The second annual Berkshire Gateway Jazz Weekend brought impressive numbers of tourists and locals to downtown Lee, Massachusetts, as they populated lunch and dinner spots and stores, and then flocked to headline concerts featuring Freddie Bryant, Phil Woods, and the Greg Caputo big band. Story from All About Jazz.
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First Fridays Artswalk Pittsfield Sept. 6, 2013
Participating in the First Fridays Artswalk, Pittsfield Sept. 6, 2013, we present The Parker/Byrd Trio. The performers include pianist Warren Byrd, drummer Tom Parker, and Dan Broad on bass. The jazz concert will be held at Baba Louie’s Backroom, 34 Depot Street, Pittsfield. $20, dinner available separately. Please use the Paypal button below to reserve your seat(s) for the concert; remember to enter a name for our reservation’s list.
Parker and Byrd w/ Brazilian Jazz Trio
The video shows Parker and Byrd playing with Brazilian Jazz Trio at the 2010 Pifttsfield CityJazz Festival.
Phil Woods, Freddie Bryant, Greg Caputo headline Jazz weekend in Lee, MA
Several free events, including al fresco performances. a jazz brunch and an art exhibit, have been added to the Berkshire Gateway Jazz Weekend, in downtown Lee, July 25-28. Berkshires Jazz, Inc. and Berkshire Gateway Preservation, Inc. have teamed-up to bring a full weekend of marquee performers, a jazz documentary film, and appearances by local jazz musicians to the town.
The weekend kicks off at 6pm on Thursday, July 25 with the screening of “A Life in E Flat,” a biographical profile of the legendary alto saxophonist, NEA Jazz Master and 4-time Grammy winner Phil Woods. Through a special arrangement with Jazzed Media, producers of jazz films and CDs, the screening at the Lee Library on Main Street is free and open to the public.
The festival includes two headline concerts in the striking performance space at First Congregational Church, 25 Park Place. Freddie Bryant & Kaleidoscope appear on Friday, July 26 at 8pm; and the Greg Caputo Big Band with special guest Phil Woods takes to the stage on Saturday, July 27 at 7:30pm. Tickets for these two concerts, $25 each, or $40 for both, are on sale at the Chamber of Commerce information booth in downtown Lee; at Qwik Print, Great Barrington, and Wood Brothers store in Pittsfield and online at www.BerkshireGatewayJazz.com. Information at 413-243-1033.
free Jazz events throughout downtown Lee
In addition to the two headline concerts, the weekend is spangled with free events, starting with the Thursday movie, continuing with art exhibit, and a series of “Jazz in the Alley” concerts next to Spectrum Theatre:
- The first of the al fresco events is on Friday afternoon, July 26, 2-4pm with a performance by the Berkshire Jazz Collective, featuring Andy Wrba and other musicians from the area;
- “Jazz in the Alley” resumes on Saturday, July 27 with an outdoor art exhibit, plus a noontime concert featuring a quintet of local jazz performers including Rich Vinette, Stan Pyrzanowski, Josh Kleederman, Jack DiNicola and Ted Murray;
- Also on July 27, Andy Kelly’s Jazz Ambassadors, a roaming New Orleans-style group, will be strolling downtown in various locations along Main Street starting at 1pm, kicking off at Baja Charlie’s and finishing in the alley next to Spectrum Theatre.
- The festivities conclude on Sunday July 28with a Jazz Brunch at the Starving Artist Creperie, 40 Main St,, 11am-1pm. Lee.
Berkshire Gateway Jazz Weekend schedule Lee, MA July 25-28, 2013
- Thursday, July 25, 6pm. Phil Woods bio-pic, “A Life in E Flat.” Lee Public Library. Free, sponsored by Jazzed Media.
Friday afternoon, July 26, 2-4pm. “Jazz in the Alley” with the Berkshire Jazz Collective, featuring Andy Wrba (WOOr-bah) and other musicians from the area. Free.
- Friday evening, July 26, 8pm. Freddie Bryant and Kaleidoscope. First Congregational Church, 25 Park Place. ($25. Or, both Thursday and Saturday concerts for $40)
- Saturday, July 27 “Jazz in the Alley” resumes at noon, with an outdoor art exhibit, plus a concert featuring a quintet of local jazz performers (including Rich Vinette, Stan Pyrzanowski, Josh Kleederman, Jack DiNicola and Ted Murray).
