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
A freewill offering will be taken with donations going to St Joseph’s Kitchen and the artist. Phone: 413-447-7351. Parking is available at Berkshire Bank lot after 6 pm.
The Williams College Department of Music presents the Lionel Loueke Trio, featuring guitarist Lionel Loueke performing with the Williams Jazz Ensemble directed by Andy Jaffe on Friday, April 26 at 8 p.m. in Chapin Hall on the Williams campus. This free event is open to the public.
The Williams Jazz Ensemble’s special guest is a musician who draws on many traditions. The resulting blend pleases jazz aficionados, if the critical reviews are to be trusted. More importantly, he speaks his musical language so clearly and fluently that everyone can join the conversation. Praised by his mentor Herbie Hancock as “a musical painter,” Mr. Loueke combines harmonic complexity, soaring melody, a deep knowledge of African folk forms, and conventional and extended guitar techniques to create a warm and evocative sound of his own. He is hailed as a “gentle virtuoso” by Jon Pareles of The New York Times. Mr. Loueke brings jazz into vibrant contact with the sounds of West Africa, in particular his native Benin. The title of his latest album Heritage is a direct reference to his personal odyssey. “I have two heritages,” Mr. Loueke says. “One is from my ancestors from Africa, and that goes through my music, my body, my soul, every aspect of what I do. But also I have the heritage from the Occident, from the West, from Europe and the U.S. I speak English, I speak French, and I have that heritage too. I called [my latest] album Heritage because I’ve been blessed by all different parts of the world, and most of the songs reflect that.”
Royal Hartigan and Blood Drum Spirit May 5th, 2013
Percussionist, author, activist, and Pittsfield native Royal Hartigan and Blood Drum Spirit will present a free concert on Sunday, May 5th, 2013, at 3 pm. at the Zion Lutheran Church at 74 First Street, Pittsfield, MA. The event will be celebrating our ancestors and featuring selections from the Ancestors CD and Blood Drum Spirit Live in China CD. A free will offering is suggested and all proceeds from offerings will be donated to the Pittsfield Area Council of Congregations Emergency Fuel Fund and to Berkshires Jazz, Inc. Hartigan will be joined by saxophonist David Bindman, pianist Art Hirahara, and bassist Wes Brown.
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. For more information visit www.blooddrumspirit.com or royalhart.com/ensembles.
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.
Baba Louie’s Backroom,
34 Depot Street, Pittsfield
Show time: 8:00pm. – All tickets $20.
Please indicate a name for reserving your ticket(s).
Preservation Hall Jazz Band will perform Friday, February 8, 8:00 pm at the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, MA. Advance tickets are $42 ($38 members and students); $45 at the door. To order tickets, visit clarkart.edu, or call 413-458-0524.
The band derives its name from Preservation Hall, the venerable music venue located in the heart of New Orleans’s French Quarter and founded in 1961 by Allan and Sandra Jaffe. The band has traveled worldwide, spreading their mission to nurture and perpetuate the art form of New Orleans jazz — a mission strengthened by the devastation brought about by Hurricane Katrina in 2007.
Whether performing at Carnegie Hall or Lincoln Center, for British royalty or the king of Thailand, this music embodies a joyful, timeless spirit. Under the auspices of current director Ben Jaffe, son of founders Allan and Sandra, Preservation Hall continues with a deep reverence and consciousness of its greatest attributes in the modern day as a venue, band, and record label.
PHJB began touring in 1963. Many of the band’s charter members performed with the pioneers who invented jazz in the early twentieth century, including Buddy Bolden, Jelly Roll Morton, Louis Armstrong, and Bunk Johnson. Band leaders over the PHJB’s history include the brothers Willie and Percy Humphrey, husband and wife Billie and De De Pierce, famed pianist Sweet Emma Barrett, and Wendall and John Brunious. These founding artists and dozens of others passed on the culture of their music to a younger generation, who now follows in their footsteps.
As part of our year-round commitment to presenting jazz in the Berkshires, we have scheduled a double bill featuring DownBeat award-winning baritone saxophonist Gary Smulyan and pianist/composer/author Noah Baerman. The special program will take place at 8PM August 3 in the intimate setting of the backroom at Baba Louie’s Sourdough Pizza, where we have instituted a jazz series to follow Pittsfield’s monthly First Fridays Artswalks. Tickets are $20, general admission, concert starts at 8pm.
Please phone 413-841-7718 to see if there will be any seats available.
The guest artists will be backed by the Berkshires Jazz Duo, featuring bassist Jeff Link and drummer Peter Coombs. With Baerman at piano in the first set, the trio will then perform with Gary Smulyan, this year’s DownBeat Magazine critics poll winner.
Considered the standard bearer of his generation for the baritone saxophone, Smulyan has consistently been ranked as the Number 1 performer on his instrument in both the annual Downbeat Readers and Critics polls. He is the baritone saxophonist with the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, and played with its previous incarnation, the Mel Lewis Big Band. He also plays baritone saxophone with the Dave Holland Big Band and Octet, and the Dizzy Gillespie All Star Big Band.
Noah Baerman has performed at the Pittsfield CityJazz Festival and as a rising talent in the Tanglewood Jazz Festival. A prolific composer, he has earned top honors from the Billboard Song Contest, the Unisong Contest, and ASCAP (“ASCAPlus Awards” every year since 2004). His long list of recordings is topped by a new solo album, Turtle Steps. He earned his bachelors and masters degrees in Jazz Studies from Rutgers University, where his mentor was Kenny Barron.
The concert caps-off the “First Fridays Artswalks” in downtown Pittsfield, when some 30 venues will be featuring the paintings and other hanging art from local and regional artists. Dinner will be available earlier in the restaurant (34 Depot St., Pittsfield), in the backroom starting at 7pm and continuing during the music in the backroom.