The 21st annual Boscov’s Berks Jazz Fest, presented by the Berks Arts Council, runs March 25-April 3, and features some of the hottest names in contemporary and traditional jazz, blues, R&B, fusion and more. With more than 130 events will be hosted at large venues, clubs and restaurants throughout Berks County, there is something for everyone.
Some of the artist scheduled to perform in this year’s fest include Al Jarreau, George Duke Trio, Gerald Albright, Kirk Whalum, Peter White and Jeff Golub, Joey Defrancesco, Dave Brubeck, Stanley Clarke,Victor Wooten; Bucky Pizzarelli, Frank Vignola, Howard Alden, Gene Bertoncini, The Rippingtons, Rick Braun, Kenny Lattimore, Steve Tyrell, Chieli Minucci & Special EFX, Fourplay; Pieces of a Dream, Phil Perry; Norman Brown, Richard Elliot, Euge Groove, Jeff Lorber Fusion, Eric Marienthal, Jimmy Haslip, Michael White, Randy Brecker, Al Di Meola’s World Sinfonia, Steve Smith & Vital Information.
Ensemble shows are always a treat, and there is no shortage of ensembles this year, including:
- The BeBop Sessions with Chuck Loeb & Friends features Loeb, Brian Bromberg, Randy Brecker, Rick Braun, Philippe Saisse, Gerald Albright, Ada Rovatti and more.
- The Vista All-Stars bring the experience of a jazz cruise to you, with Wycliffe Gordon, Houston Person, Ken Peplowski, Shelly Berg, Tom Kennedy, Ernie Adams and Dee Daniels.
- The Original Jazz Crusaders, featuring Joe Sample, Wilton Felder and Wayne Henderson bring their reunion tour to Reading.
- Brian Bromberg and his band are coming to town for a CD release concert, and will include special guest Randy Brecker in the celebration.
- Gerald Veasley, a Philly native and Berks favorite, is hosting Gerald Veasley’s Sounds of Philly, with Will Downing, Carol Riddick, Nick Colionne and Walter Beasley. Join Gerald ’Round Midnight for two late-night jams at his namesake club, Gerald Veasley’s Jazz Base. This in-the-moment event is a new festival favorite.
- Gerald Albright will present The Man and His Music, with special guests Rick Braun, Larry Braggs, and Selina Albright, plus the Berks Jazz Fest Horns.
Blues once again has its own niche in the festival, with concerts by Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue; Walter Trout and opening act Gina Sicilia; Mark Hummel’s Blues Harmonica Blowout, featuring Lazy Lester, Jerry Portnoy, Mark Wenner and the Blues Survivors; and the young and rising stars of Homemade Jamz Blues Band.
The Ladies of Jazz – Sharon Bailey, Suzie Ernesto and Toni Lynne — are back, and are joining The Last Big Band for an afternoon of standards.
Dance Hall Docs always promise a rousing show, with their Music of Tower of Power and More concert, featuring vocalist Brent Carter, a former lead singer of TOP.
The always-popular free community concerts, sponsored by Reading Eagle Company, are back, with the U.S. Air Force Rhythm in Blue Jazz Ensemble welcoming two different special guests on back-to-back nights of shows. Randy Brecker joins RIB for the first show, and Ernie Watts will be sharing the stage for the second. The Berks High School All-Star Band is opening both nights.
For more information, including ticketing, artist bios and archived releases, visit www.berksjazzfest.com.
Sponsor: HGTV Green Home 2010