Artist Profiles 222
Dean Brown & Schuyler Deale
featuring Paula Atherton, Gerry Etkins,
Emedin Riviera, Rocky Bryant
and The Berks Horns
Friday, March 28, 7 p.m. and 10 p.m.
Jazz Base, Crowne Plaza Reading
Tickets: $35    Ticket Info

Iconic jazz fusion guitarist Dean Brown and bass player Schuyler Deale team up for a unique show featuring sax player Paula Atherton, keyboardist Gerry Etkins, drummer Rocky Bryant and the local Berks Horns, featuring Mike Anderson, Rob Diener and John Loos.
     For close to 30 years guitarist, composer, arranger, educator Dean Brown has been an integral part of the global fusion and contemporary jazz scene.
     Those who have seen and heard Dean Brown perform are immediately struck by the passion and energy he puts into each note.
     Dean has recorded and/or toured with his own projects and legendary artists such as Marcus Miller, The Brecker Brothers, Billy Cobham, David Sanborn, Bob James, George Duke, Roberta Flack, Joe Zawinul, Lenny White, Kirk Whalum, and Steve Smith’s Vital Information.
     Schuyler has been playing bass guitar professionally for over 30 years. His extensive and diverse background includes touring and recording with such artists as Billy Joel, Julian Lennon, Michael Bolton, Heart and jazz artists Angela Bofill, Kirk Whalum and Jeff Lorber.
     His bass skills can be heard on the PBS Children’s Learning Program “Between the Lions," The Cosby Show and numerous commercial jingles.
     While he divides his time between his home in New York City and Reading, he produces and writes for local talent, as well as crafting his own material.

Dean Brown Website James
Friday, March 28, 7:30 p.m.
Santander Performing Arts Center
Tickets: $49   
Ticket Info

     Three-time Grammy Award nominee and Berks Jazz Fest favorite Boney James has returned with a dynamic, genre-busting album The Beat.
     One of the most successful instrumental artists of our time, with sales totaling over 3 million records, James’ new project fuses his R&B/jazz roots with Latin rhythm and percussion.
     The Beat was nominated for a Grammy this year.
     Guaranteed to get audiences up and on their feet, James always promises a high-energy show with his trademark style.

Boney James Website' Joe Kubek & Bnois King and Bonerama
Friday, March 28, 7:30 p.m.
Building 24 Live
Tickets: $39    Ticket Info

In 1989, Kubek met guitarist/vocalist Bnois King at a Monday night Dallas jam session.
     The two became fast friends, and melded their seemingly divergent styles -- Kubek a rocking and fierce picker and slider; King a jazz-inflected chorder (who could also solo with flaming electricity) -- into one of the most potent guitar combinations the Southwest had ever produced.
     Kubek explains the relationship succinctly: “I pull the blues out of him, and he pulls the jazz out of me. Bnois knows so much about jazz it’s amazing.”
     Even in a city that doesn’t play by the rules, New Orleans’ Bonerama is something different.
     They can evoke vintage funk, classic rock and free improvisation in the same set; maybe even the same song. Bonerama has been repeatedly recognized by Rolling Stone, hailed as “the ultimate in brass balls.”
     Bonerama carries the brass-band concept to places unknown. As co-founder Mark Mullins puts it: “We thought we could expand what a New Orleans brass band could do. Bands like Dirty Dozen started the 'anything goes' concept, bringing in the guitars and the drum kit and using the sousaphone like a bass guitar. We thought we could push things a little further.”

Smokin' Joe Kubek Web Site          Bonerama Web Site Presents!
Kevin Eubanks
Friday, March 28, 7:30 p.m.
Schaeffer Auditorium, Kutztown University
Tickets: $28
(Call KU Presents Box Office at 610-683-4092)

Perhaps most well known as leader of The Tonight Show band for 10 years, Kevin Eubanks is returning to his East Coast roots for a performance that will showcase his broad sense of musicality and unique signature sound.
     A guitar virtuoso -- he received an honorary doctorate from Berklee College of Music -- Eubanks’ music style incorporates rhythmic, infectious grooves with soulful reflection, jazz fusion jams with a mixture of Motown.
     An accomplished film composer, jazz musician, TV theme song writer, and music instructor, his versatile set list includes John Coltrane to Jeff Beck among his own impressive compositions.

Kevin Eubanks Web Site Anniversary Concert
Chieli Minucci & Special EFX
featuring special guests
Steve Oliver and Vincent Ingala
Friday, March 28, 10 p.m.
Crowne Plaza Reading Ballroom
Tickets: $40    Ticket Info

     Referred to by Downbeat as “a fire-breathing dragon on guitar,” Chieli Minucci, along with his band, are in a class of their own.
     Few contemporary jazz bands have been as entertaining and artistically satisfying as Special EFX. Co-founded in 1982 by master guitarist Chieli Minucci and the late percussionist George, Special EFX helped pave the road for contemporary jazz in the 1980s and continues to set the standard.
     The group is celebrating 30 years as torchbearers of innovative music with Genesis, their latest release.
     Saxophonist Ingala (right photo) has become an ever-increasing presence in the contemporary jazz, performing at numerous festivals and on jazz cruises. He was named "Breakthrough Artist of 2013" by Sirius XM Watercolors.
     More than a decade ago, guitarist and vocalist Steve Oliver burst onto the contemporary jazz scene with a sound so fresh, so positive, so bright, that he immediately became a favorite on radio stations with songs like West End and Highway One.
The Weather Channel loved his music so much it put “Right Direction” into heavy rotation during its local weather breaks.

Chieli Minucci & Special EFX Web Site     Vincent Ingala Web Site      Steve Oliver Web Site Veasley's Midnight Jam
Friday, March 28; Saturday, March 29;
Friday, April 4; Saturday, April 5
Gerald Veasley's Jazz Base
Crowne Plaza Reading
Tickets: $25

    If you have not experienced a Gerald Veasley Midnight Jam during the Boscov's Berks Jazz Fest, you need to make sure you get tickets to one of the four late-night jam parties scheduled during this year's fest.
    The Midnight Jam is when Gerald and his many musical friends get loose and downright funky -- and collaborate for some unforgettable musical moments. You never know which artists will stop by to join the jamming.
    The intimate setting of the Jazz Base club at the Crowne Plaza is the perfect place for these late-night musical gatherings.
    If you are planning to attend one of the jams, be sure to get your tickets early.
    There are four jams -- one each weekend night of the fest -- but tickets are limited and going fast.