- Saturday, July 27, 1pm: Andy Kelly’s Jazz Ambassadors, a roaming New Orleans-style group, will be strolling downtown in various locations along Main Street, kicking off at Baja Charlie’s and finishing in the alley next to Spectrum Theatre.
- Exhibit: A Retrospective featuring artist John Lawson. Good Purpose Gallery, 40 Main St., Lee. Reception: Saturday July 27, 5-7 pm. Live music by Steve Dietmann and the Jazzmen Band.
- Saturday, July 27, 7:30pm. Greg Caputo Big Band, “Benny Goodman to Gordon Goodwin.” With special guest Phil Woods. First Congregational Church, 25 Park Place. ($25. Or, both Thursday and Saturday headline concerts for $40)
- Sunday July 28, Jazz Brunch at the Starving Artist Creperie, 40 Main St. 11am-1pm. Free.
Christopher Culpo solo concert in Pittsfield June 25
Christopher Culpo will give a solo piano concert at First Church of Christ on Park Square, 27 East Street, Pittsfield, MA on Tuesday, June 25 at 7pm. Mr. Culpo, a Pittsfield native, lives in France.
The music of Christopher Culpo is unclassifiable, having its place in the world of theater and dance, in clubs and concert halls. As a performer and composer, Culpo lies at the confluence of contemporary classical music, jazz and free improvisation.
Some recent commissions and performances have been with the Orchestre Nationale of France, the Verge Ensemble in Washington DC, and the Ensemble Itineraire in Paris.
In May, 2013 his orchestra piece Murmurations was broadcast by Radio France. In February 2012 Culpo was awarded the Clefworks composition prize and his work Of Ground, or Air, or Ought- was premiered by the ETHEL quartet in Montgomery, Alabama.
Recent activities as a performer include appearances at Festivals in France, Belgium, South Africa, Italy, Mexico, Australia and New Zealand.
As a performer, Culpo has released three albums: Portrait in Black & White with saxophonist Jean Charles Richard, Love & Bananas Are Here with the Culpo/Richard/Herbert Trio and Fresh Frozen with clarinetist/saxophonist Achille Succi and tubist Oren Marshall.
Culpo will perform his own compositions along with works by Ellington, Monk, Mingus, Cole Porter, and others.
Christopher Culpo concert info and audio clips
Greg Caputo Big Band, Phil Woods, Freddie Bryant Quartet concerts in Lee, MA July 25-28
The second annual Berkshire Gateway Jazz Weekend brings marquee performers and local jazz musicians to downtown Lee, July 25-28, 2013. Berkshires Jazz, Inc. in collaboration with Berkshire Gateway Preservation, Inc., present the Greg Caputo Big Band, Phil Woods, and the Freddie Bryant Quartet in the striking performance space at First Congregational Church, 25 Park Place, and other venues.
With schooling in Brazilian music, classical and jazz, Freddie Bryant’s art is starting to challenge traditional labels. His talents are now being sought out by artists from diverse background ranging from trumpet great Tom Harrell to the Mingus Orchestra, vocalist Eliane Elias to Klezmer virtuoso clarinetist Giora Feidman. His quartet’s repertoire (Friday, July 26, 8pm) will include much of the music from their latest CD, Live Grooves.
“Benny Goodman to Gordon Goodwin” program features Phil Woods
Described as “the keeper of the big band flame,” drummer Gregory Caputo fronts a 16-piece unit that will perform a salute to some of the biggest bands of the jazz era. His program, “Benny Goodman to Gordon Goodwin,” will feature the NEA Jazz Master and multiple Grammy Award winner Phil Woods, who returns to the Berkshires after two appearances at the Pittsfield CityJazz Festival in 2006 and 2011. Woods is a guest artist on Caputo’s CD “Velocity,” and their performance (Saturday, July 27, 7:30pm) will include much of the material from that live recording.
The Berkshire Gateway Jazz Weekend had its premiere last September, under the direction of Rich Vinette. Earlier this year, Berkshire Gateway Preservation, Inc. and Berkshires Jazz, Inc. combined efforts on this event, moving it to the peak weekend of the tourist season. Other performers to be announced. Tickets and info: Berkshire Gateway Jazz Weekend.
2013 Berkshires Jazz Student Art Contest
The winners of the annual Berkshires Jazz Student Art Contest, adjudicated from more than 70 entries from all four of Pittsfield’s high schools, will be announced on April 11. The ceremony will take place starting at 5:00pm in the Crane Room at the Berkshire Museum, where all entries will be hanging.
