Saratoga Arts - Arts Center | Arts Council

SPAC’s 50th Anniversary First Night Fireworks

The sky lights up with a dazzling firework finale to 2015 at midnight in Congress Park. Saratoga Arts invites you to join Saratoga Springs Mayor Joanne Yepsen as we ring out the city’s Centennial Celebration and ring in 2016 with the Saratoga Performing Arts Center (SPAC) 50th Anniversary First Night Fireworks! A perfect viewing area is provided with street closures at the intersection of Spring and Putnam Streets, near the carousel. The First Night Saratoga fireworks display is presented by Saratoga Arts in partnership with the Saratoga Performing Arts Center (SPAC), and with support from Northstar Fireworks.






Fun, Food & More at First Night!

Alpacas of Breezy Hill Ranch Alpacas are very gentle creatures and they hope you’ll stop by to wish them a happy New Year! Owners Lisa and David Proulx will have alpaca products to buy such as hats, gloves, mittens, scarves and socks. NBT Bank Parking Lot, all night.








Balloon Gal Jenny has a decade of experience teaching both art and cooking to kids. Her favorite part of being a balloon artist is the smile she brings to children’s faces. This vendor charges $5 per balloon animal.  Lake Avenue School, all night.






Jojo’s Fabulous Faces Add a bit of color and sparkle to First Night with beautiful, unique designs!  Locally owned and operated.  Fun for children and adults! This vendor charges $5-$10 per face design and accepts reservations. Lake Avenue School, all night.







Forever Flowers sells beautifully preserved roses for you to give your loved one when the clock strikes twelve!  City Center, all night.






Airstream CateringNo matter how you like to roll, Airstream Catering Co. rolls with you! NBT Bank Parking Lot, all night.

Reggie’s Veggies from Greenwich New York, sells donuts and macaroni & cheese to keep you going throughout the night.  Adirondack Trust Drive through, all night.

Ziti Dinner youth programming dinner provides a baked Ziti meal with a salad, beverage and dessert for $8 adult, $4 youth and $.50 kids. Presbyterian-New England Church, 4pm - 8pm.



