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Berkshire Gateway To Feature Phil Woods, Freddie Bryant, Greg Caputo Big Band

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Phil Woods
Berkshires Jazz, Inc. today announced the second annual Berkshire Gateway Jazz Weekend, bringing marquee performers and local jazz musicians to downtown Lee, Massachusetts, July 25-28. In collaboration with Berkshire Gateway Preservation, Inc., Berkshires Jazz presents the Greg Caputo Big Band, Phil Woods, and the Freddie Bryant Quartet in the striking performance space at First Congregational Church, 25 Park Place, and other venues.

In addition to the headline performances on July 26 and 27, the weekend will include “jazz about town,” a new component featuring local performers in an outdoor setting. Additional events will be announced as the event nears.

With schooling in Brazilian music, classical and jazz, Freddie Bryant’s art is starting to challenge traditional labels. His talents are now being sought out by artists from diverse background ranging from trumpet great Tom Harrell to the Mingus Orchestra, vocalist Eliane Elias to Klezmer virtuoso clarinetist Giora Feidman. His quartet’s repertoire (Friday, July 26, 8pm) will include much of the music from their latest CD, “Live Grooves.”

Described as “the keeper of the big band flame,” drummer Gregory Caputo fronts a 16-piece unit that will perform a salute to some of the biggest bands of the jazz era. His program, “Benny Goodman to Gordon Goodwin,” will feature the NEA Jazz Master and multiple Grammy Award winner Phil Woods, who returns to the Berkshires after two appearances at the Pittsfield CityJazz Festival in 2006 and 2011. Woods, a multiple Grammy winner and NEA Jazz Master, is a guest artist on Caputo’s CD “Velocity,” and their performance (Saturday, July 27, 7:30pm) will include much of the material from that live recording.

Taking its name from Lee's location as the gateway from the Massachusetets Turnpike to the Berkshires in western Massachusetts, The Berkshire Gateway Jazz Weekend had its premiere last September, under the direction of Rich Vinette. Earlier this year, Berkshire Gateway Preservation, Inc. and Berkshires Jazz, Inc. combined efforts on this event, moving it to the peak weekend of the tourist season. Other performers to be announced.

Berkshires Jazz, Inc. was established in 2009 to present jazz events and promote jazz education throughout Berkshire County in western Massachusetts. The organization is the sponsor of the Pittsfield CityJazz Festival, the Berkshire Gateway Jazz Weekend, and other events throughout the year.

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