Saratoga Arts - Arts Center | Arts Council

 

FIREWORKS!

Ring in the New Year and the 100th anniversary of Saratoga Spring’s incorporation as a city with the First Night Saratoga fireworks display. At midnight, after a few words from Mayor of Saratoga Springs, Joanne Yepsen, Alonzo Fireworks will present a dazzling display in Congress Park.  Congress Park cannot be entered during the fireworks, but Saratoga Arts provides a perfect viewing area by arranging for the streets to be closed at the intersection of Spring and Putnam Streets, near the carousel.

The First Night Saratoga fireworks display is presented by Saratoga Arts with support from the Saratoga Convention and Tourism Bureau and Gaffney’s Restaurant.

 

Artists

First Night 2015 Performers...

The Tartan Terrors are their own Celtic Invasion, mixing rock’s energy with traditional folklore, dance, and humor. With an arsenal featuring classic pipes and fiddle, driving drum tones, and signature guitar styles, standing-room only audiences understand why Dig This Magazine declares “(The Terrors) one act to keep an eye on!” The Terrors use their Sonic blitz to score award winning Step and Highland Dancers and internationally recognized comedic performers alike.  Members of the Tartan Terrors have performed on 4 different continents; in some of the most prestigious Festivals, Highland Games and Theatres of North America including; Lone Tree Center for the Arts, CO, Strand Capitol, PA, Oshkosh Opera House, WI, Dublin Irish Festival Dublin, OH, Newport Irish Festival, Newport, RI, and Good Morning America, a full list is available upon request. Join the phenomenon of the Tartan Terrors and see why Celtic Beat Magazine hails them as “the heirs apparent to the [Celtic] mayhem. Saratoga Springs City Center Main Hall:  7pm, 9pm & 11pm
 
The Lustre Kings play rock and roll the right way. The powerhouse Albany, New York combo has wowed crowds at Manhattan’s Rodeo Bar, Seattle’s Tractor Tavern and all points in-between; and they’ve done it with uncommon fervor, commitment and flair. The Gretsch-toting leading man Mark Gamsjager draws from a deeper well than most roots rock acts, giving his music a breadth and depth while still keeping the bar hopping and the dance floor filled. In addition to their own dates, Mark Gamsjager and the Lustre Kings have also accompanied Wanda Jackson, the Queen of Rockabilly, for over five years, and frequently work with other seasoned artists like Bill Kirchen, Eddie Angel and Robert Gordon.  The group is versed in classic pop standards and light jazz in addition to their trademark American roots rock music.  Creative Loafing got it right when they said “The Lustre Kings have a sound so powerful it leaves listeners hungry for more.”  Saratoga Springs City Center Main Hall:  6pm, 8pm & 10pm
 
18 Strings of Trouble deliver an authentic, polished, classic rock sound. Herb Carter Jr. & Justin Donohoe formed the band with the goal of entertaining audiences of all ages playing everything from the Rolling Stones to Bruce Springsteen to Kings Of Leon to original music. Whether playing as an acoustic duo or as a full-on band, 18 Strings of Trouble covers a range of music that will appeal to any audience. Presbyterian-New England Congregational Church: 10pm & 11pm
 
2Lonesome singer songwriter JoAnn Sifo got hooked on bluegrass after seeing Bill Monroe performance.  Her rhythm guitar style pushes 2Lonesome’s beat into overdrive and her versatile vocals deliver gritty Jimmie Rogers' tunes, sweet ballads and distinctive harmonies. Sifo’s singing has been described as “a coal dust gritty alto” and a “dusky drawl.” Her 2Lonesome partner is Nashville recording artist Bob Bates, who appeared on the Grand Ole Opry with Charlie Louvin of The Louvin Brothers for many years. He is a classically trained bassist. Bate’s high-tenor vocals and fiddle style add richness to the duo’s sound. Saratoga Springs Post Office: 9pm &11pm
 
A World for You presents Brandon James of Saratoga Springs as the talented multi-instrumentalist behind A World for You.  James composes all of the music and plays all of the instruments in an intriguing form of mellow and melodic independent blues-rock. Saratoga Arts Gallery: 6pm & 9pm
 
 
 
Airborne Comedians are a sure bet to make you laugh, whether balanced atop seven foot unicycles or frantically flinging objects at eachother.  Over the past 15 years, this duo has entertained audiences of all ages and backgrounds.  They juggle a cornucopia of objects including (but not limited to) baseball bats, lawn chairs, children, hats, clubs, balls, rings, electric guitars, machetes, flaming lawn chairs fruits and random objects from the crowd.  Lake Avenue School Gym 2: 6pm, 8pm & 10pm
 
