VF Outlet Berks Jazz Fest Brings the Best and the Brightest

Following is the initial press release regarding the VF Outlet Berks Jazz Fest 2008. Plan to come and enjoy all the musical talent. Please note that other artists will be added in the coming days and months before the festival, so keep checking the line-up! Tickets can be obtained by the public on December 8th.

READING, PA -- November 26 -- The 18th annual Berks Jazz Fest, presented by the Berks Arts Council, runs March 28 through April 6 and will offer fans a wide array of musical styles, including contemporary and traditional jazz, blues and big band, with some gospel and even bluegrass thrown in. Shows are held at major venues, clubs and restaurants throughout Reading and Berks County, making it a truly unique festival.

The Berks Arts Council is proud to announce that VF Outlet is the title sponsor of the Berks Jazz Fest from 2008 through 2010. This announcement has particular meaning because VFOutlet helped launch the festival as title sponsor of the first three-day Berks Jazz Fest in 1991, and remained title sponsor through the 1995 festival. Thirteen years and countless shows later, the now 10-day festival has come full circle with its title sponsorship.

Featured artists at this year's festival include legendary song stylist Nancy Wilson; always-rocking blues guitarist and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame nductee Buddy Guy; the return of the ever-popular Guitars & Saxes featuring Gerald Albright, Peter White, Jeff Golub and Jeff Lorber; jazz guitar great Pat Martino; alto saxophonist Candy Dulfer; the gifted and charismatic trumpeter Chris Botti; guitarist Paul Brown, vocalist Kenny Rankin, fellow guitarist Marc Antoine and saxman Eric Darius; Berks favorite, keyboardist Brian Culbertson; trumpet great Rick Braun and saxman Richard Elliot; guitarist Nick Colionne with keyboardist Brian Simpson; versatile bassist Brian Bromberg; Bill Evans' Soulgrass with bluegrass vocalist and instrumentalist Sam Bush; popular keyboardist and vocalist Joe McBride; the Caribbean Jazz Project featuring Dave Samuels with special guest, reed player Paquito D'Rivera; saxman Euge Groove and keyboardist Alex Bugnon; and violinist Regina Carter in a quintet.

There is no shortage of the blues at this year's fest. In addition to Buddy Guy, there are two big shows on the closing weekend -- a New Orleans Funky Friday with Maria Muldaur and Bonerama; and blues night with the Clarence Spady Band, Campbell Brothers and Eric Bibb.

Among the more unconventional shows this year are the Jump Rhythm Jazz Project, high-energy jazz dance performers; the NYPD Big Band, an 18-member group performing jazz and pop standards; Kennedy Center presents Betty Carter's Jazz Ahead, featuring young emerging artists; Sherrie Maricle and the all-female DIVA Jazz Orchestra; Simone, daughter of legendary singer Nina Simone, and the Rob Stoneback Big Band; and the return of Gordon Goodwin's Big Phat Band.

Music director and keyboardist Jason Miles is once again bringing very special ensemble shows to Berks.
Miles will bring together an all-star roster to join him in Celebrating the Life & Music of Grover Washington Jr., the late legendary saxman. The show, To Grover with Love, brings together some of the top names in the business, including Patti LaBelle, Walter Beasley, Everette Harp, Kim Waters, Maysa, Phil Perry, Chuck Loeb, Will Lee, Buddy Williams and Ralph MacDonald.

For the world premiere of his show Global Noize, Jason Miles will be joined by Christian Scott, DJ Logic, Karl Denson, Cafe, Billy Martin, Sherrod Barnes, Bernie Worrell and Tim LeFebvre. Miles has dubbed the group a "global groove band."

Must-see special group shows are one of the big draws at the Berks Jazz Fest, and this year is no exception. There is the LA Chillharmonic, a cool all-star ensemble spearheaded by smooth jazz guitarist Richard Smith and bassist Brian Bromberg. They will be joined by Michael Paulo, Gregg Karukas, Greg Adams and the Berks Jazz Fest Horns.

Gerald Veasley and the WJJZ All-Stars will be the third live television event for the Berks Jazz Fest, broadcast live by WFMZ-TV Channel 69, and will feature Bobby Lyle, Rick Braun, Chuck Loeb, Chris Farr and the Berks Jazz Fest Horns.

A perennial late-night favorite, guaranteed to wake up any sleepy fans, is the Berks All-Star Jazz Jam. This year's jam artists include Rick Braun, Chuck Loeb, Gerald Veasley, Richard Elliot, Nick Colionne, Brian Bromberg, Pat Martino, Joe McBride, Brian Simpson, Ricky Lawson, Andrew Neu and more.

Chuck Loeb, well known to any Berks Jazz Fest fan, will be joined by special guests Eric Marienthal, Tom Scott, Will Lee, wife Carmen Cuesta, daughter Lizzy Loeb and more for a special show.

This year's festival is packed with must-see artists and unforgettable ensembles, offering cool smooth jazz, hot rockin' blues, soulful singing, rousing tributes and so much more.