Introducing the First Night 2016 Performers

Headlining the night~

NRBQ  is a legendary American rock band known for its live performances containing a high-degree of spontaneity and levity, and blending rock, pop, jazz, blues and Tin Pan Alley styles. The abbreviation “NRBQ” stands for New Rhythm and Blues Quartet (originally Quintet). The band’s music is a blend of styles from rockabilly to Beatles-influenced pop to Thelonious Monk-inspired jazz. They have attracted fans as diverse as Bob Dylan, Paul McCartney, Elvis Costello, Keith Richards and Penn and Teller. NRBQ songs have been performed by Bonnie Raitt, Los Lobos, and Dave Edmunds, among many others. In addition, the group served as the unofficial “house band” for The Simpsons for two seasons.
NRBQ has a devoted following from many years of live shows. The band never works with a set list, so fans never knew what songs to expect. In addition to its own compositions, the band performs a broad range of cover material and audience requests. With founder and driving force Terry Adams on keyboards and vocals, Scott Ligon on guitar and vocals, Casey McDonough on bass and vocals, and Conrad Choucroun on drums, NRBQ released their latest studio album, the critically-acclaimed Brass Tacks, in 2014. “Brass Tacks contains the fun, zest, humor and flat-out rock that has defined the band since their birth decades ago,” said Rolling Stone.Saratoga Springs City Center Main Hall:  10pm- Midnight
Jim Gaudet and the Railroad Boys are excited to bring their brand of “hillbilly rock n' roll” back to Saratoga. Since last year’s appearance at First Night Saratoga, Jim Gaudet and The Railroad Boys have been very fortunate to be traveling and making new friends all around the country. They have appeared on a live PBS broadcast, “Music City Roots” from Nashville, traveled to Colorado for the High Mountain Bluegrass Festival, played three sets at the prestigious Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival, as well as the Long Island Bluegrass Festival. In November, the group was given the honor of being chosen to present a formal showcase at this year’s Northeast Regional Folk Alliance. Saratoga Springs City Center Main Hall: 6pm & 8pm
Harold Ford presents The Spirit: A Tribute to Johnny Cash.  Harold Ford’s voice and physical resemblance to Johnny Cash are unmistakable. Raised on the old American pioneer songs, at the age of four Harold began singing duets and harmonies with his sister, Dorothy. His father accompanied them on the banjo, and mother followed along with the piano. Music and a pioneering love of America became an integral part of his existence. Over the years, Ford weaved his way north, south, east and west, exploring the back roads, country woods and people of this great land. As a true American figure and artist himself, Harold Ford’s many experiences make him a storyteller in his own right and lend a deep identification to Johnny Cash’s music.  Saratoga Springs City Center Main Hall: 7pm & 9pm
From the top~
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. NBT Bank: 7pm & 11pm
Aged in the Hills draws from country, vintage rock and roll, bluegrass, Cajun and Irish music, and has been on the scene since 1978, 
winning many awards from the NorthEast CMA, Metroland, Times Union, and more. The group features the vocals of father/daughter team George and Darcy Schacher. George is an award winning multi-instrumentalist who switches between guitar, fiddle, mandolin and pedal steel. Darcy, a college senior, studies performing arts at Pace University in Manhattan. Since she is only home occasionally, a local performance is a real treat for audiences who have watched her grow up on stage.  Church of St. Peter: 9pm & 11pm
The Arthur Murray Dance Center in Saratoga Springs will be teaching 45-minute group classes on the hour followed by 15-minute dance demonstrations by the instructors.  The group classes will be open level, so no prior experience will be necessary by the participants.  We will teach the 6 main dances: Foxtrot, Waltz, Tango, Rumba, Cha Cha, and Swing.  It will not be necessary for anyone to come with a partner.  We do ask that everyone remove their shoes to participate or bring a change of shoes for dancing in order to keep the dance floor clean for everyone- no bare feet please.   The Arthur Murray Dance Center: 6pm - midnight
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 - 8pm
Benjamin John is an ethereal voice telling familiar stories. Clever lyrics and unforgettable melodies. Meet Benjamin John, the 24-year-old songwriter who’s been singing as long as he’s been talking. “Songwriting is my conduit for bringing feelings out of one heart and into another,” John says. “There is nothing quite like meeting a captivated audience member’s gaze. The look in their eyes is almost gratitude for the words and sounds I'm giving them that illustrate feelings they can't describe otherwise.” Whatever the audience, Benjamin John intoxicates with his well-crafted melodies and lyrical wit. Lifestyles of Saratoga: 8pm & 10pm
Better by Morning is an alternative band that turns heads with their passion and knack for catchy, hook-driven guitar riffs. They define themselves even more simply: “We play music and stuff.” From the Saratoga Springs area, Better By Morning is Jake Brooks on lead vocals and rhythm guitar, Johnny Gravitt on lead guitar, Ali Genevich on backing vocal, keys and violin, Brad Paquet and Ali Grose on bass, and Kyle Squires on drums.  Lake Avenue School Auditorium: 6pm & 8pm
Big Fez and the Surfmatics are a four-man group performing classic surf and beach music from the early 1960s. While all four members are journeymen musicians who have individually developed their craft through rock, country, bluegrass and Celtic music, it is the music of their youth, the “music of the surf,” that has brought them all together. Their repertoire includes the great instrumental hits of the surf era, including songs by The Ventures, Dick Dale and the Del-Tones, The Trashmen, The Chantays, The Surfaris and Duane Eddy, as well as vocal hits from the surf era, including songs by The Beach Boys, Jan and Dean, The Challengers, The Rivieras, and many more.  First Baptist Church: 6pm, 8pm & 10pm 
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.  Caffe Lena: 6pm, 8pm & 10pm

Capowski with musical roots in the 1980's springs from the “antifolk” era of New York City. Capowski’s musical influences cover a wide range, including R.E.M. and the B-52’s, whose sometimes-bassist, Gang of Four’s Sara Lee, recorded a duet track with Capowski for his 2013 album Drinking the Sea. While that album introduced Capowski’s abilities as an introspective and dark lyricist, his second album, Wild Animals, released earlier this year, features a largely electric sound—in keeping with its title. Capowski’s live trio features Robert Capowski (guitar and vocals), Jeff Sohn (bass) and Jamie Hurst (drums).  Saratoga Arts Gallery: 7pm, 9pm & 11pm

Cello Voce is upstate New York musicians Brian Donat (cello) and Holly McCormack (voice) combining their years of professional, international performance experience across a wide variety of classical and non-classical genres to create a warm, expressive sound in this highly original collaboration of soprano and cello. You won’t hear sounds quite like this from anybody else. Church of St. Peter Parish Center: 9pm & 11pm

Chris Ruggiero's One Man Variety Show is non-stop entertainment. Whether he's juggling knives on a unicycle or executing seemingly impossible tricks and stunts, nothing is off limits in the show! Thousands of audience members have been left in a state of laughter and amazement as Chris has brought the show to stages across the globe.  Saratoga Arts Dee Sarno Theater: 9pm & 11pm

