[JPL] Pittsfield CityJazz Festival announes lineup for expanded event

EdBride at aol.com EdBride at aol.com
Tue Aug 19 12:47:03 EDT 2008

I hope  you'll pardon the momentary distraction for this announcement from 
the  non-profit Pittsfield CityJazz Festival.  
PITTSFIELD, Massachusetts, August 19, 2008–  The Pittsfield CityJazz Festival 
today announced the lineup for an expanded  10-day event that kicks off on 
Columbus Day weekend and presents the best of  both local and international 
performers. The fourth annual festival, Oct. 10-19,  will feature “Jazz around 
town,” highlighting regionally-based artists on Oct.  10-12; Jazz in School, with 
week-long performances and presentations in  Pittsfield’s public schools; and 
a series of headliner concerts.   
Events comprise a variety of formats, and  will take place at several venues 
throughout downtown Pittsfield, the seat of  Berkshire County in western 
Massachusetts. Many events are free to the public,  starting with a noon-hour 
kickoff on Friday, Oct. 10, with the Eagles Stage  Band, the Jazz unit of Pittsfield
’s own Eagles Band. Columbus weekend then  features local performers in 
restaurants and lounges around  Pittsfield 
Concerts get under way on Wednesday, Oct. 15,  when the Noah Baerman Trio 
performs at the Berkshire Athenaeum. Baerman  (www.NoahBaerman.com) is a pianist, 
composer, and educator, and has several CDs  to his name. He recently was 
profiled on NPR’s Piano Jazz with Marian  McPartland. Attendance is free. 
On Thursday, Oct. 16, acclaimed composer Evan  Lurie premieres his “
Improvisations on ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’,” in a free  concert at the Berkshire 
Museum. Written for the Festival, Lurie’s work is part  of Pittsfield’s “Big Read” 
project, underwritten by the National Endowment for  the Arts. A founding 
member of the Lounge Lizards, Lurie is the musical director  of Nickelodeon’s 
Emmy Award-winning preschool show, The Backyardigans, and will  be appearing with 
his septet of accomplished NY-based musicians.   
The Oct. 17 concert features “Jazz Meets  Symphony,” with the New Black 
Eagle Jazz Band and the Pittsfield CityJazz Youth  Orchestra, at the historic 
Colonial Theatre. In addition to a full set by  themselves, the Black Eagles 
(www.BlackEagles.com) will perform several of their  traditional Jazz pieces that 
have been adapted for small symphony, with an  orchestra comprising student 
musicians from Berkshire County high schools in  Pittsfield, Dalton, Great 
Barrington, Lee, and Lenox 
For the first time, the festival will feature  an evening of Jazz Vocals, 
spotlighting the groups of Terry Roiger and Ron Gill.  Roiger 
(www.TeriRoiger.com) has made a name for herself with the repertoire of  Billie Holiday and Nina 
Simone, while Gill (www.Ron-Gill.com) has just released  a CD of songs by 
Billy Strayhorn and Duke Ellington. The Jazz vocalists will  perform on Saturday, 
Oct. 18, in a cabaret setting at Pittsfield’s Crowne Plaza  Hotel. 
The headliner performances conclude on Sunday  afternoon, Oct. 19, with “
Organic Jazz, the Two Faces of Barbara Dennerlein”  showcasing her formidable solo 
talents at the pipe organ and Hammond B3. The  concert is presented under the 
sponsorship of the Berkshire Chapter of the  American Guild of Organists. 
Germany-based Dennerlein  (www.BarbaraDennerlein.com), who is famous for her 
prowess in playing the  baseline on the pedals, is concluding her first American 
tour with this matinee  performance at Pittsfield’s First Baptist Church.  
One festival highlight is the week-long  jazz-in-the-schools program, with 
the Pittsfield Sister City Jazz Ambassadors  appearing in assemblies in 
Pittsfield’s public schools. The group has  represented Pittsfield at several 
exchanges in Italy and Ireland, helping spread  the message about Jazz, America’s 
cultural gift to the  world. 
The event is an activity of Cultural  Pittsfield, the mayor’s Office of 
Cultural Development, and is co-sponsored by  the Berkshire Music School. Among the 
underwriters for this year’s events  are: 
* The Legacy Banks  Foundation 
* The Pittsfield Cultural  Council 
* The Crowne Plaza  Hotel 
* Greylock Federal Credit  Union 
* The National Endowment for the  Arts 
* Banulis Fund, Fidelity Charitable Trust/NY  Times Foundation. 
Tickets for all events are on sale at the  Colonial Theatre box office, 
www.TheColonialTheatre.org; a discount for all  three weekend concerts is available 
by calling the box office, 413-997-4444.  Costs for the concerts are $25-30, 
with student discounts available for the Oct.  17 and 19 concerts (Jazz Meets 
Symphony, and Organic Jazz).   
Links to artists’ sites, as well as news  updates, are posted regularly at  
# # # 
Contact: Ed Bride, 413-442-7718  [JazzPittsfield at AOL.com] 

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