By Val Vaccaro [photos by Barry Chapman - BazPix Photography]
2016 Berks Jazz Fest "Jazz Meets James" tribute to James Brown-music director Nick Colionne [Photo by BazPix]
This year's acclaimed Boscov's Berks Jazz Fest runs from Friday, March 31 to Sunday, April 9, 2017 in Reading, Pennsylvania. The 2017 Berks Jazz Fest once again brings its magical combination of over 50 major ticketed concerts, plus over 50 local shows which include a diverse array of smooth, contemporary, and traditional jazz, R&B, blues, funk, rock, and other music, along with educational and art events.
There will be great performances by a multitude of renowned artists including: Gerald Albright, Patti Austin, Jonathan Butler, David Sanborn, Marcus Miller, Kirk Whalum, Rick Braun, Norman Brown, Richard Elliot, Brian Culbertson, Jeff Lorber, Keiko Matsui, Paul Jackson Jr., Fourplay (Bob James, Nathan East, Chuck Loeb, and Harvey Mason), Gerald Veasley, Nick Colionne, Steve Cole, Four80East, Matt Marshak, Marion Meadows, JJ Sansaverino, Brian Bromberg, Michael Manson, Eric Darius, Jason Miles, Jim Brickman, Eric Marienthal, Anat Cohen, Randy Brecker, Selina Albright, Karen Briggs, Shemekia Copeland, Vincent Ingala, Dr. Lonnie Smith, Pat Martino, Snarky Puppy, Troker, the Reading Pops Orchestra with Minas featuring Orlando Haddad, Patricia King, and Andrew Neu and many more.
Celebrating its 27th year, the Berks Jazz Fest continues to be successfully run by John Ernesto, Festival Manager with a talented team of Berks Arts Council staff members, supporters, and over 400 volunteers. From March 15 to March 25 there are also noteworthy pre-festival concerts. The concert venues this year are mainly in the city of Reading - including the DoubleTree by Hilton Reading hotel, Santander Performing Arts Center, Building 24, the Miller Center for Performing Arts, the Crowne Reading hotel, and others. Berks Jazz Fest retains its friendly, small town appeal with its venues, hotels, restaurants, outlet shopping, unique stores, historical architecture, the Pagoda atop Mount Penn overlooking the city of Reading, the Reading Public Museum, the GoggleWorks Center for the Arts and more, for over 45,000 happy fans from the U.S. and other countries who visit the area during the 10 day festival.