Corbie Mitlied, Psychic, Tarot and Past Life Expert is showcased in Robert Schwartz’s breakthrough series, YOUR SOUL’S PLAN and YOUR SOUL’S GIFT.  With 40 years’ experience, Corbie’s abilities include Tarot, spiritual road/karma readings, intuitive counseling, past life retrieval and analysis, mediumship, and spirit guide conferences.  She will be doing past life readings "gallery style" for First Night Saratoga.  Empire State College, Meeting Room #105:  7pm, 9pm & 11pm

Deena Chappell’s influences—which include The Beatles, Doo-wop, Bill Monroe, Billie Holiday, Tom Paxton, Leonard Cohen, Jimi Hendrix, The Doors and Janis Joplin—stretch almost as wide as her vocal range. When you attend a live performance of this talented, unique artist, you may be hard pressed to squeeze her into any one genre. But with her captivating voice and her witty and wise songwriting, a performance by Deena Chappell always makes you glad you came.  Adirondack Trust Bank: 6pm, 8pm & 10pm

Diana Domingo began belting out tunes at the age of five, singing along to Fats Domino, Ray Charles, Gladys Night and Michael Jackson records and performing musicals under the direction of her father, Buck Monari. After moving to Los Angeles and studying music under such talents as Grammy award winning vocalist Darlene Koldenhoven, Diana came back East to become the Studio Manager and Head Voice Coach at Open Voice Studios before opening her own studio, Center For Song, in 2012. Her influences range from Nina Simone and Billy Holiday to Amy Winehouse and Adele.  NYS Military Museum: 6pm

Grafton Street Trio is named for the famous pedestrian walkway in Dublin, Ireland, where street musicians entertain passers-by. Our repertoire is dominated by traditional Irish tunes performed on uilleann bagpipes, fiddles, guitar and mandolin. We also enjoy playing tunes from the New England and Quebecois repertoires. Grafton Street Trio performs traditional tunes for contra dances and events in the Saratoga and Capital District region as well as eastern Vermont.  Saratoga Springs Post Office: 9pm & 11pm 

Grit N Whiskey is a Saratoga Springs-based modern country band. The members of this six-piece are known for their strong vocals, high energy and danceable country music. Performing live music for five years together, Grit N Whiskey has played shows throughout the New York area. See Grit N Whiskey in person and you'll understand just how much the band members love music and enjoy entertaining a crowd. First Baptist Church: 7pm, 9pm & 11pm

Homespun Dance, presented by Tamarack, invites you to come kick up your heels to live fiddle music.  Enjoy a tradition of community dancing and music handed down from generation to generation. We play music and get everyone involved – from ages 2 to 102 — especially those who have not danced before, in easy-to-learn American barn dance favorites: circles, squares, contras, as well as a few international folk (Irish, Dutch, Russian, Israeli, French, African, and more) dances.  The toe-tapping music consists of reels, jigs, polkas, hornpipes, and waltzes. Besides fiddle, instruments in a family dance could include banjo, mandolin, flute, pennywhistle, clarinet, guitar, piano, recorder, accordion, dulcimer, percussion, and more.  While participation in the dancing is encouraged — and it’s hard to sit still — it’s fun to just listen to the music and watch too! Lake Avenue School Gym #2: 7pm & 9pm

Hot Club of Saratoga, the Saratoga-Capital Region’s premiere gypsy swing ensemble, plays a repertoire that reflects a spirit and style originated by Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grappelli in The Quintet of the Hot Club of France, who developed the style in the 1930s. Since then, the style has been kept alive through a long line of gypsy jazz ensembles, including this one. Hot Club’s repertoire covers the range from sweet, soulful balladry through hard-driving swing and fiery, upbeat tempos. A neighbor recently told them, “Whenever you guys rehearse, I open my windows so I can hear you. Your music just makes me happy!”  Yes! That’s the goal!  Saratoga Arts Dee Sarno Theater: 8pm & 10pm
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.”  Caffe Lena: 7pm, 9pm & 11pm
Jeanine Ouderkirk Trio is fronted by a jazz vocalist, multi-instrumentalist and music educator. Ouderkirk holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from The Crane School of Music, where she studied bass clarinet and vocal performance, music education, and jazz studies, playing baritone saxophone in the Crane jazz & Latin ensembles. More recently, she has studied vocal improvisation and circle singing with the pioneer of the format: Bobby McFerrin. Jeanine is the music teacher at St. Mary's School of Waterford, as well as a private instructor of piano, voice and woodwinds in the Saratoga Springs area.  Saratoga Springs Post Office: 6pm & 7pm
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: 8pm & 11pm

