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August 29, 2017

DATE:                    August 16, 2017
CONTACT:            Ryan Murray, Public Relations Coordinator
                              518.434.5415 |

Albany, NY –The City of Albany presents its 16th Annual Albany Riverfront Jazz Festival this Saturday, September 9. The all-day free concert event will be held at the Jennings Landing. The event concludes with a fantastic fireworks display!  

Since its debut in 2002, the City of Albany Jazz Festival has featured an eclectic array of all-time musical greats, critically acclaimed up-and-coming artists and local favorites. Great food, beverages and vendors make the Jazz Festival an event for all ages- and admission is still free! 

For more information on the Jazz Festival, please call 518.434.2032 or visit

The musical lineup for the 16th Annual City of Jazz Festival will feature: 

7:00  – 8:30 p.m.
Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah is a two-time Edison Award winning (2010 and 2012) and Grammy Award nominated trumpeter, composer, producer and music executive.  Christian’s Grammy nominated international recording debut, Rewind That was called “arguably the most remarkable premiere the genre has seen in the last decade” by Billboard Magazine, earning Christian two prominent features on their cover and inclusion in their list of “Ones to Watch in 2006.” Christian is the nephew of jazz innovator and legendary sax man, Donald Harrison, Jr. He began his musical tutelage under the direction of his uncle at the age of thirteen. After graduating from the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts (NOCCA) in 2001, Christian received a full scholarship to Berklee College of Music, where he earned a degree thirty months later.

Christian has released seven critically acclaimed studio recordings and two live albums. According to NPR, "Christian Scott ushers in new era of jazz". He has been heralded by JazzTimes magazine as "the Architect of a new commercially viable fusion" and "Jazz's young style God." Christian is known for developing the harmonic convention known as the “forecasting cell” and for his use of an un-voiced tone in his playing, emphasizing breath over vibration at the mouthpiece, widely referred to as his “whisper technique.” Christian is also widely recognized as one of the progenitors of “Stretch Music,” a jazz rooted, genre blind musical form that attempts to “stretch” jazz’s rhythmic, melodic and harmonic conventions to encompass as many other musical forms, languages and cultures as possible.  He has worked with McCoy Tyner, Prince, Marcus Miller, Eddie Palmieri, Mos Def (Yasin Bey), Thom Yorke and Solange Knowles, among other notable talents.

5:30 – 6:30 p.m.
Born in Illinois to immigrants from Rwanda and Uganda, African and Jazz legacies are crucial to SOMI’s sound. Often referred to as a modern-day Miriam Makeba, JazzTimes magazine describes her live performance as “the earthy gutsiness of Nina Simone blended with the vocal beauty of Dianne Reeves,” while Billboard exclaims that she’s “all elegance and awe…utterly captivating.”  As her career has taken off, Somi’s talents have been called upon for collaborations and live performances alongside a diverse cast of artists including Mos Def, Baaba Maal, John Legend, Billy Childs, Paul Simon, Danilo Perez, Idan Raichel, Jennifer Hudson and many more.  She was invited to perform at Carnegie Hall alongside Hugh Masekela, Dave Matthews, and Vusi Mahlesela in celebration of 20 years of South African democracy. Somi and her band continue to perform at international venues and stages around the world.  In her heart of hearts, she is an East African Midwestern girl who loves family, poetry, and freedom.

4:00 - 5:00 p.m. 
BOPITUDE revisits the most memorable tunes of the Hard Bop era while bringing back to life some more obscure treasures from the past. Michael Benedict & Bopitude features the leader on drums, Wayne Hawkins on piano, Dave Fisk on tenor saxophone, Dylan Canterbury on trumpet and Pete Toigo on bass. Michael has performed and/or recorded with jazz luminaries Gary Smulyan, Harry Allen, Dick Oatts, Steve Nelson, Sharel Cassity, Bruce Barth and Joe Locke. He has toured the United States extensively, performing at numerous concert halls, colleges, clubs and festivals and has performed in Europe. 

2:30 - 3:30 p.m. 
The Piggly Wigglies formed in 2015 with the mission of getting peoples' feet movin' and groovin'. The band touches upon classics and not-so classics from the early 1900s to the 1940s. The Piggly Wigglies primarily focus on the swing dance community and have played several Lindy and Blues events alike. They have collectively played dances in Albany, Boston, Austin, Portland, Seattle, Chicago, Toronto and Montreal. The group plays vocally-driven swing and blues, with a focus on vocal harmonies, which are reminiscent of the Mills Brothers, the Andrews Sisters, Louis Jordan, Cab Calloway, Louis Armstrong and Hoagy Carmichael. 

1:00 –2:00 p.m.
JECCO is the core unit – Jeff Nania on saxophone and Lecco Morris on keyboard – of a jazz, funk and originals fusion duo. We also perform as a trio and quartet with featured regional players, and are available for your party, event, bar or venue.

Ground rules: No glass, animals or recording of performances. All City of Albany parks are now curb-to-curb tobacco-free.
The 16th Annual City of Albany Jazz Festival is brought to you by:
Capital Bank, CDTA, Saratoga Eagle Sales & Service, Stella Artois, Hodgson Russ, Champion Windows, Lyft, Capital Car Share, School of Rock, Wild Bill’s Soda, Stantec

Media partners
88.3 The Saint, WCDB, 107.3 WCAA,, NYS Music, The Alt, Spiral Design Studio, The Spot 518

The City of Albany Jazz Festival is currently accepting applications for food, art, craft, retail and public information vendors. Visit  HYPERLINK "" for more information. 

City of Albany events are produced with the help of community volunteers. Sign up to be a part of this great experience by visiting, calling 518.434.5411 or emailing

For more information on the City of Albany’s FREE festivals and events, visit, call the City of Albany Special Events Office & Cultural Affairs at 518.434.2032 or follow albanyNYevents on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.  
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