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This Weekend's Lake George Jazz festival boasts strong roster of musicians

Jazz musicians Grace Kelly and Jason Palmer, acclaimed as two who are now ushering in the future of the idiom, perform in the 2011  Lake George Jazz. Weekend. Headlining the 2012 edition of the festival  will be saxophonist Donald Harrison, presenting a special evening presentation at 7:30 Saturday with his Congo Square Nation band. He is the originator of Noveau Swing, combining traditional New Orleans jazz and contemporary influences. Harrison was named a top artist by Jazziz magazine in 2007, and has nurtured a number of arenowned musicians.

Jazz musicians Grace Kelly and Jason Palmer, acclaimed as two who are now ushering in the future of the idiom, perform in the 2011 Lake George Jazz. Weekend. Headlining the 2012 edition of the festival will be saxophonist Donald Harrison, presenting a special evening presentation at 7:30 Saturday with his Congo Square Nation band. He is the originator of Noveau Swing, combining traditional New Orleans jazz and contemporary influences. Harrison was named a top artist by Jazziz magazine in 2007, and has nurtured a number of arenowned musicians. Photo by Thom Randall.

— The Lake George Jazz Weekend will celebrate its 29th year on September 15 and 16 with a solid lineup of acclaimed musicians presenting various genres of jazz.

The free festival is to be held held in the Shepard Park amphitheater, offering views of the lake in the background.

Saturday’s performances begin at 1 p.m. with Emilio Solla and Bien Sur. Solla is a pianist, originally from Argentina, who is considered a leading advocate of the “tango jazz” idiom.

 Following Solla at 2:30 p.m. will be vocalist Sachal Vasandani, an acclaimed and charismatic male American jazz singer.

The afternoon’s lineup closes out at 4:15 p.m.with Warren Wolf, a multi-instrumentalist who plays primarily vibraphone and has a reputation of being on the “cutting edge” of jazz.

A special evening presentation at 7:30 will headline Donald Harrison. He is the originator of Noveau Swing, combining traditional New Orleans jazz and contemporary influences. He was named a top artist by Jazziz magazine in 2007, and has nurtured a number of acclaimed musicians. He brings with him Congo Square Nation, the secret society of the Mardi-Gras Indians which he has integrated into his music.

Sunday opens at 1 p.m. with John Tank and the Tin Palace Reunion Band. Tank is a Canadian born, New York City-based tenor saxophone player who has been compared to John Coltrane. He brings with him the Tin Palace Band, a tribute to the former NYC Bowery club owned by longtime Jazz Weekend music coordinator Paul Pines.

Next up at 2:30 p.m. is slide-trumpeter Steven Bernstein and his eight-piece Millenial Orchestra. Bernstein is a bandleader and arranger who performs in the jazz-rock milieu.

Closing out the festival at 4:15 p.m. Sunday is John Benitez with special guest Donald Harrison. Benitez is a Grammy award-winning bassist born in Puerto Rico who has deep roots in gospel music as well as embracing Afro-Caribbean influences.

Concert goers are encouraged to bring lawn chairs or blankets. Several food vendors will be present in the park through the weekend.

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