Jimy Graham’s musical journey has brought him full circle from his Jamaican roots. As a boy growing up in New York, he was heavily influenced by the Motown sound and Caribbean beats. By age 8, he’d pick up the guitar. Since then, Graham’s unique fusion of blues, rock and reggae has packed houses, and in 2011 earned him a spot on the main stage of Jamaica’s Jazz and Blues Festival, which attracts crowds in the tens of thousands. Now, Graham is bringing his distinctive style to the stages of Saratoga First Night. Hilton, Saratoga Ballroom: 6pm, 8pm & 11pm
Joan Scannell - It's in the Cards Tarot and Numerology 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. While her readings do have a predictive element to them, the focus is more on spiritual enlightenment so the client can make the decisions that will help them lead a more Authentic life. In addition, Joan is a Tarot presenter and educator. She uses the skills acquired as a public school educator for 20+ years to present structured and informative information sessions and workshops for individuals interested in learning more about the Tarot. Participants gain valuable information about the Tarot and are often inspired to pursue additional studies on the topic. Joan has also published articles on the topic of Tarot on her blogs which are available through her website and for Healing Springs magazine which is based in Saratoga Springs, NY. Public appearances include Saratoga’s First Night Celebrations, NYRA’s Fabulous Fillies event, World Awareness Children’s Museum Mardi Gras Event and Bolton Landings Girlfriend’s Getaway Weekend. Joan is also a regular reader at The Magic Moon, Saratoga’s much-loved metaphysical shop.  Show up early and make a reservation! Empire State College, Meeting Room #108: 6-10pm
Joshua Lozoff has been studying and sharing magic around the world for over fifteen years. He regularly performs throughout the U.S. Before turning his attention to magic, Joshua was a professional actor in Los Angeles, including a notable recurring role on the TV show Cheers, as Gino Tortelli, and as Logan in the movie Clueless. You can even see Joshua's martial arts prowess on display (he holds a 2nd degree black belt in Aikido) in the film Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles! After 14 years as a professional actor, Joshua left Los Angeles to regain his sanity and devote more time to service work, including volunteer stints throughout Latin America. It was during his travels that a chance encounter with a street magician sparked a new passion, and Joshua began his training. Traveling around the world, Joshua studied with master magicians on several continents. After years of full-time training, he began sharing his craft with others. Now Joshua is regarded as one of the top magicians working today. Joshua loves sharing his craft with people in every setting, and his love and respect for magic come across in every performance. A few moments spent with Joshua can truly inspire, amaze and entertain. Empire State College, Rotunda: 7pm, 9pm &11pm
L.B. Walker has been described in simple terms: a “stellar performer with a rich voice.” With the help of a 1930 National Steel Guitar, blues harmonica and a foot-stompin' tambourine, L.B. attracts audiences of all ages with his enthusiasm for the blues, his renditions of classic American standards, and his own original tunes. From the street sounds of Memphis and the rhythm of North Mississippi to the soulful sounds of the Delta, L.B. Walker is ready to display musical artistry that lives up to the immortal tradition of American blues music. Temple Sinai: 7pm & 10pm
Layah Adler is a 19-year-old college student, currently enrolled at SUNY Adirondack, who particularly enjoys creating covers to popular songs, which she has performed at open mic nights at Gaffney’s and Caffe Lena and Francesca Desormeau’s annual spring concert at The United Methodist Church. She has also recently begun compositional work of her own. Layah plans on moving to Florida after the New Year to study music production at Broward College in Fort Lauderdale. Empire State College, Meeting Room #103: 6pm, 8pm & 10pm
MaryLeigh Roohan has “The wisdom of an old soul in the body of a young, yearning individual.” Whether it’s her dynamic and passionate performances, or her poignant and honest songwriting, this sentiment has been expressed throughout Roohan’s career. With a style that shifts seamlessly from sunny indie pop to heartfelt Americana and a stage presence that’s full of dynamic soul, she’s an entrancing presence who is making waves.  Saratoga Springs City Center Meeting Room 1: 7pm & 10pm
Matthew Boyce & the Suspicious Minds is fronted by a 16-year-old Elvis Tribute Artist who was the Youth Division winner at the Lake George Elvis Festival in 2010, came in 2nd in the Youth Division at the Toronto Elvis Festival in 2013, and, most recently, placed second in the adult, 70s division at the Lake George Elvis Festival in 2015. Matthew also plays guitar and piano and enjoys performing as a solo acoustic artist, singing all types of music, including his own originals. Presbyterian New-England Congregational Church: 9pm & 11pm

