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Paint the town red for Valentine’s Day and make a weekend of it, with specials on hotels and restaurants around Hudson! Adding extra spice to the festival lineup is the return of James Beard Award-winning chef Zak Pelaccio (of Hudson’s Fish & Game) and his Southeast Asian-inspired Backbar to Hudson Hall for the 2020 Hudson Jazz Festival. Jazz lovers can delight in delicious treats (menu changes daily) while sipping award-winning cocktails, beer and wine and enjoying world-class performances in an intimate, cabaret-style setting.
Tickets start at $25, Festival Weekend Passes are just $95.Weekend Passes grants priority access and seating to every Hudson Jazz Festival performance and event. Young people 25 and under may pre-purchase single tickets for $15 each using the discount code UNDER25.
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 14, 7PM
JAZZ IN LOVE WITH AIMÉE ALLEN, TICKETS: $30
Aimée Allen, vocals
Armen Donelian, piano
Jay Anderson, bass
Jeff Siegel, drums
The Festival opens with a romantic vibe on Valentine’s Day with singer Aimée Allen, hailed by JazzTimes as a “brilliant singer and even more thoughtful lyricist,” accompanied by the engaging pianist Armen Donelian, the superb bassist Jay Anderson and veteran Jeff Siegel on drums. Allen cut her teeth in the Paris jazz clubs and presents a contemporary spin on jazz standards, bossa nova and strikingly beautiful original compositions.
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 15
2PM SOLO PIANO SUMMIT: KEVIN HAYS, FRANCESCA TANKSLEY, CIDNHO TEIXERIA, TICKETS: $25
Saturday afternoon’s Piano Summit highlights the eclectic and singular talent of three gifted pianists. NYC-based Kevin Hays is a Grammy Award-winning jazz pianist, composer, and singer/songwriter who has appeared on over 60 albums and collaborated with Joshua Redman and was one half of a widely-acclaimed piano duo project with Brad Mehldau. Francesca Tanksley is an acclaimed jazz pianist and composer, and has had her music referred to as “…mesmerizing, captivating and monumental music” (Jazzreview.com). Brazilian born, and NYC-based pianist, Cidinho Teixeira has worked with Brazilian musical legends such as Gal Costa and Gilberto Gil, and has made a name for himself recording and performing within the spirited Brazilian musical community of NYC.
BILLY HARPER QUINTET, TICKETS: $35
Billy Harper, tenor saxophone
Freddie Hendrix, trumpet
Francesca Tanksley, piano
Hwansu Kang, bass
Aaron Scott, drums
Saturday evening brings the legendary and singularly talented saxophonist Billy Harper to the Hudson Hall stage with his formidable quintet, featuring trumpeter Freddie Hendrix, Francesca Tanksley on piano, Hwansu Kang on bass, and drummer Aaron Scott. Harper is one of a generation of Coltrane-influenced tenor saxophonists and has played with some of jazz’s greatest musicians. The Saturday night headliner performance promises to be a memorable one.
SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 16
11AM FILM SCREENING: I CALLED HIM MORGAN (2016, 92 min)
Free and open to the public, Reservations encouraged
Backbar will be offering Brunch items.
Sunday morning, saxophonist Billy Harper returns to the stage to introduce the screening of a poignant and moving documentary about his friend and former musical collaborator, trumpeter Lee Morgan, titled I Called Him Morgan, by Kasper Collin. This free documentary looks at the prolific and whirlwind life of this celebrated musician, who was tragically cut short at the age of 33.
SLAVIC SOUL PARTY! TICKETS: $30
Peter Stan, accordion
Peter Hess, saxophone
John Carlson, trumpet
Kenny Warren, trumpet
Tim Vaughn, trombone
Adam Dotson, trombone
Kenny Bentley, tuba
Chris Stromquist, percussion
Matt Moran, percussion
“Of all the NYC dance bands that draw on Eastern European music, Slavic Soul Party! is the coolest…” – Time Out NY
The festival concludes with a resounding bang when Slavic Soul Party! invade the stage at Hudson Hall. This highly energetic collective mix European folk forms with the energy and irreverence of punk rock. Famous for “delivering a great time” (NYT), Slavic Soul Party! has played everywhere from Serbian school yards to Carnegie Hall. Might not want to sit this one out!
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 15, 11 AM
HUDSON JAZZ FESTIVAL WORKSHOP FOR YOUTH FREE FOR AGES 12 AND UP | REGISTRATION REQUIRED
Join Hudson Jazzworks co-founders pianist Armen Donelian and saxophonist Marc Mommaas for a free, hands-on immersion in jazz improvisation and composition based on the curriculum and methods of the annual Hudson Jazz Workshop. This workshop is open to all young musicians ages 12 and up. Bring your instrument! Intermediate playing and reading ability recommended. Email email@example.com for any questions about the workshop. To apply for the workshop, fill out the this form.
HOT JAZZ, SPICY TREATS & COOL DRINKS
Hudson’s own BackBar, located just a block down Warren Street from Hudson Hall, serves up a Malaysian-inspired menu informed by Southeast Asian street food favorites. Opened in 2015 by James Beard Award-winner Zak Palaccio, BackBar offers a playful and breezy exoticism in the form of small bites, with spicy and distinct flavors that complement vibrant and seasonal ingredients.
LOCAL INNS OFFER VALENTINE’S DAY WEEKEND DISCOUNTS
Check back for restaurant and hotel discounts and packages!
Hudson Jazz Festival is made possible with an Arts Impact Award from the New York State Council on the Arts, and the National Endowment for the Arts, with the support of Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, and with generous support from Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation and Upstate Theater Coalition for a Fairgame.