2014 Boscov's Berks Jazz Fest - March 28-April 6

by Val Vaccaro

Berks Jazz Fest celebrates its 24th anniversary from Friday March 28th to Sunday April 6th, 2014 and presents another great year of exciting concerts featuring smooth jazz, contemporary jazz, traditional jazz, blues, gospel, and other types of music. http://www.berksjazzfest.com/

Some of the top artists performing at the fest include: Boney James, Candy Dulfer, Kirk Whalum, Rick Braun, Norman Brown, Chuck Loeb, Brian Culbertson, Jeff Lorber, The Sax Pack with Jeff Kashiwa, Steve Cole and Marcus Anderson, Nick Colionne, Eldar & Brian Bromberg, Jason Miles, Spyro Gyra, Gerald Albright, Mindi Abair, Richard Elliot, Chieli Minucci & Special EFX, Madeleine Peyroux, Peabo Bryson, Gregory Porter, Jessy J, Élan Trotman, Kevin Eubanks, Keiko Matsui & the Reading Pops Orchestra, Lalah Hathaway, Terell Stafford Quintet, Shemekia Copeland, Albert Cummings, Smokin' Joe Kubek & Bnois King, Bonerama, Ana Popovic, and the Alexis P. Suter Band.

Over 40,000 music fans from all over the world attend the Berks Jazz Fest each year to enjoy great music and to experience the warm community spirit and atmosphere.  The popular 10 day festival is held in the tourist-friendly Reading area in Berks County in southeastern Pennsylvania. The area is surrounded by picturesque farms with mountains in the distance and includes an abundance of hotels, restaurants, venues, shopping at the VF Outlet Center, and art exhibitions at places such as the GoggleWorks Center for the Arts and the Reading Public Museum. The jazz festival is about an hour's drive from Philadelphia, and a few hours travel from New York City.

This year, the Berks Jazz Fest is sponsored once again by Boscov's known as "America's largest, family-owned, independent department store" chain. http://www.boscovs.com/    Berks Jazz Fest is successfully operated with the outstanding work of the Berks Jazz Fest management (General Manager John Ernesto, Production Manager Gary Spencer,  Publicity Manager Dana Hoffman, Transportation Manager Chuck Koch, Volunteer Coordinator Mark Shearer, and many others), as well as over 400 community volunteers, festival sponsors, and the support of the Berks Arts Council which has the motto "Keeping the arts alive in Berks County." 

The Fest Experience

There are over 100 shows and events on the 2014 Boscov's Berks Jazz Fest schedule, including more than 40 ticketed concerts (ranging from $10 to $49 per ticket) and over 60 non-ticketed (free) music events (some of the events at restaurants or other venues may have a cover charge).  Here are the links for the festival schedule and to purchase tickets. http://www.berksjazzfest.com/ticketedevents.htm  http://www.berksjazzfest.com/purchase.htm  http://www.berksjazzfest.com/nonticket.htm   After many shows, fans often attend "meet and greets" to have CDs signed by their favorite musicians. 

You can 'stay in the know on the go' by downloading the new Berks Jazz Fest free phone app online at Apple iTunes or Google Play. Fans can also keep informed about the Berks Jazz Fest on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, and check out podcasts and video interviews with festival artists by Diane Dayton. https://www.facebook.com/berksjazzfest1991    https://twitter.com/berksjazzfest http://www.youtube.com/user/berksjazzfest  http://www.berksjazzfest.com/podcasts2014.htm http://www.youtube.com/user/DianeDayton  For over a decade, visitors to the Berks Jazz Fest website have enjoyed seeing great concert photos from the current fest by Andrew Lepley. This year, Andrew Lepley takes on a new role of Berks Jazz Fest videographer, and Keith McDonald will be festival photographer.  http://www.berksjazzfest.com/    http://www.andrewlepley.com/ http://kblkice.zenfolio.com  

In each of the main venue lobbies, there are many attractive, artistic crafts which can make great gifts.  Festival goers can also purchase fun festival souvenirs which feature the 2014 Berks Jazz Fest logo merchandise.  This year, there are three separate logos for tee shirts, embroidered items, and hats designed by artist Mark Fisher of AirGraphics.   Berks Jazz Fest's official pink neon logo used since 1991 in the Fest's promotional materials was originally created by Mike Anderson, a founding partner in The Anderson Group. http://www.theandersongrp.com/

2014 Berks Jazz Fest logos for T-Shirts, embroidered merchandise, and hats

All in all, this year promises to be another great season for music fans attending the 2014 Berks Jazz Fest.