On Friday, March 23rd at 10pm, the first evening of the 2012 Boscov's Berks Jazz Fest, there will be a special concert at the Crowne Plaza Reading hotel ballroom with the group JaZz in P!nk.
The show promises to be a memorable festival highlight with the JaZz in P!nk all-star female jazz band featuring music director and keyboardist Gail Jhonson, trumpeter Cindy Bradley, saxophonist Paula Atherton, violinist Karen Briggs, flutist Althea Rene, vocalist Lynne Fiddmont, harpist Mariea Antoinnette, drummer Danielle "Pockett" Brown, guitarist Darlene Moreno, bassist Robin Bramlett, and keyboardist Sundra Manning.
JaZz in P!nk is an evolving group of women jazz musicians who play diverse music styles with instrumental and vocal tunes including traditional jazz, contemporary jazz, Neo-Soul, Latin, funk, R&B, and adult contemporary music.
According to the JaZz in P!nk website (http://www.jazzinpink.com/), they are an "All star female ensemble of musical women in jazz that projects talent, beauty, power and femininity as they embrace the stage! Our mission is to promote women in jazz, by providing live performance opportunities showcasing each other's music. We endeavor to provide educational opportunities and mentorship to upcoming rising stars."
Each of the JaZz in P!nk artists have strong musical backgrounds and experience, as described on their website http://www.jazzinpink.com/.
For example, at 18 years old, Philadelphia native Gail Jhonson went to Boston to attend Berklee College of Music, studied piano and eventually earned a B.A. in Composition. Gail Jhonson's influences include pianists Duke Ellington, Herbie Hancock, Stevie Wonder and Joe Sample - what a great bunch! In 2008, pianist Gail Jhonson received a Grammy nomination in 2008 for her CD Pearls.
In addition to being Norman Brown's music director, Gail Jhonson has toured, performed, and/or recorded with many artists such as Morris Day, Pink, Vanessa Williams, Jermaine Jackson, Bobby Womack, Ray Parker Jr., Bobby Lyle, Paul Jackson Jr., Pamela Williams, Phil Perry, Althea Renee, and Paul Taylor.
A podcast interview by media personality Diane Dayton with JaZz in P!nk's music director and keyboardist Gail Jhonson can be heard at http://www.berksjazzfest.com/2012Podcastjhonson.mp3.
Other podcasts by Diane Dayton for the Berks Jazz Fest can be found on http://www.berksjazzfest.com/podcasts.htm, as well as video interviews http://www.youtube.com/dianedayton.
On Diane Dayton's "Cool Jazz Café" show, she spoke with keyboard player Gail Jhonson about her calling as a musician, the JaZz in P!nk show, band members, and rehearsals. According to Jhonson's optimistic evaluation,
"I think women are a little underrepresented in jazz, and ... I figured if we could get together, we can really make an impact on the scene."
Keyboardist, vocalist, songwriter, producer, and music educator Gail Jhonson is also hoping someday to start a nonprofit foundation to help women interested in working in all areas of jazz music to get support to reach their goals.
The philosophy Gail Jhonson shares is, "If you really love what you do – you should have a place to do it." In line with their mission of women's empowerment, JaZz in P!nk also has a "Pink Stars for Pink Hope" concert in Los Angeles the day after the 2012 Boscov'sBerks Jazz Fest show to benefit The Betty Lee Foundation for Breast Cancer.
For the Friday, March 23rd 2012 Boscov's Berks Jazz Fest show, Gail Jhonson's resoundingly enthusiastic message on Diane Dalton's podcast interview to music fans is: "We're going to rock the house, so be ready, wear your pink... come on out... say hello, take pictures and all of that good stuff - it's going to be GREAT!"
For tickets to the JaZz in P!nk concert, or other 2012 Berks Jazz Fest shows, please see: http://www.berksjazzfest.com/ticketedevents.htm and http://www.berksjazzfest.com/purchase.htm
For more information about the women jazz artists featured in the JaZz in P!nk group, please visit http://www.jazzinpink.com/ as well as the artists' individual websites.