Gerald Veasley Web Site Loeb & Friends
featuring Phil Perry, Everette Harp,
Bobby Lyle, Andy Snitzer
Saturday, March 29, 2 p.m.
Crowne Plaza Reading Ballroom
Tickets: $40     Ticket Info

Grammy-nominated guitarist, composer, and producer Chuck Loeb has had a musical career that spans over four decades.
     A Berks Jazz Fest fixture, Loeb is proud to be known as a"renaissance man" in the music world. He is a No. 1 jazz recording artist; composer of over 250 published songs, network television show themes and scores; a producer of over 30 world-renowned recording artists; as well as an in-demand clinician and educator.
     With the 2013 release of Silhouette, his 18th solo CD, Loeb has attained the much sought after position as one of the most in demand artists in the world, as well as one with his own recognizable sound. He is a member one of the iconic jazz group Fourplay.
     Loeb is bringing in some of his friends, who happen to be some of the hottest names in jazz, for this Berks Jazz Fest show.
     Vocalist Phil Perry (right photo), saxmen Everette Harp (left photo) and Andy Snitzer, and pianist Bobby Lyle will join Loeb.

Chuck Loeb Web Site       Phil Perry Web Site         Everette Harp Web Site  

Bobby Lyle Web Site       Andy Snitzer Web Site   Ray Vaughn Tribute
Tommy Katona & Texas Flood
Saturday, March 29, 2 p.m.
Building 24 Live
Tickets: $23
(Call 610-375-2700, Ext. 227, to purchase tickets, or stop by Building 24 Live)

     Tommy Katona and Texas Flood has become one of the premier blues bands in all of North Texas.
     Evolving from the original tribute to Stevie Ray Vaughan, Texas Flood pays tribute to the legends as well as the future of the blues through their own music and style.
     With an in-your-face show and raw, high-energy playing, Tommy Katona takes the listener on a journey through the blues.

Tommy Katona & Texas Flood Web Site & Brian Bromberg
featuring Chris Farr
Saturday, March 29, 7 p.m. and 10 p.m.
Jazz Base, Crowne Plaza Reading
Tickets: $35
    Ticket Info

     Eldar Djangirov has earned quite a following here at Berks. He is returning for his third time, performing with bassist Brian Bromberg, saxophonist Chris Farr and drummer XXX. collaboration with Bromberg is a follow-up to their chance meeting during a Midnight Jam last year.
     Eldar is known for his prodigious pyrotechnics and precocious knowledge of the bebop tradition.
     Along the way, he's had the good fortune to meet and work with the masters including Michael Brecker, Marian McPartland, Dave Brubeck, Wynton Marsalis, Harvey Mason, Chris Botti, Pat Martino, Roy Hargrove and many others.
     Brian Bromberg is another regular at Berks. When he's not chatting with fans between concerts, Bromberg is burning up the stage with his acoustic and electric bass-playing skills.  He is never afraid to push boundaries.
     Bromberg has albums featuring the acoustic upright bass, as well as his take on metal music, tributes to Jaco Pastorius and Jimi Hendrix, and more.

Eldar Web Site         Brian Bromberg Web Site

Brian Culbertson
Long Night Out 20th Anniversary Tour

Saturday, March 29, 7 p.m.
Santander Performing Arts Center
Tickets: $49
   Ticket Info

     No one brings down the house quite like multi-instrumentalist Brian Culbertson.
     Brian's frenetic energy and rousing jazz/R&B/funk style gets the Berks fest audience on their feet every time.
     This year, Culbertson celebrates his 20 years of success with Another Long Night Out, his 13th album. A complete remake of his debut album, Long Night Out, brings things full circle.
     The CD includes guest performances from Chuck Loeb, Eric Marienthal, Lee Rietnour, Rick Braun, and many more.
     Come out and celebrate with Brian at the Santander Performing Arts Center. It's going to be one helluva party.

Brian Culbertson Web Site Porter
Saturday, March 29, 7:30 p.m.
Miller Center for the Arts
Tickets: $40    
Ticket Info

     You have not heard a soulful voice like Gregory Porter's since Marvin Gaye, Bill Withers and Lou Rawls put together.
     But Porter considers himself a jazz singer, blessed with an incredible soul voice. He makes jazz accessible even to people that usually can’t relate to it.
     Porter's joyful baritone will simply take your breath away, making your soul vibrate. His most recent album, Liquid Spirit, recently won the Grammy Award for Best Jazz Vocal Album.
     Porter's first CD, Water, released in 2010, was nominated for the Best Jazz Vocal Album Grammy, and the title track off his sophomore album, Be Good, was nominated for Best Traditional R&B Performance in 2012.

Gregory Porter Web Site

Tribute to Steely Dan

The Royal Scam
Saturday, March 29, 7:30 p.m.
Building 24 Live
Tickets: $23    Ticket Info

     The world's premiere Steely Dan tribute band -- The Royal Scam -- is back!
The popular band's repertoire of more than 40 of the legendary duo masterpieces has helped to keep the compositions of Donald Fagen and Walter Becker, the spirit of rock/jazz, and the enthusiasm of fine musicianship alive in small clubs and concert venues throughout the northeast, including SRO crowds at past Berks Jazz Fests.
     The band features lead vocalist Michael Caputo, guitarist Al Egizi, vocalist Deb De Lucca, keyboardist and synth programmer Gino Amato, saxophonist Joe Montini, vocalist Wendy Gordy and Carla Culkin, drummer Phil Long.
     Jazz, R&B, Latin and pop are among the major elements which make up Steely Dan’s music, and all of the many musicians who work with the core band from time to time have played most of these various styles and have contributed some very memorable musical moments for the band.

