Ken Gehret Pg 7

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Ken Gehret Pg 7
the philadelphia bassist
T
is woven into fabric of berks
he VF Outlet Berks Jazz Fest brings new names to jazz
and blues fans every year. But each year, audiences also
look forward to the perennial Berks favorites.
Bassist Gerald Veasley is certainly a prime favorite, and
a part of the Berks Jazz Fest family.
He is the perfect blend of performance and personality.
A Philadelphia native,
the charismatic Veasley
has played at the festival
in many capacities over the years, with his band, as part
of his own Electric Mingus Project, as a special guest to
other artists including Pieces of a Dream, as a member of
the Heads Up Super Band, and, as part of the Channel 69
WFMZ live broadcast for the past three years as well as
the very popular All-Star Jazz Jam.
Veasley is also one of the founders of Gerald Veasley’s
Jazz Base in the Reading Crowne Hotel. The Jazz Base
is a venue for many Berks Jazz Fest concerts, as well
as great jazz shows every Thursday throughout the year.
He released a live album, At The Jazz Base!, which was
recorded at the club in November 2004.
by dana l. hoffman
This year, Veasley is bringing Berks fans the Music of
Stevie Wonder. Veasley will be joined by special guests Najee, Nnenna Freelon, Joe McBride and the Berks Jazz Fest
Horns. The show is set for Saturday, March 28, at 10:30
p.m. and will be broadcast live on Channel 69 WFMZ.
“I have an affinity for Stevie Wonder music because it
was my favorite music growing up,” Veasley said. “I invited
people who share the same love for Stevie.”
He said vocalist Nnenna Freelon put her own twist
on Wonder’s songs on her album Tales of Wonder, and
saxman Najee recreated an entire album of Wonder tunes,
Najee Plays Songs from the Key of Life: A Tribute to
Stevie Wonder, an all-instrumental interpretation of a Stevie
Wonder 1976 classic album.
“Joe McBride is an artist in the mold of Stevie Wonder,”
Veasley said. “Music is just pouring through his skin.”
Veasley also can be seen as part of Metro, a fusion
group led by guitarist Chuck Loeb and keyboardist Mitch
Forman, Saturday, April 4, at 7 p.m. and 10 p.m. in the
Jazz Base.
“It’s a real treat to play with Metro,” Veasley said. “They
jazz fest
are great composers and producers, and the music’s so
adventurous.
“Chuck and I, we go way back. He produced part of
(Veasley’s 2008 Heads Up release) Your Move. I always
admired him as a producer.”
Fans also will find Veasley jamming with Rick Braun,
Loeb, Brian Bromberg, Chieli Minucci, Paul Jackson Jr.,
Dave Weckl, Bobby Lyle, Mitch Forman, Kim Waters,
Steve Cole, Jeff Kashiwa, Nelson Rangell and more at the
always-popular Berks All-Star Jazz Jam, Thursday, April 2,
at 10 p.m. at the Reading Crowne Hotel.
Education has been an important part of Veasley’s
career as well. He will host his ninth Bass Boot Camp at
the festival, from March 27-29 at the Reading Crowne
Hotel. He’ll be joined by legendary bassists Victor Wooten,
Bryan Beller, Chris Farr, David Dyson, Andrew Gouché,
Adam Nitti, T.M. Stevens, Richard Waller III and Anthony
Wellington as faculty for the two-day intensive workshop.
He also teaches bass students in his home studio.
frank scott
award / 5
smooth jazz 92.7
live broadcast
schedule / 12
10-day schedule
of events / 10, 11
severn records
brings soul and
blues to fest / 18
joyce cooling
NAMI benefit / 19
VEASLEY, CONTINUED ON PAGE 2
19th annual festival guide published by
reading eagle
A2
Sunday, March 22, 2009Reading Eagle, Reading, Pa.
treat to play with metro.
“ it’s a real
they are great composers
and producers and the
music’s so adventurous.
”
veasley, CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1
& Fire, Kenny Blake, Pamela Williams, Eric Marienthal, Onaje
Alan Gumbs, Omar Hakim and many more. He has shared
The roots of his music run deep in his soul.
stages and tours with Miles Davis and Dizzy Gillespie.
Veasley started playing the bass at age 12 and recalls
Since 1992’s Look Ahead, Veasley has released Signs,
learning a great deal from jam sessions at home with friends
Soul Control, Love Letters, On the Fast Track, Velvet, and
of his musically inclined parents. His parents’ hard work
Your Move on the Heads Up label.
inspired him, and his outstanding high school career earned
Love Letters (1999) was Veasley’s last album to feature
Veasley a four-year full academic scholarship to the University
Grover Washington Jr. before his death at the end of that
of Pennsylvania. During his third year, Veasley lost his father.
same year. Washington had appeared on all of Veasley’s solo
To deal with the loss, he focused on music. Veasley taught
albums, and Veasley paid tribute to his friend and mentor with
himself how to improvise, transcribe solos and studied chord “Goodnight Moon,” a tune on his 2001 release, On the Fast
progressions, and he took up studying classical guitar to
Track.
expand his range as a musician.
When not teaching or wowing audiences, Veasley is
“When my father died, I had a hard time coming to grips
producing for other artists. He produced part of saxophonist
with the loss, and the music proved very therapeutic,” he said. Andrew Neu’s new album.
“I thought, ‘If music can have that kind of healing effect on me,
“We’re just finishing up,” Veasley said. “At a young age, he’s
maybe I can spend my life creating music that can do the
already a master.”
same for others.’ ”
With his skill and versatility apparent both on and off the
He came to appreciate Weather Report and Return to
stage, it’s easy to see why Veasley is such a favorite here at
Forever as much as he appreciated Earth, Wind & Fire and
Berks.
Smokey Robinson. Veasley has cited Jaco Pastorius, Anthony
For more information: www.geraldveasley.com;
Jackson and Stanley Clarke as his main influences on electric
www.geraldveasleysjazzbase.com
bass.
In the 1980s, Veasley had developed into a versatile and
reputable sideman and session player. He joined longtime
mentor and friend Grover Washington Jr.’s band in 1986 and
played on six of the sax player’s recordings.
saturday, march 28
“Grover was a gentle human being who I think about every
The
Music of Stevie Wonder:
day,” Veasley said. “I feel like a steward of his legacy, a
Gerald Veasley Band with Najee, Nnenna Freelon,
legacy of honest, heartfelt music. It’s better to play one note
Joe McBride and the Berks Jazz Fest Horns
that sounds like you, than a hundred that sound like someone
Reading Crowne Hotel • 10:30 p.m. • $39
else.”
thursday, april 2
Having held the music of Weather Report and Pastorius
Berks All-Star Jazz Jam, featuring Rick Braun, Chuck Loeb,
in such high regard, Veasley was delighted when, in 1988,
Brian Bromberg, Chieli Minucci, Paul Jackson Jr., Dave
Weather Report co-founder and legendary jazz fusion pioneer
Weckl, Bobby Lyle, Mitch Forman, Kim Waters, Steve Cole,
Joe Zawinul hired him as a sideman. Veasley toured the world
Jeff Kashiwa, Nelson Rangell and more
with his idol until 1995.
Reading Crowne Hotel • 10 p.m. • $39
“That was a real education, on and off the bandstand,” he
saturday, april 4
said.
Metro featuring Chuck Loeb, Mitch Forman, Dave Weckl,
He has recorded and/or performed with McCoy Tyner, The
Randy Brecker, Gerald Veasley, Bob Franceschini
Dixie Hummingbirds, Odean Pope, Special EFX, labelmate
Gerald Veasley’s Jazz Base at the Reading Crowne Hotel
Joe McBride, Teddy Pendergrass, Phil Perry, Chieli Minucci,
7 p.m. and 10 p.m. • $35
Dianne Reeves, George Howard, Philip Bailey of Earth, Wind
if you go...
Enjoy Greater Reading during
the VF Outlet Berks Jazz Fest
1958-2009
Jody Rex, 50, a local artist,
school teacher and longtime
Berks Jazz Fest volunteer,
passed away on March 10 after
a brave battle with brain cancer.
Rex gave her time and talents
to many organizations, including
the Berks Arts Council, Berks
Arts Alliance, Reading School
District, RCP and Genesius
theaters, and Art Plus Gallery.
She approached each day with
optimism and passion for life.
She will be missed by the
Berks Jazz Fest family.
about this section. . .
This section is a product of the Marketing/Promotions Department of
Reading Eagle Company, publisher of the Reading Eagle.
Lisa N. Johnson designed and organized the section. Dana L. Hoffman
edited and coordinated the section. Both are of the Marketing/Promotions Department.
R. Andrew Lepley provided photography. Also contributing to the
section were Jonathan Widran, Cat Davis, and Berks Arts Council staff.
Welcome one and all to the 19th annual VF Outlet Berks Jazz
Fest!
Our festival this year is jam packed with a variety of jazz events,
thanks to our general manager John Ernesto, who works on the
festival year-round to make sure we have one of the most exciting
festivals in the nation.
Be sure to stop and shop at the VF Outlet Village on your way to
any of the Jazz Fest concerts. VF Outlet has graciously donated the
use of their shuttles to transport hotel guests to and from the various venues and to the VF Outlet Village. Look for the colorful shuttle
pass -- with a $5 off a $50 purchase coupon at VF Outlet -- at the
hotels and venues. With over 70 stores, there is fantastic shopping
to be done at the Village!
While you’re here in Greater Reading, be sure to explore all of
the businesses along the Penn Corridor, running along Penn Street
and Penn Avenue from City Park, Reading, out to Wyomissing,
who have “Welcome Berks Jazz Fest Fans” signs in their windows.
Many will have special discounts to coincide with the festival.
There’s plenty to do while you’re here during Jazz Fest week, or
you can “take a ride” back to Berks County for a future visit. All of
the Corridor activities are listed on www.PennCorridor.com.
We have a number of unique shops, historic sites and activities
you will want to visit, including The Pagoda atop Mount Penn, which
last year celebrated its 100th birthday; the GoggleWorks Center
for the Arts in Reading, one of the largest arts centers of its kind in
the United States; and the Reading Public Museum in West Reading,
with a world-class collection of art and antiquities, as well as a
planetarium and 25-acre park.
I’d like to thank all of our corporate sponsors for their tremendous support of this outstanding event, our Board of Directors, our
more than 300 volunteers and the Berks Arts Council full-time, parttime and seasonal staff who make this festival possible.
The Berks Arts Council is not just the VF Outlet Berks Jazz Fest.
We are engaged all year in a variety of other community programs
you’ll want to check out! Visit www.berksarts.org to see all that we
do.
If you enjoy the festival, please consider showing your support
by joining the Berks Arts Council. We have membership information
available at all of the Jazz Fest venues.
Have a great time at the VF Outlet Berks Jazz Fest!
Connie Leinbach
Executive Director, Berks Arts Council
Reading Eagle, Reading, Pa.
Sunday, March 22, 2009
A3
A4
Sunday, March 22, 2009Reading Eagle, Reading, Pa.
Medley of educational events
nuture jazz in young musicians
J
by dana l. hoffman
azz is America’s true art form, and it’s vital
to keep that art alive by introducing and sharing
it with younger people.
Along with presenting 10 days of amazing
musical entertainment, the VF Outlet Berks
Jazz Fest also serves as an educational tool for
local young musicians.
This year, the education committee, headed
by coordinators Chris Heslop, Mike Eben and
Carl Zeplin, has planned “Get JazzED,” a daylong program for young musicians on Sunday,
March 29, at Kutztown University.
Eight schools are bringing full bands for a
day of workshops, clinics, adjudications and
performances, all culminating in a gala concert.
Educators will be Kutztown University faculty
members Kevin Kjos, who heads the jazz
studies program, as well as Allison Miller, David
Cullen, Adam Koelker, Alan Apple and Scott
Lee. They will be joined by guest clinicians
Ingrid Jensen and Michael Davis, both New
York-based musicians.
“The day is not about competitions,” Heslop
said. “It’s strictly educational. These clinicians
’09
will be interactive on stage with the kids.”
“Get JazzED” is being presented by Voices,
the teen publication in each Tuesday’s Reading
Eagle, and is being underwritten by a grant
from The Reading Musical Foundation. An
additional sponsor is Project Penske.
The event will close with a free community
concert at KU’s Schaeffer Auditorium, featuring
the Berks High School All-Star Jazz Band and
the Kutztown University Jazz Ensemble I, which
will include the KU jazz faculty and special
guests.
For year-round jazz education opportunities
in Berks County, students can go to www.
berksjazzjam.com.
Another unique educational event of a
different scope is Primary Stages Jazz Fest
for Kids theater performances at the Institute
of the Arts in Wyomissing. The performances
are slated for throughout March and April, with
fourt shows during the festival on March 28
and April 4, at 10 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.
“Original jazz music is put to an existing play,”
Heslop said, who wrote the music for this
year’s show, titled “Cows Don’t Fly and Other
Well Known Facts.”
The play was written by Larry and Vivian
Snipes, and is geared toward ages 2-8. Heslop
said the show includes two professional
musicians paired with two student musicians,
thanks to a grant through the Reading Musical
Foundation.
“It turns out to be great for everybody,” he
said.
The Berks High School All-Star Jazz Band
will once again play with the United States
Army Jazz Ambassadors on Tuesday, March
31, at 7:30 p.m. at the Reading Crowne Hotel,
following an afternoon workshop with the
Ambassadors.
Returning for its ninth year, Gerald Veasley’s
Bass Bootcamp, March 27-29 at the Reading
Crowne Hotel, gives students the opportunity
to learn from world-class bassists Victor Wooten, Veasley, Chris Farr, David Dyson and more.
Hall of Fame drummer Steve Smith, here
this year with Vital Information, is presenting his
drum clinic, March 28 at the Crowne, from 1
p.m. to 3 p.m. Tickets are $10 at the door.
As always, the VF Outlet Berks Jazz Fest
makes it a goal to not only entertain, but
educate as well.
BERKS HIGH SCHOOL ALL-STAR JAZZ BAND
Alto saxophones:
Andrew Mohler( Kutztown)
Seth Ebersole (Gov. Mifflin)
Tenor saxophones:
Nathan Bellott (Gov. Mifflin)
Jordan Graef (Boyertown)
Baritone saxophones:
Matthew Haelig (Fleetwood)
Trumpets:
Owen Trexler (Wilson)
David Quarmley (Kutztown)
Carmen Ebersole (Gov. Mifflin)
Dylan Hinnershitz (Muhlenberg)
Kris Hartman (Kutztown)
Trombones:
Nathaniel Eshleman (Boyertown)
Harry Trexler (Wilson)
Bradley Richard (Boyertown)
Adam Rudderow (Muhlenberg)
Piano: David Fahim (Kutztown)
Guitar: Dylan Cowell (Kutztown)
Bass: Nicholas Shaw (Muhlenberg)
Drums: Jordan McCree (Reading)
Vibes: Adam Rabenold (Kutztown)
Vocals: Carmen Ebersole (Gov. Mifflin)
Guest conductor:
Dr. Kevin Kjos,
Kutztown University
County coordinator:
Doug Matz, Kutztown
Area High School
WORKSHOPS, ClinICS,
youth performances
SCHEDULE Saturday, March 28 and April 4
●
Cows Don’t Fly and Other Well-Known Facts
Primary Stages Jazz Fest for Kids theater performance
Location: Institute of the Arts, Wyomissing
Time: 10 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.
Admission: $7 at the door or $6 ($5 members) in advance.
For more information: 610-376-1576; www.institute-of-arts.org
Get JazzED
Hands-on educational workshop
Location: Schaeffer Auditorium, Kutztown University
Time: registration 12:30 p.m.; workshop 1 p.m.
For more information: www.berksjazzfest.com/educational;
www.berksjazzjam.com
●
●
Steve Smith Drum Clinic
Location: Gerald Veasley’s Jazz Base, Reading Crowne Hotel
Time: 1 p.m.
For more information: www.berksjazzfest.com
● Community Concert with Berks County All-Star Jazz Band
and Kutztown University Jazz I with KU Jazz Faculty
Location: Schaeffer Auditorium, Kutztown University
Time: 5 p.m.
Admission: FREE
Sunday, March 29
Jazz Worship: Jazz Combo & Big Band plus Kutztown
Middle School Jazz Band
Location: St. John’s United Church of Christ, Kutztown
Time: 10 a.m.
For more information: www.stjohnsucc.org; 610-683-8531
●
●
Worship Service: Reading High School Castleaires
Under the direction of Charlie DiCarne
Location: Grace Lutheran Church
Time: 10:30 a.m.
For more information: www.readinggrace.com; 610-375-3961
Tuesday, March 31
United States Army Jazz Ambassadors Big band plus the
Berks High School All-Star Jazz Band
Location: Reading Crowne Hotel
Time: 7:30 p.m.
Admission: FREE with ticket
●
Saturday, April 4
Workshop* prior to McCoy Tyner’s 7:30 p.m. performance
at the Miller Center for the Arts
Workshop Admission: FREE
●
* is part of a grant from American Masterpieces Program of the Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation
Michele Byrne-designed logo selected for use on festival merchandise
by ashley gellert
E
berks arts council intern
ach year, the Berks Arts Council looks for an
artist to design a unique logo for its VF Outlet
Berks Jazz Fest merchandise, which is supplied
by Lasting Image Promotional Products &
Apparel.
This year, that honor went to Michele
Byrne, an artist from West Lawn. The four jazz
musicians in the logo were pulled from Byrne’s
painting, “In Sync.”
Byrne is well-known for “The Art of Conversation:” paintings through which Byrne captures
intimate moments of communication – among
friends at restaurants or between a mother and
daughter at home – that might go unnoticed by
others.
“Some of the most precious moments of my
life have been sitting and having conversations
with my friends and family,” says Byrne. “These
moments I never want to lose. The essence
of my paintings is an attempt to have these
moments live forever. I call this the art of conversation.”
Byrne also has published two books: “The
Art of Conversation” (2002) and “The Art of
Conversation: Manhattan” (2006).
Byrne’s artwork has been featured in nearly
10 solo exhibitions and nearly 40 group and
juried exhibitions in Pennsylvania, Delaware, New
York, Florida, Rhode Island, and New Jersey.
Byrne’s awards include an Award of Excellence at the Wayne Plein Air Festival in Wayne,
and a People’s Choice Award and Award of Excellence at Paint Annapolis (Md.), both in 2007.
Byrne’s painting “The Jazz Singers” won first
place in the recent Frank Scott Memorial Art
Show:The Art of Jazz.
Byrne earned a bachelor’s degree in fine
arts and communication design, with a minor in
illustration/painting from Kutztown University.
For more information about Byrne’s accomplishments and art, visit her Web site at www.
michelebyrne.com
Reading Eagle, Reading, Pa.
Sunday, March 22, 2009
Erwin Chandler receives
2009 Frank Scott award
T
by kristina sunanday
berks arts council intern
he Berks Arts Council’s Frank Scott Award is given
annually during the VF Outlet Berks Jazz Fest to
honor local, late jazz legend Frank Scott’s memory
and his contribution to the jazz heritage in Berks
County. Honorees are selected for this award
based on their artistic ability as a jazz musician, as
well as their active involvement in giving back to
the community. Each individual has significantly
influenced jazz music in a positive way throughout
the community.
This year’s award will be presented to local
musician and music teacher Erwin Chandler
immediately before the Doc Mulligan and Friends
concert, Saturday, March 28, at 3 p.m. at the Miller
Center for the Arts. Past recipients were Robert
“Doc” Mulligan, Toni Lynne, Wayne “Al” Seifarth and
Michael Eben.
“I am very honored and thrilled to be among this
group of people,” Chandler said. “I knew Frankie and
admired everything he did.”
Chandler is the co-founder of the Berkshire Brass
Quintet and shares, with his wife Patricia, a music
studio. In addition to being a very active French horn
and piano player, Chandler also is a composer. He
has composed over 700 songs, receiving many
commissions and awards, including the esteemed
George Washington Medal of Honor for high achievement in composition for his orchestral work “The
Constitution.”
Chandler received a master’s degree of music
from Indiana University. After college, he became a
free-lance musician, performing as part of the
orchestra for musicians such as Johnny Mathis,
Elvis Presley, Olivia Newton-John and Andy Williams.
Locally, he has performed with the Reading
Symphony Orchestra, the Pottstown Symphony
Orchestra, the Allegheny Music Festival Orchestra
and the Reading Brass Quintet. He is a longtime
member of the Reading Pops Orchestra and has
conducted many jazz shows. An active music
teacher, Chandler has taught students French horn
and piano in the Fleetwood and Hershey school
districts, as well as through summer camp
A5
Erwin Chandler’s
GAMUT project will
perform Sunday,
March 29 from
11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
during a special
brunch at The Inn
at Reading.
programs at Lehigh Valley College.
