LAKE GEORGE - Annually for 27 years, the Lake George Jazz Weekend has brought innovative, top quality jazz to upstate New York.
Year after year, the festival has attracted knowledgeable jazz enthusiasts who are aware the event showcases the idiom's finest musicians and presented their artistry in an incomparable setting.
This year, the festival's concerts, Saturday, Sept. 18 and Sunday, Sept. 19, are preceded by a related event Friday, Sept. 17 - a special jazz cruise and party celebrating the 80th birthday of jazz performer, composer, arranger and conductor David Amram, who's been hailed as "The Renaissance Man of American Music" by the Boston Globe.
Paul Pines, a former Manhattan jazz club owner who has lined up the jazz performers for all 27 years, said this year's lineup of talent is one of the fullest and most diverse ever, by featuring both seasoned, acclaimed performers and those who are pushing the familiar boundaries of jazz.
"This year's Jazz Weekend represents a really a great celebration - a celebration of David Amram's birthday and a celebration of youth," he said. "It's a concert that really involves an incredible span of time chronologically."
Friday night features a party at the Shoreline restaurant with various testimonials and a short presentation by filmmaker Larry Kramen who is in town to film scenes for a documentary on Amram's life. A three-hour jazz cruise aboard The Adirondack follows at 7 p.m. and features entertainment by the David Amram Quartet.
Amram - who has worked with everyone from Thelonious Monk, Miles Davis and Charlie Parker to Leonard Bernstein, Bob Dylan and even Jack Kerouac - has scored the films of Splendor in the Grass and the Manchurian Candidate as well as writing 100 orchestral and chamber music works.
On Saturday Sept. 18, he takes to the stage at about 2:30 p.m. in the middle of the Jazz Weekend's afternoon presentations, likely playing the French horn, for which he is known as a pioneer for jazz improvisation, Pines said.