BEACON, NY — The legendary cosmic jazz of Sun Ra Arkestra — under the direction of their longtime, nonagenarian alto saxophonist, Marshall Allen — headlines the second annual Beacon Jazz Festival. Sponsored by Birches Associates and once more celebrating this quintessential American music, alongside the distilleries, craft vendors, culture and natural splendor of the Hudson Valley, the second Beacon Jazz Festival will take place on Saturday, June 25 from 2-7 PM at Pete and Toshi Seeger Riverfront Park in Beacon, NY.

Sun Ra

Sun Ra

In addition to presenting Sun Ra Arkestra and four other world-class jazz ensembles, this second annual Beacon Jazz Festival, presented by Six String Productions, will also double as a Hudson Valley distillery tasting event. Local chefs, along with Hudson Valley-based craft beverage makers, will be providing food and drinks to complement the event.

There will also be a special “pre-game” celebration at Seeger Riverfront Park on the evening before, Friday, June 24 from 7-10 PM, featuring the Hudson Valley DJ Bill Skillz from the Diggin’ in the Crates radio show, now well into its third decade over Vassar College’s WVKR-FM.

The artists performing at the inaugural Beacon Jazz Festival include:

Sun Ra Arkestra, under the direction of Marshall Allen — The legendary big band that has traveled the spaceways for over six decades and continues blazing the intergalactic trail launched by the late composer, pianist and cosmic philosopher Sun Ra, continues its voyages now under the indefatigable leadership of the Arkestra’s longtime alto saxophonist, 91-year-old Marshall Allen;

New Standard Trio — The classic sound of keyboard trio jazz is honored and given a alluringly modern slant in the hands of these celebrated figures on their respective instruments: Jamie Saft on Fender Rhodes piano and organ, Steve Swallow on acoustic bass guitar and Bobby Previte on drums;

Willie Martinez & La Familia Sextet — The Brooklyn-based drummer, singer and composer Martinez leads one of the hottest Latin jazz bands on the planet, here joined by Misha Tsiganov on piano, Jennifer Vincent on bass, Renato Thoms on percussion, J. Walter Hawkes on trombone and Maximilian Schweiger on baritone sax;

Judi Silvano’s Zephyr Quintet — The Hudson Valley’s own matchless singer and composer Silvano leads a unique, state-of-the-art band with the twin-guitar front line of Bruce Arnold and Kenny Wessel, Ratzo Harris on bass and Bob Meyer on drums

Joe McPhee Quartet — The world-renowned multi-instrumental force in boundary-pushing creative music for half a century and longtime Poughkeepsie resident, McPhee (on trumpets and saxophones) leads a dynamic quartet featuring Billy Stein on guitar, Michael Bisio on bass and Charles Downs on drums.

The Beacon DJ Grady Salter will also be spinning classic jazz and R&B selections all day Saturday between acts.

Tickets for the Beacon Jazz Festival are on sale for $30 (general admission). Specially priced advance tickets for $25 are available until May 31. Tickets to the pre-party event the evening of June 24 are priced at $10 and $5 in advance until May 31.

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