Frank Scott, for whom the award is dedicated,
was born on June 24, 1923, in Reading. Throughout
his musical career, Scott played with many notable
musicians such as Bing Crosby, Ray Charles, and
Bill Haley and the Comets. Scott opened two
nightclubs in the Reading area which had a great
influence on the community, opening people up to
the sound of jazz, and played a vital role in much of
Berks County’s jazz programming.
His album, Never Too Old to Dream, captured
the heart and soul of his generosity which translates
through his music.
The award was founded and underwritten by the
JerLyn Foundation.
vf outlet berks jazz fest team
Festival management: Connie Leinbach, executive director; John Ernesto,
general manager.
Berks Arts Council Board of Directors: Ralia Vardaxis, president; Jim
Landrigan, vice president of programs; Craig Rosenfeld, vice president of administration; Lidia Zidik, secretary; Theodore Bassano, Treasurer; Chuck Koch, past president;
Ronald Bair; Karen Baxter; Alvin Booth; Gloria Day; Marilyn Fox; Bernard Gerber;
Matthew Golden; Kay Haring; Melvyn Jacobson; William G. Koch, CPA; Chris Kraras;
Dr. Julia Matthews; Sandra McCarthy; Thomas McMahon; Dr. Robert Metzger; Regina
Gouger Miller; Sharon Patterson; Rev. Dr. Harry Serio; Lisa Tiger; Josée Vachon.
BAC Staff: Connie Leinbach, executive director; Beth Renfro, director of marketing and public relations; Matthew Serio, program manager; Gary Spencer, production
manager; Robert Coleman, controller; Brenda Hartman, administrative assistant; Tara
Miller, office assistant; Lynn Stimeling, artists services; Ashley Gellert, intern-Kutztown
University; Kristina Sunanday, intern-Alvernia University
Festival Production: Gary Spencer, festival production manager; Cat Davis,
festival assistant production manager.
Stage Managers: Mark Rentschler, Joanne Phillipczak, Bruce Morton, Stanley
Danner, Mitchell Grove, Lee Reiniger, Karen Haver, David Kurzweg, Robert Grinnage,
Matthew Cullen, Steven Haver, Randy Lockhart.
Production Crew: Chris Bashore, Jimi Klopp, Ron Reber, Scott Rhoads, Ruby
Smith, Chip Strunk, Mercedes Spradley, Connie Sweigart, Lisa & George Schmidt,
Debbie & Jim Landrigan, Steve Philipczak, Mike Anderson, Barry Ellis, Suzie Ernesto,
Glenn Curtier, Gregory Goodwin, Lawrence Hartman III, Joe Malone, Ken Perod, Tish
Rodriguez, Lenny Stinson, James Winfield, Jimmy Diana, Thomas Brown, Greg Staron,
Mike Piscatelli, Lyn & Greg Walker, Richard Bennett, Nina Beverly, Roger Levesque,
Kay & Walter Nixon, Mary Beth Salla, Michael Grinnage, Leslie & Art Stricek, Jeff
Oxenford, Brad Van Etten, Connie Andrews, Ray Heffner, Kyle Smith, Ty Roberts,
Josh Cusatis, Michael Butler.
Technical support: Mark Burford, John Greene Jr.
Reading Buccaneers: Joan Antosy, Patrick Antosy, Peg Bainbridge, Drew
Brannen, Gary Choyka, Maryann Choyka, Allison Fassnacht, Jean Heckman, Mary High,
Chuck Jacobs, Laura Kauffman, Wayne Kauffman, Wayne Koller, Tyler Kulp, Jay Landis,
Yvonne Landis, Bill Levin, Brad Mea, Ed Mea, Jean Miller, Joel Miller, Thomas Moore,
Ian O’Mara, Mary Eileen Ormsby, Tim Ormsby, Jeff Oxenford, Leslie Rickert, Chuck
Runkle, Thomas Siegfried, Bill Snook, Donnie Solinger, Rich Stekeur, Rick Thomson,
Jordan Tuthill, Jerry Ware, Daniel Wildonger, Fred Windish, Bruce Young.
EMTs: Dale Berta, Pamela Berta, Deb Greusel, Janet Koontz.
Grants: Pennsylvania Council on the Arts; Reading Musical Foundation;
Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation/NEA; Pennsylvania Presenters; County of Berks;
State Sen. Michael A. O’Pake.
Sponsor development: Connie Leinbach, John Ernesto, Jim Landrigan, Craig
Rosenfeld, Matthew Golden, Ron Bair, Sharon Patterson, Bernard Gerber.
Media sponsors: Reading Eagle Company, Lasting Image Promotional Products,
Berks County Living Magazine (IDP Publications), Smooth Jazz News Magazine, Jazz
Times Magazine, Wine and Jazz Magazine, Philly.com, Smooth Jazz 92.7 WSJW-FM,
WXPN-FM, WEEU 830 AM, WDIY 88.1 FM, WRTI-FM, WFMZ-TV, Berks Community
Television (BCTV), LAND Displays Inc., Clear Channel Outdoor Advertising, Lamar
Advertising.
Community sponsors: Buddies Nursery, Inc., David & Mary Carlino, Clinical
Research Center, Coca-Cola, Commerce Bank, The Dance Hall Docs, Gallen Insurance,
IBEW Local 743, Kuhn Funeral Home, Masano Auto Group, Neo-Pangea, Reading
Music Academy, Reading Precast, Inc., Rhythmic Exercises, Sterling Financial Advisors LLC, The Water Guy, Vision Auto Group, Weik Investment Services, West Reading
Tavern, Wireless Microsystems Corp., Eagle Distributing/Miller Lite.
Hotel sponsors: Reading Crowne Hotel, Inn at Reading, Hampton Inn, Country Inn
and Suites, Days Inn Wyomissing, Comfort Inn Reading, Econo Lodge Wyomissing,
Bed and Breakfast On the Park, Homewood Suites by Hilton, Best Western Reading
Inn, Holiday Inn Express, Abraham Lincoln Hotel/Wyndham Reading.
Hospitality: Cat Davis, coordinator; Liz Danielski; Rita Miller; Marvanne Kouvaros,
Janet Danner, Awilda Goodwin, Kate Peires.
Volunteer Coordinator: Matthew Serio
House managers: Connie Leinbach, Robert Coleman, Brenda Hartman, Beth
Renfro, Matthew Serio.
House captains & assistant house captains: Mark Shearer, Pauline Heckman,
Ray Heffner, David Pepper, Ron Wentzel.
Marketing/Publicity: Beth Renfro, marketing director; Dana Hoffman, publicity
director; Lisa Johnson, graphic artist.
Logo 2009 Graphic Design: Original art by Michele Byrne and assisted by
Lisa Johnson.
Ticketing: Brian Sipe, Megan Nuding, Heather Soltysik, Hope Parkin, Michelle
Lamonica.
Merchandise: Matthew Serio, Lasting Image.
Music programming: John Ernesto, Gary Spencer, John Graff.
Festival Photography: R. Andrew Lepley
Security Coordinator: Bill Katinowsky, coordinator; Desmond Kelley, assistant
coordinator.
Transportation: John Graff, coordinator, Peg Bainbridge, Frank Gutekunst, Chuck
Koch, Randall Miller, Robert Miller, Nancy O’Neill, Mary Eileen Ormsby, Paul Pawelski,
Reading Buccaneers.
Web site/database: Patty Mahlon, Kevin Lawrence, Carrie Fritz, Jay Crouse,
Dave Kauffman, Michael Kocher.
Workshops/youth activities: Chris Heslop, coordinator; Carl Zeplin, Shannon
Sunday, Doug Matz, Mike Eben, Andrea Stover, Josh Taylor, John Loos, Glen
Brumbach, Dan Long, Al Seifarth, Robert “Doc” Mulligan, Rick Dietrich, Kevin Kjos.
Support the Berks Jazz Fest! Join the Berks Arts Council.
www.berksarts.org • 610.898.1930
A6
Sunday, March 22, 2009Reading Eagle, Reading, Pa.
artist profiles / major concerts
Sax for Stax:
Gerald Albright and Kirk Whalum
• Saturday, March 28, 2 p.m., Reading Crowne Hotel
Ballroom (formerly Sheraton Reading Hotel)
Berks Jazz Fest fans
will be treated to a familiar
superstar sax pairing as
Gerald Albright and Kirk
Whalum take the stage in
the Reading Crowne Hotel
Ballroom (formerly Sheraton
Reading Hotel). The two
shared a similar bill at the fest
Gerald Albright
in 2006 and in 2007 were
part of the Guitars & Saxes
finale at the Scottish Rite
Cathedral, along with
guitarists Jeff Golub and
Tim Bowman.
Aside from being two of
smooth jazz’s most soulful
and dynamic veteran performers, Albright and Whalum have
something very important in Kirk Whalum
common — a mutual love
for the music and legacy of Grover Washington Jr. They
spent several years touring with Jeff Lorber as part of the
ongoing Groovin’ For Grover phenomenon, paying tribute
to the Philly saxman whose brilliant blend of pop, soul and
jazz helped lay the foundation for the popular genre.
In 2008, Albright celebrated two key anniversaries a
year late with the release of his on-fire, classic funk and
soul-kissed second Peak Records disc Sax For Stax.
2007 marked 20 years since he burst onto the contemporary urban jazz scene with his debut Just Between Us.
’07 was also the year that Stax Records, now part of the
Concord Records family, celebrated its 50th anniversary.
This dynamic mixed bag of eight classics and three
thematically and geographically appropriate originals
(“Memphis Passion,” “Walkin’ Down Beale Street” with
Whalum and “WC Handy Hop”) featured songs everyone
has heard a million times jazzed and sassed up better
than ever — “Knock On Wood,” “Respect Yourself” and
“Never Can Say Goodbye.” The titles of his final two GRP
albums before signing with Peak, Groovology (2002) and
Kickin’ It Up (2004), epitomize his energized, forwardthinking approach to music.
Whalum, who previously honored Washington with the
cleverly titled “Groverworked and Underpaid” on his 2000
album Unconditional, never officially performed with his
hero, but both were signed to Sony Music for years. After
a few years of on and off touring with BWB alongside
former labelmates Rick Braun and Norman Brown— and
several projects exploring his first love, gospel music
— Whalum has enjoyed performing the music of two
other great R&B influences, the late Luther Vandross and
songwriter/artist Babyface. His latest urban jazz album
is Roundtrip (2007) and he recently released The Gospel
According To Jazz, Chapter III.
www.geraldalbright.com; www.kirkwhalum.com
Average White Band plus Pieces of a Dream
• Sunday, March 29, 2 p.m., Reading Crowne Hotel
Ballroom (formerly Sheraton Reading Hotel)
This first of two annual
Smooth Jazz 92.7 Listener
Appreciation concerts will
feature two beloved urban
pop/jazz ensembles that have
been grooving heavily since
the mid-’70s: Average White
Band and Pieces of a Dream.
Average White Band is
widely regarded as one of the average white band
best soul and funk bands in
the history of music. Though
perhaps best known for
their timeless instrumental
No. 1 mega-hit “Pick Up the
Pieces,” the band’s strength
actually lie in their consistently
accomplished songwriting,
stretching across several goldselling albums and multiple
pieces of a dream
Grammy nominations. Though
the six founding members — who launched the band in
the early ’70s—hail from Dundee, Scotland, they took the
influences of their American R&B heroes and developed
their own sound, which was eagerly adopted by urban
audiences in the U.S. and elsewhere.
While a good number of their most popular tracks,
from “Cut The Cake” to “Let’s Go Round Again” attracted
chart action as hit singles, many of their lesser-known
album cuts became much sampled and turntabled “rare”
grooves. The current lineup of the band, which features
several U.S. recruits augmenting founding members Alan
Gorrie and Onnie McIntyre, continues to record and tour
around the world to ongoing critical and audience acclaim.
Their most recent release Soul & The City captures the
excitement of a 2006 live performance at B.B. King’s.
Since being discovered as teenagers in the late ’70s
by the late sax legend (and fellow Philly native) Grover
Washington Jr., Pieces of a Dream — pianist James Lloyd,
drummer Curtis Harmon, along with numerous other
musicians over the years — has evolved into one of the
most popular and enduring recording and touring bands
in contemporary jazz.
In 2001, Pieces of a Dream signed with Heads Up
International and celebrated their 25th anniversary with
what was undoubtedly their best album in years,
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Acquainted with the Night. The album generated two
top-five singles on R&R’s NAC chart. The follow up album,
Love’s Silhouette, also scored top radio chart positioning
and Billboard Contemporary Jazz Chart top 10 status.
Their 15th and most recent album is 2006’s acclaimed
and ultra-romantic Pillow Talk.
When Lloyd, Harmon and former Pieces bassist Cedric
Napoleon decided to turn pro and go for the big time in
the late ’70s, they named their band after a collective vision of music and hope. On some early gigs, they played
a Stanley Turrentine bossa nova number called “Pieces of
Dreams” and the name fit perfectly.
www.averagewhiteband.com; www.piecesjazz.com
David Benoit plus Warren Hill
• Sunday, April 5, 2 p.m., Reading Crowne Hotel
Ballroom (formerly Sheraton Reading Hotel)
The second Smooth Jazz
92.7 Listener Appreciation
Day event at the 2009 Berks
Jazz Fest features contemporary jazz superstars David
Benoit and Warren Hill. Jeff
Kashiwa will be joining Benoit
as part of his quartet for this
show.
A vital creative force in
david benoit
contemporary jazz over
two decades after hits like
“Freedom At Midnight,” “Kei’s
Song” and “Every Step Of
The Way” broke ground on
the thriving genre, David
Benoit came Full Circle on his
2006 release which spawned
“Beat Street,” his No. 1 Radio
& Records single that stayed
warren hill
on the chart for an entire year.
On Heroes, the first of two releases for Peak Records in
2008, the five-time Grammy-nominated pianist celebrated
30-plus years as a recording artist by putting fresh, exuberant spins on classic songs by legendary pop, rock and
jazz artists whose brilliance inspired his own.
Since breaking through to instrumental stardom in the
mid-’80s with his inimitable jazz-funk version of “Linus and
Lucy,” Benoit has regaled hundreds of thousands of fans
worldwide with frequent tributes to Vince Guaraldi and
the music of Peanuts. His ongoing passion culminated
with his second 2008 release Jazz For Peanuts – A
Retrospective of the Charlie Brown Television Themes, a
celebration of Guaraldi’s impact on several generations of
jazz musicians featuring six dynamic new tracks, (three
composed by Benoit, three by Guaraldi), five of which are
newly expanded arrangements of TV cues that have never
been previously recorded.
by jonathan widran
His name may be synonymous with smooth jazz cruising since organizing, promoting, headlining and becoming
the namesake of the popular Warren Hill’s Smooth Jazz
Cruise from 2004-2006, but longtime fans know that the
Toronto-born, Colorado-based saxophonist has been one
of the key movers and shakers in the genre for close to
20 years.
After several popular albums with Narada Jazz —
including Love Life, Love Songs and A Warren Hill
Christmas, which earned critical acclaim for its unique
mix of pop, R&B and straight ahead jazz influences — Hill
joined Native Language and released the successful
Popjazz in 2005. One of the great joys of Hill’s music
since his 1991 debut Kiss Under the Moon is his amazing
stylistic diversity; one minute, he’s searing your soul with
a bedroom eyes song like “The Passion Theme” and the
next he’s daring you to keep still on hard-core funk gems
like “Subway Slam” (from 1997’s Shelter) or Latin jams
like “Mambo 2000.” He made his debut on Koch Records
in 2008 with the popular, critically acclaimed and very
sweet La Dolce Vita.
www.benoit.com; www.warrenhill.com
Berks All-Star Jazz Jam featuring
Rick Braun, Chuck Loeb, Gerald Veasley, Brian Bromberg,
Chieli Minucci, Paul Jackson Jr., Dave Weckl, Bobby Lyle,
Mitch Forman, Kim Waters, Steve Cole, Jeff Kashiwa, Nelson
Rangell, Matt Marshak and more
• Thursday, April 2, 10 p.m., Reading Crowne Hotel
Ballroom (formerly Sheraton Reading Hotel)
One of the most highly anticipated shows of any Berks
Jazz Fest is the annual Berks All-Star Jazz Jam, which
transforms the Reading Crowne Hotel Ballroom into a
funky, jamming, smooth grooving, edgy fusion paradise
where all bets are off and improvisations rule until well
past midnight.
This year, all of the participants are performing in other
settings at the festival, showing the diversity of talent
hitting the stage for this once-in-a-lifetime show. First the
guitarists: Chuck Loeb is performing with the fusion band
Metro, Paul Jackson Jr. is doing a Jimmy Smith/Wes
Montgomery Tribute with keyboardist Bobby Lyle, and
Chieli Minucci is headlining with his band Special EFX and
the Berks Jazz Fest Horns.
Bassists Gerald Veasley and Brian Bromberg are keeping busy elsewhere, too. Veasley is performing with Metro
and also headlining at the WFMZ Live Broadcast, performing the Music of Stevie Wonder with special guests Najee
and Nnenna Freelon. Bromberg is playing with Rick Braun,
Phillippe, Saisse and Ricky Lawson as part of the Chet
Baker Tribute II.
The five-piece brass section at the All-Star Jam
promises to be spectacular, with Rick Braun (who is also
performing with Jazz Attack) and Nelson Rangell (fronting
JAM, CONTINUED ON PAGE 7
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Sunday, March 22, 2009
artist profiles / major concerts
JAM, CONTINUED FROM PAGE 6
the Reading Pops Orchestra) joining The Sax Pack of Jeff Kashiwa, Steve Cole
and Kim Waters.
Keyboardist Mitch Forman is headlining Fusion Saturday with Metro while
piano great Bobby Lyle is doing the Jimmy Smith portion of the tribute that
also features Paul Jackson Jr. paying homage to Wes Montgomery. Drummer
Dave Weckl is also part of the Metro live experience at Gerald Veasley’s Jazz
Base.
Joe Bonamassa plus Marianne Keith
• Wednesday, April 1, 7:30 p.m., Reading Crowne Hotel Ballroom (formerly
Sheraton Reading Hotel)
Blues-rock guitar virtuoso, vocalist and
songwriter Joe Bonamassa kicked off 2007 with
the honor of being named Best Blues Guitarist by
Guitar Player Magazine’s readership in their annual
Reader’s Choice Awards. The year continued with
the release of Sloe Gin, Bonamassa’s seventh solo
album and fourth on his own J&R Adventures label
which featured a mix of heavy blues, big rock and
textured acoustic tracks that he says was inspired
Joe Bonamassa
in part by Rod Stewart’s legendary 1969 debut
solo LP; the disc reunited him with producer Kevin
Shirley, whose all-star rock credits include Joe Satriani, Black Crowes, Aerosmith and Led Zeppelin.
Shirley previously produced Bonamassa’s
You & Me, which debuted at No. 1 on Billboard’s
Blues chart in June 2006 (all of Joe’s albums have
either hit No. 1 or gone Top 10). Modern Guitars
Magazine called the disc, “one of the best bluesrock CDs to come about in quite a while…destined
to be a classic.” NPR host George Graham wrote, Marianne Keith
“Almost four decades ago, British rockers who
played bluesy guitar became the heroes on their instruments, people like
Clapton, Jeff Beck, and Jimmy Page. Joe Bonamassa carries on that tradition
… Bonamassa is in every way their equal.”
His acclaim over the years has included: “The New King of Blues” (Guitarist
Magazine); “Right now, there’s no better blues-rock artist than Bonamassa”
(Gibson.com); “Bonamassa is a bold talent” (Billboard); “Wicked guitar thrills”
(Washington Post); and “This kid deserves to be in the same class with Stevie
Ray Vaughan and Jimi Hendrix and Jeff Beck” (rock guitarist Ted Nugent after a
jam with Bonamassa for VH-1’s “Supergroup.”)
Widely renowned for his insanely fluid phrasing and post-modern fusion of
electric British blues, traditional Delta blues and rock ‘n roll chops, Bonamassa
told Guitar Player in 2005, “When I play blues, I try to think a little outside the
box, while still paying tribute to the founding fathers like Muddy Waters and
Robert Johnson.”
Bonamassa actively serves as the youngest-ever member of the Memphis,
Tennessee-based Blues Foundation’s board of directors, and is the lead
spokesperson for their highly respected Blues In The Schools program, which
educates students nationwide about the legacy and influence of the blues.
His latest CD, released in February, is the Ballad of John Henry. It hit No. 1
on the Billboard Blues chart.
Marianne Keith is a Los Angeles-based singer and guitarist whose latest CD
is Beautiful Distraction.
www.jbonamassa.com; www.mariannekeith.com
Rick Braun’s Tribute to Chet Baker
• Saturday, April 4, 10 p.m., The Abraham Lincoln Hotel Ballroom
One of the most talked about shows at the
2008 Berks Jazz Fest was Rick Braun’s beautiful
and intimate Tribute To Chet Baker show. This
year’s highly anticipated follow-up performance
features Braun playing more classics from the
trumpet icon’s catalog with the support of fellow
contemporary jazz stalwarts, keyboardist Philippe
Saisse, drummer Ricky Lawson and bassist Brian
Bromberg.
rick braun
Two decades after his tragic death in Amsterdam, trumpet legend Chet Baker — a primary
exponent of the West Coast school of cool jazz in the early and mid-’50s —
has never been more popular. In 2005, Oklahoma Governor Brad Henry and
the Oklahoma House of Representatives paid homage to their native son
by proclaiming July 2 “Chet Baker Day.” Reissues and collections of Baker’s
music continue to be released on a regular basis.