Al & Kathy Bain with Gary Blodgett play traditional country, bluegrass and gospel music and are known for their outstanding vocals and harmonies, with Kathy on upright bass and Al playing a Travis-style guitar and 5-string banjo. They have released many recordings since 1979, hosted well-known TV and radio shows in Glens Falls, and won numerous awards from the Northeast Country Music Association, including Song of the Year, Pioneer of the Year, Entertainers of the Year, and Male and Female Vocalist and have been inducted into the New York State Country Music Hall of Fame.  New York State Military Museum: 7pm & 9pm
 
Alpacas of Breezy Hill Ranch, of Salem, NY, will bring two docile alpacas to First Night to pet and feed. Owners Lisa and David Proulx will be demonstrating dry felting throughout the night and will have alpaca products to buy such as hats, gloves, mittens, scarves and socks. They will explain fiber processing from shearing to retail products. Alpacas are very gentle creatures and they hope you’ll stop by to wish them a happy New Year during the evening!  NBT Bank Parking Lot: 6pm - midnight
 
Annie and the Hedonists cover an eclectic mix of acoustic blues, vintage jazz and swing, and folk roots Americana. As Sarah Craig, director of Caffè Lena has said, the group “transport us back to an age when heartache, boozing, and all sorts of  romantic mayhem seems like one big stylish adventure…Annie struts right to the  heart of each sassy, nostalgic song and gives us a piece of her mind in a voice that  sits comfortably alongside the greats of the American jazz tradition.”  Empire State College Rotunda: 7pm, 9pm & 11pm
 
Ashley Sofia recently named “the future of folk rock,” is a young artist making waves. Born and raised in the heart of the Adirondacks, Sofia grew up playing music and writing. When she was just 11 years old, she picked up her father’s guitar and learned everything he could show her. Today and over 60 songs later, she plays, sings, and writes all of her own music. Her debut album, "Love and Fury", was released in 2014. Sofia says her songs are “poems set to music.” As Caffè Lena has said, “We believe that soon, Ashley Sofia will become a household name.”  Caffe Lena: 10pm & 11pm
 
Ballston Spa Film Fest’s Selected Shorts is a showcase by an independent not-for-profit whose mission is to promote an appreciation of films and filmmaking in the Ballston Spa and Greater Capital District communities.  They do this by presenting film festivals in which established, emerging and unknown filmmakers can display their films and by organizing public forums, discussions and workshops regarding films and filmmaking.  Saratoga Arts Dee Sarno Theater: 6pm - 7:30pm
 
Beaked Whale formed in late 2012 when Paul Coleman answered a Craigslist ad posted by Hyun Rutkowski. United by common influences and a love for melding noise with melody topped off by judicious experimentation, the two quickly began writing songs together. The project officially became a band in 2013 with the addition of a drummer. Beaked Whale’s first gig was at the 2013 Restoration Festival in Troy. The band has since continued to write and record new music as well as perform throughout the Albany/Saratoga area. Saratoga Springs City Center Meeting Room 2, WEXT FEST: 7pm
 
Bear Grass attracts listeners with the quirky songs of Katie Hammon. Her sultry pipes leave them devastated, but the band’s blend of folk, rock and homespun trip-hop soothes their wounds. Drawing on influences like Laura Veirs and Wye Oak, the music is sometimes subtly dark but always thoroughly captivating and melodic.  Saratoga Springs City Center Meeting Room 2, WEXT FEST: 9pm
 
Betsy and the ByeGons takes you back to the 60's, whether you lived in the 60s yourself or just dig that classic girl-group sound: there’s no better way to spend some time than with Betsy and the ByeGons. Betsy and her three backup guys are a Saratoga Springs-based band who give you an all-ages appropriate authentic rendition of the girl-group sound—bringing back those happy days when the Ronettes, the Chiffons, the Shirelles, the Shangri-Las and so many other girl groups lit up stages and screens around the world. Hampton Inn Suites: 6pm, 8pm & 10pm
 
Big Fez and the Surfmatics are a four-man group performing classic surf and beach music from the early 1960s. Dressed in black suits, dark glasses and wearing fez, Big Fez and The Surfmatics claim to have first hit the scene in 1960, broke up in 1966, and re-formed to bring the sound of the surf into the 21st century. The band includes Johnny Fez (who claims to be from the “Big Island” and is an indirect descendent of Don Ho), Donny Fez (former car wash attendant and waxing specialist who hails from the “Long Island”), JB Fez (marine surfing instructor from “Paris Island”) and Mikey Fez (airplane pilot from “Fantasy Island”). Hampton Inn: 7pm, 9pm & 11pm
 