The occasion will open with a performance by the Pittsfield High School Jazz Ensemble under the direction of band director Ronald Lively. Berkshires Jazz will also announce the headline performers for its two main events of the second half of 2013, the Berkshire Gateway Jazz Weekend in late July in downtown Lee, and the Pittsfield CityJazz Festival in October, followed by the announcement of the Student Art Contest winners. Light refreshments will be provided, and many of the student artists will be on hand.
Students from Pittsfield and Taconic High Schools, as well as St. Joseph’s and Miss Hall’s, participated in this fourth annual contest. to create the graphic symbol The winning entry will become the graphic image for the eighth annual Pittsfield CityJazz Festival, which will be held from Oct. 9-19, 2013. It will appear on the festival’s poster, web site, advertising, and program booklet.
The contest is a way to engage more of the student community in a cross-genre creative activity. Many of the students conduct independent research the subject, and jazz music is sometimes played during the classes, as a way of inspiring the student artists. The top three entries receive small cash prizes and the opportunity to show their work in a world-class exhibit space at the Berkshire Museum.
This year’s judges included artist Anne Pasko; graphic designer Tom Buckley of Greylock Marketing Group; and fine art photographer Ken Green of Museum Facsimiles.
Art teachers engaged in the project were coordinator Colleen Quinn, Pittsfield High School; Lisa Ostellino and Barbara Patton, PHS; Marybeth Eldridge and Mike Boroniec, Taconic; Dale Zola, St. Joseph’s; and Ellie Kreischer and Sophia Lee from Miss Hall’s.
Project coordinator is Art Niedeck, a jazz musician and music educator, and chairman of the Education Committee of Berkshires Jazz, Inc., which is responsible for planning the Pittsfield CityJazz Festival and other events throughout the year. In addition to its mission of presenting ‘live’ jazz, the not-for-profit Berkshires Jazz is chartered to promote jazz education throughout Berkshire County. Its activities are supported by ticket sales from the festival, as well as donations from sponsors, which this year include Greylock Federal Credit Union the Pittsfield Cultural Council, and jazz education pioneer Jamey Aebersold.
Claire Daly plays Thelonious Monk tribute March 29, 2013 in Pittsfield, MA
Claire Daly brings her Baritone Monk repertoire for a special concert at the Berkshire Museum on Friday evening, March 29, at 7pm. Celebrating the legendary jazz pianist Thelonious Monk, Claire’s latest CD has been played on national media and has heralded as among the most important releases in the past year.
“Unless you’ve been comatose these past few years you must be aware that Claire Daly has established herself as one of our most compelling and creative voices on the baritone saxophone.” Bob Bernotas, JazzImprov Magazine
Her career has included anchoring the sax section in the Diva Big Band for seven years, freelancing in New York doing every imaginable kind of gig, recording a dozen CDs. Her latest work is Baritone Monk, a salute to pianist/composer Thelonious Monk, which she will be performing in Pittsfield on March 29. In addition to her recorded work, she has performed on numerous film scores and in many festivals and venues. She appeared twice at the Pittsfield CityJazz Festival, headlining her own quartet at the Women in Jazz night (2007) and with the American Jazz Repertory Orchestra (2010).
She is a six-time winner of the Downbeat Critic’s Poll “Talent Deserving Wider Recognition,” and having achieved that recognition, has also been the winner of the Jazz Journalist Association “Baritone Sax of the Year” award. “Bariton Monk” is supported by a grant from North Coast Brewing.
Tickets are $15, and are available by phone at 413-443-7171, ext. 10.
Jeff Holmes Quartet concert in Pittsfield April 5, 2013
A jazz concert by the Jeff Holmes Quartet is on the schedule April 5, 2013 at Baba Louie’s in Pittsfield, MA. On the first Friday of April, Berkshires Jazz welcomes Jazz Appreciation Month, a program of The Smithsonian Institution, with this concert and CD-release party. An accomplished composer, educator, and multi-instrumentalist, Holmes plays piano on his first small-group recording, Of One’s Own. The CD is receiving lots of airplay (and online), and will be performed along with other works on April 5 at Baba Louie’s Backroom, 34 Depot Street, Pittsfield. Starting time is 8pm, as the museum and gallery activities of Pittsfield’s monthly First Fridays Artswalk wind down. Tickets: $20 (advance purchase highly recommended). Dinner available separately either in Baba Louie’s main dining room or in the backroom.[one_half]
- Baba Louie’s Backroom,
- 34 Depot Street, Pittsfield
- Show time: 8:00pm. – All tickets $20.
