March 12, 2007

Berks Jazz Fest's Big Band Saturday

The FirstEnergy Berks Jazz Fest promises to bring back the vibe of the swinging '40s with its Big Band Saturday on March 24.

The first of two shows, Ladies of Jazz featuring Toni Lynne, Sharon Bailey, Suzie Ernesto with The Last Big Band, will be at 1 p.m. in The Abraham Lincoln Hotel Ballroom.

Later that evening, Trumpet Summit featuring Dave Stahl & His Big Band with special guest trumpeters Brian Lynch, Scott Wendholt and Alex Sipiagin takes the stage in the Abraham Lincoln ballroom at 8 p.m. Both shows are WEEU 75th Anniversary Celebration Concerts.

Tickets for the Ladies of Jazz show are $20; Trumpet Summit tickets are $25.

The Ladies of Jazz will take the audience on a musical journey of the great American songbook. Lynne was the recipient of the 2006 Frank Scott Award, presented by the Berks Arts Council. She's been singing for more than 40 years. Bailey is a freelance vocalist who leads several of her own ensembles. Her most recent CD, It Never Entered My Mind, was released in 2005 and has been getting great reviews. Ernesto and cousin, guitarist Ed McCartan, formed Relatively Speaking and released a CD titled Relatively Speaking & Friends, which includes bassist Gerald Veasley as a special guest.

The Last Big Band is a perennial favorite at Gerald Veasley's Jazz Base. Trombonist Jim Zoller and trumpeter Roger Morgan have assembled 17 of the area's top musicians for this first-rate jazz orchestra. Along with the old chestnuts from the classic swing era, the band's repertoire includes contemporary big band charts, plus outstanding original charts from the band's own arrangers.

On saxes and woodwinds: Mike Solick, Ken Blekicki, Henry Frecon, Bob Fanelli, Chris Heslop, Phil Forlano; on trombone: H. Lee Southall, James Zoller, John Loos, Bill Schaller; on trumpet: Joe LoBalbo, Roger Morgan, Rick Lacey, Gene Umbenhouer; Dave Heck on piano; Bob Carl on bass; John Rozum on drums; and Mike Byrne on guitar. H. Lee Southall is the musical director.

The Trumpet Summit will be a high-energy show headed up by Berks County's Dave Stahl and his big band, sharing the stage with world-class trumpeters Lynch, Wendholt and Sipiagin. Stahl has performed as lead trumpet and as a soloist with many of the top bands in America. He reformed his own big band in 2001.

Lynch won the Best Latin Jazz Album 2006 Grammy award for Simpático, The Brian Lynch/Eddie Palmieri Project.

Wendholt is an articulate, passionate, and lyrical trumpeter who approaches music with energy and spirit. As a soloist, Sipiagin has seven recordings to his credit. Today, Sipiagin regularly performs, records and tours worldwide with Dave Holland, the various Mingus groups, and the Monday Michiru Band.

Don't miss these fun, high-energy shows at this year's Berks Jazz Fest.

To order tickets:
Visit the Sovereign Center Box Office, 7th & Penn streets, Reading
Visit the Sovereign Performing Arts Center Box Office, 136 N. 6th St., Reading
Call Ticketmaster at 215-336-2000 or visit www.ticketmaster.com
Order online at berksjazzfest.com
For more information on the festival, including artist bios, click on www.berksjazzfest.com
For more information on the Berks Arts Council, a nonprofit organization that promotes all the arts in an effort to enrich the quality of life in Berks County, click on www.berksarts.org

Major ticketed events
Friday, March 16 -- Dave Brubeck Quartet, Sovereign Performing Arts Center, 7:30 p.m., $46 and $39
Friday, March 16 -- Downright Upright All-Stars featuring Brian Bromberg, Randy Brecker, Jeff Lorber, Gary Meek and Dave Weckl, Sheraton Reading Hotel Ballroom, 10 p.m., $32

Saturday, March 17 -- An Afternoon of Heads Up featuring Pieces of a Dream, Bobby Lyle, Marion Meadows, Alexander Zonjic, Gerald Veasley and Doc Powell, Sheraton Reading Hotel Ballroom, 2 p.m., $38 and $33

Saturday, March 17 -- Gerald Veasley's Electric Mingus Project featuring Gerald Veasley, John Swana, Chris Farr, Tony Miceli, Butch Reed and Pablo Baptista plus special guest John Blake Jr., Gerald Veasley's Jazz Base at the Sheraton Reading Hotel, 7 p.m., $20

Saturday, March 17 -- Boney James, Sovereign Performing Arts Center, 7:30 p.m., $46 and $39
Saturday, March 17 -- An Evening of Heads Up featuring Pieces of a Dream, Bobby Lyle, Marion Meadows, Alexander Zonjic, Gerald Veasley and Doc Powell, Sheraton Reading Hotel Ballroom, 10 p.m., $38 and $33

Sunday, March 18 -- Nelson Rangell and Philippe Saisse plus Joyce Cooling, Sheraton Reading Hotel Ballroom, 1:30 p.m., $25

Sunday, March 18 -- The annual Skip Norcott Concert, presented by the Reading Pops Orchestra, with special guest guitarist David Cullen, Kutztown University's Schaeffer Auditorium, 4:30 p.m., $20.