Matthew Carefully aka Matthew Loiacono has been a long-time fixture in the Capital Region music scene. From supporting roles in groups with musicians George Muscatello, Bryan Thomas and Winterpills to leading roles in Rosary Beard and The Kamikaze Hearts, he continues to make solo music under the moniker Matthew Carefully. Though Matthew restlessly changes the instrumental palette with which he delivers thoughtful, emotive compositions, one can always expect to be engaged, challenged and delighted by one of his live performances. Temple Sinai: 6pm & 8pm

Matt McCabe & Rick Bolton have been performing together for 20 years playing originals and uncommon covers.  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
Michael Jerling, born and raised in Illinois, became involved with music while helping to run the campus coffeehouse at the University of Wisconsin—Eau Claire. Now settled in Saratoga, Jerling recorded his 2009 live album Music Here Tonight at the legendary Caffe Lena. He has been a noted artist on the club, college and festival circuits of North America since 1975, and has been among the winners of the prestigious “New Folk” competition at the Kerrville Folk Festival in Texas. His baritone voice is backed up with consummate skill on six and twelve string guitars, harmonica, and mandolin—all buoyed by his dry sense of humor.    New York State Military Museum: 7pm & 9pm

Michael Ray began in the performing arts at the age of nine as he entered the world of magical entertainment.  Later, in college he was motivated to enter the unusual world of hypnotism. He studied the theories and applications of psychology. Combining these theories and applications with his natural ability to entertain, he has been very successful in bringing his show to an ever expanding market throughout the United States and Canada. Today, hypnosis is being used in the medical field for therapy, healing, smoking and weight control, controlling the flow of blood and as an anesthetic during major surgery. Interest in the strange and bizarre is at a high level. Hypnosis is definitely of interest to many people now. Many unique features have been incorporated into his hypnotic presentation, which makes it a "one of a kind" performance and makes Michael the premier hypnotist around!  Empire State College, Rotunda: 6pm, 8pm & 10pm

Mike Campese is an American guitarist and composer best known for being a member of the multi-platinum group Trans-Siberian Orchestra. Mike was picked over several guitarists in 2004 during the band's fourth CD, The Lost Christmas Eve and received a gold record for his work. Mike has been featured in many national guitar magazines such as Guitar Club in Italy, Guitar One and writes lessons for Guitar Player magazine, Guitar World magazine and Guitar Club Magazine. Mike is a versatile musician who describes his style as Rock Fusion and writes vocal and instrumental arrangements, electric and acoustic.  Empire State College #103: 7pm, 9pm & 11pm

MJ Henion practices Runes readings as one of the most popular methods of Mancy (Divination).  There are different kinds of Rune stones depending on which alphabet you choose to follow; Anglo-Saxon Futhorc, Cirth, Elder Futhark, Gothic Runes, Hungarian Runes, Turkic, Younger Futhork.  Elder Futhark is the emerging Rune alphabet in popularity; it is also known as the alphabet with the "blank".  Some believe that Runes can represent what is wrong in your life and what needs to happen for it to be fixed. Show up early and make a reservation! Empire State College, Room #125: 6pm - 10pm

The Mop and Bucket Company is the Capital District’s premiere improvisational theatre company. The company has been in existence in its present form since 2005.  MopCo is a resident company at Proctors Theatre in Schenectady, NY. The company performs, teaches, and trains at venues around the region, as well as nationally and internationally. Live performance fills a central, universal need of humankind. This need cannot be met by passive reception of electronic or virtual paths, but must be experienced with all five senses. MopCo believes that the best theatre comes out of an active collaboration between performer and audience. We constantly expand, refine, and redefine our own concept of what improvisation in performance is.  St. Paul's Lutheran Church: 9pm, 10pm & 11pm