- Please indicate a name for reserving your ticket(s).
Free Tanglewood tickets
Promoting Jazz in the Berkshires – Berkshires Jazz is committed to bringing jazz to the Berkshires, year’round. And we’re just as pleased to help spread the news about other venues, such as Tanglewood. Thanks to a special collaboration with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, three friends of Berkshires Jazz and their guests received free tickets to the amazing Tanglewood performance of Monty Alexander, on Sunday, Aug. 25. As an encore to last weekend’s giveaway, we were also able to offer free tickets to this weekend’s performance of Donal Fox (Saturday, Aug. 31, 1pm) and Harry Connick, Jr. (Saturday, Aug. 31, 7pm).
Tickets for the Aug. 31 concerts are still available from the Tanglewood box office, just click on the above links (Donal Fox or Harry Connick, Jr.) for more information.
Thank you for all who participated, and congratulations to those who will receive tickets.
Donal Fox Scarlatti Jazz Project at Seiji Ozawa Hal
Back by popular demand, composer, pianist and innovator Donal Fox will perform his Scarlatti Jazz Project at Seiji Ozawa Hall. Donal Fox has forged a unique amalgam of jazz, Latin, and classical music. Combining deep grooves with sophisticated contrapuntal lines, he and his quartet create a striking musical collage that is at once stirring, visceral, imaginative and intellectually satisfying. Fox mines the rich resources of jazz and classical literature, crafting an expanding repertoire of original compositions seamlessly wedded to the undeniable pulse of Afro-Cuban jazz. His inventive blend marches boldly toward new sounds, effortlessly “confounding the genre police.” (Downbeat) We love confounding the genre police. It’s an event not to be missed.
Harry Connick, Jr. at Tanglewood
And, what can be said about Harry Connick, Jr. that has not already been written? His meteoric rise in the world of music was only a prelude to a multi-faceted career. Accomplished as a pianist, vocalist, composer, band leader, actor, and philanthropist, Harry Connick has received awards and recognition for his live and recorded musical performances, and for his achievements on screens large and small as well as the Broadway stage. Throughout his stellar career, Harry Connick, Jr. has earned three Grammy awards, two Emmy Awards, and two Tony nominations, and spearheaded efforts to help rebuild his hometown of New Orleans after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. This performance with his band will be in support of his new album release EVERY MAN SHOULD KNOW, a collection of original songs that touches on some of Harry’s deepest feelings about life and love.
Armen Donelian concert in Pittsfield Feb. 15, 2013
Berkshires Jazz, Inc. announces its participation in Pittsfield’s second annual 10×10 Upstreet Winter Arts Festival, with a special concert by the remarkable pianist and composer Armen Donelian. For the Feb. 15 concert at Baba Louie’s Backroom, the Armen Donelian Trio explores the music of 10 American composers whose inspiring work spanned jazz’ first century. From Jelly Roll Morton to Chick Corea, Art Tatum to Duke Ellington and others, the virtuoso pianist adds his unique interpretation to 10 pieces by 10 masters of jazz’ first 10 decades. The trio comprises Donelian on Piano, Dave Clark, bass, and Conor Meehan, drums.[one_half]
- Baba Louie’s Backroom,
- 34 Depot Street, Pittsfield
- Show time: 8:00pm. – All tickets $20.
- Please indicate a name for reserving your ticket(s).
Called a pianist with a crystalline touch, but a penchant for avant gardism (New York Times), Armen Donelian has performed in 23 countries throughout the Americas, Europe, Asia, the Middle and Far East. Since 1975, he has performed and recorded as a featured solo pianist, leader of his own quintet and trio, and with Jazz legends including Sonny Rollins, Chet Baker, Paquito D’Rivera, Mongo Santamaria and Billy Harper. He is composer of more than 90 works, and has produced 12 critically acclaimed recordings.
Armen Donelian is a Fulbright Senior Scholar for work in Armenia, Finland, Switzerland and Sweden. He has received six Jazz Performance Fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts for concerts and master classes. His trio first appeared at the Pittsfield CityJazz Festival in 2011 and received rave reviews.
Baba Louie’s Backroom, 34 Depot Street, Pittsfield. Show time: 8:00pm. All tickets $20, 413-442-7718. Dinner available separately, either before the concert in the main dining room or in Baba Louie’s Backroom.