His generally restrained, intimate playing style attracted legions of fans and
inspired several generations of contemporary trumpet players, including Chris
Botti — who is now exclusively recording mellow, orchestrated music after a
successful run in smooth jazz — and Braun. Tribute II will again bring musical
history alive for those who may know more about the pain that fueled Baker’s
longtime drug addictions than his brilliant recordings.
In addition to a thriving solo recording career, Bromberg has performed
with a virtual who’s who of smooth, straight ahead and Latin jazz (Arturo Sandoval, Herbie Hancock, Boney James) and as a producer has scored eight top
10 (and two No. 1) smooth jazz hits. His latest recording is Downright Upright,
which was nominated for a Best Contemporary Jazz Album in 2008.
After making his recording debut on Al DiMeola’s 1979 effort Splendido
Hotel, the versatile Saisse expanded into pop and contemporary jazz session
work with David Bowie, Chaka Khan, Al Jarreau, Peabo Bryson, Tina Turner,
David Sanborn and the Rolling Stones. Saisse’s most recent projects as an
arranger/keyboard player include three of Rod Stewart’s platinum The Great
American Song Book projects and a duet with Céline Dion and Charles Aznavour. His most recent album, 2006’s acoustic-driven covers disc The Body and
Soul Sessions, was released on Dave Koz’s label Rendezvous Music.
A founding member of the Yellowjackets and a Grammy-winning composer,
Lawson has collaborated with many artists including Michael Jackson, Eric
Clapton, Steely Dan, Phil Collins, Babyface, Whitney Houston, Quincy Jones,
Stevie Wonder, Bette Midler, Russell Ferrante, Toto, Al Jarreau, George Benson,
Lionel Richie and many others.
www.rickbraun.com
Brian Bromberg Quartet featuring Dave Weckl, Chuck Loeb,
Mitch Forman and Nelson Rangell
• Wednesday, April 1, 7 p.m., Gerald Veasley’s Jazz Base at the Reading
Crowne Hotel (formerly the Sheraton Reading Hotel)
A versatile acoustic and electric bassist who
has mastered numerous subgenres in the jazz
realm — straight-ahead jazz, funk, smooth urban
jazz and fusion, Brian Bromberg — whose recording career is quickly approaching the quarter century mark — is also one of the few players of his
instrument to master the tapping technique made
famous by Stanley Jordan, sometimes sounding
like three bassists at once.
On his acoustic bass albums, Bromberg
brian bromberg
performs jazzy interpretations of various pop and
rock staples from the ’60s and ’70s completely solo. Regarding his work with
electric bass, Bromberg, among other bassists, helped popularize the piccolo
bass, or bass with each string tuned an octave up, by releasing several
by jonathan widran
albums in which he plays both the bassline and melody. Upon first listen, many
listeners will be surprised to learn that, although soaring guitar can be heard
throughout the album, Bromberg’s 2005 release Metal contains only Bromberg
on two overdubbed basses, one of which is heavily effects-laden to make it
sound like an electric guitar. The Tucson, Ariz. native’s most recent recording
is 2007’s Downright Upright, and he performed at the 2007 Berks Jazz Fest
with his Downright Upright All-Stars
In addition to a thriving solo recording career, Bromberg has performed
with a virtual who’s who of smooth, straight ahead and Latin jazz (Arturo
Sandoval, Herbie Hancock, Boney James) and as a producer has scored eight
Top Ten (and two No. 1) smooth jazz hits.
www.brianbromberg.net
Anat Cohen quartet
• Sunday, March 29, 3 p.m., Miller Center for the Arts
Renowned saxophonist and clarinetist Anat
Cohen headlines the Jewish Federation of Reading
Day at the Berks Jazz Festival.
Originally from Tel Aviv, the versatile musician
is rapidly becoming a major force on the global
world music and jazz scene, with performances in
Europe, Asia, the Middle East and South America.
Aside from her extraordinary instrumental abilities
on soprano and tenor saxes, clarinet and flute,
anat cohen
she has a natural ability to absorb the music of
different cultures, process it and interpret it with
her own special take.
After performing extensively in Israel, Cohen spent two years as a saxophonist and clarinetist with the Israeli Air Force Big Band. A scholarship to the
Berklee College of Music brought her to Boston in 1996. After graduating with
her BA in Professional Music from Berklee, she moved to New York City where
she continues to perform with various bands in the city as well as keeping a
busy international touring schedule.
Cohen has been a longtime member of DIVA and Five Play. She is featured
on their latest CD, Sherrie Maricle & the DIVA Jazz Orchestra, Live in Concert.
While with DIVA, Anat has had the opportunity to perform with guest artists
such as Nancy Wilson, Dave Brubeck, Slide Hampton and Diane Schuur.
Cohen is also an integral part of a group called Choro Ensemble, the only
New York–based ensemble dedicated to the authentic instrumental choro tradition of Brazil. The group was a featured guest artist at the Apollo Theater with
Wynton Marsalis and the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra. She began to perform
as a bandleader in New York City clubs in 2004, when she debuted her quartet
at Sweet Rhythm.
She has also been a member of Duduka Da Fonseca’s NY Samba Jazz
(Brazilian Jazz), Brazooca Band (Brazilian Pop Music – MPB), Argentinean
pianist/composer Pablo Ablanedo’s Octet Mango Blue (an Afro Latin Band
led by Ecuadorian Bassist Alex Alvear), and has recorded and toured with
Colombian bassist/composer Juan Sebastian Monsalve (Bunde Nebuloso with
Jason Lindner and Jeff Ballard).
www.anatcohen.com
Brian Culbertson
• Saturday, March 28, 7:30 p.m., Scottish Rite Cathedral
The 2008 Berks Jazz Fest wrapped with Brian Culbertson launching the tour
behind his then-upcoming 10th CD, Bringing Back The Funk, an in your face,
old school-styled groovefest executive produced by Maurice White and
featuring Bootsy Collins, the James Brown Horns (including Maceo Parker),
Musiq Soulchild, Ledisi, Ronnie Laws and Gerald Albright. The album debuted
at No. 1 on the Billboard Contemporary Jazz chart and spawned the No. 1
radio hit “Always Remember.”
The hitmaking keyboardist returns to jazz up BJF this year at the Scottish
culbertson, CONTINUED ON PAGE 8
Reading Eagle/WEEU Special Ticket Offer!
featuring
Reading Pops Orchestra
with special guest saxophonist
Nelson Rangell
Sunday, April 5 • 2 p.m.
Miller Center for the Arts
The Reading Pops Orchestra, conducted by Dr. Willis Rapp,
and special guest saxophonist Nelson Rangell will celebrate
music from Rangell’s My American Songbook CD projects .
Jazziz writes that Rangell is “an artist of depth, a master of
song, and a wonderful improviser.”
Such praise is confirmation of what jazz fans have known
for more than 20 years. Rangell is one of the most exciting
and diverse performers in the genre, equally adept at
soprano, alto, and tenor saxophone, as well as being a
genuine virtuoso on flute, piccolo, and, yes, whistling.
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artist profiles / major concerts
culbertson, CONTINUED FROM PAGE 7
Rite Cathedral on Saturday, March 28 at 7:30 p.m.
In its review of It’s On Tonight, Brian Culbertson’s
eighth album since 1994 and his 2005 GRP Records debut, Jazziz Magazine proclaimed that the
keyboardist had officially become “the Barry White
of smooth jazz.”
The Decatur, Ill., native is a master when it
comes to balancing that sense of cool seduction
with one of the most energetic and entertaining
brian culbertson
live shows in the genre. One of the highlights of
any Culbertson show since 2003 has been having
his dad, Jim Culbertson — still band director at MacArthur High School in
Decatur, as he was when his son was a student there — playing trumpet in the
horn section.
Back in 1994, when he was still a student at Chicago’s DePaul University,
Culbertson self-produced his debut album, Long Night Out, followed in short
order by Modern Life and After Hours (1996). With 1997’s Secrets, the hits
kept on comin’ with “So Good,” “On My Mind,” and his tender, piano-driven
rendition of Marcus Miller’s “Straight to the Heart” (a song first recorded by
David Sanborn). His catalog also includes Somethin’ Bout Love (1999), Nice &
Slow (2001) and Come On Up (2003), which featured the beautiful “Our Love,”
penned for his and his wife Michelle’s first wedding day dance.
His association with GRP began in 2004, when he contributed a breathtaking rendition of “If Only For One Night” to GRP’s acclaimed Luther Vandross
tribute disc Forever, For Always, For Luther.
In conjunction with the release of A Soulful Christmas in 2006, he launched
the latest smooth jazz holiday touring franchise, Brian Culbertson’s A Soulful
Christmas. The 2007 lineup featured Gerald Albright, Howard Hewett and Nick
Colionne. In 2007, he also played host on the Brian Culbertson All-Star Smooth
Jazz Cruise aboard the Carnival Conquest.
www.brianculbertson.com
East Bay Soul featuring Greg Adams, Phil Perry, Michael Paulo,
Lee Thornburg plus Joyce Cooling Band
• Saturday, April 4, 2 p.m., Reading Crowne Hotel Ballroom (formerly
Sheraton Reading Hotel)
Berks Jazz Fest gets
funkier than ever on the afternoon of April 4, when East
Bay Soul, an all-star rotating
collective led by former Tower
of Power trumpet great Greg
Adams and famed soul singer
Phil Perry, joins forces with
east bay soul
saxophonist Michael Paulo and
trumpeter Lee Thornburg. The afternoon at the Plaza Reading also features a
performance by Bay Area-based guitar star Joyce Cooling.
East Bay Soul is a combination of instrumental soul funk and rhythm and
blues vocals built on a design to discover new achievements rather than
extend the past. Wide ranging and forward thinking, East Bay Soul is set to
lead this new soundscape with a sharpened expertise from being on countless
stages worldwide.
Look for the group’s new CD, due out this summer.
Adams says, “We draw from my funk and R&B background with Tower of
Power and the influence it’s had over my sound
and the sound that I gave to TOP through those
25 years I was in the band. Taking that sound and
bringing it into 2008, we’re creating an all new
‘Metro Jazz,’ really a new approach of a melting
pot of contemporary urban rhythm and sound and
combining all the sounds from the city. The ethnic
sounds of the trials of tribulations, the hard fought,
the victories, sweetness and sadness. It comes
joyce cooling
through in the music in all forms. It’s world, it’s
metro, it’s edgy, it’s urban.”
East Bay Soul’s horn section is headed up by the Grammy- and Emmynominated Adams (whose most recent solo release is 2006’s Cool To The
Touch), Michael Paulo (longtime saxman for Al Jarreau, Peter White, Patti
Austin, Jeffrey Osborne and Rick Braun who has a solo career extending back
to 1989) and Lee Thornburg (former member of Supertramp, TOP and The
Tonight Show band who has also worked with Tom Petty, Bonnie Raitt and
Ray Charles). The ensemble’s original lyrics are crafted and sung in stunning
fashion by Phil Perry, one of the finest R&B/urban jazz vocalists in contemporary music who won 2007 Soul Tracks Male Vocalist of the Year. Perry’s latest
Shanachie release is Ready For Love.
On her 2004 album This Girl’s Got to Play — which was inspired by the
soul-searching she did post 9/11 — Joyce Cooling, one of smooth jazz’s core
guitar artists, made an ongoing commitment to making music about things
that matter. Her early album titles were clever twists on her name, but the
Revolving Door she’s referring to on her latest heartfelt Narada Jazz recording
heads into deeper territory; it’s about the cycle of mental illness, which she
knows intimately about due to growing up with a brother who was schizophrenic.
Cooling’s next CD, Global Cooling, will be available during the East Bay Soul
performance, several days before the official release date of April 7.
www.eastbaysoul.com; www,joycecooling.com
Béla Fleck: The Africa Project
• Monday, March 30, 7:30 p.m., Miller Center for the Arts
Legendary banjo virtuoso Béla Fleck brings his
latest world music excursion, The Africa Project,
to the Berks Jazz Festival.
Often considered the premier banjo player in
the world, Fleck is the winner of nine Grammy
Awards and has been nominated 20 times in
more categories than anyone in history: country,
pop, jazz, bluegrass, classical, folk, spoken word,
composition and arranging.
Last month, Fleck, along with his group Béla
béla fleck
Fleck & the Flecktones, was awarded a Grammy
for Best Pop Instrumental Album for their holiday album, Jingle All the Way.
Continuing his virtual reinvention of the image and sound of his unique
instrument, in his “Africa Project,” the multi-talented NYC native explores with
native musicians the little-known African roots of the banjo, highlighting how
richly diverse the continent’s music traditions truly are. Fleck recently produced
the documentary, “Throw Down Your Heart,” which was directed by Sascha
Paladino and follows the musician’s journey through Uganda, Tanzania, The
Gambia, and Mali as he explores the African roots of the banjo. Using his banjo,
Fleck transcends barriers of language and culture, finding common ground
and forging connections with musicians of very different backgrounds.
by jonathan widran
The highly acclaimed film has won numerous accolades on the independent
festival circuit, including the 24 Beats Per Second Audience Award at the
2008 South By Southwest Film Festival, the Best Music Documentary Award
at the Silverdocs Film Festival, the Documentary Audience Award at the
Vancouver International Film Festival and the Aspiring Filmmakers Award at the
2008 Mountainfilm Festival, which is awarded by a panel of teenage judges.
Fleck and bassist Victor Wooten formed Béla Fleck and the Flecktones in
1988 with harmonica player Howard Levy and Wooten’s percussionist brother
Roy “Future Man” Wooten, who played synthesizer-based percussion. Levy left
the group in 1992, making the band a trio until saxophonist Jeff Coffin joined
the group onstage part-time in 1997 and eventually became a permanent
member.
www.belafleck.com; www.throwdownyourheart.com
Guitar Summit featuring Ken Gehret,
Tom Witmer, Gary Wensel and Pete Rogosky
• Thursday, April 2, 7 p.m., Gerald Veasley’s Jazz
Base at the Reading Crowne Hotel (formerly
Sheraton Reading Hotel)
On Thursday, April 2 at 7 p.m., Berks Jazz
Fest presents a special evening with veteran multiinstrumentalist Ken Gehret’s Guitar Summit at
7 p.m. at Gerald Veasley’s Jazz Base.
ken gehret
Gehret has been performing as a musician
for more than 30 years, primarily as a guitarist and violinist in varied musical
styles. He performs, teaches, composes and arranges for over 17 instruments including voice, woodwind, reed, string and keyboards, but his main
focuses are guitar and violin. Gehret’s musical experiences stem from a
primarily country music background, performing with well-known stars (from
the age of 18) like Roy Clark and Mel Tellis. While with Jim and Jesse and the
Virginia Boys, they were televised live from the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville,
Tennessee.
Gehret is also the designer/inventor of the 10 string M.I.D.I (Musical Instrument Digital Interface). Summing up his fascinating career, he says, “Some
people play golf with their friends, some play bridge, others jump from cliffs
using bungee cords. I like to play music with my friends because music is
what I do and love. I love getting together with my musical friends to create
interesting and wonderful sounds. I believe music is the most honest and
immediate form of communication available to human beings.”
Gehret will be joined by fellow guitarists Tom Witmer, Gary Wensel and Pete
Rogosky.
Boney James
• Saturday, April 4, 7:30 p.m., Scottish Rite Cathedral
One of the true architects of the contemporary urban jazz sound, superstar
saxman Boney James makes his first Berks Jazz Fest appearance since 2007
with a performance at the Scottish Rite Cathedral.
Following the extraordinary multi-genre success of his 2006 Concord
Records debut Shine, saxophonist and urban jazz icon Boney James gave his
thousands of fans throughout the world a very special Christmas Present for
the 2007 holiday season.
His latest album, Send One Your Love, a new collection of love songs, was
released on Concord Records in February, and enjoyed No. 1 spot on the
Billboard chart.
james, CONTINUED ON PAGE 9
Reading Eagle, Reading, Pa.
Sunday, March 22, 2009
artist profiles / major concerts
james, CONTINUED FROM PAGE 8
The Lowell, Mass., native had a lot to celebrate.
Upon its release in September 2006, Shine sold
nearly 20,000 copies out of the box, debuting at
No. 1 on the Billboard Contemporary Jazz chart
(where it remained for five weeks), No. 2 on the
Jazz Chart, No. 12 on the R&B Album Chart and
No. 44 on the Top 200 Album Chart. Shine also
became James’ first-ever Top Ten R&B album,
peaking at No. 6.
boney james
The illuminating cover of Shine — his first
release on Concord Records after more than a
decade at Warner Bros. — shows the saxophonist and his horn silhouetted
against the glorious sun, reflecting not only the upbeat vibes of the album but
also the powerful energy (including an average of 60-80 tour dates a year) he’s
shared with smooth jazz fans since he released his debut Trust in 1992.
Those joyful vibes, which he insists come from simply carrying on the
pop/R&B traditions of his hero Grover Washington Jr., have made him one of
the most successful artists in the genre for nearly 15 years. In a marketplace
where most artists struggle to sell anywhere near 100,000 with each release,
James has scored four certified gold albums (500,000 units) and received
Best Pop Instrumental Album Grammy nominations for Ride (2001) and Pure
(2004). One of his most popular discs was Shake It Up, his 2000 dual album
then-Warner Bros. labelmate Rick Braun, which marked his fourth consecutive
No. 1 hit on Billboard’s Contemporary Jazz Chart. Confirming his incredible
crossover appeal to the urban market, he has also over the years received
two great honors that are generally reserved for African American artists: a
Soul Train Award and an NAACP Image Award nomination.
His next album, Send One Your Love, a new collection of love songs, will be
released by Concord Records on Feb. 3.
www.boneyjames.com
Jazz Attack featuring Rick Braun, Richard Elliot and Jonathan Butler
• Sunday, April 5, 7 p.m., Scottish Rite Cathedral
The 19th Annual VF Outlet Berks Jazz Fest
wraps in dynamic style with Jazz Attack, the
bi-annual touring ensemble featuring three of
contemporary jazz’s most compelling superstar
icons, trumpeter Rick Braun, saxman Richard Elliot
and singer/guitarist Jonathan Butler.
Since the group’s first two tours in 2005 and
2007, which also featured guitarist Peter White,
Braun and Elliot have been on the road nonstop
richard elliot
celebrating the music of RnR, their first dual
release which hit No. 1 on the Billboard Contemporary Jazz Chart immediately upon its release in late
summer 2007. Its catchy first single, the title track
they co-wrote with guitarist Chris Standring, was
also an instant smash, staying at No. 1 on Radio &
Records Contemporary Jazz airplay chart for over
two months. For both musicians, the overriding
concept of RnR was to reach back beyond the
contemporary jazz era and draw on their individual
roots with powerhouse horn sections, Elliot’s with jonathan butler
Tower of Power (1982-87) and Braun’s with War
(Mid-80s). RnR performed at Berks Jazz Fest last year.
Braun set a record at the 2002 National Contemporary Jazz Awards in
San Diego by winning a total of five trophies. He also shared a Best Collaboration award with labelmate Boney James for their 2000 hit Shake It Up, which
reigned at No. 1 on the Billboard chart for 11 weeks. Braun next ensembled
with Kirk Whalum and Norman Brown for BWB, which featured the No. 1 hit
title track “Groovin’,” and a popular U.S. tour in the fall of 2002.
Twenty-two years, 16 albums and thousands of live performances into
one of the genre’s most remarkable careers, Elliot is still as enamored with
recording and performing as he was the minute he finished his debut album
Initial Approach in 1986. Elliot has produced many of his own projects, but in
recent years discovered a more mature and deeper artistry in collaborating
with megaproducer Paul Brown and Steven Dubin.
Born and raised in Cape Town during Apartheid, Jonathan Butler was only a
child when he started singing and playing acoustic guitar. Racial segregation
and poverty during Apartheid have been the subjects of many of his records.
Butler’s international breakthrough came in 1987 with his Grammy nominated
hit “Lies,” and his recordings Do You Love Me? (1997) and Story Of Life (1999)
made him a contemporary jazz superstar. His two most recent albums, The
Worship Project (2004) and Jonathan (2005), perfectly reflect the blend of
sacred and pop influences he brings to his music.
www.rickbraun.com; www.richardelliot.com; www.jonathanbutler.com
Bobby Lyle & Paul Jackson Jr.
