Constellations Align Over Berks Jazz Fest
by Mike Zielinski, Boscov’s Berks Jazz Fest
Each spring, the musical stars align over Berks Jazz Fest in Pennsylvania’s Americana Region, bringing stellar jazz performers from across the country to the annual event.
The Boscov’s Berks Jazz Fest, as presented by Berks Arts Council, once again has a constellation of stars performing March 31-April 9.
As always, Jazz Fest will be epic in scope and talent — with a multiplicity of concerts at venues large and small, encompassing contemporary jazz, urban jazz, straight-ahead jazz, blues, funk, R&B, gospel, sounds that meld genres, and unique concerts produced especially for the festival.
Boscov’s Berks Jazz Fest has an abundance of acclaimed performing artists but to highlight a few: The Opening Night Celebration with Gerald Albright, Patti Austin and Jonathan Butler is being produced exclusively for the fest.
In a Berks Jazz Fest premiere, producer extraordinaire, Jason Miles is presenting the first live performance of his memorable 2000 album, Celebrating the Music of Weather Report, a concert honoring the 30th anniversary of the formation of one of the pre-eminent early jazz fusion bands. Other concerts being produced especially for Berks Jazz Fest are Jazz Gets the Blues, the Berks Groove Project, Everette Harp and Friends, and the West Coast Jam. Once again, The Gospel According to Jazz Celebration is the festival finale, this time featuring multiple Grammy-winning bassist/vocalist, Fred Hammond. Other signature artists include Dr. Lonnie Smith, Fourplay, Snarky Puppy, Rick Braun, Chuck Loeb, Keiko Matsui, Avalon Jazz Band, Brian Culbertson, Shemekia Copeland, Reading Pops Orchestra with Minas – and many more.
Berks Jazz Fest is a project of Berks Arts Council, a local arts agency whose mission is to cultivate, promote, and support the arts in our community through collaboration, education, and presentation. In addition to the Berks Jazz Fest, Berks Arts Council presents the Bandshell Concert Series, Fast Lane Art, the Pagoda Awards, administers the Pennsylvania Partners in the Arts grant program, and provides art exhibition and marketing opportunities for local artists. Visit them at www.BerksArts.org.