[members-announce] Pittsfield CityJazz Festival lineup

ebride ebride at berkshire.rr.com
Tue Aug 22 12:27:49 EDT 2006

JJA members who are also on the JPL list may have already seen this, so please forgive the possible duplication. If you are interested in press passes for the Pittsfield CityJazz Festival, please contact me at JazzPittsfield at AOL.com. I also have publicity photos of all the attractions.

Aside from the fact that this is the peak "fall foliage weekend" here in the Berkshire hills of western Massachusetts, there are world-class musicians performing in what has become a four-day festival, with add-ons even earlier. Details below, for your consideration and use.


Lineup Announced for Pittsfield CityJazz Festival, Oct. 12-15; 

Sponsored by Legacy Banks, Performers Include Dr. Billy Taylor, 

Phil Woods, T.S. Monk and the Jazz Ambassadors Big Band


PITTSFIELD, Massachusetts, August 21, 2006 - The second annual Pittsfield CityJazz Festival today announced the lineup for the Oct. 12-15 event, and it includes something for everybody: Jazz Masters, up-and-coming artists, big bands, and a major educational component. Supported by lead sponsor the Legacy Banks Foundation and other regional businesses, the Festival will initiate the jazz program at the newly-restored Colonial Theatre, and will include Dr. Billy Taylor, the T.S. Monk Sextet, Phil Woods, the Jazz Ambassadors big band, and the educational program JazzReach.


Besides the nationally-known performers, the festival includes a week-long jazz-in-the-schools program; a free recital by Jazz savant Tony DeBlois; and the appearance of regional artists in restaurants and other Pittsfield venues all weekend. JazzReach will also conduct two workshops for area high schools on Friday afternoon, Oct. 13.


"Arts and culture play a critical role in fueling the economic engine of Berkshire County, to which the Pittsfield Jazz Festival has already become a major contributor," said Legacy Banks chairman and CEO J. Williar Dunlaevy. "The Legacy Banks Foundation is proud to serve as the lead sponsor of this multiple-day event that attracts thousands of visitors to Pittsfield, significantly impacting the economic development of our community." 


"The incredible lineup that the CityJazz Festival has put together will truly put this event on the map as a premier cultural attraction for the fall in the Berkshires," said Mayor James M. Ruberto. "It's truly remarkable how much this event has grown in such a short time. And it will be especially exciting to hear some of the world's finest jazz music fill the newly restored Colonial Theatre - a true acoustical marvel."


The festival gets under way with two free concerts on Tuesday and Thursday evenings, Oct. 10 and 12. On Oct. 10, the Jay Messer Quintet will perform at the Berkshire Athenaeum [413-499-9480]. Guitarist, producer, composer, arranger and band leader since the 70's, Messer performs throughout New England, at West Coast Jazz Festivals, and in Paris. Messer's appearance is sponsored by the Friends of the Athenaeum.


On Oct. 12, the Jazz savant Tony DeBlois, a blind, autistic phenomenon who plays 21 instruments and who knows some 8,000 songs, will present a solo recital. The latest CD of this 31-year-old performer was released last year along with his autobiography of the same name, "Some Kind of Genius." DeBlois' concert will take place at the Berkshire Music School [413-442-1411, ext. 14]. 


While admission for both these concerts is free, reservations are suggested, and should be made with the respective venue. All other concerts will take place at The Colonial Theatre. 


The Billy Taylor Trio will be featured on Friday, Oct. 13; the NEA Jazz Master is making a rare appearance, as a way of acknowledging the historic venue's return to public use. The Metta Quintet, the performance arm of JazzReach, will open the proceedings that night.


On Saturday afternoon, Oct. 14, there will be a panel discussion about the jazz era of Music Inn, the Berkshires music resort of the 1950s-60s. Moderated by Seth Rogovoy, editor of Berkshire Living Magazine, the panel will include Benjamin Barber, son of the owners of Music Inn; Billy Taylor; historian and writer Jeremy Yudkin; film producer and Jazz drummer George Schuller, and others to be announced.


In conjunction with that panel, the Berkshire Museum will be hosting a week-long photo exhibit and an excerpt will be shown from the documentary film on Music Inn, which is nearing release.


The Saturday evening performance will feature the legendary T.S. Monk Sextet. The drummer will also conduct a lecture/demonstration and open sound check on Saturday afternoon, following the Music Inn panel.


On Sunday afternoon, Oct. 15, the U.S. Army Jazz Ambassadors big band will appear, with guest soloist the alto saxophonist Phil Woods. One of the mainstays of the bebop era, Woods has recently released two big-band recordings, one of which was with the Jazz Ambassadors.


The festival also announced an association with the Steven Spring Foundation, which is organizing a fundraising effort to benefit the Hurricane Katrina relief effort in New Orleans. The foundation is a non-for-profit organization that collects donated instruments and offers them for free to the people who desperately need to be able to play them. There will be two dropoff points in Pittsfield, the Berkshire Music School, 30 Wendell Ave., and the city's Lichtenstein Center for the Arts, 28 Renne Ave. [Information about the Foundation is available at http://www.stevenspringfoundation.org].


Other major underwriters include the TD BankNorth Charitable Foundation; others will be announced as they come on board. Other information and directions are available at www.CulturalPittsfield.com, or by contacting JazzPittsfield at AOL.com. Tickets, ranging from $20 to $45 for the Friday and Saturday concerts and $5 to $10 for the Sunday matinee, may be purchased at www.TheColonialTheatre.org [413-997-4444].


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Contact: Ed Bride, 413-442-7718 [JazzPittsfield at AOL.com]


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