Jimmy Smith & Wes Montgomery Tribute
• Friday, April 3, 7 p.m. and 10 p.m., Gerald Veasley’s Jazz Base at the
Reading Crowne Hotel (formerly Sheraton Reading Hotel)
Berks Jazz Fest has paid homage to legendary
guitarist Wes Montgomery in the past — most
notably at the concert that closed the event in
2006 — but this year marks the first time that the
festival has paired the music of Wes with that of his
1960s contemporary, Hammond B-3 organ great
Jimmy Smith. Contemporary jazz greats Bobby
Lyle and Paul Jackson Jr. perform classics from
these legends at Gerald Veasley’s Jazz Base.
Jimmy Smith, whose performances on the B-3 bobby lyle
helped to popularize this instrument, was awarded
in 2005 the NEA Jazz Masters Award from the
National Endowment for the Arts, the highest
honors that the United States bestows upon jazz
musicians. Montgomery’s fluid style and trademark
use of octaves has inspired many of today’s most
popular guitarists, including Lee Ritenour, George
Benson and Norman Brown.
More than 20 years after he toured as musipaul jackson jr.
cal director with Anita Baker during her “Sweet
Love”/Rapture heyday, people still come up to
Bobby Lyle and say they remember him from those days. Others recall the
Emmy-nominated keyboardist’s stints with Bette Midler, Al Jarreau and George
Benson. Before signing with Heads Up to release Hands On, his 15th album
over a three decade solo career, Lyle made history with his 2004 double disc
Straight and Smooth, which became the first album in history to appear on
Billboard’s contemporary jazz and traditional jazz charts simultaneously. His
latest release is 2006’s Hands On.
A9
by jonathan widran
As he continues to cultivate his dual careers as a first call R&B/
contemporary jazz sideman and solo artist, Paul Jackson Jr. keeps an intense,
breakneck schedule that includes performing numerous solos onstage as part
of the American Idol band. Since breaking into the Los Angeles studio scene in
the late ’70s, he has contributed his multi-faceted guitarisma to the biggest
artists in R&B, jazz and rock: The Temptations, Michael Jackson (Thriller, Bad,
History), Randy Crawford, Ramsey Lewis, Dave Koz, David Benoit, Aretha
Franklin, Luther Vandross, Bobby Brown, Bela Fleck, Chicago, Anita Baker,
Lionel Richie, Barbra Streisand, Elton John, Al Jarreau, George Duke and
Whitney Houston, whom he toured with from 1994 through 1999.
His most recent CD is the spiritual jazz classic Still Small Voice (2003). He
is releasing his next album, Lay It Back, in January.
www.bobbylyle.com; www.pauljacksonjr.com
Joe McBride & Kenny Blake
• Friday, March 27, 10 p.m., The Abraham Lincoln Hotel Jazz Cabaret
Singer and keyboardist Joe McBride is a
Berks Jazz Fest favorite. The global appeal of Joe
McBride’s music is best summarized by a quote
from a music critic in Capetown, who raved about
his performance and praised the pianist/vocalist’s
talent for “putting back the soul into what has
become a rather soulless smooth jazz idiom.
McBride has established himself as one of the
genre’s most popular artists with his label releases
Grace (1992), A Gift for Tomorrow (1994), Keys joe mcbride
to Your Heart (1996) and Double Take (1998), the
latter of which featured top smooth jazz all-stars
Dave Koz, Peter White, Rick Braun and Larry
Carlton. His latest album, 2005’s Texas Hold ’Em,
is a tribute to his adopted home state and the
current poker craze.
McBride will also be performing for a jazz
brunch on Sunday, March 29, at 11 a.m. in the
Abraham Lincoln Hotel.
kenny blake
Kenny Blake also is no stranger to the Berks
Jazz Fest. An internationally-acclaimed saxophonist,
he has been performing for over 30 years. Blake’s smooth saxophone sound
has thrilled audiences worldwide, yet he keeps his roots and his home in
Pittsburgh. With five CDs to his credit his wide range of styles cover everything
from swing, Latin, ballads and standards of all kinds. Blake works with an array
of top musicians and can perform as a duo, trio, quartet and can even add a
vocalist to provide a one-of-a-kind evening of entertainment.
Metro featuring Chuck Loeb, Mitch Forman, Dave Weckl,
Randy Brecker, Gerald Veasley, Bobby Franceschini
• Saturday, April 4, 7 p.m. and 10 p.m., Gerald Veasley’s Jazz Base at the
Reading Crowne Hotel (formerly Sheraton Reading Hotel)
For those who want to experience some serious jamming beyond smooth
jazz, Berks Jazz Fest is excited about presenting Fusion Saturday at Gerald
Veasley’s Jazz Base. No ensemble has defined “fusion” better over the past
15 years than Metro, which is led by two veteran performers whose careers
traverse the fusion, straight ahead and smooth jazz landscapes, keyboardist
Mitch Forman and guitarist Chuck Loeb.
metro, CONTINUED ON PAGE 12
A10 Sunday, March 22, 2009Reading Eagle, Reading, Pa.
19th annual vf outlet
major concerts
thursday, march 26
7:00 p.m.: Berks Jazz Fest Preview Concert
Kutztown University Jazz Faculty Group featuring Kevin Kjos,
Scott Lee, Cathy Chemi, Alan Apple, Allison Miller and David Cullen
Gerald Veasley’s Jazz Base at the Reading Crowne Hotel: $10 at door
friday, march 27
7:00 p.m. & 10:00 p.m.
The Tierney Sutton Band
Gerald Veasley’s Jazz Base at the Reading Crowne Hotel: $30
Sponsored by The Anderson Group and Reading Eagle Weekend
7:30 p.m.: Opening Night Concert
Peter White and Mindi Abair
Scottish Rite Cathedral: $49
Sponsored by VF Outlet
7:30 p.m.: Severn Records Presents
Severn Soul & Blues Revue featuring Steve Guyger, Big Joe Maher,
mccoy tyner
Tad Robinson, Roy Tyler and New Directions, and the Severn
Records All-Star Band
The Inn at Reading
Sponsored by Reading Phillies and Eagle Distributing
10:00 p.m.
Joe McBride & Kenny Blake
The Abraham Lincoln Hotel Jazz Cabaret: $20
10:30 p.m.: World-Renowned Bassist
Victor Wooten
Reading Crowne Hotel Ballroom: $39
Sponsored by Penn National Gaming
béla fleck:
the africa project
chuck loeb
saturday, march 28
2:00 p.m.: Sax for Stax
Gerald Albright & Kirk Whalum
Reading Crowne Hotel Ballroom: $39
Sponsored by Vision Audi/The Q5 Launch
3:00 p.m.: The Music of Gershwin and Porter
Doc Mulligan and Friends
Miller Center for the Arts: $18
rick braun
mindi
abair
Sponsored by Connors Investors Services Inc. and Jerlyn Foundation
tierney
sutton
7:00 p.m. & 10:00 p.m.: Fusion at the Base
Steve Smith & Vital Information
Gerald Veasley’s Jazz Base at the Reading Crowne Hotel: $30
Sponsored by The Anderson Group and Reading Eagle Weekend
7:30 p.m.: An Evening With
Brian Culbertson
Scottish Rite Cathedral: $49
Sponsored by Penske Truck Leasing
7:30 p.m.: Severn Records Presents
Severn Soul & Blues Revue featuring Clarence Spady, Darrell
Nulisch, Lou Pride, and the Severn Records All-Star Band
take 6
The Inn at Reading: $38
Sponsored by Reading Phillies and Eagle Distributing
10:00 p.m.
Uptown JAZZUP featuring Erich Cawalla & Jen Kinder
The Abraham Lincoln Hotel Jazz Cabaret: $15
10:30 p.m.: The Music of Stevie Wonder
Gerald Veasley Band with Najee, Nnenna Freelon, Joe McBride
and the Berks Jazz Fest Horns
Reading Crowne Hotel Ballroom: $39
Sponsored by WFMZ-TV 69
sunday, march 29
2:00 p.m.: Smooth Jazz 92.7 Listener Appreciation Day
Average White Band plus Pieces of a Dream
Reading Crowne Hotel Ballroom: $39
Sponsored by Smooth Jazz 92.7
3:00 p.m.: Jewish Federation of Reading Concert
Anat Cohen Quartet
Miller Center for the Arts: $28
boney
james
victor
wooten
Co-sponsored by Jewish Federation of Reading/JCC including
congregations, Kesher Zion and Reform Congregation Oheb Sholom
7:30 p.m.: Smooth and Soulful. . .
Take 6 plus Wayman Tisdale
Scottish Rite Cathedral: $49
Sponsored by Sovereign Bank
monday, march 30
gerald
albright
7:30 p.m.: WXPN welcomes
Béla Fleck: The Africa Project
Miller Center for the Arts: $45
Sponsored by Wachovia
7:30 p.m.
United States Army Jazz Ambassadors
Reading Crowne Hotel Ballroom: FREE
Sponsored by Reading Eagle Company and Capital BlueCross
tuesday, march 31
7:30 p.m.
United States Army Jazz Ambassadors plus the Berks County
High School All-Star Band
east bay soul
Reading Crowne Hotel Ballroom: FREE
Sponsored by Reading Eagle Company and Capital BlueCross
7:30 p.m.
Andy Narell and the Catonsville High School Steel Drum Band
Miller Center for the Arts: $20
Sponsored by Reading Musical Foundation and Big John’s Catering
wednesday, april 1
7:00 p.m.: Bebop, Ballads and Blues
Brian Bromberg Quartet featuring Dave Weckl, Chuck Loeb,
Mitch Forman and Nelson Rangell
Gerald Veasley’s Jazz Base at the Reading Crowne Hotel: $20
Sponsored by The Anderson Group and Reading Eagle Weekend
wednesday, april 1
7:30 p.m.: Blues-Rock Guitar Virtuoso
Joe Bonamassa plus opening act Marianne Keith
Reading Crowne Hotel Ballroom: $39
Sponsored by Land Displays
7:30 p.m.: Kutztown University Presents
Giordano Jazz Dance Chicago
Kutztown University Schaeffer Auditorium: $30; $27 students
Call 683-4511 for information; www.kutztownpresents.org
thursday, april 2
7:00 p.m.
Guitar Summit: Ken Gehret, Tom Witmer, Gary Wensel, Pete Rogosky
Gerald Veasley’s Jazz Base at the Reading Crowne Hotel: $15
Sponsored by The Anderson Group and Reading Eagle Weekend
7:30 p.m.
Chieli Minucci & Special EFX with the Berks Jazz Fest Horns
The Abraham Lincoln Hotel Ballroom: $35
Sponsored by Penn Corridor
10:00 p.m.: Party at the Plaza
Berks All-Star Jazz Jam: Rick Braun, Chuck Loeb, Gerald Veasley,
Brian Bromberg, Chieli Minucci, Paul Jackson Jr., Dave Weckl, Bobby
Lyle, Mitch Forman, Kim Waters, Steve Cole, Jeff Kashiwa, Nelson
Rangell, Matt Marshak, Richard Elliot
Reading Crowne Hotel Ballroom: $39
Sponsored by Fraser Advanced Information Systems and
Keystone Instant Printing
friday, april 3
7:00 p.m. & 10:00 p.m.: Jimmy Smith & Wes Montgomery Tribute
Bobby Lyle & Paul Jackson Jr.
Gerald Veasley’s Jazz Base at the Reading Crowne Hotel: $35
Sponsored by The Anderson Group and Reading Eagle Weekend
7:30 p.m.: Jason Miles presents
Soul Summit II featuring Richard Elliot, Jeff Golub, Eric Darius,
Maysa, Simone, Bob Babbitt, Reggie Young, Steve Ferrone and
the original Soul Survivors plus the Berks Jazz Fest Horns
Scottish Rite Cathedral: $49
Sponsored by Toyota
7:30 p.m.: An Evening With
Phoebe Snow
Miller Center for the Arts: $45
Sponsored by Sweet Street Desserts
10:00 p.m.: Late-Night Blues
The Billy Price Band featuring special guest Fred Chapellier
The Abraham Lincoln Hotel Ballroom: $25
Sponsored by Quadrant
10:00 p.m.: Celebrating “Kind of Blue”
Tim Price & Rachel Z and the Department of Good and Evil
The Abraham Lincoln Hotel Jazz Cabaret: $15
Sponsored by Berks County Living
10:30 p.m.
The Sax Pack featuring Jeff Kashiwa, Steve Cole, Kim Waters
Reading Crowne Hotel Ballroom: $39
Sponsored by Bell Tower Salon and Spa and Good Property
Management
saturday, april 4
2:00 p.m.: Golden Gate Groove Double-Header
East Bay Soul featuring Greg Adams, Phil Perry, Michael Paulo,
Lee Thornburg plus Joyce Cooling Band
Reading Crowne Hotel Ballroom: $39
Sponsored by Verizon Wireless
7:00 p.m. & 10:00 p.m.: Fusion Saturday
Metro featuring Chuck Loeb, Mitch Forman, Dave Weckl, Randy
Brecker, Gerald Veasley, Bob Francescini
Gerald Veasley’s Jazz Base at the Reading Crowne Hotel: $35
Sponsored by The Anderson Group and Reading Eagle Weekend
7:30 p.m.: An Evening With
Boney James
Scottish Rite Cathedral: $49
Sponsored by Weidenhammer Systems
7:30 p.m.: An Evening With
McCoy Tyner Quartet featuring Gary Bartz
Miller Center for the Arts: $45
This tour engagement of McCoy Tyner is funded through the American Masterpieces program of
the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation, in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts
American Masterpieces: Three Centuries of Artistic Genius, a major initiative to acquaint
Americans with the best of their cultural and artistic legacy.
Sponsored by Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation/NEA
10:00 p.m.: Back by Popular Demand
Rick Braun’s Tribute to Chet Baker
The Abraham Lincoln Hotel Ballroom: $35
Sponsored by VF Outlet
10:00 p.m.: Celebrating “Kind of Blue”
Tim Price & Rachel Z and the Department of Good and Evil
The Abraham Lincoln Hotel Jazz Cabaret: $15
Sponsored by Berks County Living
10:30 p.m.: WXPN welcomes
The Derek Trucks Band
Reading Crowne Hotel Ballroom: $39
Sponsored by VIST Financial
sunday, april 5
2:00 p.m.: Smooth Jazz 92.7 Listener Appreciation Day
David Benoit plus Warren Hill
Reading Crowne Hotel Ballroom: $39
Sponsored by National Penn Bank
2:00 p.m.: My American Songbook
Nelson Rangell and the Reading Pops Orchestra
Miller Center for the Arts: $40
Sponsored by WEEU 830 AM and Reading Eagle Company
7:00 p.m.: Festival Finale
Jazz Attack featuring Rick Braun, Richard Elliot, Jonathan Butler
Scottish Rite Cathedral: $49
Sponsored by Lasting Image Promotional Products
how to purchase tickets
• www.berksjazzfest.com and order directly online
• Ticketmaster at 1-800-745-3000 or www.ticketmaster.com
• Sovereign Center Box Office, Seventh and Penn streets, Reading, PA 19602
berks jazz fest
Reading Eagle, Reading, Pa.
local events
*
friday, march 27
11:30 a.m.: Berks Jazz Fest Kickoff Lunch
The Groovemasters featuring Bennie Sims &
Cliff Starkey plus special guests Erich Cawalla
& Jen Kinder
The Peanut Bar Restaurant
332 Penn St., Reading, PA 19602
1-800-515-8500; www.peanutbar.com
11:30 a.m.: BC and the Blues Crew
judy’s...on cherry
332 Cherry St., Reading, PA 19602
610-374-8511; www.judysoncherry.com
5:30 p.m.: Old Friends featuring Reggie
Brown, Bennie Sims & Cliff Starkey
Sam’s Goose House Bar & Restaurant
1665 N. 10th St., Reading, PA 19604; 610-3732040
6:30 p.m.: Neil Wright
Adrienne’s Inn at Centre Park
730 Centre Ave., Reading, PA 19601
610-374-8557; www.adriennesinnatcentrepark.