Brass and Blues fuses Dixieland Jazz with Delta Blues in this trio featuring 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.  Empire State College #105: 6pm, 8pm & 10pm
 

Brenda Fisher and Ron Whitford come from different musical backgrounds that combine to create an original sound. Fisher is a 25-year veteran bassist from the former regional touring band Begonia. She returned to her original instrument, the acoustic guitar, and shares her country blues simply and soaked with emotion. Whitford started playing banjo and guitar more than 40 years ago. He has been a member of old-time string bands for 20 years. The pair released their first album Good Time Jugband in 2014. Whitford has also been busy writing music that fits into several different genres, including children’s music. The duo’s shows are always lively and fun.  Saratoga Arts Gallery: 7pm & 10pm 

Bryan Thomas has two new releases: "Smash me to Pieces", a five-song EP produced with his band the Buggy Jive, and "Basement Live", a series of music videos recorded live in his home studip with a band that includes multiple version of himself.  Seriously.  The Albany Times union named this local soul rocker Best Male Singer-Songwriter shortly after he released his acoustic hip-hop debut, "Radio Plastic Jennifer" in 1999.  The follow-up rock epic "Ones and Zeros" was Metroland Magazine's Album of the Year in 2002. Saratoga Springs City Center Meeting Room 1: 6pm & 9pm

Buckaroo Bindlestiff's Wild West Jamboree brings classic wild west skills like fancy lasso tricks, target bullwhip cracking and a comedy knife throwing act.  The show also includes a “pony” race for youthful audience volunteers, a delightful cowboy sing-along, juggling, a six-gun spinning safety talk and a comedic look at America’s Old West.  Great for the entire family. Lake Avenue School Auditiorium:  6pm - 9pm

C.C. Vagabonds have come to represent jazz and gypsy music in sense and style. With scorching riffs and smooth melodies, the Vagabonds have developed their own unique blend of traditional Django Reinhardt style music, with modern takes on classics and jazz standards.  Comprised of local working musicians with over 40 years of musical experience and training, the Vagabonds will grab the attention of any crowd and show them why this music is still alive and vibrant today!  Empire State College Rotunda: 6pm, 8pm & 10pm
 

Deena Chappell was born on Long Island to a pair of silly-in-love young musicians and grew up listening to the Beatles, Doo-wop, Bill Monroe, Billie Holiday, folkies like Tom Paxton, Leonard Cohen, Peter, Paul and Mary and that’s just when she was hanging out with Mom. When she was with her dad, she was getting experienced with Jimi Hendrix, Bob Dylan, the Doors, Janis Joplin and the Rolling Stones. She started performing at local watering holes when she was 14. She’s performed with some of the best musicians in the Northeast playing bluegrass, rock and roll, swing, folk, kirtan and blues. Chappell’s captivating voice, unique songwriting prowess and charming stage presence make her performances intimate and engaging.  Saratoga Springs Post Office: 7pm & 10pm

Don White has no one word description for his work.  For 20 years, he has brought his audiences to laughter and tears in his live performances, studio recordings and on the printed page. He is a storyteller-comedian-author-troubadour-folk singer-songwriter. White’s arc as a writer and performer has taken him from his industrial hometown of Lynn, Mass., across the country as hitchhiker, through Boston’s comedy clubs and coffeehouses, and onto the stage with greats like Arlo Guthrie, Ritchie Havens, Patty Larkin and Louden Wainright III.  Caffe Lena: 6pm & 7pm 

The Doug Irving Project's leading man is a singer/songwriter who composes in many styles and is equally comfortable on guitar and keyboards.  He spent eight years mixing it up in Nashville, garnering 34 independent cuts.  He recorded his sixth, seventh and eighth albums while living there and has co-written with several celebrities.  He moved back home to the Northeast in 2006 and is a member of NSAI and coordinator of the upstate Adirondack chapter.  Empire State College #103: 7pm, 9pm & 11pm

The Dry Town Drifters are a classic cowboy country and western band playing a mix of original western music as well as classics from the 60s, 70s and earlier. Bandleader Aaron Hahn’s influences come from his days as a rodeo bareback bronco rider. He loves playing the music of Gene Autry, Willie Nelson, Buck Owens and countless others. On lead guitar, Jeff Gonzales—who has played with Livingston Taylor, David Grissman and Peter Paul & Mary—adds his highly entertaining brand of finger picking. On the doghouse (upright bass) is Steve Ellwanger.  NBT Bank: 6pm, 8pm & 10pm
 
