Saratoga Performing Arts Center Launches McCormack Jazz Series

Learn more about the upcoming performances here!

By: Jun. 21, 2024
Saratoga Performing Arts Center Launches McCormack Jazz Series
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Saratoga Performing Arts Center has established a new annual McCormack Jazz Series in honor of “Saratoga’s Champion of Jazz,” Don McCormack, and his family. Presented as part of SPAC’s 2024-2025 fall and spring seasons in Spa Little Theater, the inaugural series will feature a roster of international talent.

Kicking off the series this fall is eight-time GRAMMY winner Christian McBride and Ursa Major (OCT 24), alongside four of the most exciting young jazz instrumentalists performing today. Veronica Swift (MAY 1), will close the season with her “transgenre” music concept that weaves between classic jazz, rock, funk, and even vaudeville accentuated by her signature stage presence. Bringing the party to the Spa Little Theater stage is Alfredo Rodriguez Trio (APR 5), known for their mastery of Cuban and Latin rhythms, and hot jazz ensemble Dorado Schmitt and Sons: Django Festival All Stars (NOV 22), who will be joined by local opener Hot Club Saratoga.

“As the Saratoga Jazz Festival is one of the jewels in the crown of our Summer amphitheater programming, presenting diverse jazz perspectives is an integral part of our mission and vision for year-round programming in the Spa Little Theater,” says Elizabeth Sobol, President and CEO of Saratoga Performing Arts Center. “It’s a pleasure to be able to announce the new McCormack Jazz Series in honor of one of Saratoga’s most passionate jazz advocates.”

Of the new series, Don McCormack says "Jazz has enriched my life and nourished my soul. From the time I started listening to Bird & Diz in grammar school to the many, many years at SPAC's summer Jazz Festivals, I've been hooked. Knowing that this uniquely American art form will now be heard year-round in the Spa Little Theater—one of my very favorite Saratoga venues—is so exciting.”  

The announcement is part of SPAC’s mission to present year-round programming that extends beyond the traditional summer months. Additional programming for the 2024-2025 Spa Little Theater season will be announced soon.

The programming for McCormack Jazz Series is as follows:

Christian McBride and Ursa Major

October 24, 2024 | 7 PM

Christian McBride is an eight-time GRAMMY-winning bassist, composer and bandleader fusing everything from jazz to R&B, pop/rock to hip-hop/neo-soul to classical. He is the Artistic Director of the historic Newport Jazz Festival, the New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC), the TD James Moody Jazz Festival, and the National Jazz Museum in Harlem. Joining him on stage are saxophonist Nicole Glover, guitarist Ely Perlman, pianist Mike King and drummer Savannah Harris.

Dorado Schmitt and Sons: Django Festival All Stars with Special Guest Hot Club Saratoga

November 22, 2024 | 7 PM

Heralded by The New York Times for their “buoyant rhythm, blinding technique, (and) solid entertainment,” Dorado Schmitt and Sons: The Django Festival All Stars bring the hot jazz music from the 1920s and ‘30s to today. Their unique, high-energy performances combine known standards, while adding their own interpretations, arrangements, and original compositions. They are joined on the program by Hot Club of Saratoga.

Alfredo Rodriguez Trio

April 5, 2025 | 7 PM

This program features an unforgettable celebration of Latin rhythms with the ultimate showman, Alfredo Rodriguez, and his dynamic trio. Rodriguez creates an electrifying fusion of Latin, pop, timba, jazz, tango and funk that will transport you straight to the heart of Havana. His collective music chops will leave you breathless as you dance the night away at this pulsating fiesta of culture and sound.

Veronica Swift

May 1, 2025 | 7PM

Veronica Swift’s new eponymously titled album, her third for Mack Avenue Records, is a masterful coming-out story. On her previous albums, Confessions (2019) and This Bitter Earth (2021), she ascended to the upper echelon of early 21st century jazz singers because of her virtuosic brilliance, interpretive ingenuity, bracing songwriting, and keen arrangements. Swift is considered not only one of the most dazzling singers to emerge in her generation, but also one of the most versatile.

Tickets will be available for purchase beginning on June 24 for members (tiered by level), and on June 28 for the general public. Visit spac.org for additional details.




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