Jazz Forum Arts will present the 2nd Annual Berkshire Jazz Festival in Western Massachusetts from August 22 through August 25. The Festival kicks-off with a free performance by Festival founder/producer and trumpeter Mark Morganelli & The Jazz Forum All-Stars on Thursday August 22 from 6 until 7:30pm at the Norman Rockwell Museum, Route 183 in Stockbridge. Berkshire Club Night will take place Friday August 23, and feature local jazz artists and groups at seven participating venues including The Lion’s Den (Stockbridge), Union Bar & Grill, Castle Street Café, Cheesecake Charlie’s and Club Helsinki (Great Barrington), The Egremont Inn (Egremont), and John Andrews (South Egremont).
The Berkshire Jazz Festival’s main event is a two-day affair, Saturday & Sunday, August 24 & 25 from 12 noon until 8pm at Butternut Ski Basin, Route 23, Great Barrington. Twenty bands will be featured on 3 different stages, with jam sessions, clinics and food and crafts available. Headliners include two-time Grammy Award winning composer and flugelhornist Chuck Mangione & His Feels So Good Band, veteran trumpeter and bandleader Maynard Ferguson & His Big Bop Nouveau Band and contemporary jazz supergroup Spyro Gyra.
Other jazz luminaries performing at this year’s Berkshire Jazz Festival include drummer Chico Hamilton, pianist Hank Jones, singer/songwriter Mose Allison, and saxophonist David "Fathead" Newman. Acclaimed Kansas City vocalist Kevin Mahogany, flutist Dave Valentin and vibraphonist Dave Samuels will also lead groups.
The 2002 Grammy Award winning big band of saxophonist/arranger Bob Mintzer will perform and vocalists Kate McGarry and Monika Oliveira (from Brazil) will also lead groups. Pianist Sai Ghose, vibraphonist and percussionist Damon Grant, sitarist Nana Simopoulos, and vibraphonist Matthias Lupri will all lead groups in the intimate setting of the Upper Lodge. Many other exceptional artists will be featured at the Berkshire Jazz Festival with their own groups, in workshops, including Chapman Stick demonstrations with Steve Adelson, and at the jam sessions hosted by guitarist Richie Hart with bassist Rick Petrone and drummer Joe Corsello.
"The natural beauty of America’s premier cultural vacation destination is enhanced during this annual weekend by displays of the finest creative spirits on the contemporary scene," says founder and producer Mark Morganelli. "I’m proud to offer the Berkshire Jazz Festival to accompany the incredibly rich and diverse cultural entities like Tanglewood, Jacob’s Pillow, MassMoCA and so many more regional assets."
The Berkshire Jazz Festival is sponsored for a second consecutive year by Berkshire Bank, Greylock Federal Credit Union, The Berkshire Eagle, Berkshire Mall, and Quality Printing Company.
Tickets are $37.50 for One Day or $60 for Both Days for those aged 14-64 and $25 for One Day or $40 for Both Days for those 7-13 and 65 and over. Children 6 and under will be admitted free with an accompanying paying adult. Tickets may be purchased in person at Tune Street, Rte. 7, Great Barrington or The Bookstore, 11 Housatonic St., Lenox or at all Ticketmaster locations or by phone at 617-931-2000, 518-476-1000 or through Jazz Forum Arts at (914) 631-1000 or online at their website.
Contact Mark Morganelli (914) 631-1000