Good Fiction is a three-piece alternative rock band from Albany, New York. Their lineup consists of members Patrick Grace (vocals, drums), Alex Wollyung (guitar), and Taylor Abbitt (bass). After forming in March 2014, the three longtime friends immediately began work on writing, recording and playing shows locally. Word of mouth spread quickly due to their catchy blues infused rock tunes as well as their electric live act. Their first EP, American Gun, is out now.  St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, TEEN FEST: 7pm & 10pm
 
Graham Tichy has lit up stages across the U.S. and Europe for such rockabilly legends as Wanda Jackson and Robert Gordon. He now is an emerging legend in his own right as the leader of the Graham Tichy Trio and guitarist in Doc Scanlon’s Rhythm Boys. Tichy specializes in the musical styles of the mid-20th Century—rock and roll, rockabilly, British Invasion, swing, honky tonk and rhythm and blues.  Saratoga Hilton, Saratoga Ballroom: 9pm & 11pm
 
Great Mutations have been making rock’n’roll songs at Swordpaw Studio in Troy, NY since 2012. The trio of Matthew Thouin, Mitchell Masterson and Ian White released their debut album Cheap Stuff in July 2014. In addition to mastering the album, honorary Mutation Frank Moscowitz also adds second guitar and keys in live shows. “It’s rock like it’s supposed to be, like it used to be,” said the Albany Times Union of the band’s “earthy, raw, retro” sound.  Saratoga Springs City Center Meeting Room 2, WEXT FEST: 8pm
 
Gusto, a punk trio, burst onto the Capital Region scene in October of 2013 with their debut album Packin Heat, which was recorded by producer Jason Brown who has worked with local artists Party Boat, Circus Life and Maryleigh Roohan. After a constant slew of local and out-of-town shows and an ever-growing fan base, Gusto is at work on their sophomore album. Joseph Beck from Mayday Media said it best: “Imagine if Kurt Cobain was the lead singer for Blink 182 and that band then had a week long affair with Green Day.”  Church of St. Peter Parish Center, INDIE FEST: 8pm & 11pm
 
Harold Ford presents The Spirit: A Tribute to Johnny Cash.  No doubt, Johnny Cash is one of the most iconic music artists of all time. Join us for an intimate evening as we pay homage to “The Man in Black.” From the early days at Sun Records to the final recordings with Rick Rubin, the broad spectrum of Cash’s hits is presented with integrity. Ford’s performance as a Johnny Cash Tribute Artist is exceptional. His striking resemblance to Mr. Cash in appearance, persona, and voice elevates him to a class of his own. Laura Lucy as June Carter embodies June’s playful nature, as the endearing harmonies of Johnny and June come alive. Harold’s band, an extraordinarily talented team of musicians/vocalists, recreate the sounds of Johnny Cash’s rhythm section.  First Baptist Church: 6pm, 8pm & 10pm
 
The Hawkeye Band was first conceived in 2009 by current members Alec Gaspary (bass) and Hunter Hawkeye (guitar/vocals). Gaspary is returning from a semester abroad spent in Morocco. Hawkeye spends most of his time in the practice rooms at the Crane School of Music. Katy Stringer (sax/vocals) attends Ithaca College. The band plays a wonderful potpourri of popular music repertoire combined with original compositions. St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, TEEN FEST: 6pm & 9pm
 
Heard features the world influences of Africa, Brazil and beyond, in an upbeat, energetic and positively inspiring musical experience. The group’s two master percussionists, Zorkie Nelson (originally from Ghana) and Brian Melick create a rich tapestry of rhythmic grooves that ground their sound and set the stage for the jazz and world stylings of woodwinds player Jonathan Greene, keyboardist Elizabeth Woodbury Kasius and bass player Bobby Kendall. HEARD’s original repertoire features lyrics in Ga (a language of Ghana) and English and incorporates traditional world rhythms from West Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean. Saratoga Arts, Dee Sarno Theater: 10pm & 11pm
 
Heavenly Echoes is a gospel group that was started fifty years ago by the late James Edmonds. Based in Albany, New York, the nine singers and musicians perform traditional and contemporary songs in a style reminiscent of the soul music of the sixties. Presbyterian-New England Congregational Church: 6pm, 7pm & 8pm
 
Holly & Evan epitomize the blues. Both from long, rich musical backgrounds, Holly Taormina and Evan Conway have updated the Barrelhouse tradition, with their unique style. Together, they showcase a wide range of original and cover material in the styles of Blues, Jazz, and Soul. These originals, which are often featured on WRPI 91.5, WVCR 88.3, WEXT 97.7, WEQX 102.7’s Eqxposure, and the Crumbs Café radio show, are catchy, with a lot of personality, and will appeal to audiences everywhere!  Saratoga Arts Gallery: 8pm & 11pm
 