com
6:30 p.m.: The Blues Factor
American House Hotel
2 N. Fourth St., Hamburg, PA 19526
610-562-4683
7 p.m.: Connie Rainis, Randy Sarles &
Friends
Gracie’s 21st Century Café
Manatawny Road, Pine Forge, PA 19548
610-323-4004; www.gracies21stcentury.com
7 p.m.: Carl Zeplin & Tim Gross
The Inn at Moselem Springs
Routes 422 & 662, Fleetwood, PA 19522
610-944-8213; www.innatmoselemsprings.com
8 p.m.: By Request
The Evergreen Club
415 Hartz Road, Fleetwood, PA 19522
610-944-7501; www.evergreenclub.org
8 p.m.: Blues Night
COCO
DeCarlo’s Bar & Grill
240 Penn St., Reading, PA 19602
610-378-8121; www.decarlosbarandgrill.com
9 p.m.: Skip Moyer Quartet
The Speckled Hen Cottage Pub & Alehouse
30 S. Fourth St., Reading, PA 19602
610-685-8511; www.speckledhenpub.com
9 p.m.: Bobby Newton
Chill Lounge
2747 Bernville Road, Leesport, PA 19533
610-916-2343; www.chilllounge.net
9:30 p.m.: D3 & Company
Blind Hartman’s Tavern
2910 Pricetown Road, Reading, PA 19560
610-370-7180
9:30 p.m.: Dance Hall Docs
Canal Street Pub & Restaurant
535 Canal St., Reading, PA 19602
610-376-4009; www.canalstreetpub.com
10 p.m.: Josh Taylor Trio
Bixler’s Lodge
1456 Friedensburg Road, Reading, PA 19606
610-779-9936
saturday, march 28
10 a.m. & 12:30 p.m.: Jazz Fest for Kids
Cows Don’t Fly & Other Well-Known Facts
Institute of the Arts
1100 Belmont Ave., Wyomissing, PA 19610
610-376-1576; www.institute-of-arts.org
11:30 a.m.: Brazilian Jazz Brunch
Ken Gehret and Braziliance
judy’s...on cherry
332 Cherry St., Reading, PA 19602
610-374-8511; www.judysoncherry.com
Noon: Pretzel City Dixieland Jazz Band
VF Outlet Complex at the Food Court
Hill Avenue & Park Road, Wyomissing, PA 19610
610-378-0408; www.vfoutletcenter.com
Noon: Leon Jordan Jr. Quintet
The Peanut Bar Restaurant
332 Penn St., Reading, PA 19602
1-800-515-8500; www.peanutbar.com
1 p.m.: Blues Lunch
Lil’ Ragu
The Pike Café
930 Pike St., Reading, PA 19604
610-373-6616; www.pikecafe.com
1 p.m.: Exeter Community Band
Hopewell Furnace National Historic Site
2 Mark Bird Lane, Elverson, PA 19520
610-582-8773; www.nps.gov/hofu/
2 p.m.: The Reese Project
The Manor at Market Square
803 Penn St., Reading, PA 19601
610-373-0800; www.manoratms.com
4 p.m.: Rittenhouse Jazz Quartet
Atonement Lutheran Church
5 Wyomissing Blvd., Wyomissing, PA 19610
610-375-3512; www.atonementwyo.org
4 p.m.: Early Bird Dinner Music
Cliff Starkey
Upland Café
700 Upland Ave., Reading, PA 19607
610-370-7815
7 p.m.: Children’s Alopecia Project’s Spring Spectacular
Reminisce
VF Designer’s Place
Hill Avenue & Park Road, Wyomissing, PA 19610
610-378-0408; www.vfoutletcenter.com
8 p.m.: Krypton City Blues Band
DeCarlo’s Bar & Grill
240 Penn St., Reading, PA 19602
610-378-8121; www.decarlosbarandgrill.com
9:30 p.m.: Dave Mell Blues Band
Blind Hartman’s Tavern
2910 Pricetown Road, Reading, PA 19560
610-370-7180
10 p.m.: The Standard Quartet featuring Carl
Zeplin, Tim Gross, Trey LaRue and Matt Cullen
Bixler’s Lodge
1456 Friedensburg Road, Reading, PA 19606
610-779-9936
sunday, march 29
10 a.m.: Jazz Worship
Jazz Combo & Big Band plus Kutztown
Middle School Jazz Band
St. John’s United Church of Christ, Kutztown
257 W. Walnut St., Kutztown, PA 19530
610-683-8531
10 a.m.: Bagels & Bach
SIORA
Reading Public Museum
500 Museum Road, West Reading, PA 19611
610-371-5850; www.readingpublicmuseum.org
10:30 a.m.: Worship Service
Reading High School Castleaires
Grace Lutheran Church
33 S. 11th St., Reading
610-375-3961; www.readinggrace.com
11 a.m.: Jazz Brunch
Joe McBride
The Abraham Lincoln Hotel
100 N. Fifth St., Reading, PA 19601
610-372-3700
www.wyndham.com/hotels/RDGHT/main.wnt
11 a.m.: Jazz Brunch
GAMUT featuring Erwin Chandler and friends
The Inn at Reading
1040 N. Park Road, Wyomissing, 19610
610-372-7811; www.innatreading.com
Noon: Pretzel City Dixieland Jazz Band
VF Outlet Complex at the Food Court
Hill Avenue & Park Road, Wyomissing, PA 19610
610-378-0408; www.vfoutletcenter.com
Noon: Neil Wright Trio
Gracie’s 21st Century Café
Manatawny Road, Pine Forge, PA 19548
610-323-4004; www.gracies21stcentury.com
2 p.m.: International Jazz Afternoon
Newpoli-Southern Italian Folk Ensemble
Francis Hall Auditorium, Alvernia College
400 Saint Bernardine St., Reading, PA 19607
1-888-ALVERNIA
2 p.m.: BVNA 100th Anniversary Celebration
Deanna Reuben
Berks Visiting Nurses Association/Wyomissing
1170 Berkshire Blvd., Wyomissing, PA 19610
610-378-0481
3 p.m.: Joyful Jazz
Beverly McDevitt, Michael Trach & Skip
Moyer
St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, Reading
1559 Perkiomen Ave., Reading, PA 19602
610-373-3135
average white band
4 p.m.: Blues Dinner
Duck Soup & the Fowl Mouth Horns
The Pike Café
930 Pike St., Reading, PA 19604
610-373-6616; www.pikecafe.com
tuesday, march 31
7 p.m.: Skip Moyer Band
Reading Liederkranz
143 Spook Lane, Reading, PA 19606
610-373-3982; www.readingliederkranz.com
7:30 p.m.: An Evening of Jazz/Funk
Big Beat Tornado
Holy Cross United Methodist Church/Reading
329 N. Fifth St., Reading, PA 19601
610-373-7260; memholycross.homestead.com
wednesday, april 1
11:30: DID Berks Jazz Fest Mid-Day Café
Pretzel City Dixieland Jazz Band
Sovereign Performing Arts Center
136 N. Sixth Street, Reading, PA 19601
610-898-7299
www.sovereigncenter.com
5:30 p.m.: David Cullen
Bensi Ristorante Italiano
The Shoppes at Wyomissing
700 Woodland Road, Wyomissing, PA 19610
610-375-3222
www.bensirestaurants.com
6:30 p.m.: Skip Moyer Quartet
Blind Hartman’s Tavern
2910 Pricetown Road, Reading, PA 19560
610-370-7180
6:30 p.m.: Deanna Reuben
Dans Restaurant
1049 Penn St., Reading, PA 19601
610-373-2075
www.dansrestaurant.com
7:30 p.m.: Neil Wright
Cousin’s Pub/Shoemakersville
1360 Pottsville Pike, Shoemakersville, PA 19555
610-562-5202
8 p.m.: The Suzy Dalton Jazz Quintet
The Peanut Bar Restaurant
332 Penn St., Reading, PA 19602
1-800-515-8500
www.peanutbar.com
thursday, april 2
6:30 p.m.: Neil Wright & Diana Dupre
Dans Restaurant
1049 Penn St., Reading, PA 19601
610-373-2075; www.dansrestaurant.com
8 p.m.: David Cullen
Upland Café
700 Upland Ave., Reading, PA 19607
610-370-7815
8 p.m.: Bobby Newton & Friends
DeCarlo’s Bar & Grill
240 Penn St., Reading, PA 19602
610-378-8121
www.decarlosbarandgrill.com
friday, april 3
11:30 a.m.: David Cullen
Bensi Ristorante Italiano
The Shoppes at Wyomissing
700 Woodland Road, Wyomissing, PA 19610
610-375-3222; www.bensirestaurants.com
6:30 p.m.: Ray Allen & Friends
Galen Hall Country Club
Galen Hall Road, Wernersville, PA 19565
610-678-5424
7 p.m.: Neil Wright
Gracie’s 21st Century Café
Manatawny Road, Pine Forge, PA 19548
610-323-4004; www.gracies21stcentury.com
7 p.m.: Josh Taylor Trio
Sam’s Goose House Bar & Restaurant
1665 N. 10th St., Reading, PA 19604
610-373-2040
8 p.m.: Pretzel City Dixieland Jazz Band
The Evergreen Club
415 Hartz Road, Fleetwood, PA 19522
610-944-7501; www.evergreenclub.org
8 p.m.: Jim Meck
Cousin’s Pub/Shoemakersville
1360 Pottsville Pike, Shoemakersville, PA 19555
610-562-5202
phoebe
snow
9 p.m.: Bluzin’ with Bev Conklin
The Speckled Hen Cottage Pub & Alehouse
30 S. Fourth St., Reading, PA 19602
610-685-8511; www.speckledhenpub.com
9 p.m.: Bunchafunk
DeCarlo’s Bar & Grill
240 Penn St., Reading, PA 19602
610-378-8121; www.decarlosbarandgrill.com
9 p.m.: Bobby Newton
Chill Lounge
2747 Bernville Road, Leesport, PA 19533
610-916-2343; www.chilllounge.net
9:30 p.m.: Blues Party
Duck Soup & the Fowl Mouth Horns
Blind Hartman’s Tavern
2910 Pricetown Road, Reading, PA 19560
610-370-7180
10 p.m.: Carl Zeplin & Tim Gross
Bixler’s Lodge
1456 Friedensburg Road, Reading, PA 19606
610-779-9936
presented by
festival sponsor
sponsors
saturday, april 4
10 a.m. & 12:30 p.m.: Jazz Fest for Kids
Cows Don’t Fly & Other Well-Known Facts
Institute of the Arts
1100 Belmont Ave., Wyomissing, PA 19610
610-376-1576; www.institute-of-arts.org
Noon: Jimmy Z’s Bone Tom Jazz Band
VF Outlet Complex at the Food Court
Hill Avenue & Park Road, Wyomissing, PA 19610
610-378-0408; www.vfoutletcenter.com
1 p.m.: Jazz/Blues Lunch
D3 & Company
The Pike Café
930 Pike St., Reading, PA 19604
610-373-6616; www.pikecafe.com
7:30 p.m.: The Suzy Dalton Jazz Quintet
YR Club
Parkside Drive South & Thrush Road,
Wyomissing, PA 19610
610-376-1303; www.berksyrclub.com
8 p.m.: Uniques featuring James Tisdale
DeCarlo’s Bar & Grill
240 Penn St., Reading, PA 19602
610-378-8121; www.decarlosbarandgrill.com
9 p.m.: Rob Diener & Anomaly
Canal Street Pub & Restaurant
535 Canal St., Reading, PA 19602
610-376-4009; www.canalstreetpub.com
9 p.m.: Seth Mellon & Gerry Werner
Upland Café
700 Upland Ave., Reading, PA 19607
610-370-7815
9:30 p.m.: Blues Night
Lil’ Ragu
Blind Hartman’s Tavern
2910 Pricetown Road, Reading, PA 19560
610-370-7180
10 p.m.: Skip Moyer Quartet
Bixler’s Lodge
1456 Friedensburg Road, Reading, PA 19606
610-779-9936
sunday, april 5
Noon: Jimmy Z’s Bone Tom Jazz Band
VF Outlet Complex at the Food Court
Hill Avenue & Park Road, Wyomissing, PA 19610
610-378-0408; www.vfoutletcenter.com
Noon: Jazz Brunch
Connie Rainis, Randy Sarles & Friends
Gracie’s 21st Century Café
Manatawny Road, Pine Forge, PA 19548
610-323-4004; www.gracies21stcentury.com
12:30 p.m.: David Cullen
Dans Restaurant
1049 Penn St., Reading, PA 19601
610-373-2075; www.dansrestaurant.com
4 p.m.: David Cullen & Kelly Meashey
Bixler’s Lodge
1456 Friedensburg Road, Reading, PA 19606
610-779-9936
4 p.m.: Blues Dinner
Dave Mell Blues Band
The Pike Café
930 Pike St., Reading, PA 19604
610-373-6616; www.pikecafe.com
*cover or music charge may apply
joe
bonamassa
derek
trucks
warren
hill
Sunday, March 22, 2009 A11
andy
narell
hotels
A12 Sunday, March 22, 2009Reading Eagle, Reading, Pa.
artist profiles / major concerts
metro, CONTINUED FROM PAGE 9
After three years studying at the Manhattan School
of Music, Forman, a New York native, began working
with bands in NYC and began touring and recording with
Gerry Mulligan and Stan Getz. He later hit the road with
road with Phil Woods, Carla Bley, Mel Tormé and Astrud
Gilberto, recorded two solo piano albums and toured in
Europe regularly. Forman then joined John McLaughlin
on tour and contributed to two of his recordings, the
seminal Mahavishnu and Adventures in Radioland. In addition to numerous solo recordings, Forman has worked
with Wayne Shorter, John Scofield, Mike Stern, Janis
Siegel, Dave Samuels, Diane Schuur, Gary Burton, Pat
Metheny, Freddie Hubbard, Rickie Lee Jones, Rick Braun
and Jeff Golub. He has been part of Metro’s five critically
acclaimed albums, most recently Metrolive (2004).
Chuck Loeb’s 2009 CD Between 2 Worlds is his
second release for Heads Up after seven recordings as
a leader for Shanachie Entertainment. More than simply
a brilliant jazz guitarist, Chuck Loeb has produced a
number of high-profile artists, including Spyro Gyra, Bob
James, Walter Beasley, Larry Coryell and Kim Waters.
Perhaps best known for his influential and groundbreaking work with his saxophonist brother Michael
— collectively known as The Brecker Brothers — Randy
Brecker has been shaping the sound of jazz, R&B and
rock for more than three decades, gracing hundreds of
albums by everyone from James Taylor, Bruce Springsteen and Chaka Khan to George Benson, Frank Zappa
and Steely Dan. Last month, Brecker won a Grammy
Award for Best Contemporary Jazz Album for his 2008
release Randy in Brasil.
In 2005, Gerald Veasley responded to the clamor
among his fans for a live recording with At The Jazz
Base!, which was recorded at the club in November
2004. His latest studio album is 2008’s Your Move.
Saxophonist Bobby Franceschini has worked with
Chaka Khan, George Benson, Woody Shaw, Dave
Valentin, Kenny Kirkland, Eddie Palmieri, Michel Camilo,
Willie Colon, Victor Bailey and Charlie Sepulveda.
www.chuckloeb.com; www.mitchelforman.com
chuck loeb
randy brecker
mitch forman
dave weckl
Special EFX to the Abraham Lincoln Hotel. Adding
to his always dynamic energy will be special
guests, the Berks Jazz Fest horns.
One of the two founding members of Special
EFX, Minucci has scored major successes as a
composer and guitarist in many styles. His diverse
career includes playing on the recordings of such
major R&B/pop stars as Celine Dion, Jewel, The
Backstreet Boys, Mark Anthony and Jennifer
Lopez, recording numerous smooth jazz radio hits chieli minucci
and composing Emmy Award-winning music for
television shows and big stage productions such
as Dora The Explorer and Thomas & Friends Live.
He formed his first group, Taurus, at age 13
and was introduced to jazz while attending Ithaca
College in upstate New York. He later gained
some invaluable on-the-gig training with the NYCbased R&B band BB & Q. He met percussionist
George Jinda at a jam session and they formed
Special EFX in 1982, recording for GRP, JVC and berks jazz fest horns
ultimately Shanachie as they helped chart the
evolution of contemporary jazz. Minucci also recorded three solo projects for
JVC before signing with Shanachie in 2000. His latest solo release for the label
is Sweet Surrender (2007).
Special EFX had 13 albums under its belt when creative differences saw
the amicable parting of Minucci and Jinda in the mid-’90s. Minucci launched a
successful solo career and Jinda recorded a 14th Special EFX album, 1996’s
Here To Stay. Jinda then suffered a devastating asthma/diabetic attack that
left him with a neurological condition called myoclonic disorder. With the blessing of Jinda and his wife, Minucci kept the Special EFX vision alive with the help
of saxophonist David Mann. The percussionist passed away in 2002. Minucci’s
last Special EFX release was Party in 2003.
www.chielimusic.com
Doc Mulligan presents The Music of Gershwin and Porter
bobby franceschini
Chieli Minucci & Special EFX with the Berks Jazz Fest Horns
and special guest Nelson Rangell
• Thursday, April 2, 7:30 p.m., The Abraham Lincoln Hotel Ballroom
In his first Berks Jazz Fest appearance since 2006, guitarist extraordinaire
Chieli Minucci brings the latest lineup of his longtime jazz/world fusion group
• Saturday, March 28, 3 p.m., Miller Center for the Arts
Beloved trombonist, composer and arranger
Robert “Doc Mulligan will be joined by a roster of
great local musicians, including Bill Hicks and Doug
Matz on trumpet; Chuck Dressler on trombone;
Erwin Chandler, French horn; Tom Strohman, alto
saxophone and flute; Mike Eben, tenor sax and
flute; Chris Heslop, baritone sax and alto flute;
Marty Mellinger, piano; Keith Mohler, bass; Lew
Leabman, drums; and guests Joanna Pascal,
vocalist; and Larry McKenna on tenor sax.
doc mulligan
“(Gershwin and Cole) were great songwriters,”
Mulligan said. “They wrote so many good tunes and you can’t hear them today.
Getting around during the fest
hotel/major concert venue addresses
• The Abraham Lincoln Hotel
Fifth & Washington streets, Reading, 19601; 610-372-3700
• Best western reading inn
2299 Lancaster Pike, Reading, 19601; 610-777-7888
• Comfort Inn
2200 Stacy Drive, Reading, 19605; 610-371-0500
• Country Inn & Suites
405 N. Park Road, Wyomissing, 19610; 610-373-4444
• Days Inn
910 Woodland Road, Wyomissing, 19610; 610-374-1500
• Econo Lodge
635 Spring St., Wyomissing, 19610; 610-378-5105
• Hampton Inn
1800 Paper Mill Road, Wyomissing, 19610; 610-374-8100
• Holiday Inn Express
2389 Bernville Road, Reading, 19605; 610-372-0700
• Homewood Suites
Route 222 north, 2801 Paper Mill Road, Wyomissing, 19610;
610-736-3100
• The Inn at Reading
1040 N. Park Road, Wyomissing, 19610; 610-372-7811
• miller center for the arts/RACC
4 North Second Street, Reading, 19601; 610-607-6205
• READING CROWNE HOTEL
1741 Paper Mill Road, Wyomissing, 19610; 610-376-3811
• scottish rite cathedral
310 S. Seventh Ave., West Reading, 19611; 610-373-0104
directions
Reading crowne Hotel area (formerly sheration reading
hotel) to The Abraham Lincoln Hotel:
Access to the hotel is off Paper Mill Road and it faces Woodland Road. From
the parking lots, make a right onto Paper Mill Road (you can’t make a left) and
go to the light and make a right onto Berkshire Boulevard. At the next light (you
will see Home Depot) make a right onto Crossing Drive. Go through the next
traffic light (Woodland Road) and take the first right onto the bypass on-ramp
(Route 12 east/Route 422 east).
Stay in the right lane and take the second exit (for 222 south/422 east,
Lancaster/Pottstown). You will go about two miles to the third exit on the right
(Penn Street, Reading).
***Merge onto the Penn Street bridge. Get into the left lane to be able to go
straight. At the fourth traffic light, make a left onto Fifth Street and go to the
second traffic light. The Abraham Lincoln Hotel is on the corner of Fifth and
Washington streets. Make a left onto Washington Street (a one-way street) and
a right into the parking garage. It looks like you are turning into the building.
The Abraham Lincoln Hotel to the reading crowne hotel area:
The Abraham Lincoln Hotel parking garage exits to Fifth Street. Make a
right onto it and make an immediate right at the light onto Washington Street.
Continue on Washington to third traffic light and stay in the middle lane. At the
light the left two lanes turn left. After turning left, get in the far right lane. You
will have to turn right at the next light, which will then take you onto the Penn
Street bridge.
Stay in the right lane and take the on-ramp for 422 west. Continue on 422
west to the third exit (422 west Lebanon), which will keep you on 422.
Stay in the right lane and get off immediately at the Paper Mill Road exit.
At the traffic light go straight to access the Reading Crowne Hotel parking lots.
The Inn at Reading and Country Inn and Suites area to
downtown Reading:
Bypass-travel route: Turn right on to Park Road (from either accommodations) and go the traffic light at the intersection with Wyomissing Boulevard. If
coming from the Inn at Reading, make a left, if coming from the Country Inn
and Suites, make a right onto Wyomissing Boulevard. Get in the right lane to
take the on-ramp for 422 east and take the bypass to the second exit, Penn
Street, Reading. Follow directions in first description (***) to get to The
Abraham Lincoln Hotel.
No bypass-travel required route: From Inn at Reading, turn right onto
Park Road, from Country Inn and Suites, turn left onto Park Road. You will
pass the VF Outlet complex on your left and ViVa Good Life Bistro & Lounge
(ViVa is currently closed) on your right. Continue to the intersection with
Penn Avenue and make a left turn onto Penn Avenue. It will become Penn
Street as soon as you cross over the bridge into Reading.
The Inn at Reading and Country Inn and Suites area to the
reading crowne hotel:
Turn right onto Park Road from either of the parking lots. From the Inn at
Reading, make a right at the first light onto Spring Street. From the Country Inn
and Suites, Spring Street will be the second light encountered on Park Road.
Make a left onto Spring Street.
At the first stop sign, make a right onto Crossing Drive. Go to the traffic light
and make a left onto Woodland Road. At the next light, make a right onto Paper
Mill Road and the Reading Crowne Hotel entrance is immediately on your right.
directional notes
Fifth Street in Reading becomes Business Route 222 (also referred to as
the Allentown Pike) north of the city. Fourth Street in Reading becomes Route
61 (also referred to as the Pottsville Pike) north of the city. Lancaster Avenue
in Reading and Shillington becomes Business Route 222 south (also referred
to as the Lancaster Pike).
“The Bypass” can refer to two roads in Reading. The West Shore Bypass is
accessed via the Penn Street bridge and connects Route 422 and Route 222
and runs along the western border of the city. The Warren Street Bypass is
known as Route 12. It wraps around the city from the west (Route 422) and
runs along the northern edge to Route 61 and Route 222.
important contacts
AAA Reading-Berks: 920 Van Reed Road, Wyomissing, 19610;
roadside assistance: 610-374-7433; customer service: 610-374-4531; travel
agency: 610-374-5600; www.aaardgberks.com
berks arts council: GoggleWorks Center for the Arts, 201 Washington Street, Suite 523, Reading, 19603. 610-898-1930; www.berksarts.org
Reading Hospital and Medical Center: Sixth Avenue and Spruce
Street, West Reading, 19611. 610-988-8000; www.readinghospital.org
St. Joseph Medical Center: 2500 Bernville Road (Route 183) in
Bern Township and the St. Joseph Medical Center Downtown Reading, 145 N.
Sixth St., Reading. Phone for both locations 610-378-2000. www.thefutureofhealthcare.org
shopping
VF Outlet Village, Hill and Park roads, Wyomissing, just over the Penn
Street bridge from Reading. www.vfoutletcenter.com
Berkshire Mall, State Hill and Woodland roads in Wyomissing (Paper
Mill Road exit of Route 422 westbound). www.berkshiremallpa.com
Broadcasting Square shopping center, Paper Mill and Broadcasting roads in Spring Township.
Fairgrounds Square mall, Fifth Street Highway (Route 222) in
Muhlenberg Township, just north of Reading of Reading. www.shopatfairgrounds.com
The Shoppes at Wyomissing, intersection of Route 422 and Route
222. Take Woodland Road to The Shoppes. www.theshoppesatwyomissing.com
by jonathan widran
This is our attempt to present the best in American music; people should be
hearing these things.”
He said the show will feature mostly tunes from either shows or movies.
Last May, Mulligan performed the American Songbook with different artists,
also in the Miller Center.
Mulligan, a Spring Township resident, began his musical career playing in
his high school band. He continued through college, but then took a sabbatical
from music while in medical school. He resumed playing again in the late
1950s. In the 1960s, he played with the Hafer-Jacobsen Orchestra, and then
formed Trombones Incorporated in the 1970s. He found himself often having
to balance his love of music with his love of his career as a radiologist.
Andy Narell and the Catonsville High School Steel Drum Band
• Tuesday, March 31, 7:30 p.m., Miller Center for the Arts
On Tuesday, March 31, at 7:30 p.m., Berks
Jazz Fest presents a very special, tropically tinged
“trip to the islands” with world-renowned steel pan
master Andy Narell and the Catonsville High Steel
Drum Band.
With the release of his fifth Heads Up recording
Tatoom in 2007, Narell continued his extraordinary musical journey. On his 13th solo album
— which joins his discography as co-leader of the
Caribbean Jazz Project with Dave Samuels and
andy narell
Paquito D’Rivera in the mid-1990s and two discs
with Sakesho — the master musician once again took the sound of the big
steel band into uncharted jazz territory with special guests Mike Stern, David
Sanchez and Luis Conte.