Sunday, March 18 -- Celebrating the Life & Music of Luther Vandross: Dionne Warwick, Kirk Whalum, Walter Beasley, Cissy Houston, Doc Powell, James "D Train" Williams, Paulette McWilliams, Buddy Williams, Tinker Barfield, Cindy Mizell and music directors Jason Miles and Nat Adderley Jr., Sovereign Performing Arts Center, 7 p.m., $46 and $39.

Tuesday, March 20 -- Gordon Goodwin's Big Phat Band plus Berks High School All-Star Band, Scottish Rite Cathedral, 7:30 p.m., $18 and $10 for students with ID.

Wednesday, March 21 -- The Rolling Stones Project featuring Tim Ries, Mike Davis, Bernard Fowler and Ben Monder, Abraham Lincoln Hotel Ballroom, 7:30 p.m., $30

Thursday, March 22 -- Greg Hatza ORGANization, Gerald Veasley's Jazz Base at the Sheraton Reading Hotel, 7 p.m., $12
Thursday, March 22 -- Mindi Abair, The Abraham Lincoln Hotel Ballroom, 7:30 p.m., $30
Thursday, March 22 -- Berks All-Star Jazz Jam featuring Rick Braun, Chuck Loeb, Gerald Veasley, Richard Elliot, Nick Colionne, Warren Hill, Joe McBride, Steve Oliver, Rayford Griffin, Mindi Abair and Brian Bromberg, Sheraton Reading Hotel Ballroom, 10 p.m., $30

Friday, March 23 -- Pat Martino Quartet, Gerald Veasley's Jazz Base at the Sheraton Reading Hotel, 7 p.m., $28
Friday, March 23 -- Ann Hampton Callaway plus Denis DiBlasio Quintet, The Abraham Lincoln Hotel Ballroom, 7 p.m., $30
Friday, March 23 -- Keb' Mo' Band, Scottish Rite Cathedral, 7 p.m., $40 and $34
Friday, March 23 -- 17th Anniversary Concert: Rick Braun & Friends featuring Richard Elliot, Jonathan Butler, Jackiem Joyner and Rayford Griffin, Sovereign Performing Arts Center, 7:30 p.m., $46 and $39

Friday, March 23 -- Bettye LaVette and Frank Bey & The Swing City Blues Band, Inn at Reading, 9:30 p.m., $28
Friday, March 23 -- Pat Martino Quartet, Gerald Veasley's Jazz Base at the Sheraton Reading Hotel, 10:30 p.m., $28

Friday March 23 -- The David Sanborn Group, Sheraton Reading Hotel Ballroom, 10:30 p.m., $38 and $33

Saturday, March 24 -- Ladies of Jazz featuring Toni Lynne, Sharon Bailey and Suzie Ernesto with The Last Big Band, The Abraham Lincoln Hotel Ballroom, 1 p.m., $20

Saturday, March 24 -- "The Groove Boutique's" Rafe Gomez hosts Warren Hill and Nick Colionne, Sheraton Reading Hotel Ballroom, 1:30 p.m., $38 and $33.

Saturday, March 24 -- Tribute to Johnny Hartman and John Coltrane: Kevin Mahogany featuring saxophonist David Liebman, Gerald Veasley's Jazz Base at the Sheraton Reading Hotel, 7 p.m., $28

Saturday, March 24 -- World Premiere Concert: Soul Summit featuring Jason Miles, Steve Ferrone, Bob Babbitt, Reggie Young, Sherrod Barnes, Barry Danielian, David Mann plus special guests Susan Tedeschi, Maysa Leak, Richard Elliot, Mike Mattison and Karl Denson, Scottish Rite Cathedral, 7 p.m., $46 and $39

Saturday, March 24 -- Smokin' Joe Kubek featuring Bnois King plus Billy Price Band plus Deanna Bogart, Inn at Reading, 7 p.m., $35

Saturday, March 24 -- Trumpet Summit featuring guest trumpeters Brian Lynch, Scott Wendholt and Alex Sipiagin and Dave Stahl and his Big Band, The Abraham Lincoln Hotel Ballroom, 8 p.m., $25

Saturday, March 24 -- Tribute to Johnny Hartman and John Coltrane: Kevin Mahogany featuring saxophonist David Liebman, Gerald Veasley's Jazz Base at the Sheraton Reading Hotel, 10:30 p.m., $28

Saturday, March 24 -- The Sax Pack featuring Jeff Kashiwa, Kim Waters and Steve Cole, Sheraton Reading Hotel Ballroom, 10:30 p.m., $38 and $33

Sunday, March 25 -- Chuck Loeb featuring the Berks Jazz Fest Horns plus the WJJZ All-Stars Jeff Kashiwa, Kim Waters, Steve Cole and Gerald Veasley, Sheraton Reading Hotel Ballroom, 1:30 p.m., $25

Sunday, March 25 -- Guitars & Saxes featuring Gerald Albright, Tim Bowman, Jeff Golub and Kirk Whalum, Scottish Rite Cathedral, 7 p.m., $46 and $39


Posted by Beverly J. Packard at March 12, 2007 1:18 AM