Holly Beltran has entertained audiences of all ages with her unique combination of song, dance and props for over 15 years. Her main genres of music are Broadway, jazz, country and children’s music. She has performed at many venues, including Fort Salem Theater and the Troy Victorian Stroll, and has participated in many local musicals, including her own co-produced show “A Touch of Jazz and Broadway.” Lifestyles of Saratoga: 7pm & 9pm
 
Hot Club of Saratoga, a Saratoga/Capital Region gypsy swing ensemble, plays a repertoire that reflects the spirit and style originated by Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grappelli in The Quintet of the Hot Club of France, most prominent in the 1930s and kept alive through a long line of gypsy jazz artists since that time. The driving rhythms under dynamic soloing give the music a life and vibrancy sure to bring a smile and often an irresistible desire to move.  Temple Sinai: 6pm, 7pm  & 8pm
 
Jack Grace, the entertaining country-rock New York City performer, has been compared to everything from Frank Zappa to early Johnny Cash—or “Cole Porter meets Gene Autry” as the New York Times once wrote. A consummate live performer, lyricist, singer and guitarist, Grace plays kick-the-can with a variety of different musical genres—from country and classic rock to mariachi music—while infusing his songs with intelligence and humor. As Alan Young of the New York Press once raved, what sets Grace’s songs “apart from the rest of the country or alt-country scene is his laugh-out-loud, absurdist wit.”  Temple Sinai: 9pm, 10pm & 11pm
 
Jim Gaudet and the Railroad Boys play an entertaining Cajun flavored bluegrass with lyrics that are often wickedly funny. They have played four International Bluegrass Music Association festivals this year and were selected to fill a coveted spot in IBMA’s Bluegrass Ramble in Raleigh, NC. The band also recently performed live on WAMU’s Katy Daley Show in Washington, D.C., arguably the most sought after radio show in the U.S. Their performance so impressed the NPR station’s producers that it was rebroadcast on the popular show, Editor’s Picks. Saratoga Hilton, Saratoga Ballroom: 7pm & 10pm
 
Jojo's Fabulous Faces is fun for both children and adults.  We make the magic happen, and that is why we love our job so much! Add a bit of color and sparkle to any occasion. With plenty of experience we are able to create beautiful, unique designs fast, using professional quality paint and glitter designed to be safe on the skin. Locally owned and operated, quality is guaranteed.  Lake Avenue School Cafeteria: 6pm - 11pm
 
J.V. & The Cutters plays original music that fuses elements of rock, funk, soul, gospel and jazz with the power and directness of electric blues. He calls this music “the new urban blues.”™ J.V. started playing bass guitar after hearing the bluesy swing and shuffle of Bill Wyman from the early days of the Rolling Stones. A few years later, the music of Albert King inspired him to pick up the guitar. J.V. writes music rooted in the styles of masters such as T. Bone Walker, John Lee Hooker and Muddy Waters. The lyrics, however, reflect contemporary issues and modern life.  Saratoga Springs City Center Meeting Room 1: 7pm & 10pm
 
The Lee Shaw Trio has been a moving force in the world of jazz for over 40 years, as her performances at top jazz fests throughout North America and Europe have proven!  From the Kennedy Center to Vienna to Ottawa and the Lake George Jazz Festival, Shaw’s talents have earned her a steady following as well as an induction into the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame.  She has shared billing with the likes of Billie Holiday, Sarah Vaughn, and Anita O’Day.  Enjoy Lee Shaw’s repertoire of show tunes, standards, Latin tunes, jazz, and blues!  Saratoga Arts Dee Sarno Theater: 8pm & 9pm
 
MaryLeigh Roohan is a 22 year old singer-songwriter who has already been likened to “a wizened old soul.” She first began playing guitar and writing songs at the age of 15, and honed her guitar and vocal skills during a  yearlong, weekly residency at a pub in St. Andrews, Scotland. Back to the states, MaryLeigh has played everywhere from intimate cafes to festivals, sharing the stage with Sean Rowe, Jill Sobule, Chic Gamine, Sister Sparrow & the Dirty Birds, Willie Alexander (the Velvet Underground) and many others.  Named the Capital Region’s “Best Female Singer-Songwriter” by Metroland in 2012, Roohan’s style shifts seamlessly from sunny indie pop to sultry jazz crooning to heartfelt Americana reminiscent of Neko Case, with influences ranging from Joni Mitchell to Etta James.  MaryLeigh’s sophomore release, Skin and Bone, is available at all live shows and nationally through all digital download and streaming sites on Fake Chapter Records.  Adirondack Trust Bank: 7pm, 9pm & 11pm
 
