- Jazz Quartet
- Berkshire Music School Benefit
- Sat. May 14, 2011 – 8PM
- Colonial Theatre, Pittsfield
- Box office: 413-997-4444
The Bill Lowe Andy Jaffe Repertory Big Band will perform at at Williams College’s Chapin Hall on Saturday, April 9 at 8pm. Admission is free. Music composed and arranged by Andy Jaffe, Frank Foster, Bill Barron, Bill Lowe, and Bill Finegan. This concert is part of a year-long celebration of the 25th Anniversary of the Bill Lowe Andy Jaffe Repertory Big Band, and also celebrates Bill Lowe himself, who is the Sterling Brown Professor of Africana Studies this semester at Williams College, teaching Jazz history, of which he himself has been an important part.
BerkshiresJazz presents the U.S. Air Force jazz ensemble, the Liberty Big Band, in a special concert with trumpet legend Marvin Stamm as guest soloist, 7:30 PM April 8, 2011, at the Colonial Theatre in Pittsfield, Mass. The concert is part of Pittsfield’s 250th birthday celebration, as well as being part of the nationwide Jazz Appreciation Month initiative of the Smithsonian Institution.
“Pittsfield loves a big band, and we’ll have a chance to show that appreciation with one of the finest jazz ensembles of the day” said Edward Bride, president of Berkshires Jazz. “What better way to open a series of celebratory events, as part of Pittsfield’s 250th birthday, than a concert that features jazz, America’s classical music, our cultural gift to the world?”
The USAF Liberty Jazz Band plays familiar and new jazz selections with style and sophistication. The 16-piece ensemble, which has been entertaining audiences for more than a quarter of a century, is based at Hanscom Air Force Base in Bedford, Massachusetts.
Stamm, an alumnus of the Stan Kenton orchestra, divides his career among jazz education, small-group performances, and tours as a guest artist. No stranger to the Berkshires, he is also a mainstay in the Westchester (NY) Jazz Orchestra and has appeared at Tanglewood.
During his visit to Pittsfield, Stamm will also conduct a workshop with the Pittsfield High School jazz ensemble.
April is celebrated nationally as Jazz Appreciation Month, in accordance with a well-established program of the Smithsonian Institution (codified by Congress in 2003). Despite this practice, Berkshire County has been without a significant jazz event during April since the demise of the Williams College Intercollegiate Jazz Festival and its companion Williamstown Jazz Festival. BerkshiresJazz.org is filling this void with the evening concert and daytime workshop. Both events are free, thanks to funding from the Pittsfield Cultural Council and Massachusetts Cultural Council.
“Recognizing both the historical and cultural importance of jazz rightfully focuses attention on our cultural assets, and helps fill the Jazz Appreciation Month void,” said Bride. “The Liberty Big Band was well-received in their previous visit to Pittsfield, in January, 2008, and this marks their first visit since that concert. We’re very fortunate to pair them with Marvin Stamm for a memorable evening.”
Although the concert is free, advance tickets are suggested, and are available at the Colonial Theatre box office, 413-997-4444.
Kent, Connecticut, is becoming a hotbed of jazz activity, now that the Litchfield Jazz Festival has moved there. On Dec. 11, our friends at the festival are presenting a holiday concert with the legendary drummer Matt Wilson. Read on for more details….
Kent, CT – The Litchfield Jazz Festival announces “Christmas Tree-O: A Holiday Concert” featuring Artist-in-Residence, drummer, Matt Wilson. The concert will be held at St. Andrew’s Church in Kent on Saturday, December 11 at 3:00pm, and will feature festive jazzy tunes from Matt’s latest release, “Christmas Tree-O,” out now on Palmetto Records. Matt Wilson kicked-off his stint as the Litchfield festival’s first Artist-in-Residence last August, when he taught at Litchfield Jazz Camp, led Artist Talks with Dave Brubeck and Mario Pavone, and performed twice at the 15th Anniversary of the Litchfield Jazz Festival held at Kent School.
Matt Wilson has performed on the Litchfield Jazz Festival 16 times in the past 15 years with a number of different groups, including his own Quartet and his Arts & Crafts Ensemble. He has worked with other well-known artists including Charlie Haden, Elvis Costello, Lee Konitz, Wynton Marsalis and many more. On his “Christmas Tree-O” album, he collaborates with longtime band-mates, reedman Jeff Lederer and bassist Paul Sikivie. The album highlights exciting variations on holiday classics and embodies the spirit of the holiday season.
“Christmas Tree-O: A Holiday Concert” will be followed by a reception across the street at the Ober Gallery, 14 Old Barn Road, Kent. Great gifts will be raffled including a gift basket valued at over $1,500 with holiday treats, gifts from Kent businesses, teas by Harney & Sons Fine Teas, and CD’s from Palmetto Recording Artists including Matt Wilson. General Admission tickets are $15. Reserved Concert Seating and Reception tickets are $40. Tickets can be purchased by mail order to: The Litchfield Jazz Festival, PO Box 69, Litchfield, CT 06759, online at www.litchfieldjazzfest.com/calendar, by phone at 860-361-6285, in person at two Kent locations; Kent Wine & Spirit and J.P. Gifford, or at the door at St. Andrew’s Church, 1 North Main Street, Kent. For more information please call 860-361-6285 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tuba master Eli Newberger, a co-founder of the New Black Eagle Jazz Band, brings his Jazz Tuber Trio to Lenox for a free concert on Wednesday evening, July 28. The setting is outdoors in Lilac Park, right in picturesque Lenox Village (rain venue: Lenox Town Hall). The New Black Eagle Jazz Band was the first group to make a return engagement to the Pittsfield CityJazz Festival in 2008, after headlining the first festival in 2005.