The Royal Scam Web Site Reimagined: The Music of Sly & The Family Stone
featuring Jason Miles, Nona Hendryx, Maysa, Karen Briggs, Andy Snitzer, Alex Bugnon, Maya Azucena,
Jay Rodriguez, Nick Moroch, Amanda Ruzza, Gene Lake,
Ian Cook
Saturday, March 29, 10 p.m.
Crowne Plaza Reading Ballroom
Tickets: $40   
Ticket Info

     Producer/arranger/composer Jason Miles is no stranger to Berks Jazz Fest. His incredibly unique concept shows have added depth to the fest, and introduced jazz fans to new and reworked classics alike.
     Miles' tribute shows have brought back the sounds and feelings of some of the industry's greats, like Miles Davis, Luther Vandross, Grover Washington Jr. and more.
     Miles' latest endeavor, Sly Reimagined: The Music of Sly & The Family Stone, part of his successful Global Noize project, is a highly polished tribute that hones in on the raw power of the iconic R&B and funk group.
     Global Noize's take on Sly's music is slick, with soul vocalists, world elements and horn players bringing out a different side of the music.
     As expected, Jason has assembled an all-star group for this one-of-a-kind show that's guaranteed to get the crowd rocking.

Jason Miles Web Site      Maysa Web Site     Alex Bugnon Web Site     

Maya Azucena Web Site      Nona Hendryx Web Site     Andy Snitzer Web Site Jazz Brunch
Elan Trotman & Jessy J
Sunday, March 30, 10 a.m. doors open, 11:30 a.m. show
Building 24 Live
Tickets: $25    Ticket Info

     Nothing pairs better with brunch than a pair of smooth sax players.
     Saxophonist Elan Trotman, quickly becoming one of jazz’s thrilling and emotive performers, continues to stand out and push boundaries as a composer, performer, teacher and recording artist.
     Trotman’s playing, though inspired by Grover Washington, Jr. and Kirk Whalum, among others, displays his own fresh ideas and distinctive tone. His most recent release, Tropicality, chronicles Trotman's journey from Barbados to Boston.
     Jessy J burst onto the contemporary jazz scene in 2008, blending her love for Latin rhythms and jazz on her chart-topping, award-winning debut album Tequila Moon.
     The talented saxophonist, pianist, singer and songwriter has worked with everyone from The Temptations to Michael Bublé. Her latest release, Second Chances, features collaborations with Jeff Lorber, Norman Brown, Jimmy Haslip and Joe Sample.

Elan Trotman Web Site       Jessy J Web Site 

Spyro Gyra and Raul Midon
Sunday, March 30, 2 p.m.
Crowne Plaza Reading Ballroom
Tickets: $40   
Ticket Info

     One of the most recognized bands in jazz, Spyro Gyra has done just about everything throughout its decades-long career.
     But last April, Jay Beckenstein and his set out to do something that they had never done before in their nearly 40-year history -- improvise with each other over three days and in the process write and record an entire new album. From those three days came their latest release, The Rhinebeck Sessions.
Spyro Gyra has performed over 5,000 shows, and released 29 albums (not counting “Best Of…” compilations), selling over 10 million albums while also achieving one platinum and two gold albums.
     But they are far from done. Don't miss the legendary group at this year's fest.
     Sharing the double-bill with Spyro Gyra is singer-songwriter and guitarist Raul Midón.
     Midón has earned renown as one of music's most distinctive and searching voices. He is "a one-man band who turns a guitar into an orchestra and his voice into a chorus," according to The New York Times.
     Midón has collaborated with such heroes as Herbie Hancock and Stevie Wonder, along with contributing to recordings by Jason Mraz, Queen Latifah and Snoop Dogg. His most recent release is the captivating Invisible Chains – Live from NYC. Attuned listeners can hear the inspirations of Donny Hathaway and Richie Havens in his work, as well as Sting and Paul Simon.

Spyro Gyra Web Site          Raul Midon Web Site

When Sousa Meets Jazz!
Ringgold Band & Hesse's Hot 3
Sunday, March 30, 4:00 p.m.
Miller Center for the Arts
Tickets: $20     Ticket Info

     The Berks Jazz Fest has a long history of presenting unique concerts.
     This year, the historic Ringgold Band, directed by Jim Seidel (left) and Hesse's Hot 3, headed by Chris Heslop are joining musical forces to present "When Sousa Meets Jazz!"
     The one-of-a-kind concert is set for Sunday, March 30, 4 p.m., at the Miller Center for the Arts.
     The concert will feature familiar tunes from ragtime, cakewalks, marches, New Orleans parade music, early concert band music, and more.
     The Berks County-based Ringgold Band, formed in 1852, is proud to be one of America’s first community bands.
     Hesse's Hot 3 is a trio of tuba, banjo, and clarinet/saxophone, specializing in early jazz, or “hot jazz.”
     This unlikely partnership will be further energized with a performance by the Reading Theater Project.
     The precision of the Ringgold Band, the spontaneity of Hesse's Hot 3, and the theatrics of Reading Theater Project will make this a memorable concert.

Ringgold Band Web Site       Hesse's Hot 3 Web Site Swingin' at 90!
Bob Dorough
Tuesday, April 1, 7:30 p.m.
Jazz Base at Crowne Plaza Reading
Tickets: $23     Ticket Info

     At 90 years young, Bob Dorough just keeps on swinging.
     Up early every morning in his Mount Bethel (PA) home, the Arkansas native singer, pianist, composer with a syrupy rasp of a voice, playfully prickly fingers and a lexicon of clever phrases, is more prodigious now than ever.
     Since 1997, Dorough has released Right on My Way Home with Joe Lovano and Christian McBride, a live Who’s on First with sardonic pal Dave Frishberg and Too Much Coffee Man.
     Not to mention reissues of his first record, 1956’s Devil May Care, 1966’s Just About Everything and various configurations of Schoolhouse Rock, the 1970s educational cartoon series for which he served as musical director and songwriter.
     All this is merely gravy for Dorough -- who came of age in the bop era, gigging with Allen Ginsberg, Miles Davis, Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie, and later with Tom Rapp, Lenny Bruce, Sugar Ray Robinson and the Fugs.
     Dorough has received numerous honors during his timeless career, including the Artist of the Year Award presented at the annual Pennsylvania Governors Awards event; and induction into the Arkansas Jazz Hall of Fame.
     In 2002, his trio was chosen to represent the State Department and Kennedy Center, as an Ambassador of Jazz and Blues. The one-month tour had Dorough performing workshops around the world.