McCabe, Bolton & Greene is a little trio that plays McCabe originals and a bunch of uncommon covers. Matt McCabe & Rick Bolton have been performing together for 20 years and are joined this year for First Night once again by Arlin Greene, one of the busiest bass players around. Labels are hard to come by but Matt has been settled into what he refers to as "folk jazz" with Rick's masterful lead guitar work really being able to shine. Matt & Rick have been a staple of Saratoga's First Night almost since the inception of the event. New York State Military Museum: 8pm & 10pm
 
Mike Angelini is a young singer/songwriter who covers popular contemporary artists such as John Mayer, Dave Matthews and Jack Johnson. He has opened for bands in Saratoga in the past and is excited to get back on stage to perform at First Night this year.  Presbyterian -New England Congregational Church: 9pm
 
 
Mike Campese is an acclaimed guitarist and composer best known for being a member of the multi-platinum group Trans-Siberian Orchestra. Campese 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. In 2008, he released his own well-received Christmas CD, "The Meaning of Christmas". He is an honors graduate from the Musicians Institute in Hollywood, California and is a much-respected staple in the Capital District music scene for years.  Empire State College #103: 6pm, 8pm & 10pm
 

Miss Tess & the Talkbacks is a Brooklyn-based group make grooving modern vintage music that nods to the traditions of saloon jazz, country swing, retro-rock, and New Orleans second line, yet somehow maintains a unique and personal sound. Miss Tess & The Talkbacks have just released "The Love I Have For You", their second album on rootsy label Signature Sounds (Lake Street Dive, Eilen Jewell, Chris Smither, Erin McKeown). The new album was produced by Miss Tess & The Talkbacks and recorded and mixed by Devin Greenwood (Norah Jones, Anais Mitchell, Amos Lee) in Brooklyn, New York.  First Baptist Church: 7pm, 9pm & 11pm
 
The Mop and Bucket Company is the region’s favorite Improv Comedy Troupe. A long-time First Night Saratoga favorite, MOPCO brings to life your suggestions in story, song and games.  Lake Avenue School, Gym 1: 6pm, 9pm & 10pm
 
The Nat Osborn Band melds, mashes, and stirs up styles like a chef mixing spices: a dash of funk here, a dollop of big band there, a sprinkling of reggae all around a solid base of smart, catchy songwriting. The result: a unique and original sound all its own. Formed at the end of 2011, the band quickly made a name for itself on the New York City scene and in the Northeast. Bandleader/songwriter Nat Osborn is a charismatic performer with a compelling voice that can croon low in a ballad, soar to falsetto heights or belt and wail like a soul legend. He leads the band front and center behind his signature Nord keyboard. Saratoga Springs City Center Meeting Room 2, WEXT FEST: 11pm
 
The Nisky Dixie Cats are a seven-piece ensemble performing in New York’s Capital District and surrounding areas. They are dedicated to playing New Orleans, Riverboat, and Dixieland-style jazz. They aim to have fun and sound good. Let the Cats help you tap your feet and dance to the songs of Jelly Roll Morton and other greats of America’s original jazz.  Saratoga Visitors Center: 7pm, 9pm & 11pm
 
Olivia Quillio, a singer/songwriter from upstate New York, is reinventing the Modern Torch song. Quillo’s songs explore the coupling of vivid folk-inspired lyricism and melodic jazz texture. With a dynamic voice beyond her years, she’s known to captivate any space—be it an intimate living room or a dark bar. Quillo is currently touring the United States with her first studio album, "The Bomb". Saratoga Springs City Center Meeting Room 2, WEXT FEST: 6pm
 
The Orange,a foursome who formed in 1998, burst onto the American indie rock scene playing gigs across the nation with the likes of Elliot Smith, Mara the Promise Ring, Cave-In and Coheed and Cambria. The opening track, Filibuster, from their first recording, "Big Space Mission" EP, cracked the coveted CMJ Top 200 and became a college radio anthem. The Orange disbanded in 2002 to pursue other musical projects. But in 2014, guitarist Ben Karis-Nix, guitarist Frank Moscowitz, and drummer Dan Sorensen—with new bassist Levi Jennes—reunited to release new material and offer their sweet rock nectars once again! Saratoga Springs City Center Meeting Room 2, WEXT FEST: 10pm
 
Party Boat plays fun, harmony-driven pop music. Guitarist Benjamin Garrett launched Party Boat three years ago, inspired by ‘60s rock like the Beach Boys, Beatles, Kinks, Bob Dylan and Velvet Underground—and into playing “throwback” ‘60s folk and Americana. The four-piece including guitarist Collin Reynolds, bassist Dave Farnsworth and drummer Chris Daus is all about ‘60s-inspired harmonies, reverb-drenched guitar, sunny melodies and infectious live energy. Church of St. Peter Parish Center, INDIE FEST: 7pm & 10pm
 
