December 1, 2008

Stars shine bright at VF Outlet Berks Jazz Fest

PagodaBerks.jpgBerks Arts Council has announced the artists lineup for the VF Outlet Berks Jazz Fest, to be held March 27th through April 5th, 2009. The 19th edition of the festival features more than 130 events at major venues, clubs and restaurants throughout Reading and Berks County, Pa.

The 19th annual VF Outlet Berks Jazz Fest, presented by the Berks Arts Council, runs March 27 through April 5 and will bring to fans a wide array of musical styles, including contemporary and traditional jazz, soul, blues, big band and one-of-a-kind ensemble shows. Shows are held at major venues as well as intimate club and restaurant settings, making it a rather unique 10-day festival.

Featured artists at this year's festival include veteran stars Peter White and Mindi Abair; the world premiere concert of Bela Fleck: The Africa Project; superstar saxman Boney James; festival favorite Brian Culbertson; the Sax for Stax duo of Gerald Albright and Kirk Whalum; urban pop/jazz ensembles Average White Band and Pieces of a Dream; world-renowned bassist Victor Wooten; powerful and moving vocalist Phoebe Snow; the Sax Pack of Jeff Kashiwa, Steve Cole and Kim Waters; piano-based McCoy Tyner Quartet; festival veterans Joe McBride and Kenny Blake; guitarist extraordinaire Chieli Minucci & Special EFX.

Fans also can enjoy the soulful sounds of Take 6 plus Wayman Tisdale; pianist David Benoit and saxman Warren Hill; renowned saxophonist and clarinetist Anat Cohen; the acclaimed Tierney Sutton Band; the Brian Bromberg Quartet; steel pan master Andy Narell and the Cantonsville High Steel Drum Band; Tim Price, Rachel Z and the Department of Good and Evil; and Nelson Rangell with the Reading Pops Orchestra performing My American Songbook. The festival finale features Jazz Attack with the always-entertaining Rick Braun, Richard Elliot and Jonathan Butler.

Blues is back in abundance at the 2009 Berks Jazz Fest, with two Severn Soul & Blues Revues, featuring Steve Guyger, Big Joe Maher, Tad Robinson, Roy Tyler and New Directions, and the Severn Records All-Star Band in the first show; and Clarence Spady, Darrell Nulisch, Lou Pride and the Severn Records All-Star Band rounding out the second show. Blues fans can also enjoy guitar virtuoso Joe Bonamassa, The Billy Price Band featuring special guest Fred Chapellier; and The Derek Trucks Band.

Fusion fans will get their fill with all-stars Steve Smith & Vital Information; and veteran-led Metro, featuring festival favorite Chuck Loeb, Mitch Forman, Dave Weckl, Randy Brecker, Gerald Veasley and Bobby Franceschini.

Great ensemble and tribute shows offer unique musical experiences to all fans this year.

Soul Summit II, presented by Jason Miles, features soul-drenched music and an all-star lineup with Maysa, Simone, Richard Elliot, Jeff Golub, Bob Babbitt, Reggie Young, and Steve Ferrone plus the Soul Survivors.

East Bay Soul brings the funk and R&B with Greg Adams, Phil Perry, Michael Paulo, Lee Thornburg plus the Joyce Cooling Band.

Artists paying tribute to some of music's greats include the Gerald Veasley Band celebrating the Music of Stevie Wonder, with Najee, Nnenna Freelon, Joe McBride and the Berks Jazz Fest Horns in a fourth show televised live by WFMZ-TV Channel 69.

There is also the return of the very popular Rick Braun's Tribute to Chet Baker; and Bobby Lyle & Paul Jackson Jr. will have a tribute to Jimmy Smith & Wes Montgomery.

This year's festival has something for everyone, with smooth and straight-ahead jazz, smokin' blues, soulful singing, unique ensembles, rousing tributes and much, much more.

Tickets go on sale Saturday, Dec. 6, at 10 a.m.

To order tickets:
Visit the Sovereign Center Box Office, Seventh and Penn streets, Reading
Visit the Sovereign Performing Arts Center Box Office, 136 N. Sixth 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 and archived releases, 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 27 -- The Tierney Sutton Band, Gerald Veasley’s Jazz Base at the Plaza Reading Hotel, 7 p.m. and 10 p.m., $30

Friday, March 27 -- Peter White and Mindi Abair, Scottish Rite Cathedral, 7:30 p.m., $49
Friday, March 27 -- Severn Records Presents: Severn Soul & Blues Revue featuring Steve Guyger, Big Joe Maher, Tad Robinson, Roy Tyler and New Directions, and the Severn Records All-Star Band, Inn at Reading, 7:30 p.m., $38

Friday, March 27 -- Joe McBride & Kenny Blake, The Abraham Lincoln Hotel Jazz Cabaret, 10 p.m., $20
Friday, March 27 -- Victor Wooten, Plaza Reading Hotel Ballroom, 10:30 p.m., $39
Saturday, March 28 -- Gerald Albright and Kirk Whalum, Plaza Reading Hotel Ballroom, 2 p.m., $39
Saturday, March 28 -- The Music of Gershwin & Porter presented by Doc Mulligan and Friends, Miller Center for the Arts, 3 p.m., $18

Saturday, March 28 -- Steve Smith & Vital Information, Gerald Veasley’s Jazz Base at the Plaza Reading Hotel, 7 p.m. and 10 p.m., $30