Bob Dorough Web Site


Németh & The Bo-Keys
Wednesday, April 2, 7:30 p.m.
Building 24 Live
Tickets: $23  
Ticket Info

This is going to be one of the best concerts of the fest.
     John Németh is a rising blues star; a singer steeped in the tradition and reminiscent of B.B. King, Ray Charles and Junior Parker, and a harmonica player of riveting intensity and virtuosity.
     Németh comes to the Berk Jazz Fest celebrating the release of his new CD Memphis Grease.
Memphis Grease embodies everything that sets this artist apart from the soul-blues revivalist pack -- it’s innovative and unique while epitomizing the absolute best of the genre. It’s a deeply forged amalgamation of scorching harmonica-driven blues and sweet blue-eyed soul.
And Németh has made his show even hotter for blues fans by adding the legendary Memphis soul band The Bo-Keys to be part of what promises to be a must-see concert.
    The Bo-Keys feature legendary Stax/Volt and Hi Records session players.
    In 2010, The Bo-Keys were featured on Cyndi Lauper's Grammy nominated "Memphis Blues" album.

John Nemeth Web Site           The Bo-Keys Web Site

Chuck Loeb's Berks Bop
featuring Brian Bromberg, Randy Brecker,
Till Bronner, Jeff Lorber, Lionel Cordew,
Gerald Albright, Eric Marienthal

Wednesday, April 2, 7:30 p.m.
Jazz Base at Crowne Plaza Reading
Tickets: $40 
Ticket Info

     Guitarist, producer, arranger Chuck Loeb brings back his incredibly popular Berks Bop for a fifth year.
     This special event is one of those must-see concert where the best artists in contemporary jazz get to show their chops playing some good old BeBop music.
     Boping with guitarist Loeb this year will be keyboardist Jeff Lorber, bassist Brian Bromberg, trumpeters Randy Brecker and Till Bronner, saxophonists Gerald Albright and Eric Marienthal, and drummer Lionel Cordew.

Larry Marshall Quartet
featuring Steve Meashey, Bob Meashey.
Jimmy Wood

Thursday, April 3, 7:30 p.m.
Jazz Base at Crowne Plaza Reading
Tickets: $15  
Ticket Info

Drummer, composer and educator Larry Marshall can’t recall a time when music was not a part of his life.
     During his musical journey, Marshall has fine-tuned his musical talents to become a renowned professional jazz drummer, who has performed at numerous venues in the United States and Asia.
     A native of Coatesville, his family moved to Berks County in the late 1970s, and he played in Daniel Boone High School’s marching, jazz and concert bands.
    Following graduation, Marshall headed to West Chester University, and, in his words, “things just snowballed.”
    He moved to Florida and got the chance to perform with Randy Brecker, Kevin Mahogany and Richie Cole. He continued performing throughout the United States, the Caribbean and Canada for about 10 years. During this time, he won the “Best Jazz CD in South Florida” for two consecutive years.
    In 2005, a friend invited him to tour in Japan for several months. Marshall went and was pleased by the reception and the Japanese people’s appreciation for music.
    After his return, he received a call from another friend about moving to Japan to work in a new club in Osaki, Japan. He lived in Japan from 2006 through 2012, and performed in clubs and venues all over the country, as well as in South Korea, Thailand and other parts of Asia.
    Marshall moved back to Berks and now resides near Geigertown. In addition to performing, Marshall currently is teaching students at The High Street Music Company in Pottstown.

Larry Marshall Web Site

Berks All-Star Jazz Jam
featuring Chuck Loeb, Rick Braun, Randy Brecker, Till Bronner, Norman Brown, Gerald Veasley, Brian Bromberg, Eric Marienthal, Andy Snitzer, Kirk Whalum, Gerald Albright, Jeff Lorber, Nick Colionne, Keiko Matsui, Lionel Cordew

Thursday, April 3, 8:00 p.m.
Crowne Plaza Reading Ballroom
Tickets: $45  
Ticket Info

This concert is the hot ticket of the fest.
     The Berks All-Star Jazz Jam, which always sells out, is the unofficial opening to the second weekend of the 10-day festival.
     Musical directors Chuck Loeb and Rick Braun lead an amazing all-star lineup through two sets of improvised performances and unique pairings of musicians, with plenty of fun and surprises along the way.
     Loeb, Braun and all the artists go all out to create a one-of-a-kind concert for the loyal festival fans.
     And they keep raising the bar each year. The lineup for this jam is off the hook.
     Joining guitarist Loeb and trumpeter Braun will be randy Brecker and Till Bronner, trumpet; Norman Brown and Nick Colionne, guitars; Gerald Veasley and Brian Bromberg, bass; Eric Marienthal, Andy Snitzer, Kirk Whalum, Gerald Albright, saxophones; Jeff Lorber, Keiko Matsui, Joe McBride, keyboards; and Lionel Cordew, drums.

New Event for Fest

Berks All-Star Blues Jam
hosted by The Blues Factor
Thursday, April 3, 7:30 p.m.
Building 24 Live
Tickets: $10  
Ticket Info

     This year, the festival has added the Berks All-Star Blues Jam to the lineup.
     The jam will be hosted by the Berks-based band Blues Factor, featuring
Keith Van Etten on guitar and vocals; Brad Van Etten on guitar and vocals; Bill Hubbard on bass, John Wooddell on Hammond organ and piano; and Glenn Spadone on drums and percussion.
     Blues Factor have invited the best players in the region to join them for a night of playing everything from down home Delta and Chicago Blues to the Allman Brothers and Hot Texas Blues.
     Van, Bill, John, Brad, and Glenn have been playing and touring individually in the United States for more than 25 years, but have recently joined forces towards their common goal of bringing good blues music back into the spotlight and reminding people what good blues is all about.

