The 19th annual Berks Jazz Festival started with a bang with the concert by guitarist Peter White and saxophonist Mindi Abair. It was held Friday evening at the Scottish Rite Cathedral in front of a capacity crowd. The two artists played a lot together in past, especially during their holiday tour called "A Peter White Christmas" featuring Mindi Abair and Rick Braun, so their camaraderie was no suprise. They were backed by Mindi Abair's band, among them players like Andre Berry on bass and Rodney Lee on keyboards, doing a great job, with the guitar player adding some burning solos on electric guitar. Peter White gave us a selection of his well known hit songs and covers of r&b classics like Grover Washington Jr.'s "Mr. Magic", "I'll Be Around", The Temptations' "Papa Was A Rolling Stone" or the Isley Brother's "Who's That Lady" and more; out of his own catalog, "Bueno Funk" was a sure hit with its alternating funk and slower parts, while Mindi Abair gave us "Lucy's" and the smashing "Flirt" which was the bomb! She also sang a couple of her pop songs, one just accompanied by Peter White's guitar. Mindi looked georgeous as always in a black mini dress, smoke black stockings and high leather boots playing her sax with conviction and enthusiasm, having the crowd in the palm of her hand. It was a great concert and a worthy opening of the Berks Jazz Festival with many greats concerts ahead of us!
Photo: Michael Packard