NEA Jazzmaster Dr. Lonnie Smith will perform at the SOUTH Jazz Parlor at Berks on Friday, March 31. The new jazz club venue is located in the DoubleTree by Hilton Reading.

The iconic SOUTH Kitchen & Jazz Parlor in Philadelphia and the Berks Arts Council have reached an agreement making one of the 50 Best Jazz Clubs in America a major branding partner with the 27th annual Boscov’s Berks Jazz Fest set for March 31-April 9, 2017.

The SOUTH Kitchen & Jazz Parlor offers the very best of New Southern fare and Southern hospitality. It features three distinct spaces and experiences: a warm and inviting dining hall, a Jazz Parlor with a center stage for exciting jazz performances, and an elegant yet comfortable bar/lounge.

The Boscov’s Berks Jazz Fest is recognized as one of the largest and most diverse music festivals of its kind in the country.

As part of the sponsorship agreement, SOUTH Kitchen & Jazz Parlor will have naming rights to the new jazz club the festival is creating at the DoubleTree by Hilton Reading. The club will be in the DoubleTree ballroom during the 10-day festival. The club will be branded SOUTH Jazz Parlor at Berks.

“We are excited about our partnership with the Berks Jazz Fest,” said SOUTH Kitchen & Jazz Parlor owner Robert Bynum. “Our commitment to jazz at SOUTH is first and foremost about keeping the art form alive, so we are pleased to be working with a wonderful organization like Berks that has that same commitment and dedication to this wonderful art form of jazz.”

WRTI 90.1 FM radio will be the media partner for the SOUTH Jazz Parlor at Berks. WRTI broadcasts the very best classical music and jazz recordings and produces innovative, entertaining and informative content that enriches the lives of its audience.

“It’s a wonderful collaboration between the Boscov’s Berks Jazz Fest, SOUTH Kitchen & Jazz Parlor and WRTI,” said WRTI jazz host Jeff Duperon. “It just strengthens our ability to connect with the community not only in Philadelphia but in Berks County as well. WRTI has been associated with and a supporter of the Boscov’s Berks Jazz Fest since its inception and this latest partnership strengthens the connection between Philadelphia and Berks County and the jazz community within both. This collaboration will further strengthen the festival in the Philadelphia market.”

The fest is planning a minimum of 13 concerts at SOUTH Jazz Parlor at Berks Fest, which will have a capacity of 150.

The SOUTH Jazz Parlor at Berks Fest concert lineup:
Friday, March 31, 7 and 9:30 p.m.: Dr. Lonnie Smith Trio featuring Jonathan Kreisberg and Johnathan Blake
Saturday, April 1, 1 p.m.: Mike Eben’s From the Hip Nonet
Saturday, April 1, 7 and 9:30 p.m.: Pat Martino Organ Trio with Horns featuring Pat Bianchi, Carmen Intorre, Adam Niewood, Alex Norris
Tuesday, April 4, 7:30 p.m.: Eric Marienthal
Wednesday, April 5, 7:30 p.m.: Frank DiBussolo’s Philly Reunion Band
Thursday, April 6, 7:30 p.m.: Jeff Hamilton Trio
Friday, April 7, 7 and 9 p.m.: Anat Cohen Quartet
Saturday, April 8, 1:30 p.m.: Avalon Jazz Band plus Hot Club of Reading
Saturday, April 8, 7 and 9:30 p.m.: Rick Braun: The Music of Chet Baker

“We are very exciting about adding the SOUTH Jazz Parlor to the mix of fest venues,” said John Ernesto, Berks Jazz Fest general manager. “Traditional jazz fans will have the opportunity to enjoy outstanding performances in an intimate setting.”

The Berks Jazz Fest has been an important part of the Greater Reading’s community revitalization efforts as both an economic and cultural catalyst for positive change. The festival’s economic impact on the Berks County community is estimated to be between $8 and $10 million. The festival attracts over 45,000 fans representing 30-plus states and several foreign countries.

Berks Jazz Fest is a project of Berks Arts Council, a local arts agency whose mission is to cultivate, promote, and support the arts in our community through collaboration, education, and presentation. In addition to the Berks Jazz Fest, Berks Arts Council presents the Bandshell Concert Series, Fast Lane Art, the Pagoda Awards, administers the Pennsylvania Partners in the Arts grant program, and provides art exhibition and marketing opportunities for local artists. Visit them at www.BerksArts.org