Liberty Big Band with Marvin Stamm at the Colonial Theatre April 8, 2011

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.

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