The Blues Factor Web Site


KUTZTOWN, Pa. - An iconic musician who brought music into millions of homes visited Kutztown Area Middle School on Tuesday. Jazz musician Bob Dorough, the man behind "Schoolhouse Rock," was commissioned to put the multiplication tables to music in 1971. That was the beginning of what would become ABC's "Schoolhouse

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An iconic musician who brought music into millions of homes visited Kutztown Area Middle School on Tuesday. Jazz musician Bob Dorough, the man behind "Schoolhouse Rock," was commissioned to put the multiplication tables to music in 1971. That was the beginning of what would become ABC's "Schoolhouse Rock," a staple of Saturday morning cartoons from 1973 to 1985. "Little did I know how many children I would reach through that television. They were captive audiences every Saturday morning," Dorough said. Quick Clicks The good, the bad and the ugly of Reading snow removal Substitutes for Bethlehem schools will be hired by... Former controversial police chief discusses new TV show STOMP makes a stop in Reading Venezuela protest involves local residents Faculty and students were excited to have Dorough as a guest. "It is such an amazing experience for him to be here with the kids, someone of his stature and his talent. It has been such an amazing day," said Shannon Sunday, the school's music director. And they say his music has transcended time, becoming an educational tool for generation after generation. "I think that the 21st century students that we are dealing with right now will embrace his music as their parents did," said Carl Zeplin, the school's band director. Students also joined in and sang with Dorough. "I hope I will inspire them, and maybe in case, they want to become professionals. And if they do not even want to do that, at least I will give them some fun," said Dorough. Dorough, who will turn 90-years-old next month, said he still enjoys working with children and demonstrating how important music is in a learning environment.

Read more from at:
Connect with us! Facebook/69WFMZ or @69News
An iconic musician who brought music into millions of homes visited Kutztown Area Middle School on Tuesday. Jazz musician Bob Dorough, the man behind "Schoolhouse Rock," was commissioned to put the multiplication tables to music in 1971. That was the beginning of what would become ABC's "Schoolhouse Rock," a staple of Saturday morning cartoons from 1973 to 1985. "Little did I know how many children I would reach through that television. They were captive audiences every Saturday morning," Dorough said. Quick Clicks The good, the bad and the ugly of Reading snow removal Substitutes for Bethlehem schools will be hired by... Former controversial police chief discusses new TV show STOMP makes a stop in Reading Venezuela protest involves local residents Faculty and students were excited to have Dorough as a guest. "It is such an amazing experience for him to be here with the kids, someone of his stature and his talent. It has been such an amazing day," said Shannon Sunday, the school's music director. And they say his music has transcended time, becoming an educational tool for generation after generation. "I think that the 21st century students that we are dealing with right now will embrace his music as their parents did," said Carl Zeplin, the school's band director. Students also joined in and sang with Dorough. "I hope I will inspire them, and maybe in case, they want to become professionals. And if they do not even want to do that, at least I will give them some fun," said Dorough. Dorough, who will turn 90-years-old next month, said he still enjoys working with children and demonstrating how important music is in a learning environment.

Read more from at:
Connect with us! Facebook/69WFMZ or @69News Lorber Fusion
featuring Eric Marienthal, Jimmy Haslip,
Lionel Cordew
and special guest
Randy Brecker
Friday, April 4, 7:00 & 10:00 p.m.
Jazz Base at Crowne Plaza Reading
Tickets: $40     Ticket Info

By the late 1970s, trailblazing keyboardist, composer, producer Jeff Lorber had become a prominent figure in the new movement known as jazz fusion -- a marriage of traditional jazz with elements of, R&B, and funk.
     Lorber would drop the term “fusion” from his billing as the movement evolved into what is currently known as contemporary jazz. Still, he continued to explore the innovative, improvisational potential of grafting other musical forms to the jazz idiom.
     Lorber’s music reaches a new level by crystallizing jazz, funk, and Latin rhythms with some killer melodies that will certainly translate to live performance.
     Obviously, time spent touring together has made Lorber, Jimmy Haslip, and Eric Marienthal into a tight unit, which is evident from this latest recording Hacienda, which was nominated for a Grammy.
     Six-time Grammy winner Randy Brecker joins Lorber for this Berks show. Brecker has helped shape the sound of jazz, R&B and rock for more than four decades. His trumpet and flugelhorn performances have graced hundreds of albums by a wide range of artists from James Taylor, Bruce Springsteen and Parliament/Funkadelic to Frank Sinatra, Steely Dan, Jaco Pastorius and Frank Zappa.
     As a composer, performer and in-demand Yamaha clinician, Brecker continues to influence and inspire young musicians around the world.

Jeff Lorber Web Site        Randy Brecker Web Site   Rick Braun, Kirk Whalum
and Norman Brown

Friday, April 4, p.m., 7:00 p.m.
Scottish Rite Cathedral
Tickets: $49     Ticket Info

Individually, they are three titans of contemporary music: Rick Braun, the gifted trumpeter/flugelhornist with the golden voice; Grammy Award-winning tenor saxophonist Kirk Whalum, the Memphis-born wunderkind who mixes Beale Street, gospel, the blues and bop; and Norman Brown, the Grammy-winning guitarist who brings a Louisiana lilt to his Wes Montgomery/George Benson influenced six-string soulful strut.
     They came together over a decade ago as the supergroup known as BWB and their historic album Groovin’ made them one of the most sought-after groups at that time.
     Now they are back.
     On its latest CD, Human Nature,
BWB teams up to bring a new spin to such well-known Michael Jackson tunes such as "Billie Jean," "The Way You Make Me Feel," "Man in the Mirror," and many more!
It is a loving tribute to Jackson, by three musicians whose greatest gift may be the ability to make even the most casual listener taste all those layers in Jackson’s music.