Tickets go on sale Saturday, Dec. 8, 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 28 -- Brian Bromberg Band, Gerald Veasley's Jazz Base,
Sheraton Reading Hotel, 7 p.m. and 10 p.m., $25

Friday, March 28 -- An Evening with Nancy Wilson, Sovereign Performing Arts Center, 7:30 p.m., $47 and $41

Friday, March 28 -- Buddy Guy, Sheraton Reading Hotel ballroom, 10 p.m., $40 and $35

Friday, March 28 -- Kenny Blake Quartet, L'Arte della Vita Jazz Cabaret, Abraham Lincoln Hotel, 10 p.m., $15

Saturday, March 29 -- LA Chillharmonic featuring Brian Bromberg, Richard Smith, Michael Paulo, Gregg Karukas, Greg Adams plus the Berks Jazz Fest Horns, Sheraton Reading Hotel ballroom, 2 p.m., $39 and $34

Saturday, March 29 -- Simone and the Rob Stoneback Big Band, Gerald Veasley's Jazz Base, Sheraton Reading Hotel, 7 p.m. and 10 p.m., $25

Saturday, March 29 -- Chris Botti, Sovereign Performing Arts Center, 7:30p.m., $47 and $41

Saturday, March 29 -- Jump Rhythm Dance Project, Miller Center for the Arts, 8 p.m., $20

Saturday, March 29 -- Kenny Blake Quartet, L'Arte della Vita Jazz Cabaret, Abraham Lincoln Hotel, 10 p.m., $15

Saturday, March 29 -- Gerald Veasley and the WJJZ All-Stars Bobby Lyle, Rick Braun, Chuck Loeb, Chris Farr and the Berks Jazz Fest Horns, Sheraton Reading Hotel, 10:30 p.m., $39 and $34

Sunday, March 30 -- Betty Carter's Jazz Ahead, Miller Center, 1:30 p.m., no charge

Sunday, March 30 -- Paul Brown, Kenny Rankin and Marc Antoine plus Eric Darius, Sheraton Reading Hotel Ballroom, 2 p.m., $39 and $34

Sunday, March 30 -- Celebrating the Life & Music of Grover Washington Jr. -- To Grover with Love: Patti LaBelle, Walter Beasley, Everette Harp, Kim Waters, Maysa, Phil Perry, Chuck Loeb, Will Lee, Buddy Williams, Ralph MacDonald, and musical director Jason Miles, Sovereign Performing Arts Center, 7 p.m., $49 and $43

Tuesday, April 1 -- NYPD Big Band, Sheraton Reading Hotel, 7:30 p.m., $15

Wednesday, April 2 -- Bill Evans' Soulgrass with special guest Sam Bush, Abraham Lincoln Hotel ballroom, 7:30 p.m., $32

Thursday, April 3 -- MusicReport with special guests Lynn Riley and Aaron Graves, Gerald Veasley's Jazz Base, Sheraton Reading Hotel, 7 p.m., $12

Thursday, April 3 -- Nick Colionne with special guest Brian Simpson, Abraham Lincoln Hotel ballroom, 7:30 p.m., $32

Thursday, April 3 -- Berks All-Star Jazz Jam featuring Rick Braun, Chuck Loeb, Gerald Veasley, Richard Elliot, Nick Colionne, Brian Bromberg, Pat Martino, Joe McBride, Brian Simpson, Ricky Lawson, Andrew Neu and more, Sheraton Reading Hotel ballroom, 10 p.m., $35

Friday, April 4 -- Pat Martino Quartet, Gerald Veasley's Jazz Base, Sheraton Reading Hotel, 7 p.m. and 10 p.m., $30

Friday, April 4 -- The Caribbean Jazz Project featuring Dave Samuels with special guest Paquito D'Rivera, Abraham Lincoln Hotel ballroom, 7:30 p.m., $32

Friday, April 4 -- Rick Braun & Richard Elliot, Scottish Rite Cathedral, 7:30 p.m., $47 and $41

Friday, April 4 -- New Orleans Funky Friday: Maria Muldaur and Bonerama, Inn at Reading, 7:30 p.m., $32

Friday, April 4 -- Joe McBride Trio, L'Arte della Vita Jazz Cabaret, Abraham Lincoln Hotel, 10 p.m., $15

Friday, April 4 -- Candy Dulfer, Sheraton Reading Hotel ballroom, 10:30 p.m., $39 and $34

Saturday, April 5 -- Euge Groove plus Alex Bugnon, Sheraton Reading Hotel ballroom, 2 p.m., $39 and $34

Saturday, April 5 -- Sherrie Maricle & The DIVA Jazz Orchestra, Abraham Lincoln Hotel ballroom, 2 p.m., $28

Saturday, April 5 -- Tribute to Chet Baker: Rick Braun, Gerald Veasley's Jazz Base, Sheraton Reading Hotel, 7 p.m. and 10 p.m., $30

Saturday, April 5 -- Guitars & Saxes featuring Peter White, Gerald Albright, Jeff Golub and Jeff Lorber, Scottish Rite Cathedral, 7 p.m., $47 and $41

Saturday, April 5 -- Clarence Spady Band plus Campbell Brothers plus Eric Bibb, Inn at Reading, 7 p.m., $37

Saturday, April 5 -- Regina Carter Quintet, Miller Center for the Arts, 7:30 p.m., $38

Saturday, April 5 -- Joe McBride Trio, L'Arte della Vita Jazz Cabaret, Abraham Lincoln Hotel, 10 p.m., $15

Saturday, April 5 -- World Premiere: Global Noize featuring Jason Miles, Christian Scott, DJ Logic, Karl Denson, Cafe, Billy Martin, Sherrod Barnes, Bernie Worrell and Tim LeFebvre, Sheraton Reading Hotel ballroom, 10:30 p.m., $39 and $34

Sunday, April 6 -- Chuck Loeb with special guests Eric Marienthal, Tom Scott, Will Lee, Carmen Cuesta, Lizzy Loeb, and more, Sheraton Reading Hotel ballroom, 2 p.m., $39 and $34

Sunday, April 6 -- Brian Culbertson, Scottish Rite Cathedral, 7 p.m., $47 and $41

Press release provided by:
Catherine Catanach, APR
Director of Development and Marketing
Berks Arts Council


Happy Jazzin' and I hope to see you at the festival!

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