The Jazz Tuber Trio comprises the saxophone virtuoso Ted Casher, banjoist and vocalist Jimmy Mazzy, and Newberger. Starting time is 7pm, attendees are invited to bring picnics, and lawn chair, blanket, or other seating arrangement.
NB: See videos from the 2010 festival; and stay tuned for a festival wrap-up.
The sixth annual Pittsfield CityJazz Festival is scheduled for October 8 – 21, 2010, in venues around the city. Headline performers include baritone saxophone virtuoso Claire Daly; up-and-coming vibraphone player Joe Baione; a return of the American Jazz Repertory Orchestra, the Brazilian Jazz Trio, and the Berkshires Youth Jazz Ensemble.
Once again, the festival will be collaborating with the schools of Berkshire County with free performances and discussions by the Pittsfield Sister City Jazz Ambassadors. See the schedule.
The Brazilian Jazz Trio, comprising the remarkable Warren Byrd on piano, Jason Schwarts on bass, and Tom Parker on drums, will perform at the Berkshire Athenaeum on Wednesday, Oct. 13. The free concert starts at 7pm.
Most of the events are free. The two ticketed events (order online, or call Colonial Theatre: 413-997-4444), both on the headline weekend, include:
Oct. 15: the Berkshires debut of Joe Baione, a Delaware-based vibraphone player and his quintet. The concert (7:30pm, Crowne Plaza Hotel) will be preceded by an optional New Orleans-style sit-down dinner with such delicacies such as shrimp etouffe’, jambalaya, and cajun catfish (Tickets: $20 concert only – $47 w/ dinner).
Oct. 16: a guest appearance of baritone saxophone virtuoso Claire Daly, who will be featured as a soloist with two big bands on the program: The Berkshires Jazz Youth Ensemble and the American Jazz Repertory Orchestra (AJRO); Colonial Theatre, 8pm (Tickets: $15/25).
AJRO returns to Pittsfield by popular demand, after a 2009 appearance on Independence Day weekend. Besides a set of familiar big-band selections spotlighting Daly and other soloists, AJRO will perform jointly with the Berkshires Jazz Youth Ensemble, directed by Ron Lively, in a finale that will bring all the musicians on stage at once.
Here is a podcast on KadmusArts where Clem DeRosa talks about why he focused on jazz music education, why it is important to keep music in the public school system, and how there are only two kinds of music: good and bad.[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RM1IjDk-XOA[/youtube]AJRO is directed by Clem DeRosa, a member of the Jazz Hall of Fame, a big-band drummer and pioneer in jazz education. During his military career, DeRosa served with one of Glenn Miller’s Air Corps Bands, and later fronted one of Miller’s “ghost bands,” and the Benny Goodman band, on tours.
The festival concludes with various jazz-oriented performers on Oct. 21, part of Pittsfield’s “Third Thursday” block party.
Following is the schedule for the Sister City Jazz Ambassadors’, “Jazz, America’s Own Music” series for Fall 2010. Lessons on jazz history and the fundamentals of jazz music will be presented, along with lots of jazz music!
Percussionist, author, activist, and Pittsfield native Royal Hartigan brings his Blood Drum Spirit ensemble to Pittsfield, Massachusetts to honor our ancestors on Mothers’ Day, Sunday, 9 May, 2010, at 3 pm. The concert will take place at the First Church Congregational at 27 East Street, Pittsfield, at Park Square (see map). A free will offering is suggested and all proceeds from offerings and CD sales will be donated to the Hospice Care of the Berkshires and the Elizabeth Freeman Women’s Center of Pittsfield. Hartigan will be joined by saxophonist David Bindman, pianist Art Hirahara, bassist Wes Brown, and Asante dancer Kwabena Boateng.
As a recipient of both J. William Fulbright and Asian Cultural Council awards, Dr. Hartigan has performed, conducted research, recorded, and taught in the Philippines in residencies since 2006. He also brings students from UMass Dartmouth, where he is a professor, to Ghana, West Africa, each year, studying in rural villages with master drummers and dancers. A scholar of world music, Hartigan has published four books and participated in numerous recordings as a sideman or with his ensemble. His mother, Hazel Hartigan, and uncle, Ray Hart, were tap dancers and musicians who toured throughout the world and taught tap in the Berkshires from the 1930s to the 1970s.