Rick Braun Web Site      Kirk Whalum Web Site       Norman Brown Web Site Blue Room Tour
Madeleine Peyroux
Friday, April 4, p.m., 7:00 p.m.
Miller Center for the Arts
Tickets: $45    Ticket Info

Singer, songwriter Madeleine Peyroux has a one-of-a-kind voice which has carried her from busking on the streets of Paris all the way to mainstream recognition.
     Through intensely distinctive renditions of old classics and modern tunes by the likes of Leonard Cohen and The Beatles, Peyroux has proved to be an uncannily insightful interpreter with her impeccable choice of material.
     Peyroux’s new album, The Blue Room, sees the genre-blending singer reworking some landmark musical gems. The album seamlessly fuses musical styles together to create an entirely new sound.
     Don’t miss this special night with an enchanting songstress.

Madeleine Peyroux Web Site at the Inn
Ana Popovic
and Steve Guyger & The Excellos
Friday, April 4, 7:30 p.m.
Inn at Reading Ballroom
Tickets: $39   
Ticket Info

     The Inn at Reading kicks off its two-night blues series with a great co-bill featuring Ana Popovic and Steve Guyger & The Excellos. and singer Ana Popovic delivers searing blues in a signature sultry way.
     Ana grew up listening to her father's impressive blues and soul record collection. Finally, at 15, Ana picked up her father's guitar.
     The rest, as they say, is history.
     Her latest release, Can You Stand the Heat, is a daring album full of ‘old school’ funk and bluesy grooves, in the vein of Albert King, Albert Collins and WAR.
     Over the past 30 years, Steve Guyger with his band, The Excellos, has been dishing out some of the finest blues to be heard anywhere. The late William Clarke called Steve "the best harp player I've ever seen."
     His playing, vocals, songwriting and stage presence have earned him many accolades.
Fans of steamy blues will certainly come away satisfied from this show.

Ana Popovic Web Site         Steve Guyger Web Site

The Music of TOP, BS&T and More!
The Dance Hall Docs
with special guest vocalists
Tom Bowes
and Ray Greene
Friday, April 4, 9 p.m.
Building 24 Live
Tickets: $25 
Ticket Info

The Dance Hall Docs had one of those good news/bad news days recently.
     Brent Carter, former lead singer with Tower of Power and current lead singer with the Average White Band, was scheduled to be part of the Docs' annual Berks Jazz Fest show.
     First, the bad news. Carter had to back out due to an unexpected scheduling conflict with the Average White Band.
     Now the good news.
     Carter called Ray Greene (left on photo) to see if he could cover the Docs show. Who is Ray Greene?
     Greene just happens to be the current lead singer with Tower of Power. Greene was available and now he will join Tom Bowes (right on photo), another former lead singer with TOP, as the special guest vocalists for the Docs' fest concert.
     Greene replaced Larry Braggs as TOP's lead vocalist in January. Ray grew up in Georgia listening to his father sing Gospel music. He was exposed to the recordings of Sam Cooke, James Brown and Otis Redding at a young age. That music would leave an indelible mark on Ray throughout his life and career as a musician.
     "I look forward to carrying on the legacy and becoming a part of the TOP family," said Greene. "I cannot wait to share the gift I have been given with each and every one of you!"
     In his seven years as the lead singer of TOP, Tom Bowes, who now sings with Blood Sweat & Tears,  garnered nothing but rave reviews. Those in the know are aware of the talent it takes to front a 10-piece band with five powerful horns, and reviewers have consistently praised Bowes’ high range, powerful voice, and unique versatility.

Dance Hall Docs Web Site      Ray Greene Web Site     Tom Bowes Web Site Hathaway
featuring special guest Rahsaan Patterson
Friday, April 4, 10 p.m.
Crowne Plaza Reading Ballroom
Tickets: $40  
Ticket Info

     Her name is legendary. Her music is timeless.
     Lalah Hathaway, and sometimes referred to as the First Daughter of Soul, is a R&B
and jazz and Grammy Award-winning artist. She won the Grammy this year for the Best R&B Performance for her collaboration with Snarky Puppy's song Something.
     Soul music is in her blood; she's the daughter of the legendary singer Donny Hathaway.
     A classically trained vocalist, Hathaway's voice possesses rich warmth that soothes your ears and holds you close.
     Hathaway will be joined by special guest soul vocalist and songwriter Rahsaan Patterson.
     Patterson is one of the new-school R&B singers (Maxwell, Erykah Badu). He may be familiar, but for something besides his singing. Patterson starred in the children's show KIDS Incorporated. His singing and songwriting style have been said to be reminiscent of Stevie Wonder, while his voice has also drawn comparisons to Chaka Khan.
     One thing that can be agreed upon is that this show promises to move the audience with its smooth, soulful vibe.

Lalah Hathaway Web Site        Rahsaan Patterson Web Site Day
Nick Colionne
and The Sax Pack
featuring Jeff Kashiwa, Steve Cole, Marcus Anderson
Saturday, April 5, 2:00 p.m.
Crowne Plaza Reading Ballroom
Tickets: $40   
Ticket Info

     With a jazz style that is both urban and contemporary, Nick Colionne has blazed a trail to the top of the ranks of today's stars and has become a Berks Jazz fest favorite.
     Combining jazz, R&B, blues and funk, he has an unmistakable sound and vibe that is instantly recognizable. Nick takes the guitar to unexpected places every time he performs and his rich baritone vocals delight his audiences.
     Nick is frequently referred to as "the best dressed man in jazz", and he enjoys an on-going endorsement from the men's designer line Stacy Adams.
     The idea of The Sax Pack originated in 2004 with saxophonist Jeff Kashiwa after he saw a movie about the “Rat Pack,” a group of legendary entertainers led by Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr.
     Inspired by their showmanship and camaraderie, Kashiwa came up with the name The Sax Pack and called on some of his saxophone peers and started a new group that would feature the instrument, as well as their collective musical passion for jazz, funk and R&B.
     Making up the rest of the 'pack' are Steve Cole and Marcus Anderson. Backed by a tight rhythm section, the talented trio combine their lifelong love of music and their passion for performance, to make an impact on audiences that love music as much as they do. 

