SARATOGA, New York (WABC) -- Memorial Day is the start of summer for many people. However, for Jazz fans, summer starts the last weekend in June at the Freihofer's Saratoga Jazz Festival.
Mother nature put a damper on this year's musical gathering, keeping many folks away.
The loyal fans showed up anyway prepared to deal with the foul weather and had a really good time. One music lover who had traveled all the way from Florida set up a motor home in the parking lot. While dodging raindrops Saturday he said that he would be staying, even if it snowed.
At the same time, several soaked Jazz fans were packing it in and heading back to their hotels to dry off.
When the rain finally let up on Saturday Afternoon, The Joey Alexander Trio took over the Amphitheater Main Stage, with Alexander showed off his talents on the piano.
Over on Charles R. Wood Stage Lakecia Benjamin and SoulSquad kept people on their feet with spirited work on the tenor saxophone. Both young performers helped those in attendance put the rain behind them and to get into the groove of the great music.
One of Saturday Night's highlights was the appearance of Herbie Hancock. Ever the innovator on the piano, Hancock treated the crowd to some new compositions.
He then finished up with works that the crowd came to hear like Rockit, Cantaloupe Island, and Watermelon Man. And despite the conditions, people got up and danced.
Sunday saw the return of the rain. Hard rain. And some memorable highlights as well.
By the time Mavis Staples took to the Main Amphitheater Stage the rain let up and the crowd was treated to the wonderful voice of the legendary Gospel singer. Staples soulful performance was followed up by a rousing performance by Jon Baptiste and The Dap-Kings. Every foot was tapping and several managed to get up and to dance on the wet grass.
Even though it rained on both days, the people that donned their rain gear and toughed it out, seemed to have a good time.
Summer kicks off with the Freihofer's Saratoga Jazz Festival
Mavis Staples lifted the spirits of soggy music lovers Sunday on the Amphitheater Main Stage. (Calvin B. De Mond)
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