The Blood Drum Spirit ensemble brings a global vision to music, exploring deep into the world’s great traditions through the prism of live jazz performance. Ensemble members have lived, played and toured throughout Africa, the Middle East, Europe, the Americas, and Asia, including four tours of China as featured ensemble at the renowned Beijing Midi Jazz Festival. They have released three double CDs, most recently Ancestors and Blood Drum Spirit Live in China, (Innova 2008), both to critical acclaim. In its 27th year, Blood Drum Spirit features a combination of world music with extended improvisations, original compositions reflecting influences from India and Africa, as well as unique interpretations of jazz classics in the African American tradition.
UPDATE: WAMC’s interview with Randy Weston has been scheduled for the station’s Performance Place segment this Friday, May 28, at 11:33am. Find a station or listen to the live stream: wamc.org.
BerkshiresJazz presents Randy Weston in concert at the Berkshire Museum, (directions to Berkshire Museum) in Pittsfield, MA on Saturday May 29, 2010, 8PM. Advance tickets $20; $25 at the door. For more information call the Berkshire Museum at 413-443-7171. Randy Weston meets the media in a panel discussion at 2:30pm, also at the Berkshire Museum. The media panel is free and open to the public, regardless of whether you have a ticket for the evening performance.
After nearly a 10-year absence, NEA Jazz Master Randy Weston returns to the place of his discovery, The Berkshires, for a career retrospective. Employed as a young cook in Lenox, Massachusetts, Weston would often walk over to the renowned jazz resort/retreat called Music Inn, where he would play the piano after hours. Proprietress Stephanie Barber encouraged the young Brooklynite to pursue a career in music, and pursue he did. With a jazz resume that spans some 55 years, Weston has dozens of recordings and compositions to his name. Here is a clip from Randy’s days at the Music Inn, Lenox (this clip comes from the Music Inn Film, courtesy of Barenholtz Productions:[flashvideo file=http://berkshiresjazz.org/video/rw-music-inn.mp4 /]
As a budding professional jazz pianist, and as an accomplished world traveler and performer, Weston frequently stayed in the Berkshires for rest and creative inspiration. The Berkshires’ special place in his heart is reflected in the name of perhaps his most famous composition, Berkshire Blues, which has become a jazz standard.
His awards and distinctions are many, and were capped in 2001 with his designation as a Jazz Master by the National Endowment for the Arts. He reflects on his musical groundings in a special concert, accompanied by bassist Alex Blake, at the Berkshire Museum on Saturday, May 29.
Saxophonist Don Braden will perform with the Williams Jazz Ensemble, under the direction of Andy Jaffe on Sat. March 6, 2010 in Chapin Hall on the campus of Williams College, (see map) Williamstown, MA. The concert is free and open to the public.
Excerpt from the Williams College website:
“The next big event combines the soulful sound of the great Don Braden with the sublime experience that is big band. There are a lot of names to be dropped when considering Don Braden: Wynton Marsalis, Betty Carter, Freddie Hubbard and Roy Haynes, just to name a few. Mr. Braden has released his fourteenth CD as leader entitled “Gentle Storm”. Born in Cincinnati, raised in Louisville and schooled by among others the renowned Jamie Aebersold, he attended Harvard where he divided his time between studying engineering and performing at jazz clubs in Boston. At this time he began writing and arranging for dance, film and music projects as well as is own quartet. Among other high profile composing honors, was his work for four years as co-music supervisor/composer for Bill Cosby’s most recent CBS sitcom, “Cosby”.
The Williams Jazz Ensemble and local jazz lovers are lucky to have pulled Mr. Braden into their orbit. As a saxophonist, composer, arranger, and teacher, Don represents the highest levels of strength, creativity, discipline, joy, and soulfulness in his classic jazz journey. He expresses a contemporary point of view powerfully, spiritually, intelligently – and most important – with a tasty swinging jazz style. Don Braden and big band; now that is irresistible.
The flagship Williams Jazz Ensemble (big band) plays formal concerts on campus, and also travels each year, with performances ranging from the Boston area to New York as well as throughout the Western Mass. region. In January of ’08 the Ensemble was in residence at the University of the Americas in Puebla, Mexico.”
Berkshires Jazz, Inc. opens its 2010 concert series on Feb. 12 with a performance by Turnip Cake, a jazz sextet from Williams College under the direction of Andy Jaffe. The concert, which is free and open to the public, starts at 7:30pm at the Lichtenstein Center for the Arts, 29 Renne Ave. in downtown Pittsfield.
The student group will be performing compositions from various jazz greats including Clifford Brown, Billy Taylor, Randy Newman and Ellis Marsalis. Andy Jaffe, Director of Jazz Activities at Williams College, will be providing direction to this exciting group which includes Rob Pasternak (junior) on piano and arranger, Connor Kamm (senior) on trumpet, Andy Quinn (freshman) on tenor saxophone, Danny Schwartz (freshman) on guitar, John Morgenstern (junior) on bass and Joe Mastracchio (senior) on drums.
This event is the first of the 2010 series of free concerts provided by Berkshires Jazz, Inc., an emerging non-profit organization committed to presenting jazz performances and promoting jazz education in Berkshire County. Berkshires Jazz is also responsible for sponsoring the annual Pittsfield CityJazz Festival in mid-October.