In addition to his dynamic solo recording and global touring career, Narell
has over the years performed and recorded with artists as diverse as Chucho
Valdes, Bela Fleck, Marcus Miller, Angelique Kidjo, Toto, Nancy Wilson, David
Rudder, Dr. Billy Taylor, Irakere, Tito Puente, Flora Purim and Airto Moreira,
Vince Mendoza and The WDR Big Band, Maraca and the Kronos String Quartet.
He has also played on numerous movie scores by James Horner, Maurice
Jarre, Elmer Bernstein, Hans Zimmer, Michel Colombier and Thomas Newman,
and his compositions have been featured in the film “The Firm” and TV shows
like “Designing Women” and “Going to Extremes,” as well as commercials for
Apple Computers, Sony, Porsche and Southwest Bell.
As a bandleader, he has played hundreds of concerts and jazz festivals
throughout the U.S., Canada, Europe, Japan, the Caribbean, South America
narell, CONTINUED ON PAGE 13
Listen to Paul Scott’s
morning show LIVE
from the festival
S
mooth Jazz 92.7 WSJW,
headed by program and music
director Paul Scott, has been
involved with the Berks Jazz
Fest for the past four years.
This year, Scott said the
Central PA station will be broadcasting all 10 days, adding his
morning show to the mix.
Scott will broadcast his
6 a.m. to 10 a.m. show live
from the lobby of the Reading Crowne Hotel, with artist
interviews as well as chats
with festival goers and the
people who make the jazz fest
possible.
“I am open to any and all who
would like to come and share
their experience,” Scott said.
This is in addition to their live
weekend broadcasts before
major shows.
“We want to describe the
feeling, get everybody psyched
up,” Scott said. “You have to
experience it. It’s a huge music
love fest. Artists are accessible;
it’s a great, great time.”
As well as on-air promotions
prior to the festival and their
live fest broadcasts, WSJW
sponsors two Listener Appreciation Concerts each year.
This year, the station is
presenting the Average White
Band plus Pieces of a Dream
on Sunday, March 29; and
David Benoit plus Warren Hill
on Sunday, April 5. Both shows
are at 2 p.m. in the Reading
Crowne Hotel ballroom.
“You can’t beat two concerts
for the price of one,” Scott said
about the AWD/Pieces of a
Dream show. “And David Benoit
and Warren Hill are two heavy
hitters.”
He said he wouldn’t be surprised that if, to close the show,
the artists jammed together.
“They love to play,” he said.
“They’d play all day and all night
if you let them. You just never
know what’s going to happen.”
Smooth Jazz 92.7 broadcast schedule
Friday, March 27
• 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Scottish Rite Cathedral prior to
Peter White and Mindi Abair
Saturday, March 28
• Noon to 2 p.m.
Reading Crowne Hotel prior to
Gerald Albright & Kirk Whalum
• 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Scottish Rite Cathedral prior to
Brian Culbertson
Sunday, March 29
• Noon to 2 p.m.
Reading Crowne Hotel prior to
Average White Band plus Pieces
of a Dream
• 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Scottish Rite Cathedral prior to
Take 6 plus Wayman Tisdale
Monday, March 30
through Friday, April 3
• 6 a.m. to 10 a.m.
Paul Scott’s morning show in
the Reading Crowne Hotel lobby
Saturday, April 4
• Noon to 2 p.m.
Reading Crowne Hotel prior to
East Bay Soul
• 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Scottish Rite Cathedral prior to
Boney James
Sunday, April 5
• Noon to 2 p.m.
Reading Crowne Hotel prior to
David Benoit plus Warren Hill
• 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Scottish Rite Cathedral prior to
Jazz Attack
Listen online at www.smoothjazz927.com
Sunday, March 22, 2009 A13
Reading Eagle, Reading, Pa.
artist profiles / major concerts
narell, CONTINUED FROM PAGE 12
and South Africa. In 1999, Narell became the first foreigner to compose for
Trinidad’s Panorama steel band competition, guiding the 100-player Skiffle
Bunch Steel Orchestra to the finals of both the 1999 and 2000 Panoramas.
Narell also has been an artist in residence at North Texas St. University,
Wichita St. University, University of West Virginia, University of Akron, University
of Illinois, Northern Illinois University, Miami University, University of Southern
Mississippi and many other schools. He is currently living in Paris and working
with Sakesho and the Andy Narell Steel Band Project.
The Billy Price Band featuring special guest Fred Chapellier
• Friday, April 3, 10 p.m., The Abraham Lincoln Hotel Ballroom
Get ready to ring in the second weekend of the
Berks Jazz Fest with some Late Night Blues,
featuring the East Coast blue-eyed soul of the
Billy Price Band with special guest, guitarist and
vocalist Fred Chapellier.
Price has been entertaining audiences for the
past three decades and is an institution in his
hometown of Pittsburgh. Geoffrey Himes of the
Washington Post once wrote of him, “Unlike so
many blues revivalists, Price is not an imitation of billy price and
fred chapellier
older, better singers — he’s the real thing.”
Since forming The Billy Price Band in 1990, the
group has performed popular songs from Price’s years with Buchanan and the
Keystone Rhythm Band as well as new interpretations of blues, R&B and soul
classics.
Members of the Billy Price Band are Steve Delach (guitar), Paul Thompson
(bass), Dave Dodd (drums), Jimmy Britton (keyboards), Joe Herndon (trumpet),
Eric DeFade (tenor sax) and Rick Matt (baritone and tenor sax).
Price first attracted national attention during his three-year association with
guitarist Roy Buchanan, with whom he toured the U.S. and Canada, playing
such venues as Carnegie Hall in New York, the Newport Jazz Festival, The
Roxy and the Troubadour in Los Angeles, and the Spectrum in Philadelphia. His
first group, Billy Price and the Keystone Rhythm Band, ran from 1977 to 1990,
during which time they recorded four critically acclaimed LPs and developed a
reputation as one of the most exciting touring bands in the U.S.
In July 2003, the Billy Price Band gave a critically acclaimed performance
at the Belgium Rhythm & Blues Festival — Price’s first-ever appearance in
Europe. A DVD of the concert titled “Funky...Funky Soul!!!” was released in
late 2003. The band’s latest release is 2006’s East End Avenue on Bonedog
Records.
In November 2007, Price toured France with Fred Chapellier and sang “A
Nickel and a Nail” on Chapellier’s most recent CD, A Tribute to Roy Buchanan.
Chapellier has played blues with Don Ray Johnson, Boney Fields, Audrey
Madison, Neal Black and others. In 2004, he was was proclaimed “Best New
Blues Artist of The Year” and “Best Guitar Player of The Year” by Les Trophées
France Blues.
www.billyprice.com; www.fredchapellier-blues.com
Tim Price & Rachel Z
and the Department of Good and Evil
• Friday, April 3, 10 p.m., The Abraham Lincoln Hotel Jazz Cabaret
Tim Price is a Selmer saxophone clinician and a
Berklee College of Music graduate.
He has played with musicians like Bennie Green,
Hans Dulfer, Lew Tabackin, Ray Drummond, Jon
Mayer, Cecil Payne, Richie Cole, Ernie Watts,
Charlie Watts from the Rolling Stones, Gary Burton,
Doc Severinson, Dr. John, Phil Woods, and Ernie
Krivda, Rachel Z, Sue Terry, and John LaPorta, to
name but a few.
tim price
He’s spent years in the trenches with the big
bands of Tommy Dorsey under both Murray
McEachern and later Buddy Morrow, Glenn Miller
under Buddy DeFranco, Cab Calloway and Harry
James.
Tim’s bassoon has been a part of the Lawrence
“Butch” Morris Orchestra at the 2004 “Vision
Festival” in New York City as well as Rome and
other destinations.
Price has been the recipient of a Pennsylvania
Council on the Arts fellowship jazz grant four times. rachel z
by jonathan widran
He has authored three books on sax playing and has a sax Web site for teaching at www.saxontheweb.net/Price/.
Tim lives in Reading and performs and does clinics throughout the world.
He teaches in New York City and from his home studio.
As fearless in her eclectic, ever-evolving approach to jazz piano as she is
bold in creating sweeping thematic concepts, Rachel Z has proven masterful
over the course of eight solo releases in bridging both generations and genres.
Stylishly blending her bebop and progressive jazz sensibilities with an equal
affinity for the most exciting pop and rock artists of the past few decades,
she’s fashioned groundbreaking tributes to the female artists who have
inspired her (A Room Of One’s Own), saxophone legend and frequent collaborator Wayne Shorter (On The Milkyway Express), Joni Mitchell (Moon At The
Window) and — on her most recent three recordings, which include
occasional originals and vocals— fascinating re-workings of songs made
famous by The Rolling Stones, Soundgarden, Smashing Pumpkins, U2 and
Nine Inch Nails, among others.
Declaring to the world, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that “jazz is not dead,
it is alive and right here!,” Rachel’s latest fascinating creative stop, 2007’s Dept
of Good and Evil, found her in a slightly goth state of mind, which complements the mix of popular and more obscure pop/rock covers and lyrical and
soulful originals penned by her and longtime drummer and collaborator Bobbie
Rae.
After graduating from New England Conservatory with a “Distinction in
Performance” award while working professionally in the Boston area with
performers like Bob Moses, Miroslav Vitous and George Garzone, she began
touring with former schoolmate turned R&B/jazz star, saxman Najee and later
co-wrote the title track for his No. 1 album Tokyo Blue.
While performing and recording steadily with the classic fusion band Steps
Ahead from 1988 through 1996, she also worked with Al Di Miola, Larry
Coryell, Special EFX and Angela Bofill, and began a fruitful association with
producer/vibraphonist Mike Manieri, head of NYC Records. Manieri produced
her Columbia Records debut Trust the Universe in 1993.
After her single venture into smooth jazz with Love Is The Power in 1998,
she joined Vertu, a fusion supergroup formed by Stanley Clarke and his Return
Forever bandmate, drummer Lenny White. She later toured the world with
pop/rock legend Peter Gabriel.
www.timpricejazz.com; www.rachelz.com
A14 Sunday, March 22, 2009Reading Eagle, Reading, Pa.
artist profiles / major concerts
Nelson Rangell and the Reading Pops Orchestra
• Sunday, April 5, 2 p.m., Miller Center for the Arts
The second-to-last concert at the 19th annual
Berks Jazz Fest is a special live presentation of
the music of My American Songbook, veteran
saxophonist and flutist Nelson Rangell’s critically
acclaimed 2005 release on Koch Records. The
show, which he will be performing with special
guest the Reading Pops Orchestra will take place
on Sunday, April 5.
After 15 years of being a recording artist on
various labels, Rangell followed his Koch debut All nelson rangell
I Hope For Christmas with a project that featured
some familiar tunes yet unlimited horizons exploring territory beyond any of his previous commercially defined confines.
Redefining classics renowned (Leonard
Bernstein’s “America,” Stevie Wonder’s “Don’t You
Worry ’Bout A Thing,” Vince Guaraldi’s “Cast Your
Fate To The Wind,” Earth Wind & Fire’s “That’s The
Way of the World”) and lesser heard (the traditional
“Billy Boy,” once recorded by Miles Davis), Rangell’s reading pops orchestra
labor of love was a majestic undertaking reflecting
his deep love for jazz (straight-ahead and smooth), pop, Latin and R&B.
More importantly, aside from the sax, he was featured on flute and piccolo
(most explosively on the trad-jazz piece “Freda,” with the help of Russell Ferrante and Jimmy Haslip) and even whistled his way through Hampton Hawes’
“Sonora,” a longtime staple of his live shows.
Genre tastemaker Jazziz Magazine once wrote that Nelson Rangell is “an
artist of depth, a master of song, and an improviser non-pareil.” The Times
of London notes “his extraordinary facility on a range of instruments and his
undoubted virtuosity.” Such praise is a confirmation of what contemporary
jazz fans have known since the Denver-based saxophonist emerged in the late
’80s: that Rangell is one of the most exciting and diverse performers in the
genre, equally adept at soprano, alto and tenor saxophone, as well as being a
genuine virtuoso on flute and piccolo.
He followed My American Songbook, Vol. 1 with his smooth jazz-oriented
2006 release Soul To Souls.
www.nelsonrangell.com; www.readingpops.com
The Sax Pack featuring Jeff Kashiwa, Steve Cole and
Kim Waters
• Friday, April 3, 10:30 p.m., Reading Crowne Hotel Ballroom (formerly Sheraton
Reading Hotel)
Hot off their massive airplay hit “Fallin’ For You,”
the kickoff single from their self-titled disc that
stayed at No. 1 for two months and was one of
2008’s biggest smooth jazz tracks of the year, The
Sax Pack makes its first Berks Jazz Fest appearance since 2007 with a highly anticipated show.
One of the most exciting and popular of the
genre all-star tours, The Sax Pack delivers on a
clever turn of phrase that brings to mind great
showmanship and supreme cool — qualities that jeff kashiwa
the soulful saxmen have in spades. Waters, Cole
and Kashiwa have enjoyed lengthy solo careers
but were inspired when Kashiwa presented the
idea of a trio tour around 2003 after seeing a PBS
documentary on The Rat Pack.
Jeff Kashiwa’s solo career has been in joyfully
frenetic overdrive since the incredible success of
“Hyde Park (The Aah, Ooh Song),” a No. 1 hit on
the Radio & Records airplay chart for over eight
weeks in 2000. His Native Language debut Another Door Opens and its more acoustic-oriented steve cole
2002 follow-up Simple Truth established him as
one of smooth jazz’s most dominant saxophone
voices. The Seattle resident primed himself for
his thriving solo career by endearing himself to
smooth jazz fans worldwide as a member of The
Rippingtons for 10 years (1989-99). His latest
solo album is 2007’s Play.
Jeff Kashiwa will be joining David Benoit as part
of his quartet for his April 5 show.
kim waters
Kim Waters is the epitome of sexy, romantic
cool. With 16 albums to his credit and 10 No. 1
radio hits since his 1998 Shanachie debut Love’s Melody, the multi-instrumentalist, composer and producer has sold close to half a million records, making
him one of the most successful and romantic jazz artists of our time. Waters’
high spirited ride on the love train continues on his eighth Shanachie collection
I Want You – Love In The Spirit Of Marvin, which finds him celebrating 20 years
as a recording artist by paying homage to one of his biggest all time influences, legendary soul singer Marvin Gaye.
Since signing with Narada Jazz in 2004, Chicago born and based Steve
Cole, who launched his solo career after a long stint with Brian Culbertson with
his hit 1998 debut Stay Awhile, has released Spin (a singer songwriter-inspired
effort which he wrote primarily on the acoustic guitar) and True (2006), which
features an exciting and looser, jazzier, less polished vibe.
www.thesaxpack.com
Severn Soul & Blues Revue featuring Steve Guyger, Big Joe Maher,
Tad Robinson, Roy Tyler and New Directions, and the Severn Records
All-Star Band
• Friday, March 27, 7:30 p.m., The Inn at Reading
Philadelphia doesn’t normally come to mind when
you mention blues. However the City of Brotherly Love
does boast what some consider a legendary blues
harmonica player, Steve Guyger. For over 30 years,
Guyger has been honing his skills on the harmonica
and delighting blues audiences, whether that be with
his own band, The Excellos, or touring with celebrated
bluesman Jimmy Rogers.
steve guyger
Joseph Maher aka “Big Joe” Maher has been a
performing drummer/singer over past 30 years. His list
of credits is like a “who’s who of blues & jazz,” having
performed at an early age in his high school jazz band
“The Starliners” with the likes of greats like Clark Terry,
Urbie Green, Mudell Lowe, James Moody, just to name
a few. In the late 1980s after performing with and
managing nine piece swing band “The Uptown Rhythm big joe maher
by jonathan widran
Kings,” and after a few years as drummer and touring
with the Tom Principato Band, Joe formed his own fivepiece blues jump group “Big Joe & The Dynaflows.”
In between touring and local performances with the
Dynaflows, in the mid-90’s Joe accepted the role as
musical coordinator for Mick Fleetwood’s club in
Alexandria, Va., Fleetwoods.
Tad Robinson would have fit in snugly with the blue- tad robinson
eyed soul singers of the 1960s. His vocals virtually
reeking of soul, he’s capable of delving into a straightahead Little Walter shuffle or delivering a vintage O.V.
Wright R&B ballad. Add his songwriting skills and
exceptional harp technique and you have quite the total
package.
Roy Tyler and New Directions’ stirring music is
carefully chosen and is simply remarkable in its blend- roy tyler
ing of old and new. Their faith & heartfelt passion in
singing is absolute. Most American music, Jazz and Soul, certainly R&B and
Rock, have their roots in Southern Gospel and/or Blues music. That becomes
a direct link to Tyler’s modern music that many listeners might not be conscious of, but can’t help but “feel it” just the same.
The Severn Records All-Star Band is Robb Stupka, Steve Gomes, Benjie
Porecki, Alex Schultz, Karla Chisholm and Calley Bliss.
Severn Soul & Blues Revue featuring Clarence Spady, Darrell Nulisch,
Lou Pride and the Severn Records All-Star Band
• Saturday, March 28, 7:30 p.m., The Inn at Reading
The former W.C. Handy Nominee for Best New
Artist 1997 has been an underground marvel since his
initial and only worldwide release Nature of the Beast in
1996. He received international recognition as one of
Living Blues Magazine’s “Top 40 Blues Artist Under 40”,
and received the 1998 France Blues Trophie for Best
International Blues Artist of the Year. Once described
as “the future of the blues” by Bill Dahl, of the Chicago clarence spady
Tribune, his sound is now even more distinguishable.
From the beginning of his career, Darrell Nulisch
exhibited a natural flair for phrasing a lyric, a quality that
underscores his relaxed, soulful performances today.
Nulisch mixed blues and soul on aptly named Bluesoul,
a 1996 release, and on The Whole Truth, his debut
for Severn Records in 1998. He takes that earthy
formula to a new level on I Like It That Way, wich was
darrell nulisch
nominated for a blues music award in the soul/blues
category.
Born outside of Chicago, singing is something that
seemed to come naturally for Lou Pride. Like many of
the artists he’s commonly compared to (Bobby Bland,
ZZ Hill and Little Milton), he got his start singing in the
choir of the First Baptist Church whose pastor was
Reverend E.J. Cole (Nat King Cole’s father). Pride has
lou pride
recognized works with his WMB Records release Love
At Last, which earned critical acclaim from Living Blues Magazine (“among the
year’s best soul/blues albums”), and Twisting the Knife (Ichiban) in addition
severn soul, CONTINUED ON PAGE 15
Sunday, March 22, 2009 A15
Reading Eagle, Reading, Pa.
artist profiles / major concerts
severn soul, CONTINUED from PAGE 14
to I Won’t Give Up on Kingsnake/Icehouse. Pride continues to tour the U.S.,
Canada and Europe.
The Severn Records All-Star Band is Robb Stupka, Steve Gomes, Benjie
Porecki, Alex Schultz, Karla Chisholm and Calley Bliss.
Steve Smith & Vital Information featuring Barron Brown,
Tom Coster, Vinnie Valentino and special guest Andy Fusco
• Saturday, March 28, 7 p.m. and 10 p.m., Gerald Veasley’s Jazz Base at the
Reading Crowne Hotel (formerly Sheraton Reading Hotel)
Currently celebrating their 25th year as a unit
since their 1983 self-titled debut, Steve Smith
and Vital Information has become a formidable
jazz/fusion juggernaut whose longevity surpasses all of the major fusion groups. The all-star
lineup of Tom Coster (keyboards), Baron Browne
(bass), Vinny Valentino (guitar), and Steve Smith
(drums) serves up a wide and dynamic variety of steve smith & vital
information
innovative sounds, from slamming funk and
syncopated second line grooves to seriously
swinging, up-tempo Hammond B-3 burners, South Indian Carnatic-inspired
jams, and sizzling fuzoid romps.
The group’s founder and drummer Steve Smith has a resume that stretches
from Ahmad Jamal, Zakir Hussain, The Buddy Rich Big Band and Steps Ahead
to Andrea Bocelli and Journey. His many years of accolades include Modern
Drummer magazine’s “#1 All Around Drummer” award five years in a row and
being voted one of the “Top 25 Drummers of All Time” in a recent Modern
Drummer readers poll. In 2002, Smith was voted into the Modern Drummer
Hall of Fame.
In addition to his stellar grooving with Vital Information, Baron Browne has
ensembled Gary Burton, Billy Cobham, Jean-Luc Ponty, Steps Ahead and
Tom Jones. Unique multi-keyboardist Tom Coster, whose versatility ranges
from Hammond B3 to accordion, was playing with Gabor Szabo and Rahsaan
Roland Kirk long before he came to prominence in Santana, a stay that lasted
nine years. He has recorded many solo albums and has been a member of
Vital Information since 1986.
Vinny Valentino, the newest member of the band, has shared the stage or
recording studio with such jazz greats as Gary Bartz, Randy Brecker, Bill Evans, John Pattitucci, Richard Bona, Bob Moses, Steve Gadd, Dennis Chambers,
Jimmy McGriff and his mentor George Benson.