Pat Attanasio was voted “Best Acoustic Guitarist” by ‘Musician’s Friend’ National Coverband Contest, 2011 and “Best Guitarist “at Drome Sound of Schenectady, NY, 2009. Pat continues to play the guitar and expand his original style in the local area both as a solo musician and playing with his trio. While playing solo with the guitar, he gives the musical piece he is playing a full sound that not many of today’s player’s can duplicate. He is also a multi-instrumentalist and has played various instruments in his own act and with other top local bands. He continues to use the violin with his guitar in his act.  Adirondack Trust Bank: 6pm, 8pm & 10pm
 
Pete and Chris Amusements are the northeast’s ONLY 2-man kid’s comedy magic show!  They are a high-energy, frenetic duo who uses lots of kid-friendly slapstick to make sure your kids are chortling for hours after the show!  Presto Pete and Incredulous Chris are two brothers from Connecticut who love to bring the fun... and magic... to you!  Lake Avenue School Gym 2: 7pm & 9pm
 

Phil Henry with Gary Moon is a duo not to be missed this First Night.  Phil Henry is the real thing. He crafts old-school story songs so rich and sweeping that you’ll wish you wrote them yourself. A formally trained musician, he builds strange, beautiful chords and a big acoustic sound, played on instruments he often makes by hand. He’s played the big stages—Kerrville, Falcon Ridge—and won song contests like SolarFest and Susquehanna. Henry is joined at Saratoga Springs First Night by multi-percussionist and fellow songwriter Gary Moon.  Caffe Lena: 8pm & 9pm 


Racing City Chorus performs a capella music in the barbershop style of harmony.  Their repertoire includes ballads, up-tunes, patriotic, and religious numbers, and on occasion audience participation with sing-along on old familiar tunes. Church of St. Peter: 9pm & 11pm
 

Ramblin’ Jug Stompers consists of luminaries from the Capital District music scene, including former and current members of notable Albany bands past and present -like Blotto, The Star Spangled Washboard Band, Rumdummies, Stomplistics, Johnny Rabb’s Rockhouse, The Plague, and the list goes on. Their style nods to the great tradition of American string band music while winking directly at the classic jug bands of the sixties folk scene, including The Jim Kweskin Jug Band, The Even Dozen Jug Band, Dave Van Ronk, and The Lovin’ Spoonful.  Saratoga Hilton, Saratoga Ballroom: 6pm & 8pm

Rebel Darling is the pen name for singer-songwriter M.R. Poulopoulos and the rotating stable of local and regional musicians who add unique instrumentation to his brand of American Blues and Roots music. Rooted primarily in M.R. Poulopoulos’ songwriting, these talented musicians from diverse backgrounds improvise with the power of the heart and the beauty of the mind. Essentially, Rebel Darling is a feeling, a lifestyle and—most of all—a sound. Church of St. Peter Parish Center, INDIE FEST: 6pm & 9pm
 
The Red Haried Strangers have been playing together for over 20 years, forging original music that contains hints of delta blues, country, bluegrass and Americana influences. Along the way, they’ve expanded to include not only guitar and harmonica but also fiddle, drums, dobro and pedal steel guitar. Their music consists of original words set to driving melodies complete with evocative images of wandering, trains, sin and love lost. Their repertoire also includes finger picking, slide and 12 bar blues, old fiddle tunes, bluegrass breakdowns and country stompers, as well as tasteful toe-tapping covers from the world of roots music. NBT Bank: 7pm, 9pm & 11pm
 
Rosary Beard has music composed of intricately intertwined acoustic guitar parts co-written by Hunter Sagehorn and Matthew Loiacono. Each is known in the Northeast for abundantly different music—Sagehorn for angular guitar work in rock band Alta Mira and Loiacono for solo experimental mandolin and voice music as Matthew Carefully. As Rosary Beard, the duo find new synergy in composing quiet, thoughtful music together—skating a line between melancholy reflection and moments of uplifting release. Saratoga Springs Post Office: 6pm & 8pm
 
Saratoga Soundtrack Chorus is an award-winning women’s a cappella group that sings everything from standards and jazz to ballads and contemporary songs, in four-part harmony.  The chorus has been performing under the direction of the talented composer/arranger/director Nancy Faddegon since 2008. Their fine musical performances are visually enhanced through characterization and choreography. Through the years, the chorus has delighted local audiences at many popular events and venues: Congress Park, Saratoga Race Course, Dance Flurry, Phantoms hockey games and First Night. Ring in the New Year with the melodious sounds of the holidays as performed by these gifted musicians!  Church of St. Peter: 8pm & 10pm
 

