with a big smile on her face.  Melanie’s other musical half (and husband), Rich, plays a road worn and well loved Rickenbacker through a pedal board full of vintage effects. He also pays bass on a keyboard with his feet -- and tells super nerdy Star Wars jokes.   SIRSY has toured for a living for over a decade-- playing 250 shows each year all over the US. (They’ve played in all 50 states, except Alaska.)  They average about 60,000 miles per year on the road in their little white van their fans names “Axel”. They’ve shared stages with: Grace Potter, Maroon 5, Train, Cheap Trick, the Spindoctors, Collective Soul, Brandi Carlile, Shovels and Rope, RaRaRiot, & many more.  Their song ‘Cannonball’  is featured on the hit tv show “Shameless” (on Showtime).  Sirsy’s songs have also been featured on PBS, HBO, and MTV. Melanie is endorsed by Vater Percussion and Paiste Cymbals and has been featured in Modern Drummer.  Their energetic live show often includes stories from the road, laughter, and dance parties.  Every show is like a celebration for this couple who have endured a tough year as Melanie fought her second battle with cancer -- and won.  Melanie says, “On stage we’re told we radiate joy. Music is where we are free - and connecting with others while we make music is what life is all about for us.”  Come celebrate with them!  (#1: City Center, Downstairs Meeting Room: 7, 9 & 11pm- stay for a midnight countdown!)

The Storycrafters, Barry Marshall, and Jeri Burns, PhD, have been working together since 1991. They are the 2018 recipients of the National Storytelling Network’s “Circle of Excellence” Award.  Their natural, energetic style has been featured in major festivals, schools and libraries in the US and abroad.  With awards from Parents Choice, The Oppenheim Toy Portfolio and Storytelling World, they specialize in original retellings and modern renditions of world folklore, integrating music and song, poignancy & pizzazz.  Publishers’ Weekly describes them as ‘top-notch family entertainment;’ The Today Show has called them ‘captivating’, and the BBC has referred to them as ‘brilliant.’ (The Children’s Museum in Saratoga, 6 & 7pm)

Storyteller Kate Dudding creates entertaining, heartwarming and memorable stories about real people who made a difference. She has told stories at many venues in the Northeastern USA including The Clearwater Festival (Croton-on-Hudson, NY), First Night Saratoga (Saratoga Springs, NY), and The Norman Rockwell Museum (Stockbridge, MA). She has been commissioned to create stories by The New-York Historical Society in New York City, The Schuyler Mansion State Historic Site in Albany, The Empire State Aerosciences Museum in Schenectady and Easton Library. Many of her five CDs have received a national award. In 2010, she won the story slam (competition) at the National Storytelling Conference in Los Angeles telling a personal story. She is also a producer of Word Plays and Story by Story. Margaret French tells personal and family stories with their roots in Canada, the land where she grew up, and in upstate New York, where she now lives. Her stories are unexpected, often humorous, sometimes touching tales about our all-too-human condition. She often includes local history or traditional folktales and myths. Margaret performs throughout the Capital District and beyond, at community festivals, libraries, historical societies, women's groups, seniors’ groups, children’s groups, storytelling concerts, and more. Margaret has also been leading storytelling and writing workshops for many years. The Academy for Lifelong Learning in Saratoga has honored her as Master Leader.  (#8: Empire State College, Room 103: 6 & 8pm)

Sydney Schizzano is a powerful singer/songwriter who cleverly combines elements of indie-rock, soul, rap, and R&B into a unique blend of pop marked by punchy lyrics and catchy hooks. Songs like “Never Be Good” and “Wolves” showcase her ability to draw upon influences such as Childish Gambino and Ed Sheeran for more aggressive and fast paced songs that will have you dancing in no time. Slower and powerful ballads such as “Pamela” and “I Had A Dream Last Night” reveal a soulful, folkier side that can melt hearts, influenced by artists such as Tori Kelly and Regina Spektor. Her band is made up of bass, drums, guitar, keyboard, synthesizers and sensational background vocals. (#19: Temple Sinai: 7 & 10pm)

Ustad Shafaat Khan, world-renowned Indian Classical musician, debuted at the age of 11 in the "King's Lynn Festival" England, opened by the Queen Mother. His musical heritage can be traced back to 16th century to the court of the Mughal Emperor Akbar. He is son of Legendary Ustad Imrat Khan and nephew of Ustad Vilayat Khan. In Tabla he is the foremost disciple of the widely respected Ustad Ibrahim Khan. He has performed worldwide at many prestigious concert halls, music festivals and universities all over India, America, Europe, China, Russia and Japan Hong Kong, Malaysia among others. Recently, he performed with Stevie Wonder at one of the biggest festivals in the USA, The Bonnaroo Festival. In the past, he's shared a television concert with Ray Charles in Germany.  In the rich history of Indian classical music, Mr. Khan has distinguished himself by being the first known artist to have attained simultaneous excellence in performing Sitar, Surbahar and Tabla. Mr.Khan was presented with the Professional Excellence Award for outstanding musician, performer and teacher, by the State of Pennsylvania.  This First Night, Maestro Khan will be joined by fellow performers Mahvush Shah (vocals),  Heshima Moja (Bass Guitar), Mohammad Sidique (Guitar), Adi Shiv (Tabla) and Shailaja Rabindrun (Harmoniam).  His first performance will be comprised of traditional classical and folk music of India going back to the 13 century and the second performance will be a multicultural presentation of Fusion with western and Indian vocals and instrumentation. (#1: City Center, Upstairs Room: 7 & 9:30pm)

Wunderle’s Big Top Adventures is a one-man circus show that thrills with the rich and time-treasured delights of expert juggling, wacky globe walking, astounding ladder balancing, sensational plate spinning, teetering rola bolas, daring unicycle antics, mesmerizing bubble routines, mischievous magic and comic buffoonery. This interactive show aims to dazzle and delight young and old alike.  Troy Wunderle is a graduate of the Maryland Institute College of art, and the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Clown College. He is a former international performer with the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus. For the past twenty-one years, he has toured throughout the United States as a freelance performer and employee of Vermont's own Circus Smirkus. His antics have been featured on the Disney channel, The Today Show, Martha Stewart, Chronicle, Fetch, Fox and Friends and Americas Funniest Home Videos. Troy is the founder of Wunderle's Big Top Adventures and the Artistic Director of Circus Smirkus. He spent 6 years as Director of Clowning for the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus and is a juried artist through the Vermont State Arts Council.  (#6: Lake Avenue Elementary, Gym #2:  6, 7:30 & 9pm)

 

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!


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

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