Vital Information’s most recent release is Vitalization, which features guest
performances by saxophonist Bill Evans and world-class percussionists Pete
Lockett, Gilad and Juan Carlos Melian.
www.vitalinformation.com
Phoebe Snow
• Friday, April 3, 7:30 p.m., Miller Center for the Arts
After Phoebe Snow sings “You’re My Girl” on her new concert album
Phoebe Snow Live, the audience applauds enthusiastically, and she doesn’t
just offer a simple thank-you.
“I really appreciate that more than you’ll ever know,” she says. “You’re all
keeping me alive.”
Snow is still in mourning for her daughter Valerie, who died in March
2007 at the age of 31. In recent interviews, she said she finds performing
therapeutic.
Valerie was born with severe brain damage in
1975. Snow refused to let her daughter spend
her life in an institution, and had devoted herself to
taking care of her.
Since the release of her self-titled debut album
in 1974, singer, songwriter and guitarist Phoebe
Snow has remained one of the most distinctive
voices in popular music. Described once by The
New York Times as a “contralto grounded in a
phoebe snow
bluesy growl and capable of sweeping over four
octaves,” she was born Phoebe Ann Laub in NYC
and raised in a household where Delta blues, Broadway show tunes, Dixieland
jazz, classical music and folk music recordings were played around the clock.
As a teenager, she carried her prized Martin 00018 ac guitar from club
to club around Greenwich Village, playing and singing on amateur nights.
Performing one night at The Bitter End in 1972, Snow was approached by
promotions executive Denny Cordell from Shelter Records, who was so taken
by her voice that he signed her to the label and produced her first recording.
With guest performances by The Persuasions, Zoot Sims, Toddy Wilson, David
Bromberg and Dave Mason, Snow’s 1974 collection became one of the most
acclaimed debut recordings of all time. It spawned the Top 5 hit single “Poetry
Man,” which led to a Grammy nomination for Best New Artist and launched a
career that would include numerous platinum records and the cover of Rolling
Stone.
Her prolific discography over the next 15 years included Second Childhood
(1975), It Looks Like Snow (1976), Never Letting Go (1978), Against The
Grain (1979), Rock Away (1980) and Something Real (1989).
In 1992, she toured with Donald Fagen’s popular New York Rock And Soul
Revue and was featured on the group’s album recorded live at the Beacon Theater in New York City. While continuing to tour as a solo artist throughout North
America, Great Britain, Germany and the Far East, Snow has also performed
over the years with everyone from Lou Rawls, Ladysmith Black Mambazo,
Dave Grusin, Avenue Blue with Jeff Golub and Jewel to Paul Simon, Billy Joel,
Queen, Jackson Browne, Bonnie Raitt and Michael McDonald.
www.phoebesnow.com
Jason Miles presents Soul Summit II
featuring Maysa, Simone, Richard Elliot, Jeff Golub, Eric Darius,
Bob Babbitt, Reggie Young, Steve Ferrone, and the original The Soul
Survivors plus the Berks Jazz Fest Horns
• Friday, April 3, 7:30 p.m., Scottish Rite Cathedral
From the time it was born in Memphis from the blues
that were coming out of the Missisippi Delta, soul music
has been a defining force in American culture. At the
Berks Jazz Fest in 2007, keyboardist and producer
Jason Miles gathered some of R&B’s top session
players behind Richard Elliot, Susan Tedeschi, Maysa
and Derek Trucks Band lead singer Mike Mattison
jason miles
to celebrate this dynamic art form. His Soul Summit
show was so successful that it led his label, Shanachie
Records, to commercially release a live recording of the
event in 2008.
At the 2008 BJF, Miles led a celebration of the life
and music of Grover Washington Jr. in addition to fronting his own world music fusion band Global Noize. He’s
back this year with Soul Summit II, the ultimate encore maysa
by jonathan widran
featuring those same session cats (Steve Ferrone, Reggie Young and Bob Babbitt) and a stellar lineup of urban
jazz headliners. Besides return appearances by Elliot
and Maysa, this year’s show features blues-influenced
contemporary jazz guitarist Jeff Golub, singer/songwriter Simone, funk-driven saxman Eric Darius and The
Soul Survivors. They will be joined by the Berks Jazz
Fest Horns.
Since Jason Miles has always said he will never repeat himself, he will present a whole new show of Soul
Summit this year. The first one was based on the Southern soul sound with great performances by Tedeschi
on “Son of a Preacher Man” and the band performing
songs from that era. With a new group of artists, the
same rhythm section comes back to explore more
sounds of soul music. With the addition of dynamic
singer Simone (the late Nina Simone’s daughter), Darius
and Golub, the band will bring these artists to new creative heights. The original Soul Survivors will also inject
their great sound into “Expressway To Your Heart” and
other high energy songs. This will be a night of music
filled with great soul music and a few surprises.
Long called “The James Brown of Contemporary
Jazz,” saxman Richard Elliot, half of the dynamic horn
duo RnR with Rick Braun, is appearing at Berks this
year as part of Jazz Attack.
Jeff Golub’s unique brand of funky, blues-drenched
smooth jazz may be a firm mainstay in the genre today,
but he always had a blast throwing a few winks to the
60s and 70s jazz and soul that shaped his musical
vision. His latest album is 2007’s Grand Central on
Narada Jazz.
Saxman Eric Darius has shared the stage with
contemporary jazz all-stars Rick Braun, Richard Elliot,
David Benoit, Jonathan Butler, Warren Hill, Norman
Brown, Chris Botti, Kim Waters and Chuck Loeb. His
fourth and latest release is Goin’ All Out, his Blue Notes
Records debut, released last June.
R&B singer Maysa, a longtime member of the U.K.
soul collective Incognito, has a large catalog of solo
recordings, including her latest Shanachie release
Metamorphosis.
Simone returns to the festival for her second
appearance. She is highly-praised live performer whose
impressive resume includes starring roles on Broadway
in such acclaimed musicals as “Rent” and “Aida,”
Simone has developed an exciting and diverse
repertoire of pop, soul, jazz, rock and funk, expressed
in shows she’s done throughout the U.S. and in the UK,
Ireland, Holland, Finland, Spain and France. Simone’s
ability to transcend genres echoes the tradition of her
mother, musical icon and pioneer Nina Simone.
With Soul Summit, it’s all about the groove, and once
again it’s driven by Ferrone, Babbitt and Young.
Bassist Bob Babbitt established his name in the
jason miles, CONTINUED on PAGE 16
simone
jeff golub
eric darius
bob babbitt
reggie young
steve ferrone
the soul survivors
A16 Sunday, March 22, 2009Reading Eagle, Reading, Pa.
artist profiles / major concerts
jason miles, CONTINUED from PAGE 15
annals of R&B as a member of the legendary Funk brothers who played on so
many of the great Motown hits by such legends as Marvin Gaye, The Temptations and Smokey Robinson.
With appearances on such legendary hits as “Son Of A Preacher Man,” “Slip
Away,” “Suspicious Minds” and “In The Ghetto,” Reggie Young is arguably the
most recorded guitarist in the history of music.
Known as “The Time Keeper,” legendary drummer Steve Ferrone has
worked with an incredibly diverse group of artists, from Chaka Khan and Tom
Petty to AWB, Duran Duran, George Harrison, Eric Clapton, David Sanborn,
Scritti Politti and Jaco Pastorius.
The Soul Survivors, originally from New York City, grew up listening to the
R & B groups of the 1950s. The sounds of groups like the Moonglows, Heartbeats, and Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers had a great influence on brothers
Charlie and Rich Ingui.
Since 2002, the locally based Berks Jazz Fest Horns have been adding
another dimension to special performances by many acts appearing at the
Fest. Consisting of Rob Diener on trumpet, Mike Anderson on sax and John
Loos on trombone, this group has played with artists like Gregg Karukas, Jeff
Kashiwa, Gerald Veasley, Special EFX, Chuck Loeb, L.A. Chillharmonic, the
Heads Up Super Band, and others.
www.jasonmilesmusic.com
The Tierney Sutton Band
• Friday, March 27, 7 p.m. and 10 p.m., Gerald Veasley’s Jazz Base at the Reading
Crowne Hotel (formerly Sheraton Reading Hotel)
One of the most acclaimed jazz vocalists of
her generation, Tierney Sutton’s decision in the
mid-’90s to move from New England to Southern California led to an incredible decade-plus
collaboration with her current bandmates, pianist
Christian Jacob, bassists Trey Henry and Kevin Axt
and drummer Ray Brinker — who collectively have
worked with everyone from Natalie Cole and Diana
Krall to Ray Charles and Randy Brecker. Twelve
years and seven critically acclaimed CDs later, Sut- tierney sutton
ton and her ensemble demonstrate what collective
consultation and dedicated teamwork can achieve.
The Tierney Sutton Band just released their latest Telarc album, Desire,
earlier this month.
While The New York Times has called her a “serious jazz artist who takes
the whole enterprise to another level,” the Wisconsin-born singer has expanded her brand into the realms of film and TV commercials. She has appeared
on the soundtracks to “The Cooler” and “Twisted” and she and her band
scored the independent feature “Blue in Green,” which was released by the
Unica Project. Sutton’s unique voice is also regularly featured in commercials
representing such organizations as BMW, Coca-Cola, Dodge and J.C. Penney.
Educated at the Berklee College of Music in Boston, Sutton became a
semifinalist in the Thelonious Monk Jazz Vocal Competition in 1998. One
year later, her first solo CD, Introducing Tierney Sutton, was released to rave
reviews and nominated for a 1999 Indie Award for Best Jazz Vocal Album.
Since signing with Telarc Jazz, The Tierney Sutton Band has released popular
and critically acclaimed recordings: Unsung Heroes (2000), Blue in Green
(2001), Something Cool (2002), Dancing in the Dark (2004), I’m with the Band
(2005) and On the Other Side (2007). I’m with the Band was nominated for a
Grammy Award for Best Jazz Vocal Album and earned her JazzWeek’s Vocalist
of the Year Award.
Upon the release of the Dancing In The Dark, Sutton completed one of the
most critically acclaimed and commercially successful runs in the history of
New York’s legendary Oak Room. This renown eventually led to her February
2005 Carnegie Hall debut with the New York Pops. I’m With The Band was her
first live recording. In October 2006, Sutton won the Jazz Vocalist Award at
the 23rd annual L.A. Jazz Society Awards.
www.tierneysutton.com
Take 6 plus Wayman Tisdale
Sunday, March 29, 7:30 p.m., Scottish Rite Cathedral
On Sunday March 29, Berks Jazz Fest
presents a unique R&B, jazz and gospel-driven
double bill featuring the multiple Grammywinning a capella group Take 6 and former NBA
All-Star turned contemporary jazz bass giant
(literally!) Wayman Tisdale.
With its roots in gospel, doo wop and the
sophisticated jazz-influenced singing groups of
mid-century America like the Hi-Los, the eighttime Grammy-winning a cappella vocal group Take take 6
6 is both a throwback to an earlier, more genteel
era of American music and a precursor for a number of male pop groups of the ’90s and 2000s.
Its members currently include David Thomas,
Alvin Chea, Cedric Dent, Mark Kibble, Claude V.
McKnight III and Joey Kibble (who replaced Mervyn
Warren).
Their eponymous 1988 debut won two
Grammy Awards and hit the Top Ten on both the
wayman tisdale
Billboard Contemporary Jazz and Contemporary
Christian Charts. The group went on to record or
appear with a number of luminaries, including Quincy Jones, Joe Sample, Ella
Fitzgerald and Stevie Wonder. After starting the 2000s with a new musical
approach including rich instrumentation on Beautiful World (2002), Take 6
returned to its roots on Feels Good, the group’s debut on Take 6 Records.
Their 2008 Heads Up debut The Standard features performances by Al
Jarreau, George Benson, Aaron Neville and Claude’s brother Brian McKnight,
and was nominated for several Grammy Awards.
If there’s one thing Wayman Tisdale learned from his NBA career, it’s that
there’s no substitute for hard work. Emerging as one of the most consistent
and admired players during his 12 years in the league — segueing from the
gold medal-winning U.S. Olympic team to stints with the Indiana Pacers, Sacramento Kings and Phoenix Suns — the crowd-pleasing bassist’s towering frame,
exceptional strength and relentless work ethic made him one of the game’s
most dominating power forwards. His career stats include scoring more than
12,800 points and pulling down over 5,000 rebounds. Even before retiring
after the 1997 season, Tisdale was making a transition toward his musical
goals, releasing a string of albums featuring titles inspired by his ongoing passion for basketball: Power Forward (1995) and In The Zone (1996), which were
followed later by Hang Time (2004) and Way Up! (2006).
He kept that tradition thriving with his 2008 release Rebound, which hit
No. 1 on Billboard’s Contemporary Jazz chart and featured a remake of Barry
White’s “Never Never Gonna Give You Up” with Toby Keith. A survivor of a
recent bout with bone cancer, Tisdale is returning to the stage this year after
having his lower right leg amputated in August. He was inducted into the
by jonathan widran
Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame in 2002 and in 2004 was nominated by the
NAACP Image Award for “Outstanding Jazz Artist.”
www.take6.com; www.waymantisdale.com
The Derek Trucks Band
• Saturday, April 4, 10:30 p.m., Reading Crowne Hotel Ballroom (formerly
Sheraton Reading Hotel)
The Derek Trucks Band has been a work in
progress for over 10 years, blending jazz, rock,
blues, Latin, Eastern Indian and other world music
into the sound that now defines the DTB. The
band’s mission has been to assemble a group of
musicians that share a passion for improvisation
and musical exploration, and to develop a united
musical vision by performing with this core group
of players for an extended period of time. The
DTB aims to create progressive roots music in an derek trucks
effort to move the art form forward and
re-establish substance over hype.
Truck’s musical career began at the age of 9, when he picked up a $5
acoustic guitar at a yard sale. What had begun as a weekend activity quickly
became a life’s pursuit, and would eventually result in the versatile, Grammynominated musician becoming the youngest player to make Rolling Stone’s
“100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time” list. He got his first paying gig at age 11
and formed his first band at age 12. After sitting in and touring with the Allman
Brothers Band, from age 10-11 on, Derek Trucks was formally made a full
member of the group in 1999.
Bassist Todd Smallie, who played with many jazz and blues musicians in the
Atlanta area, entered the picture in 1994, when Trucks was 15 years old. In
1995, Yonrico Scott rounded out the band’s permanent rhythm section. Born
in the Bronx and raised in Washington, D.C., keyboardist, flutist and vocalist
Kofi Burbridge joined the band in 1999.
In 2002, The Derek Trucks Band heard about vocalist Mike Mattison after
recommendations by both DTB producers Craig Street and John Snyder in
the same week. Originally from Minneapolis, the singer lived and played in
Brooklyn for a number of years before finally being drawn to the Southeast
and settling in Atlanta with the rest of his DTB bandmates.
DTB’s discography includes their 1997 self-titled debut, Joyful Noise (2002),
Soul Serenade (2003), Live At Georgia Theatre (2004), Songlines (2006) and
the DVD “Songlines Live.”
www.derektrucks.com
McCoy Tyner Quartet featuring gary bartz
• Saturday, April 4, 7:30 p.m., Miller Center for the Arts
Known for his groundbreaking work with the
John Coltrane Quartet and a nearly five-decadelong solo career, legendary Philly-born pianist
McCoy Tyner’s blues-based piano style — replete
with sophisticated chords and an explosively
percussive left hand — has transcended conventional styles to become one of the most identifiable sounds in improvised music. His harmonic
contributions and dramatic rhythmic devices
form the vocabulary of a majority of jazz pianists. mccoy tyner
Tyner has released nearly 80 albums under his
mccoy tyner, CONTINUED on PAGE 17
Sunday, March 22, 2009 A17
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artist profiles / major concerts
mccoy tyner, CONTINUED from PAGE 16
name, earned four Grammys and was awarded
Jazz Master from the National Endowment for the
Arts in 2002.
At 17, he began a career-changing relationship
with Coltrane, who was then Miles Davis’ saxophonist. Tyner joined Coltrane for the classic album My
Favorite Things (1960), and remained at the core
of what became one of the most seminal groups
in jazz history. The band, which also included
drummer Elvin Jones and bassist Jimmy Garrison, gary bartz
had an extraordinary chemistry, fostered in part by
Tyner’s almost familial relationship with Coltrane.
In 1965, after over five years with Coltrane’s quartet, Tyner left the group
to explore his destiny as a composer and bandleader. His 1972 Grammynominated Sahara broke new ground with the sounds and rhythms of Africa.
Since 1980, he has also arranged his lavishly textured harmonies for a big
band that performs and records when possible. In the late 1980s, he focused
on his piano trio featuring Avery Sharpe on bass and Aaron Scott on drums.
Today, this trio is still in great demand. He returned to Impulse in 1995 with
Infinity, a critically acclaimed album featuring Michael Brecker, and a year later
he recorded a special album with the music of Burt Bacharach. In 1998 he
changed labels again and recorded a Latin album (McCoy Tyner & The Latin
All-Stars) and another featuring Stanley Clarke for Telarc.
In the summer of 2005, Tyner joined forces with the Blue Note Jazz Club in
New York and became the first client of Blue Note Management. That summer,
Tyner began work on some unique projects, including performances with tapdancer Savion Glover and the development of the Impulse! Septet, featuring
his trio of some of today’s top horn men.
Tyner’s partnership with the Blue Note has led to the formation of his own
record label, aptly titled McCoy Tyner Music. The label is a subsidiary of the
Blue Note’s In-House record label, Half Note Records. In 2008, he released
Guitars, his second album on the label; it features Ron Carter, Jack DeJohnette
and five of popular music’s most accomplished string specialists: Bill Frisell,
Marc Ribot, John Scofield, Derek Trucks and Bela Fleck.
www.mccoytyner.com
United States Army Jazz Ambassadors
• Monday, March 30, and Tuesday, March 31, 7:30 p.m., Reading Crowne Hotel
Ballroom (formerly Sheraton Reading Hotel)
The Jazz Ambassadors is the United States
Army’s premier touring jazz orchestra. This
19-member big band, formed in 1969, has received great acclaim both at home and abroad
performing America’s original art form, jazz.
Concerts by the Jazz Ambassadors are
designed to entertain all types of audiences.
Custom compositions and arrangements highU.S. Army jazz ambassadors
light the group’s creative talent and gifted soloists.
Their diverse repertoire includes big band swing, bebop, Latin, contemporary
jazz, standards, popular tunes, Dixieland, vocals, and patriotic selections.
The band has appeared in all 50 states, Canada, Mexico, Japan, India, and
throughout Europe. Notable performances include concerts at international
jazz festivals in Montreux, Switzerland; Newport, Rhode Island; Toronto,
Canada; Brussels, Belgium; and the North Sea Jazz Festival in the Netherlands.
The band has also been featured in unique joint concerts with major orchestras,
including the Detroit and Baltimore symphonies.
The Ambassadors will be joined by the Berks High School All-Star Jazz Band
for their March 31 show.
www.army.mil/FIELDBAND/pages/ensembles/ja.html
The UPtown JazzUP featuring Erich Cawalla & Jenifer Kinder
Saturday, March 28, 10 p.m., The Abraham Lincoln
Hotel Jazz Cabaret
The Uptown Band is making their third appearance at the Berks Jazz Fest. The group originated
during the 2006 festival with the intent to perform
a wide variety of music with a jazz flavor. They
recently released their much-anticipated debut CD,
Waiting for Her, at a sold-out Gerald Veasley’s Jazz
Base. The album is receiving airplay on numerous
online radio stations, including The Que 98.2 out
erich cawalla and
of Salt Lake City.
jenifer kinder
www.uptownbandmusic.com
The Music of Stevie Wonder:
Gerald Veasley Band with Najee, Nnenna Freelon,
Joe McBride and the Berks Jazz Fest Horns
• Saturday, March 28, 10:30 p.m., Reading Crowne Hotel
Ballroom (formerly Sheraton Reading Hotel)
In the great Berks Jazz Fest tradition of tribute concerts to the music of R&B legends, The Gerald Veasley
Band will be joined by special guests Najee, Nnenna
Freelon, Joe McBride and the Berks Jazz Fest Horns to gerald veasley
pay homage to Stevie Wonder.
“Stevie is one of my favorite composers and his music was an essential part of the soundtrack of my life,”
says Veasley, whose breakout hit as a recording artist
was an instrumental version of Wonder’s classic “Do I
Do.” “His songs are quintessentially American, filled with
hope and optimism, and I believe that had the Stevie
Wonder catalog never been written, there would be a
najee
giant void in American culture.