Mournin' Dove takes flight with the songwriting partnership of Aaron Lewis and Marc Clayton and delivers high-energy adventurous music that is equal parts pop-melodious-hook and rock-grinding-grit. Hailing from the Saratoga Springs area, founding band members and brothers Aaron Lewis on guitar and Todd Lewis on drums boast an impressive performance resume, playing for audiences nationwide from New York City’s Knitting Factory to LA’s Roxy. Vocalist Marc Clayton’s songwriting talent earned him success in Nashville’s music scene and brought him national recognition with two songs featured on Discovery Channel’s The Deadliest Catch. Taking inspiration from Led Zeppelin, The Beatles, Muse and Radiohead, Mournin' Dove brings an epic sound and soulful edge to their craft in both performance and songs that will swoop down, grab you and take you away! Saratoga Springs City Center Meeting Room 2: 6pm & 9pm
The Nisky Dixie Cats are a seven-piece ensemble who have performed to audiences across New York's Capital Region. Since 1995, they have been dedicated to playing traditional New Orleans, Riverboat, and Dixieland-style music for all occasions. Tapping your feet, singing along, and getting up to dance are all welcomed and encouraged as these Cats hop through the songs of Jelly Roll Morton, Kid Ory, Duke Ellington, Scott Joplin, and other greats of America’s original jazz artists!  The Hampton Inn Suites: 6pm, 8pm & 10pm
North & South Dakotas were created in the winter of 2011 by founding members Zack Hay, Mark Retajczyk and Colin Hunt.  They set out crafting a sound that paid homage to the spirit of old-time American music, mountain folk, and singer-songwriter traditions. With the addition of drummer Mike Graves and utility-man Nayt Patenaude, the band continued honing in on a sound containing elements of bluegrass, country, folk, honky-tonk and rock and roll. The mixture of each members’ different musical background has culminated in a unique, harmony-rich, genre-sweeping sound determined to break up the monotony of the modern airwaves. Saratoga Springs City Center Meeting Room 2: 7pm & 10pm
Olivia Quillio, a Troy-based singer/songwriter, captures real emotion like no other.  That's not surprising considering she has essentially been honing her craft since her childhood. With a voice beyond her years, Quillio's always had more in common with Billie Holiday and Joni Mitchell than the pop stars she's grown up with. But her ability to split the difference—blending her influences in folk and jazz with pop accessibility—creates utterly enthralling moments of heartbreak and triumph. Her style is a breath of fresh air, approaching her personal defeats and victories in a way that's not always pretty, that doesn't always paint her in the best light but is refreshingly honest. Adirondack Trust Bank: 7pm, 9pm & 11pm
Opera Saratoga presents Saratoga Sings a New Years Celebration - a festive concert to celebrate looking forward and new beginnings! Featuring guest artists from the country’s leading opera houses, the concert will be hosted by Opera Saratoga’s Artistic Director Lawrence Edelson. The opera company that once was a dream founded on the majestic shores of Lake George is now a world-class performing arts organization, serving over 40,000 people annually.  Opera Saratoga has a long, proud legacy of producing innovative, outstanding works that critics and audiences rave about each and every year. Celebrate the New Year in song with Opera Saratoga! The Church of St. Peter: 6pm & 7pm
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.  Saratoga Springs Post Office: 8pm & 10pm

Peter Oundjian is a 23-year-old singer-songwriter originally from Connecticut. He began singing and writing music while attending high school in Toronto. His style lends itself foremost to Radiohead and Nick Drake, with a grungy garnish. In his spare time, Peter actively tries to write songs that don't suck and enjoys watching the Toronto Maple Leafs “play” hockey. Saratoga Arts Gallery: 6pm, 8pm & 10pm


Phil Henry with Gary Moon craft old-school story songs so rich and sweeping you’ll wish you wrote them yourself. A formally trained musician, Phil Henry builds strange, beautiful chords and a big acoustic sound. His new CD,Aberdeen, features the Phil Henry Acoustic Trio and a dozen characters and stories. “Vivid lyrical imagery that captures the imagination,” says Vermont’s Seven Days publication.  Saratoga Visitor's Center: 7pm, 9pm & 11pm 

Racing City Chorus is a chapter of the Barbershop Harmony Society (BHS), an organization that participates in choruses and quartets to sing a cappella music worldwide in the barbershop style. The chorus performs throughout Saratoga Springs and the Capital Region. It was chartered in Saratoga in 1956 and is currently celebrating its 60th year. Presbyterian New-England Congregational Church: 8pm & 10pm

Ramblin’ Jug Stompers fuse together junk-yard jazz, back-porch blues, rollicking ragtime, blistering bluegrass and ornery old-timey music, the veteran acoustic quartet of Bowtie, Cousin Clyde, Mister Eck and Wild Bill conjure up a very tasty, toe-tappin' amalgamation of vintage Americana sounds. Call it 78 RPM Music for the 21st Century. Just don't call 'em late for breakfast... Hampton Inn: 7pm & 9pm

