Berkshires Jazz is jumping back into ‘live’ programming with six events in the second half of 2021, including three in August. It is the most ambitious schedule in our 17-year history, and reflects the pent-up demand for in-person jazz events.
The three events before Labor Day include our annual showcase of local musicians, and two new concerts in the southern part of Berkshire County. The August events will be followed by the second annual Lenox Jazz Stroll (Sept. 11) and the Pittsfield CityJazz Festival, Oct. 8-17. Second-half programming concludes on Thanksgiving weekend with a duo performance by vocalist Dawning Holmes with her husband, Grammy-winning pianist Jeff Holmes.
The August events include:
• Saturday, Aug. 7: the Berkshire Jazz Showcase. A free outdoors event on the Pittsfield Common. Featuring three outstanding local bands: The Jason Ennis Organ Quartet; The Berkshire Jazz Quartet; the Darryl Lowery Quartet, the showcase kicks off at 1pm, just as the Pittsfield Farmers Market is winding down. Rain date: Sunday, Aug. 8.
• Sunday, Aug. 15: the hot swing band Svetlana and the Delancey 5. At The Gateways Inn in downtown Lenox. There will be limited ticket sales in advance, in case the weather forces the outdoors event to relocate inside the facility. As the weather situation clarifies, additional tickets sales may be made available.
• Saturday, Aug. 28: Insight, a quartet featuring flutist Andrea Brachfeld. Among other works, she will be performing “If Not Now, When,” which was composed with the support of a New Works grant from Chamber Music America. This concert will be indoors at Saint James Place, Great Barrington.
Berkshire Jazz Showcase
Saturday, Aug. 7, 2021
The Pittsfield Common
Three bands that are essential parts of the local jazz scene, on the stage at the First Street Common, downtown Pittsfield.
The showcase kicks–off at 1pm, just as the Farmer’s Market ends for the day. Bring chairs and blankets, and picnic on the lawn, adjacent to the wonderful playground and splash park.
The bands include the Jason Ennis Organ Quartet; Berkshire Jazz Quartet; and the Darryl Lowery Quartet, all making their Berkshire Jazz Showcase debuts!
Mark you calendar for the return of ‘live’ jazz to the Pittsfield Common. A free event, thanks to the support of the Pittsfield Cultural Council and Berkshire Roots.
Svetlana and the Delancey Five
Aug. 15, 4pm (note new time)
Gateways Inn, Lenox, Mass.
Russian by birth, American by music: Svetlana is an acclaimed New York-based vocalist, composer, band leader, and educator. She makes her Berkshires debut with her hot swing quintet, the Delancey 5. Her sound blends swing, straight-ahead jazz and original material, forging deep connections with audiences with her strong vocals, charismatic performance style, exciting improvisational aspects of performance, and engaging storytelling. Her latest record, “Night at the Movies”, debuted #1 on U.S. Billboard Traditional Jazz Album Charts in 2019. Both that album and her “Night at the Speakeasy” have been widely played on jazz radio and were among the “top of the year” critic’s lists.
Svetlana has performed professionally since 2011 and has toured with her various bands nationally and internationally since 2017, headlining hundreds of sold out shows in in the US and abroad.
“Sophisti-pop”… Exuberant, foot-stompin’ music that combines swing with pop-singer/songwriter sensibilities”. (WPIX11 News)
“Outstanding band…. Exceptional vocalist and songwriter” (Will Friedwald, Wall Street Journal)
Tickets are $30 in advance, $35 on the day of the event. Limited availability until we know the weather conditions for the weekend.
Insight with Andrea Brachfeld
Saturday, August 28
Saint James Place, Great Barrington, Mass.
Named Jazz Flutist of the Year for 2015 by Hot House Jazz Awards, Andrea Brachfeld has been acclaimed by critics and audiences for her music. Her CD “Lotus Blossom” received 4-stars from Downbeat and was played on jazz stations around the country. She has earned accolades throughout her career including recognition for her musical achievements as a jazz student with a Louis Armstrong Award, and then later with the Chico O’Farrill Lifetime Achievement Award, and the Pionero Award for her contributions to Latin music.
Her current group, Insight, includes pianist Bill O’Connell, bassist Harvie S, and drummer Jason Tiemann.
In addition to familiar works from the great American jazz book, Andrea’s performance will feature the timely “If Not Now, When,” an original composition made possible by a New Works grant from Chamber Music America, which has an outstanding 20-year program of supporting smaller jazz ensembles.
The performance of the Andrea Brachfeld and Insight, presented in collaboration with The Jazz Loft and Riverview Jazz.org, is supported by Presenter Consortium for Jazz, a program of Chamber Music America, funded through the generosity of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.
Tickets are $25 in advance, $30 on day of the event.