If the 28th annual Boscov’s Berks Jazz Fest April 6-15 as presented by Berks Arts Council already wasn’t rocking with a star-studded lineup, the additions of two legends in Randy Brecker and Bob Mintzer has made this year’s edition truly luminous.
Trumpeter and composer Randy Brecker has helped shape the sound of jazz, R&B and rock for more than four decades.
Brecker already is scheduled to be part of the Remembering Chuck Loeb tribute concert on Sunday, April 8, at the Santander Performing Arts Center. Now, he has added several other performances during the fest, including taking the lead role in Rayford Griffin’s Reflections of Brownie: A Tribute to Clifford Brown. Trumpeter Brown was Griffin’s uncle.
Brecker replaces Rick Braun, who had an unexpected schedule issue.
Brecker’s other performances are Berks Bop Night, Wednesday, April 11, 7:30 p.m. at the DoubleTree by Hilton Reading Grand Ballroom; and Berks All-Star Jam, Thursday, April 12, 8:00 p.m., at the DoubleTree by Hilton Reading Grand Ballroom.
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.
Brecker was with the iconic Blood, Sweat & Tears in 1967 and later teamed up with his brother, the late Michael Brecker, in the popular funk-oriented Brecker Brothers and in the 1990s he toured with the reunited Brecker Brothers.
As a solo artist Brecker has released numerous outstanding albums. His 2017 CD Whispers on the Wind was his 26th release. He has won five Grammy Awards.
Saxophonist Bob Mintzer is a member of the Grammy-winning Yellowjackets, leads the Grammy-winning Bob Mintzer Big Band, travels with his own quartet and plays with numerous bands globally.
Mintzer also is the chief conductor of the WDR Big Band in Cologne, Germany.
Mintzer is replacing Eric Alexander for Dave Stryker’s concert on Saturday, April 7, 1:30 p.m., Club ECP at the DoubleTree. The billing of the show is Dave Stryker, Bob Mintzer Organ Quintet featuring Steve Nelson.
For the last 37 years the legendary Yellowjackets have been one of the premier jazz groups in the world. Their current lineup features Mintzer, keyboardist Russell Ferrante, drummer William Kennedy and bassist Dane Anderson.
A respected educator, Mintzer is the recipient of the Buzz McCoy endowed chair of jazz studies at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. Mintzer continues to conduct clinics and workshops worldwide. He has also written nearly 20 books that are an important part of the curriculum of jazz education worldwide.
Mintzer writes for orchestra, concert band and big band, with over 300 charts to his credit.
As an instrumentalist Mintzer has worked with Art Blakey, Jaco Pastorius, Sam Jones, Randy Brecker, Gil Evans, GRP All Star Big Band, Mike Manieri, and The New York Philharmonic, to name a few. He has done session work for James Taylor, Steve Winwood, Queen, Donald Fagan, Milton Nascimento and countless others.