Nick Colionne Web Page          The Sax Pack Web Page Brothers Tribute
Craig Thatcher & Mike Dugan
Saturday, April 5, 2:00 p.m.
Building 24 Live
Tickets: $23   
Ticket Info

     Last year, Craig Thatcher and Mike Dugan were a big hit at the fest with their Eric Clapton tribute show.
     This year, Thatcher and Dugan and their band are back with a special tribute to the Allman Brothers.
     Two of the Lehigh Valley’s finest bluesmen join forces to recreate that legendary sound of the most celebrated southern rock group of the past four decades.
     Thatcher and Dugan lay down the intricate harmony and driving slide guitar sounds of Dickey Betts and Duane Allman with accuracy and emotion.
     This is a must-see-live performing band. Their on-stage energy and confidence are explosive!

Craig Thatcher Web Site      Mike Dugan Web Site Night
Terell Stafford Quintet
featuring Tim Warfield, Bruce Barth,
Dana Hall, Rodney Whitaker

Saturday, April 5, 7:00 and 10:00 p.m.
Jazz Base at Crowne Plaza Reading
Tickets: $35  
Ticket Info

     Terell Stafford has been hailed as “one of the great players of our time, a fabulous trumpet player” by piano legend McCoy Tyner.
     Known for being a gifted and versatile player with a voice all his own, Stafford combines lyricism and a deep love of melody with a spirited, adventurous edge. This uniquely expressive, well-defined musical talent allows Stafford the ability to dance in and around the rich trumpet tradition of his predecessors while making his own inroads.
     His latest release, "This Side of Strayhorn," offers a refreshing and unique interpretation of a number of Strayhorn's compositions.
     York native and tenor saxophonist Tim Warfield will be part of Terell's quintet, along with Bruce Barth on piano, Dana Hall on drums and Rodney Whitaker on bass.
     An educator as well as a performer, Stafford currently holds the positions of Director of Jazz Studies and Chair of Instrumental Studies at Temple University in Philadelphia where he has been a recipient of the University's “Creative Achievement Award.”

Terell Stafford Web Site Night
Peabo Bryson, Gerald Albright,
Mindi Abair, Richard Elliot,
Brian Simpson
Saturday, April 5, 7 p.m.
Scottish Rite Cathedral
Tickets: $49   
Ticket Info

     Peabo Bryson headlines a special ensemble that was put together just for the Berks Jazz Fest.
     Bryson has established a career as one of the premier male vocalists in contemporary music of the last quarter century. a beautifully rich, almost operatic voice, this two-time Grammy Award-winner offering a timeless mix of pop and soul as only he can. Two of his hits, "Tonight I Celebrate My Love," and "If Ever You're In My Arms Again," are well-known, but two songs for Disney animated films won him his two Grammys.
     Bryson is joined by charismatic sax players Gerald Albright, Mindi Abair and Richard Elliot, all Berks favorites.
     Rounding out the show is celebrated keyboardist, composer and studio musician Brian Simpson, who is the musical director of the show.
     Simpson has been the ‘go-to’ man for everyone from Janet Jackson and Teena Marie to George Duke, Stanley Clarke and Dave Koz,.
     Known for his ability to sculpt timeless love songs, soulful party anthems and melodies that stay on your mind, Simpson is truly a master at his craft.
     Powerful voices, sultry horns and keys all come together to make this show an unforgettable part of this year's fest.

Peabo Bryson Web Site      Mindi Abair Web Site      Gerald Albright Web Site

Richard Elliot Web Site       Brian Simpson Web Site' Up the Pops
Keiko Matsui
and the Reading Pops Orchestra
Saturday, April 5, 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, April 6, 3 p.m.
Miller Center for the Arts
Tickets: $40 
Ticket Info

     It has become a Boscov's Berks Jazz Fest tradition for the Reading Pops Orchestra to team up with some of the biggest names in jazz for special shows.
     This year, the guest artist is keyboardist, composer Keiko Matsui, who is known for her melding of smooth jazz, jazz fusion and new age styles. Her career spans three decades, during which time she has released 20 albums and has received international acclaim.
     Keiko's elegant piano melodies and gentle jazz grooves have enormous appeal and never disappoint the loyal fan base which she has cultivated with over a dozen albums and hundreds of stunning live shows.
     Keiko follows up 2012's critically acclaimed production The Road with the brilliant new album, Soul Quest -- without a doubt, her most heartfelt release yet.
     Keiko, her band, and the Reading Pops, under the direction of Will Rapp, will perform two shows during the fest.

Keiko Matsui Web Site       Reading Pops Orchestra Web Site at the Inn
and Albert Cummings
Saturday, April 5, 7:30 p.m.
Inn at Reading Ballroom
Tickets: $39  
Ticket Info

     The Blues at the Inn series concludes with a dynamic co-bill of vocalist Shemekia Copeland and guitarist Albert Cummings.
     Two-time Grammy nominee Shemekia
Copeland is already a force to be reckoned with in the blues genre. She has shared the with such luminaries as Buddy Guy, B.B. King, Mick Jagger and Eric Clapton, and has even performed at the White House for President and Mrs. Obama.
     Copeland’s passion for singing, matched with her huge, blast-furnace voice, gives her music a timeless power and a heart-pounding urgency. Her music comes from deep within her soul and from the streets where she grew up, surrounded by the everyday sounds of the city -- street performers, gospel singers, blasting radios, bands in local parks and so much more.
     Albert Cummings is breaking every cliché associated with the blues while producing some of the most powerful music of the 21st century.
     Cummings is a man of his times and the man for the times. He has taken tradition and built his own musical edifice that expresses his thoughts and dreams. It is a vision that alternately excites and soothes while also clearly providing a glimpse of his unlimited future. The best is yet to come.
     This dynamic duo is sure to have the Inn at Reading rocking.