Saturday, March 28 -- Brian Culbertson, Scottish Rite Cathedral, 7:30 p.m., $49
Saturday, March 28 -- Severn Records Presents: Severn Soul & Blues Revue featuring Clarence Spady, Darrell Nulisch, Lou Pride and the Severn Records All-Star Band, Inn at Reading, 7:30 p.m., $38

Saturday, March 28 -- Uptown JAZZUP featuring Erich Cawalla & Jen Kinder, The Abraham Lincoln Hotel Jazz Cabaret, 10 p.m., $15

Saturday, March 28 -- The Music of Stevie Wonder with Gerald Veasley Band with Najee, Nnenna Freelon, Joe McBride and the Berks Jazz Fest Horns, Plaza Reading Hotel Ballroom, 10:30 p.m., $39

Sunday, March 29 -- Average White Band plus Pieces of a Dream, Plaza Reading Hotel Ballroom, 2 p.m., $39
Sunday, March 29 -- Anat Cohen, Miller Center for the Arts, 3 p.m., $28
Sunday, March 29, Take 6 plus Wayman Tisdale, Scottish Rite Cathedral, 7:30 p.m., $49
Monday , March 30 -- Bela Fleck: The Africa Project, Miller Center for the Arts, 7:30 p.m., $45
Tuesday, March 31 -- Andy Narell and the Cantonsville High Steel Drum Band, Miller Center for the Arts, 7:30 p.m., $20
Wednesday, April 1 -- Brian Bromberg Quartet, Gerald Veasley’s Jazz Base at the Plaza Reading Hotel, 7 p.m., $20
Wednesday, April 1 -- Joe Bonamassa, Plaza Reading Hotel Ballroom, 7:30 p.m., $39
Thursday, April 2 -- Chieli Minucci & Special EFX with the Berks Jazz Fest Horns, The Abraham Lincoln Hotel Ballroom, 7:30 p.m., $35

Thursday, April 2 -- Berks All-Star Jazz Jam featuring Rick Braun, Chuck Loeb, Gerald Veasley, Brian Bromberg, Chieli Minucci, Paul Jackson Jr., Dave Weckl, Bobby Lyle, Mitch Foreman, Kim Waters, Steve Cole, Jeff Kashiwa, Nelson Rangell and more, Plaza Reading Hotel Ballroom, 10 p.m., $39

Friday, April 3 -- Bobby Lyle & Paul Jackson Jr., Gerald Veasley’s Jazz Base at the Plaza Reading Hotel, 7 p.m. and 10 p.m., $35

Friday, April 3 -- Jason Miles presents Soul Summit II featuring Maysa, Simone, Richard Elliot, Jeff Golub, Bob Babbit, Reggie Young, Steve Ferrone plus The Soul Survivors, Scottish Rite Cathedral, 7:30 p.m., $49

Friday, April 3 -- Phoebe Snow, Miller Center for the Arts, 7:30 p.m., $45
Friday, April 3 -- The Billy Price Band featuring special guest Fred Chapellier, The Abraham Lincoln Hotel Ballroom, 10 p.m., $25

Friday, April 3 -- Tim Price & Rachel Z and the Department of Good and Evil, The Abraham Lincoln Hotel Jazz Cabaret, 10 p.m., $15

Friday, April 3 -- The Sax Pack featuring Jeff Kashiwa, Steve Cole and Kim Waters, Plaza Reading Hotel Ballroom, 10:30 p.m., $39

Saturday, April 4 -- East Bay Soul featuring Greg Adams, Phil Perry, Michael Paulo, Lee Thornburg plus Joyce Cooling Band, Plaza Reading Hotel Ballroom, 2 p.m., $39

Saturday, April 4 -- Metro featuring Chuck Loeb, Mitch Forman, Dave Weckl, Randy Brecker, Gerald Veasley, Bob Franceschini, Gerald Veasley’s Jazz Base at the Plaza Reading Hotel, 7 p.m. and 10 p.m., $35

Saturday, April 4 -- Boney James, Scottish Rite Cathedral, 7:30 p.m., $49
Saturday, April 4 -- McCoy Tyner Quartet, Miller Center for the Arts, 7:30 p.m., $45
Saturday, April 4 -- Rick Braun’s Tribute to Chet Baker, The Abraham Lincoln Hotel Ballroom, 10 p.m., $35
Saturday, April 4 -- Tim Price & Rachel Z and the Department of Good and Evil, The Abraham Lincoln Hotel Jazz Cabaret, 10 p.m., $15

Saturday, April 4 -- The Derek Trucks Band, Plaza Reading Hotel Ballroom, 10:30 p.m., $39
Sunday, April 5 -- David Benoit plus Warren Hill, Plaza Reading Hotel Ballroom, 2 p.m., $39
Sunday, April 5 -- Nelson Rangell and the Reading Pops Orchestra, Miller Center for the Arts, 2 p.m., $40
Sunday, April 5 -- Jazz Attack featuring Rick Braun, Richard Elliot and Jonathan Butler, Scottish Rite Cathedral, 7 p.m., $49

Please note: The Sheraton Reading Hotel will become the Plaza Reading Hotel on Jan. 1. In this release, it is listed as the Plaza Reading Hotel.

I'm sure you'll agree the lineup is magnificent for this year's festival. Get your tickets and I hope to see you there!

Happy Jazzin'

Beverly J. Packard
Jazz Circle Member of the Berks Arts Council
Reading, PA.
MyGirlSunday22@aol.com

Posted by Beverly J. Packard at December 1, 2008 8:59 PM