“The idea for this show,” he adds, “is to collaborate
with great jazz artists who love his song book as much
as I do. I always hope to bring something special to the
Berks Jazz Fest every year, whether it’s a celebration
of the music of an influential artists like Charles Mingus,
Ray Charles or Stevie, or a collaboration with the most
exciting voices in jazz.”
nnenna freelon
Founder of The Jazz Base at the Reading Crowne
Hotel and one of contemporary jazz’s most prolific and versatile artists and
performers, bassist Gerald Veasley launched his career with Grover Washington Jr. and has recorded exclusively for Heads Up since 1992’s Look Ahead.
In 2005, Veasley responded to the clamor among his fans for a live recording
with At The Jazz Base!, which was recorded at the club in November 2004.
His latest studio album is 2008’s Your Move.
Following in the groundbreaking, groove-oriented footsteps of his chief
influences Grover Washington Jr. and David Sanborn, Najee is one of contemporary jazz’s true pioneers. Creating a fresh and pulsating “rhythm and jazz”
dynamic, the versatile saxophonist — whose first two recordings, 1986’s
Grammy nominated Najee’s Theme and 1988’s Day By Day, went platinum —
inspired the urban vibe that defined the instrumental world in the ’90s. Najee
paid homage to Wonder in the 1995 when he released Najee Plays Songs
From The Key Of Life: A Tribute To Stevie Wonder; his latest album is Rising
Sun (2007).
Nnenna Freelon is an American jazz singer, composer, producer and
arranger. She has been nominated for five Grammy Awards for her vocal
work, and has performed and toured with such top artists as Ray Charles, Ellis
Marsalis, Al Jarreau, Anita Baker, Aretha Franklin, Dianne Reeves, Diana Krall,
Ramsey Lewis, George Benson, Clark Terry, Herbie Hancock and Terence
Blanchard, just to name a few.
She has performed at Carnegie Hall, Hollywood Bowl, Ellington Jazz Festival,
Monterey Jazz Festival, Apollo Theater, Montreux Jazz Festival, the John F.
Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and more.
Like many of his Heads Up labelmates, keyboardist Joe McBride is something of an annual fixture at Berks Jazz Fest, bringing his spirited melodic funk
to a multitude of unique settings over the years. McBride has established
himself as one of the genre’s most popular artists with his label releases
Grace (1992), A Gift for Tomorrow (1994), Keys to Your Heart (1996) and
Double Take (1998). His most recent album, 2005’s Texas Hold ’Em, is a
tribute to his adopted home state and the current poker craze.
Since 2002, the locally based Berks Jazz Fest Horns have been adding
another dimension to special performances by many acts appearing at the
Fest. Consisting of Rob Diener on trumpet, Mike Anderson on sax and John
Loos on trombone, this group has played with artists like Gregg Karukas, Jeff
Kashiwa, Gerald Veasley, Special EFX, Chuck Loeb, L.A. Chillharmonic, the
Heads Up Super Band, and others.
www.geraldveasley.com; www.najeeonline.com; www.nnenna.com
Peter White and Mindi Abair
• Friday, March 27, 7:30 p.m., Scottish Rite Cathedral
The 2009 Berks Jazz Fest begins with an exciting opening night concert at
the Scottish Rite Cathedral featuring Peter White and Mindi Abair, two veteran
superstar performers who have defined the joyful, melodic and grooving
contemporary jazz experience for thousands of fans in the 2000s.
With numerous Berks appearances under their belts, they are among
the genre’s most popular touring artists. White, whose most recent release
is 2006’s Playing Favorites, has participated regularly over the years in the
annual all-star Guitars & Saxes tours, and in 2005 and 2007 was part of Jazz
by jonathan widran
Attack with Rick Braun, Richard Elliot and Jonathan
Butler. In 2008, Abair — who released her Peak
Records debut Stars last May — expanded
beyond her U.S. base with her first concerts
ever in Istanbul and Romania. In 2003, White and
Abair launched their first annual holiday tour, and
with Rick Braun joining them a year later, have
created one of the genre’s most popular annual
Christmastime events. The trio released A Peter
White Christmas, a studio recording that chronicles peter white
this experience, in 2007.
Since the release of his debut reveillez-vous
in 1990, Peter White’s distinctive R&B, jazz and
pop instrumental albums and staggering 14 No. 1
radio singles have set both artistic and commercial standards for the genre. His partnership with
pop/folk singer Al Stewart, which included White’s
co-writing the classic “Time Passages,” spanned
over 20 years. Over the years, the guitarist has
also recorded and/or toured with Basia, Dave Koz, mindi abair
Boney James, David Benoit, Gato Barbieri, Euge
Groove, The Crusaders, Craig Chaquico and Kirk Whalum.
Over half a decade after Mindi Abair broke onto the smooth jazz scene with
her hit debut It Just Happens That Way and her No. 1 signature hit “Lucy’s,”
she’s still an A-lister for summer and winter tours, festivals and cruises and
has her own syndicated radio show “Chill With Mindi Abair.” On Stars, her hit
follow-up to 2006’s Life Less Ordinary, she kept her trademark instrumental
sound hip and edgy and included more original vocal tracks (five) than ever
before. While keeping her core fans excited, she also is quickly establishing
herself as a distinctive voice in a new generation of singer-songwriters. Even
while establishing herself as a popular and influential instrumentalist, she has
been working toward this breakthrough a long time, doing pop tours with
Adam Sandler, Duran Duran, Josh Groban and even The Backstreet Boys on
their famed Millennium tour back in 1999-2000.
www.peterwhite.com; www.mindiabair.com
Victor Wooten
• Friday, March 27, 10:30 p.m., Reading Crowne
Hotel Ballroom (formerly Sheraton Reading Hotel)
Bass extraordinaire Victor Wooten will be joined
by drummer J.D. Blair for a stop on their 2 STIX
and 4 STRINGZ tour.
Like Marcus, “Victor” is the lone name among
bass fans that signals the last great hero of the instrument, Victor Wooten. Also like Miller, Wooten’s
musical reach extends far beyond the four-string. victor wooten
Born in Idaho to a military family, raised on the
island of Oahu and on the West Coast, Wooten received bass lessons at age 3
from his brother, Regi. By the age of 5, he had made his stage debut with his
four older brothers, collectively known as The Wootens.
In 1988, Wooten moved to Nashville, where he worked with vocalist Jonell
Mosser and met New Grass Revival banjo ace Béla Fleck. Within a year, Fleck,
Wooten, Wooten’s brother Roy (a.k.a. Futureman) and Howard Levy formed
the Flecktones, and were on their way to their first of three Grammys. Wooten
also formed Bass Extremes with fretless 6-string savant Steve Bailey, and then
released his remarkable 1996 solo debut, A Show of Hands.
Wooten’s recording and/or touring credentials quickly expanded to include
a range of artists like Branford Marsalis, Dave Matthews, Bruce Hornsby,
Prince, Mark O’Connor, Gov’t Mule, Susan Tedeschi, Bill Evans, Vital Tech
Tones (with Scott Henderson and Steve Smith), the Jaco Pastorius Word Of
Mouth Big Band and India.Arie.
The versatile musician also took big steps forward in the field of education,
offering music and life lessons though his popular Bass Nature Camps in his
home base of Tennessee, and his enlightening novel, “The Music Lesson.” He
currently maintains an ambitious dual solo/sideman pace, regularly recording
and touring with the Flecktones (who have released a dozen albums), Mike
Stern and Chick Corea’s Elektric Band.
With each new solo CD (six so far), Wooten has expanded his musical focus
and knack for genre-uniting via his songwriting, producing and multi-instrumental skills — all while maintaining the kind of stellar level of bass playing that
drives Palmystery, his most recent solo release on Heads Up. Later in 2008,
he, Miller and Stanley Clarke released Thunder, an explosive joint trio venture
recorded under the name S.M.V.
www.victorwooten.com
jazz
merchandise
This year’s official logo for the 19th annual VF Outlet
Berks Jazz Fest will appear on a variety of souvenir
merchandise. A sample of that merchandise is shown
here. These and other items will be available for sale
during the festival at all major venues.
Andy Narell, Catonsville High
team up for steel pan concert
Andy Narell and the Catonsville High School Steel Drum Band will give
VF Outlet Berks Jazz Fest fans a taste of the tropics with their Tuesday,
March 31, performance at 7:30 p.m. at the Miller Center for the Arts.
Narell and Catonsville performed once before at the Berks Jazz Fest, in
2001.
Before their evening show, Narell and the Catonsville Steel Drums
will perform for nearly 500 Reading School District and local parochial
school students, an event organized by Reading Eagle Company’s NIE
program and the Reading Musical Foundation’s Colonial Oaks Foundation grant.
With his 2007 Heads Up release, Tatoom, in 2007, pan master Narell
once again took the sound of the big steel band into uncharted jazz
territory. He had been co-leader of the Caribbean Jazz Project with Dave
Samuels and Paquito D’Rivera in the mid-1990s and performed as part
of Sakesho, as well as having a dynamic solo recording career.
Under the direction of James Wharton, the Catonsville High School
Steel Band was founded in 1991. From a band with one lead pan, a set
of double second pans, a set of guitar pans, and a set of tenor-bass
pans, the band grew to its present instrumentation of five leads, four
double tenors, four double seconds, three sets of guitar pans, a set of
cello pans, a set of tenor-basses, and two sets of six-basses.
Formed as a means for students to study and perform music from a
culture other than their own, the band shares the music of Trinidad and
Tobago with audiences throughout the Maryland region and beyond, with
over 30 performances annually. The band has produced six CDs, the
most recent being Ray Jam 2007.
A18 Sunday, March 22, 2009Reading Eagle, Reading, Pa.
Severn Records: Soul & Blues Revues
T
he VF Outlet Berks Jazz Fest wouldn’t be
complete without the blues.
This year’s festival is serving up a whopping
dose with shows by Joe Bonamassa, The Billy
Price Band featuring special guest Fred Chapellier, and the Derek Trucks Band.
But kicking things off will be two back-toback Severn Soul & Blues Revues, presented
by Severn Records.
“This is a rare opportunity for Severn to
put together a two-day showcase of some of
our best artists,” said David Earl, president of
Severn Records. “We are thrilled to bring this
level of talent to the Reading area!”
Each of these shows features an impressive roster of blues artists, both of which are
backed by the Severn Records All-Star Band
of Robb Stupka, Steve Gomes, Alex Schultz,
Karla Chisholm and Todd Goggins; and the
Severn Horns — Dave Finnell, Kenny Rittenhouse, Frank Mitchell and Morgan Price.
On Friday, March 27, at 7:30 p.m., Steve
Guyger, Big Joe Maher, Tad Robinson, Roy
Tyler & New Directions will be rocking The Inn
at Reading.
For over 30 years, legendary blues harmonica player Steve Guyger has been honing
his skills on the harmonica and delighting blues
audiences, whether that be with his own band,
The Excellos, or touring with celebrated bluesman Jimmy Rogers.
Joseph Maher a/k/a “Big Joe” Maher has
been a performing drummer/singer over the
past 30 years. His list of credits is like a “who’s
who of blues & jazz,” having performed with
greats like Clark Terry, Urbie Green, Mudell
Lowe and James Moody, just to name a few. In
the late ’80s, Maher formed his own five-piece
blues jump group “Big Joe & The Dynaflows.”
In between touring and local performances
with the Dynaflows, in the mid-90s Joe
accepted the role as musical coordinator
for Fleetwoods, Mick Fleetwood’s club in
Alexandria, Va.
Tad Robinson would have fit in snugly with
the blue-eyed soul singers of the 1960s. His
vocals virtually reeking of soul, he’s capable of
delving into a straight-ahead Little Walter shuffle
if you go...
friday, march 27
The Inn at Reading • 7:30 p.m. • $38
• Steve Guyger
• Big Joe Maher
• Tad Robinson
• Roy Tyler and New Directions
and the
• Severn Records All-Star Band
Robb Stupka
Steve Gomes
Benjie Porecki
Alex Schultz
Karla Chisholm
Todd Goggins
saturday, march 28
The Inn at Reading • 7:30 p.m. • $38
• Clarence Spady
• Darrell Nulisch
• Lou Pride
and the
• Severn Records All-Star Band
Robb Stupka
Steve Gomes
Benjie Porecki
Alex Schultz
Karla Chisholm
Todd Goggins
or delivering a vintage O.V. Wright R&B ballad.
Add his songwriting skills and exceptional harp
technique and you have quite the total package.
Roy Tyler & New Directions’ stirring music
is carefully chosen and is simply remarkable
in its blending of old and new. Their faith and
heartfelt passion in singing is absolute. Most
American music, jazz and soul, certainly R&B
and rock, have their roots in Southern gospel
and/or blues music. That becomes a direct link
to Tyler’s modern music that many listeners
might not be conscious of, but can’t help but
“feel it” just the same.
Blues fans can come back for more Severn
soul and blues with their second revue at the
Inn at Reading on Saturday, March 28 at 7:30
p.m., this time, with Clarence Spady, Darrell
Nulisch, Lou Pride and the Severn All-Star Band.
Once you’ve seen and heard Clarence
Spady, you know you’ve been witness to one of
the great blues guitar players of our time. He
plays with a depth and sensitivity that can’t be
taught. Effortlessly combining blues, jazz, funk
and rock, the music seems to emanate from
his soul, flow through his guitar and encompass the audience. In short, Spady is one of
those artists that can actually move people. He
brings out in his listeners a range of emotions
throughout his performances and recordings.
Growing up in Dallas, Darrell Nulisch was
surrounded by blues and soul music at an early
age, and has been a mainstay on the blues
scene for almost three decades. He’s been
with Maryland-based Severn Records since
releasing The Whole Truth in 1998 and his
2000 W.C. Handy Award-nominated I Like It
That Way.
Born outside of Chicago, singing is something that seemed to come naturally for Lou
Pride. Like many of the artists he’s commonly
compared to (Bobby Bland, ZZ Hill and Little
Milton), he got his start singing in the choir of
the First Baptist Church whose pastor was Reverend E.J. Cole (Nat King Cole’s father). Pride
has several recognized works with his WMB
Records release Love At Last, which earned
critical acclaim from Living Blues Magazine
(“among the year’s best soul/blues albums”),
and Twisting the Knife (Ichiban) in addition to
I Won’t Give Up on Kingsnake/Icehouse. Lou
continues to tour the U.S., Canada and Europe.
Earl said the Severn Soul and Blues Revue
has performed at numerous festivals throughout the world including the Arkansas Blues
and Heritage Festival and The Lucerne Blues
Festival in Switzerland. All of these artists have
performed with each other with the exception
of Oakland-based Roy Tyler, who will make his
first East Coast performance in over 15 years.
“The audience can expect 2 days of solid
Rhythm and Blues ranging from the styles of
Southern Soul, Uptown Chicago Soul, Chicago
and Texas Blues and Funk,” Earl said. “We
pride ourselves on being a family and the audience can expect to be part of that family.”
With two diverse lineups, the two Severn
shows are sure to bring blues audiences exactly
what they’re looking for to please their souls.
steve guyger
big joe maher
tad robinson
roy tyler
clarence spady
darrell nulisch
lou pride
Sunday, March 22, 2009 A19
Reading Eagle, Reading, Pa.
joyce cooling
Guitarist blends CD release
with NAMI benefit during fest
M
usic, as a whole, makes deep, emotional connections with people. But sometimes, it goes beyond
that, having a more definite purpose and even deeper
meaning.
That’s how it is for guitarist Joyce Cooling. The title
of her 2007 Narada Jazz release, Revolving Door, is
a reference to mental illness, and the
seemingly endless cycle in which
families find themselves when dealing with it firsthand.
She knows about this phenomenon because she’s gone through
it herself, along with her family. Her
brother was diagnosed with schizophrenia at age 19, and Cooling and
her family have been caught in that
revolving door ever since.
“You feel so helpless,” Cooling
said.
The shame that is so often attached to the issue of
mental illness prevents it from receiving the attention it needs in the form of advocacy, research and
breakthroughs.
And so the cycle of illness and helplessness and
shame continues.
Cooling decided to break that relentless cycle by
partnering with the National Alliance on Mental Illness
and holding benefit concerts, donating some of the
proceeds from merchandise and CD sales at each
show.
“We need to raise money,” Cooling said. “Where
there’s money, there’s research. Where’s there’s
research, there are breakthroughs. And where there
are breakthroughs, there’s relief.”
In 2007, Cooling hooked up with NAMI Berks
County for her Berks Jazz Fest show with Nelson
Rangell and Philippe Saisse at the former Sheraton
Reading Hotel ballroom.
This year, she’ll again be donating some of her
CD sales proceeds from her Saturday, April 4 show
with East Bay Soul to NAMI Berks County, as well as
NAMI’s Lancaster County affiliate. The show will be at
2 p.m. at the Reading Crowne Hotel.
Cooling, who is known for her eclectic and swinging
style, is recognized as one of the most dynamic and
popular contemporary jazz guitarists in the world.
“She’s wonderful to work with,” said Mary Lou Guntz,
executive director of NAMI Berks County. “She’s a
very caring person. It’s very easy for her to relate to
individuals in our membership.”
Both Berks County and Lancaster
County NAMI organizations will be
on hand at the Reading Crowne on
April 4 with materials on membership as well as free literature on
mental illness.
“We’re very, very pleased that
Joyce Cooling uses her talents to
support the NAMI organization,” said
Vivian Spiese, president of NAMI,
PA’s Lancaster County affiliate.
Cooling’s aim is really twofold.
“It’s not just the dollar amount; it’s the awareness,”
Cooling said. “That’s half the battle sometimes — getting the word out.”
Mental illness is a “biologically-based brain disorder,”
she said.
“It’s a physical illness, but because it affects behavior, people are ashamed. It’s nothing to be ashamed
of,” she stressed. “These are the bravest people I
know. These are not people to be thrown away.
“They often have so much to offer, so many abilities,
but need help in expressing them.”
In doing her part in getting the word, she decided
to approach it in a light, fun way.
“We want to have fun with this; at the same time,
we are doing some serious stuff,” she said. “I want to
uplift. I don’t feel devastated; yes, frustrated, but very
hopeful.”
What does Cooling hope all of this work ultimately
leads to?
“I am hoping to lift the load of the work off the family
and into professional hands,” she said. “You end up
doing much of it yourself as a family. We just don’t
know enough.”
Cooling’s latest album, Global Cooling, on the
Group2 Productions label, is set to be released April
7, but pre-release CDs will be available to fans at the
show April 4, the kickoff of her Global Cooling tour.
Her seventh studio album is a collection of danceable jazz, featuring her signature, colorful, bodymoving sound.
“It’s eclectic -- you can dance to it, you can trance to
it,” Cooling said. “It’s up to you.”
Along with songwriting partner Jay Wagner, Cool-
ing has crafted a stunning collection of songs that
embody places, feelings and thoughts.
Some, like “Cobra” and “The Red Rose,” paint
soundscapes of exotic lands; others, like title track
“Global Cooling” and “We Can,” are driven by Cooling’s
optimism and love of things global and universal.
”Jay and I wanted to make music in the spirit of
that interconnectedness that I like to call our global
neighborhood,” she said.
at the festival...NAMI BERKS/LANCASTER COUNTY BENEFIT
Giordano Jazz Dance Chicago
Wednesday, April 1 • 7:30 p.m. • Schaeffer Auditorium
For more than 40 years, Giordano Jazz
Dance Chicago, the nation’s original
jazz dance company, has brought the
excitement of American jazz dance to
audiences throughout the world. Never
content to rest on its fleet-footed laurels, the company
consistently introduces fresh approaches to the jazz
genre, stretching their vocabulary in athletic and
witty directions.
TICKETS: $30 • Students: $27
For information: 610-683-4511 • www.kutztownpresents.org
Reading Eagle Company is proud to be the major sponsor
of the Kutztown University Performing Artists Series
What: East Bay Soul featuring Greg Adams, Phil Perry,
Michael Paulo, Lee Thornburg, plus Joyce Cooling Band
When: Saturday, April 4 • 2 p.m.
Where: Reading Crowne Hotel ballroom
How to help: Portion of proceeds from Joyce Cooling’s
CD sales are donated to NAMI’s Berks and Lancaster county
affiliates. Get Joyce Cooling Band’s new CD, Global Cooling,
at the concert, before the official April 7 release date!
Tickets: $39
www.joycecooling.com / www.namiberkscounty.com / www.nami.org / www.berksjazzfest.com
VF Outlet providing free shuttle service to hotel guests
For the second straight year, VF Outlet shuttle will take fans staying
at participating hotels to major festival concerts — and back to their
respective hotel for free.
For more information or to make a reservation, please call
610-208-5498. Space is limited and reservations are required 48
hours in advance.
Participating hotels: Best Western; Comfort Inn; Country Inn & Suites
by Carlson; Days Inn/Wyomissing; Hampton Inn; Holiday Inn Express;
Reading Crowne Hotel; Abraham Lincoln Hotel/Wyndham; and The Inn
at Reading.
mark your calendars!
20th annual vf outlet berks jazz fest
march 19-28, 2010
www.berksjazzfest.com
A20 Sunday, March 22, 2009Reading Eagle, Reading, Pa.

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