Shemekia Copeland Web Site          Albert Cummings Web Site


The Original Groovemasters
featuring Bennie Sims, Cliff Starkey,
Curt Harmon, Alisa B, Dave Cullen,
Scotti Mann, Drew Love
Saturday, April 5, 9 p.m.
Building 24 Live
Tickets: $20   
Ticket Info

     The Groovemasters have been part of the Berks Jazz Fest since the beginning.
     Over the years, the dynamic band has created a strong regional following. Along the way, the configuration and personnel of the bands has changed.
     For the Berks Jazz Fest, however, Bennie Sims and Cliff Starkey bring back all the original members of the band to make it a special night of music for their loyal fans.
     Joining Bennie, bass, and Cliff, keyboards, will be Curt Harmon, drums; Dave Cullen, guitar; Scotti Mann, keyboards and vocals; Drew Love, percussions; and Alisa B, vocals.
     In keeping with fest tradition, The Groovemasters also will be performing on Friday, March 28, at the Peanut Bar Restaurant for the Howard B. Leifer Memorial Kickoff Lunch event starting at 11:30 a.m. Dulfer
Saturday, April 5, 10 p.m.
Crowne Plaza Reading Ballroom
Tickets: $40  
Ticket Info

     When saxophonist Candy Dulfer steps onto the stage or into the studio, everything is immediately up for grabs and anything can happen.
     This sexy, high-energy vibe -- seemingly out-of-control, yet always carefully calculated -- is a direct result of her consistently hot and sweet confection of jazz, funk, R&B, soul, pop, techno and more.
     It’s a no-holds-barred recipe that has served her and her worldwide fan base well since her earliest recordings at the start of the 1990s. Candy pushes the whole musical experience to the edge once again on her new recording, Crazy.
     The CD includes numerous tracks co-written and produced by multi-instrumentalist Printz Board -- whose mile-long list of credits includes musical director for the Black Eyed Peas for more than a decade, as well as work with Macy Gray, Mariah Carey, Sergio Mendes Gomez, Katy Perry, Burt Bacharach and dozens more.
     Don't miss this funky and fun show!

Candy Dulfer Web Site Gospel Blues Brunch
Alexis P. Suter Band
Sunday, April 6, 10:00 a.m. buffet;
11:30 a.m. show
Inn at Reading Ballroom
Tickets: $40
 Ticket Info

     Artfully blending the lines between gospel and blues music for a dozen years or so has been vocalist and songwriter Alexis P. Suter.
     Those who follow blues music closely only have to hear Suter once to know she and her band are destined for bigger and better things, as her rich voice combines the best elements of blues, soul, and gospel music.
     Suter, a true vocal phenomenon and a rising star on the roots, blues and soul scene, has been wowing audiences, media, club owners, and festival producers alike with her powerful bass/baritone voice, seasoned with raw emotion and a wide streak of attitude.
    When the great Bluesman B.B. King first heard Alexis P. Suter sing, he was visibly impressed and said so after her opening set for him at BB Kings in New York. Shaking his head in wonder in his characteristic way, he remarked: “It’s a rare thing to share the stage with great talent like that young lady.”

Alexis P. Suter Band Web Site Jazz Brunch hosted by Gerald Veasley
Generation neXt
featuring Julian Vaughn, Nicholas Cole,
Lin Rountree,
Lebron and more!
Sunday, April 6, 10:30 a.m. buffet,
noon show
Crowne Plaza Reading Ballroom
Tickets: $40    
Ticket Info

     Destined to join successful concepts such as ‘Guitars & Saxes,' a new dimension of contemporary jazz has arrived -- Generation neXt.
     This talented ensemble features world-class musicians -- Nicholas Cole on keyboards, Lebron on  saxophone, Lin Rountree on trumpet, and Julian Vaughn on bass
     With justifiable comparisons to Brian Culbertson, 20-year-old Nicholas Cole displays the techncial proficiency and an artistic vision of those twice his age. Cole’s new release Endless Possibilities has scored three top-10 Billboard singles and walks a harmonic tightrope with a Bob James meets Herbie Hancock type vibe that is harmonically a step ahead of his contemporaries.
     Soul, jazz/R&B master Lin Rountree is the latest artist to emerge from the ‘new’ Detroit music factory. A leader in R&B, Soul or Groove Jazz, Rountree has performed with numerous jazz greats including the late George Duke, Marcus Miller, Tim Bowman, Kem, Darren Rahn and Grammy-nominated producer Nate Harasim.
    “Sound. It’s all about the sound.” That is the powerfully simple principle inherent in saxophonist Lebron’s music. He freely admits that Brian McKnight, Phil Perry and Will Downing all influenced his phrasing, expression and solos.
     Bassist Julian Vaughn has burst onto the scene with a scintillating new recording, the appropriately titled Breakthrough. The album is something of a paradox as although it doesn’t bring anything that might be regarded as ‘new’ it does deliver, in the shape of rhythm, melody and a feel-good groove, a whole lot of what the smooth jazz community has been crying out for.

Nicolas Cole Web Site   Lebron Web Site    Lin Rountree Web Site   Julian Vaughn Web Site

Gospel According to Jazz Celebration
Kirk Whalum, Oleta Adams, Rick Braun,
Gerald Veasley, Kevin Whalum, John Stoddart

and the DOXA Gospel Ensemble
Sunday, April 6, 7 p.m.
Scottish Rite Cathedral
Tickets: $49   
Ticket Info

      There is no better way to end 10 days of great music and camaraderie than with the Gospel According to Jazz concert.
     Now a tradition, this show really is a culmination of a week-plus of magic. The audience is on their feet, singing and dancing, throughout the show.
     This year's lineup promises an unforgettable night.
     Jazz saxophonist and flutist Kirk Whalum also happens to be an ordained minister. He will be joined by pianist/vocalist John Stoddart and soul, jazz and gospel singer and pianist Oleta Adams.
     Whalum's brother, Kevin, will lend his powerful voice and stage presence, and Berks favorites Rick Braun and Gerald Veasley join this year's show, adding an extra treat.
     Reading's own DOXA Gospel Ensemble, made up of the cream of the community's gospel singers, has a beautiful sound.
     This show is sure to stay with you long after the last note is sung. Don't miss it!

Kirk Whalum Web Site   Oleta Adams Web Site   Rick Braun Web Site   Gerald Veasley Web





The Boscov's Berks Jazz Fest is presented by The Berks Arts Council