Berkshires Jazz, Inc. has announced the lineup for the 12th annual Pittsfield CityJazz Festival, which runs Oct. 7-16, 2016 The wide-ranging lineup is headlined by the Scott Robinson Quartet, the Karrin Allyson Trio, and the U.S. Army Jazz Ambassadors Big Band, plus the annual “jazz crawl;” a new discovery in the organization’s Jazz Prodigy series, and a new exhibit of jazz photography.
Most of the festival’s events are free, thanks to underwriting support from The Feigenbaum Foundation, North Coast Brewing Co., TD Charitable Foundation, Greylock Federal Credit Union, Berkshire Bank, the Crowne Plaza, and jazz advocate and educator Brent Banulis.
Things kick off on Columbus Day weekend, Oct. 7-9, with Jazz About Town, the annual jazz crawl featuring local musicians in restaurants and lounges throughout Pittsfield’s Upstreet Cultural District. Dates, details, and locations will be updated soon.
A new part of the festival is a month-long exhibit of the works of award-winning photojournalist Ken Franckling. Opening with the First Friday Artswalk on Oct. 7, the exhibit of more than 20 of Franckling’s photos will hang at the Whitney Center for the Arts, 42 Wendell Ave. Franclking will be present at the First Friday Artswalk reception on Oct. 7 (5-8pm), signing his book, “JAZZ IN THE KEY OF LIGHT.”
In addition to visually capturing a variety of the world’s jazz greats in performance or moments of personal reflection, Franckling paired the images with essential quotes from interviews he conducted over his long career, working for a variety of mainstream and jazz publications. It is not your typical fine art photography book,
After the full weekend of Jazz About Town, festivities continue with the Jazz Prodigy concert, marking an early start on headline weekend on Thursday, Oct. 13, performer to be announced. Headline concerts take place on Oct. 14-15, and the festival concludes with a jazz brunch on Sunday, Oct. 16.
As part of its Pittsfield CityJazz Festival, a local group of professional musicians, the Pittsfield Sister City Jaz Ambassadors, visits elementary and middle schools in the county, educating and entertaining students.
ABOUT THE HEADLINERS
Kicking-off “headline weekend,” the exciting, creative sounds of saxophonist Scott Robinson will fill Flavours Restaurant on Oct. 14, starting at 8pm. ($25 advance; $30 day of show) Robinson graduated from the Berklee College of Music in 1981; the next year, he joined the college’s staff, becoming its youngest faculty member. He has appeared on more than 200 LP and CD releases, including eleven under his leadership. Robinson’s quartet makes its Berkshires debut at the popular nightspot (entrance on McKay Street, across the street from the parking lot and garage).
Scott Robinson Quartet tickets:
The remarkable vocalist and pianist Karrin Allyson performs with her trio at The Colonial Theatre on Saturday, Oct. 15, at u7:30pm. Allyson has been nominated for five Grammy Awards, and has received positive reviews from several prominent sources, including the New York Times, which has called her a “singer with a feline touch and impeccable intonation.” After her set, the Jazz Ambassadors –America’s big band– take the stage, and Allyson will return for some numbers with the big band.
In addition to the headline performers, the Oct. 15 concert will be opened by the Berkshires Jazz Youth Ensemble, which is in residence at Herberg Middle School. Under the direction of Chris Nelson-Unczur, the ensemble mainly comprises the student musicians in the Herberg Middle School Jazz Ensemble, augmented by graduates and visiting students. Tickets for the Oct. 15 headline concert is available at www.BerkshireTheatreGroup.org.
Berkshires Jazz, Inc. is a 501c3 non-profit organization whose mission is to present jazz events and promote jazz education in Berkshire County, Massachusetts.