Ratboy Jr. is a self-proclaimed “Kindie band” (independent kids music) from the Hudson Valley, Ratboy Jr. consists of singer and guitarist Timmy and multi-tasker extraordinaire Matty (he plays drums and keyboards at the same time!). This rocking duo plays music for all ages; adults often say, “Hey! We love your music just as much as the kids do!”  They have a knack for blurring the lines and pushing the boundaries between kids music and adult music. In other words, it becomes EVERYONE’S music.  They can be found playing all over the country, from the Mountain Jam festival to farmers’ markets. St. Paul's Lutheran Church: 6pm, 7pm & 8pm
The Red Haired Strangers have been playing together for over 20 years, forging original music with country, blues and bluegrass influences. Beginning as a guitar and harmonica duo, the sound of the Red Haired Strangers has been enriched with the addition of fiddle, drums, bass, dobro and pedal steel guitar. Since 2003 the band has been performing their own mix of covers and original country blues—perfect for the bar-room or the back porch—at numerous festivals, watering holes and gatherings throughout the Northeast. NBT Bank: 8pm & 9pm
Rich Conley's Caricatures bring a fun creative approach to any event.  He believes in capturing the personality as well as the person.  You will leave with a great drawing and an even better memory. And don't forget gift caricatures make great presents which is why Rich will be set up at the Saratoga Springs Post Office where we are also offering a special ink stamp commemorating our  20th anniversary.  The Post Office will be open all night, so you can send your special portrait off to a loved one right away.  Saratoga Springs Post Office: 6pm - midnight
Robanic Reggae Band is the only authentic reggae band in upstate New York, playing a wide and colorful range of Caribbean music including old school reggae, traditional rock-steady, ska and calypso. The ensemble is made up of three very talented musicians with decades of experience. Hilton Saratoga Ballroom: 7pm, 9pm & 11pm

Rusticator is an acoustic band with an Americana spirit. The four-piece group consists of acoustic guitar, fiddle, upright bass, and stripped-down percussion, creating an energetic blend of original songs and sing-along covers. Inspired by jam-bands, bluegrass, and alt. country, Rusticator's influences stretch far and wide. Their debut album Waiting for the Dawn was self-released in May 2015. Expect to be charmed by thought-provoking originals plus covers from your favorites—including The Beatles, The Grateful Dead, The Band and Bob Dylan. NBT Bank: 6pm & 10pm

Saratoga Soundtrack Chorus is an award-winning women’s a cappella group that performs a variety of popular classics and original compositions alongside characterization and choreography. Through the years, the group has performed for local audiences in Congress Park and Saratoga Race Course, and will be fresh from competing in the 2015 Sweet Adelines International Competition in Las Vegas. Most importantly, the group are First Night veterans, and will be returning for another First Night performance to ring in 2016.  Church of St. Peter Parish Center: 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.  Church of St. Peter Parish Center: 6pm & 7pm

Scott Jameson Magic is the show audiences are calling “Superb!”, “A blast!”, and “Heartwarming fun for the whole family.” Join this magician and juggler for an extraordinary performance that will have you laughing out loud and perched on the very edge of your seat. Umbrellas will be plucked from thin air, a drawing will come to life, basketballs will be spun and juggled, and a member of the audience will unlock telekinetic abilities. Lake Avenue School, Gym #1: 7pm & 9pm

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: 7pm, 9pm & 11pm
Seth & The Moody Melix is an award winning, toe-tapping trio plays lyrically rich music for kids that parents will love too. With guitar (Seth Warden), fiddle (Doug Moody), and percussion (Brian Melick), along with sweet harmony vocals, their songs impart good values and educational tidbits in an upbeat, organic style. The group recently completed their second filming for the Food Network show Farmhouse Rules, and Seth is currently featured on the Travel Channel Show Mysteries at the Museum. Lake Avenue School, Gym #1: 6pm & 8pm

Shane Guerrette is a fresh 18-year-old singer-songwriter with big dreams and an ever-expanding fan base, whose future as a performer looks quite promising. Drawing on modern influences from artists such as Ed Sheeran and John Mayer, Guerrette also pays tribute to familiar greats—from Jimi Hendrix to Dave Matthews. Still, hearing Guerrette’s music is all you need to see that the up-and-coming singer-songwriter has blended his influences of electric and acoustic rock to form a style that is uniquely his own. Lifestyles of Saratoga: 6pm