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.  The Church of St. Peter: 6pm & 7pm

Schuylerville Community Theater summer camp kids will represent the hippies and flower children of the 1960s with some songs form the retrospective play they performed last July by Kelly and Francoeur. Some ‘groov-sters’ decide to throw a free Music, Beads and Flowers Celebration.  A popular singing group, the “Lemon Bugs”, loves the idea, donates their talent and in no time, busses start arriving at Crumb’s Apple Farm, the site of the festival. Come see if they can pull it off before they get shut down. It's fast! It's funky! It's GROOVY!!  Children’s Museum Community Room: 6pm, 7pm & 8pm

 
Seina Shirakura is a violinist, violist, fiddler and teacher, who aims to spread her love of music with others. Many have gotten to know her as the fiddler in downtown Saratoga Springs, as she spent much of summer 2014 playing on the Broadway sidewalks. 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 currently attends the Hartt School in CT for Violin Performance. Lifestyles of Saratoga: 6pm, 8pm & 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: 6pm, 8pm, 10pm
 
Sirsy is summed up by the Boston Globe: “Little band, big sound.” But the only thing little about Sirsy is that there are just two members. Sirsy plays rock and soul full of sing-along melodies and lots of heart. The Times Union said charismatic frontwoman Melanie Krahmer has “one of most powerful and flexible voices you’ll ever hear.” Krahmer also plays a full drum kit—standing up. Guitarist Rich Libutti deploys a giant pedal board full of vintage effects and also plays bass on a keyboard with his feet. Together they create such a full sound it’s hard to believe there are only two people on stage.  Saratoga Springs City Center Meeting Room 1: 8pm & 11pm
 
Street Corner Holler features Mark Tolstrup on acoustic and electric slide guitar and vocals, Dale Haskell on drums and vocals and Tony Markellis on bass. The group performs traditional blues and original songs played like they’re out to grab you as you try to stroll by. They brew up a raw, fearless, righteous mix of swamp boogie, buzz-saw blues and delta stomp that is achingly beautiful and haunting. Empire State College #105: 7pm, 9pm & 11pm
 
Talia Denis is a young singer-songwriter who creates music that is known for being fun and inspirational while also introducing complex chord progressions, rhythms and time-signature changes. Denis has gained notoriety for being the “real” kid musician, who tours with her own band made up of New York City musicians. From pure piano ballads to overdriven rock tunes, Denis takes the craft of writing and arranging music seriously. Denis has shared the stage with The X Factor’s Fifth Harmony and the legendary Rusted Root. St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, TEEN FEST: 8pm & 11pm
 
Tarot Readings and Numerology with Joan Scannell gives a glimpse of what 2015 holds for you with a free five-minute tarot and numerology reading. Insightful, intuitive and compassionately direct, Joan is a local resident who has been giving readings in the area for many years. Through the use of numerology and tarot, Joan can tell you about your purpose in this lifetime and how to use 2015 to reach your deepest personal goals.  Empire State College #104: 6pm - 10pm
 
Thirteen Feet of Bluegrass plays high-energy acoustic 70s and 80s country rock, blues, bluegrass and originals—all done in their own style. The band’s four seasoned musicians include vocalist and guitarist Pat Liddy; distinctive banjo stylist Bob Altschuler; bluegrass, jazz, Dixieland, rock and folk veteran Randy Jennings on bass and vocals; and Nick Viscio, whose high energy fiddling is inspired by swing, rock, bluegrass and French Canadian styles. Saratoga Visitors Center: 6pm, 8pm & 10pm
 
The Zucchini Brothers, originally from Saratoga Springs, NY, but now living in a clubhouse in “ZucchiniLand”, are well-renowned for their concerts in schools, theaters and festivals throughout the country, as well as their internationally syndicated weekly radio show “The Zucchini Brothers, Live! at the Clubhouse.” Winners of the NAPPA Gold Award and the Parents’ Choice Gold Award, the Zucchini Brothers have received critical acclaim for their albums. “The Beatles of Kids’ Music” - are what the Zucchini Brothers, Jack, Steve and Sam are often called. Words of wisdom set to foot-tapping music are what the Zucchini Brothers deliver. Lake Avenue School Gym 1: 7pm & 8pm
 
 

Make plans for a New Year's Eve getaway!


DINE
...
at one of Saratoga's amazing restaurants

 
...and ENJOY
FIRST NIGHT SARATOGA 2015 - an evening filled with live music, dance, comedy, and midnight fireworks!

First Night will keep you warm! 

All of our venues are inside, heated, and with free (and warm!) bus service thanks to CDTA, you don't have to worry about getting cold on your way to all the best First Night performances. 


 

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