By Val Vaccaro [photos by Barry Chapman - BazPix Photography]
The 2018 Boscov's Berks Jazz Festofficially opens on Friday April 6 with Brian Culbertson's Colors of Love Tour at the Santander Performing Arts Center.
Kirk Whalum - 2017 Berks Jazz Fest[photo by BazPix]
For the grand finale, the 2018 Berks Jazz Fest fittingly closes Sunday April 15thwith the inspirational Kirk Whalum's Gospel According to Jazz Celebrationfeaturing Grammy-award winning saxophonist extraordinaire and ordained minister Kirk Whalum, with Kevin Whalum, JonathanButler, John Stoddard, Maysa, Sheléa Frazier, Wycliffe Jordan and the Doxa Gospel Ensemble at the Scottish Rite Cathedral.
Kevin Whalum [photo by Bazpix]
Jonathan Butler [photo by Bazpix]
John Stoddard [photo by Bazpix]
Sheléa Frazier [photo by Bazpix]
Here are a few other key highlights of this year's 2018 Berks Jazz Fest including special shows and events.
On Saturday April 7, there will be a concert featuring the Reading Pops Orchestra with the Erich Cawalla Quartet.
Chuck Loeb [photo by BazPix]
On April 8, 2018 at the Santander Performing Arts Center in Reading, PA will be a moving tribute concert "Remembering Chuck Loeb" to honor the guitarist, composer, producer, and recording artist who passed at 61 years of age from cancer in July 2017. Loeb worked with many artists over the years, from Stan Getz, to Steps Ahead, to Fourplay. He also created, arranged, and contributed to a variety of special concerts at the Berks Jazz Fest over the years.
The Chuck Loeb tribute show will feature a huge lineup of many musicians and friends he had worked with including: Eric Marienthal, Rick Braun, Bob James, Nathan East, Harvey Mason, Kirk Whalum, Will Lee, Michael Franks, Dave Koz, Everette Harp, Jeff Lorber, Randy Brecker, Paul Jackson Jr., Chieli Minucci, Nick Colionne, Kim Waters, Gerald Veasley, Bill Evans, Mitch Forman, Brian Bromberg, Andy Snitzer, Lionel Cordew, Ron Jenkins, David Charles, Matt King, Adam Hawley, The Berks Horns with Mike Anderson, Rob Diener and John Loos, as well as Chuck Loeb's wife Spanish singer and actress Carmen Cuesta-Loeb and two daughters - singer/songwriter/guitarist Lizzy Loeb, and vocalist and composer (Christina) Cuesta Loeb.
Gerald Veasley [photo by BazPix]
At the 2018 Berks Jazz Fest on April 6th, 7th, 13th, and 14thare bassist and musical director Gerald Veasley's four Midnight Jams at The Inn at Reading with a variety of artists including Nick Colionne, Lao Tizer, Karen Briggs, Chieli Minucci, Eric Marienthal, Kim Waters, Brian Bromberg, Kevin Whalum, Jay Rowe, Andrew Neu, Andy Snitzer, Nestor Torres, JJ Sansaverino, Albert Rivera, Elan Trotman, Rayford Griffin, Slam Allen, Jack Semple, Donald Robinson, Richard Waller and more.
On April 10th, there is a show with the U.S. Navy Band Commodores Band and the Berks High School All-Star Jazz Band directed by Gunnar Mossblad.
On Thursday, April 12that 6pm at the DoubleTree by Hilton Reading, is a CD Release Concert by Brian Bromberg.
Brian Bromberg [photo by BazPix]
Later on Thursday, April 12that 8pm will be the much anticipated 28thAnnual Berks All
Star Jam which features Rick Braun, Gerald Veasley, Brian Bromberg, Kirk Whalum, Randy Brecker, Maceo Parker, Gerald Albright, Everette Harp, Bernie Williams, Elan Trotman, Eric Marienthal, Nick Colionne, Kevin Whalum, JJ Sansaverino, Jay Rowe, Selina Albright, Nestor Torres, Chris "Big Dog" Davis, Rayford Griffin, and Paul Bollenback.
Rick Braun at the 2017 Berks Jazz Fest [photo by BazPix]
On Friday April 13th, there will be a number of great shows.The Heart & Soul Of Sax will feature Kirk Whalum and Everette Harp with special guests Maceo Parker, Dee Dee Bridgewater, and The Berks Horns: saxophonist Mike Anderson, trumpeter Rob Diener, and trombonist John Loos at the Scottish Rite Cathedral.
Kirk Whalum [photo by BazPix]
Everette Harp[photo by Bazpix]
The Berks Horns: John Loos, Rob Diener, Mike Anderson [photo by BazPix]
Another special concert on Friday April 13thwill include Gerald Albright with Kenny Lattimore and Selina Albright at the DoubleTreeby Hilton Reading.
Selina Albright [photo by BazPix]
Gerald Albright [photo by BazPix]
On Sunday, April 15th at 10am there will be a Sunday Brunch and entertaining concert with Steve Cole featuring Nick Colionne, Kevin Whalum, Jay Rowe, JJ Sansaverino, David Dyson and Carl Anderson at The Inn at Reading.
Steve Cole[photo by BazPix]
Nick Colionne [photo by BazPix]
Jay Rowe [photo by BazPix]
JJ Sansaverino [photo by BazPix]
On Saturday April 14th at 9:30am registration opens for the 10:30am Berks Jazz Fest Auction at the DoubleTree by Hilton to win prizes for jazz concert vacations on cruises and at hotel resorts. There are also some free Get JazzED local music education concerts and events presented by the Berks Arts Council and the Boscov's Berks Jazz Fest with funding by the Reading Musical Foundation.
Also on Sunday, April 15th from 1:30pm to 3:30 pm is the annual Frank Scott Memorial Art Show's "The Art of Jazz Awards Ceremony" at the Schmidt Gallery in the GoggleWorks Center for the Arts (the show runs March 28 to April 27, 2018).