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 & 8pm-10pm
Sirsy plays rock and soul that’s chock full of sing-along pop melodies, lots of  heart, and just the right amount of sass. Powerhouse vocalist Melanie plays a full drum kit while standing up (she’s featured in Modern Drummer and endorsed by Paiste Cymbals and Vater Percussion). Melanie also plays bass on a keyboard with her drumstick and flute too. Guitarist Rich plays a well-loved and road-worn Rickenbacker through a pedal board filled with vintage effects. He also plays bass on a keyboard with his feet. Their energetic live show often includes stories and laughter from whatever stage they happen to be occupying, and in the past they’ve had the joy of sharing these stages with Maroon 5, Train, Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, Third Eye Blind, Blues Traveler, Cheap Traick, and more.  Saratoga Springs City Center Meeting Room 2: 8pm & 11pm
Steven Brundage is a professional magician, who, at the age of 24, has been practicing magic for over half of his life. Perhaps most famous for his nearly impossible Rubik's Cube routine, Steven has been making a name for himself all over the world. Recently coming into the global spotlight for his viral video, magician gets out of speeding ticket with magic. Steven has now been seen on television shows in Russia, Japan, and Britain as well as on television shows in the US, such as ABC's Good Morning America (December 2014), NBC's Today Show (December 2015), Caught on Camera with Nick Cannon (July 2015), Penn and Teller's Fool Us (August, 2015) and NBC's The Steve Harvey Show (January 2015). In addition, his resume is lined with features on news outlets, including The Huffington Post, New York Daily News, Buzzfeed, The Daily Mail, and more.  Empire State College, Meeting Room #105: 6pm, 8pm &10pm

Stories Told is the acoustic and vocal duo of award-winning songwriter Gary Moon and Alice Jenkins. Stories Told originated in the Saratoga Springs arts scene. While their vocal styles are unique as solo artists, their harmonies blend perfectly whether they are performing original songs, contemporary folk-pop hits, or classic folk standards. Saratoga Visitor's Center: 6pm, 8pm &10pm 


The Storycrafters, Barry Marshall, and Jeri Burns, PhD, have been working together since 1991, and have been storytellers for even longer than that. They perform and teach their art form in schools, libraries, and other venues all over the US and the British Isles.   Jeri and Barry believe in the time-tested wisdom of traditional stories, and share that wisdom with today’s audiences. They strive to honor world cultures by telling the old stories in respectful ways, often integrating the musical instruments, songs or dances indigenous to that region. The Storycrafters have been recognized nationally and locally, from the prestigious Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Platinum Award and Parents Choice Awards, for their storytelling recordings, to Artists of the Year in their county. Their family radio show, “Just Imagine” has been showered with awards from the NYS Broadcasters’ Association. Publishers’ Weekly describes them as ‘top-notch family entertainment. Presbyterian New-England Congregation Church: 6pm & 7pm

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. Lake Avenue School Auditorium: 7pm & 9pm
The Turtle Clan Dancers are three siblings of Ojibwe & Abenaki heritage, now ages 21, 19, and 17 who have been performing native american dance & culture since the age of 6, at various native american festivals, powwows, other cultural events, and various venues. Featuring a presentation of their native american cultural & social dances, educating others & inviting the public to join them in their social dances. Lake Avenue School Gym #2: 6pm & 8pm

Weisstronauts are a Boston-based instrumental rock outfit that is difficult to pigeonhole into a single genre. Featuring three lead electric guitarists, the band weaves sometimes-bizarre, always-accessible (and occasionally humorous) melodies and harmonies over a rhythm section that can turn from surf to spy to country to psychedelia on a dime. With five critically-acclaimed full length albums and several EPs to their credit, The Weisstronauts' music has been featured on NPR, college and commercial radio, and in several independent films. Church of St. Peter: 8pm & 10pm

Windfall was formed in 2015, seven years after  Steve and Collette met. Instantly hitting it off, they initially performing together with their blues band, covering areas in New York, Massachusetts and Vermont. Steve and Collette each bring many years of experience to Windfall and play a variety of styles including Blues, Southern Rock, R&B, as well as their originals. Powerful vocals and high energy make for a fun evening. Temple Sinai: 9pm & 11pm

Yankee Holler are a local roots rock favorite. Named “Best Local Indie Rock Band” in the 2015 Metroland Reader’s Poll, their lineup consists of guitarist Matt Aumand, vocalist Michael "M.T." Dickerson, drummer John Docherty, and bassist Jeff Kehoe. Their debut album Calm Can Kill received excellent reviews from critics such as David Malachowski and airplay on stations like 88.3 WVCR & 97.7 WEXT. Recently, the band appeared on Episode #224 of CRUMBS Cafe. They specialize in both covers and classic-sounding originals. Their mission: to highlight the heart, soul, wit and grit inherent in roots music that all too often gets left on the cutting-room floor of recording studios. Saratoga Springs City Center, Meeting Room #1: 6pm & 9pm





Make plans for a New Year's Eve getaway!

at one of Saratoga's amazing restaurants

...and ENJOY
FIRST NIGHT SARATOGA 2016 - an evening filled with live music, dance, comedy, magic 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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