Berkshires Jazz Announces 2012 Programming, Student Art Contest Winners


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PITTSFIELD, MA: Berkshires Jazz, Inc., which organizes and presents festivals, concerts, and other jazz events in Berkshire County, has announced the winners of its annual Student Art Contest, as well as its 2012 season programming. Performance highlights include: a special concert on May 4 at the conclusion of Pittsfield's first “First Friday Artswalk"; the new Berkshires Gateway Jazz Weekend, Sept. 14-16; and the 8th annual Pittsfield CityJazz Festival, Oct. 3-13.

The twofold mission of Berkshires Jazz is to present jazz events and encourage jazz education. The Student Art Contest is a way to engage more of the student community in a cross-genre creative activity. The winners were adjudicated from more than 100 entries from all four of Pittsfield's high schools; after preliminary judging by teachers, 87 of the works are hanging in the Crane Room at the Berkshire Museum, through the weekend.

2012 Music Programming

Berkshires Jazz' music events this year start with a spring concert on Friday, May 4 (8pm, Baba Louie's Backroom, 34 Depot St., Pittsfield), featuring New York vocalist <strong>Elli Fordyce</strong>, plus the Jazz Tuber Trio.

Fordyce is a highly accomplished vocalist and actor. She has performed all over the New York Metro area and throughout North America. She will be backed by the Berkshires Jazz Trio, headed by pianist Andy Jaffe.

Founded and directed by Eli Newberger, The Jazz Tuber Trio comprises leader Newberger on tuba, vocalist/banjoist Jimmy Mazzy, and reedman Ted Casher. Tickets are now on sale ($20 for all tickets, general admission) at BerkshiresJazz.org or 413-442-7718. Dinner available separately, contact Baba Louie's directly at 413-499-2400.

News is just emerging about the new Berkshires Gateway Jazz Weekend in Lee. The Sept. 14-16 event is produced by the Lee Community Development Corp., in collaboration with Berkshires Jazz. Headline performers include Grammy-nominated vocalist Karrin Allyson, the Amherst Jazz Orchestra, reed virtuoso Charles Neville, and the Sonny and Perley Quartet. Additional local and regional performers are still being booked, and tickets will go on sale this spring.

The eighth annual Pittsfield CityJazz Festival takes place Oct. 3-13 in various venues around downtown Pittsfield. The music spans the spectrum of jazz, and includes the New England Jazz Ensemble with guest soloists Giacomo Gates and Ali Ryerson; The {{Jazz Arts Trio||; Jazz About Town (a “jazz crawl" that features local musicians in restaurants and lounges throughout downtown); and a new entry in the Jazz Prodigy series.

About the Student Art Contest

Students from all four of Pittsfield's public and private high schools participated in this fourth annual contest. In addition to cash prizes for the top three submissions, Ky Hong Le's winning entry will become the graphic image for the seventh annual Pittsfield CityJazz Festival, which will be held from Oct. 3-13, 2012. It will appear on the festival's poster, web site, advertising, and program booklet.

The winning artists are: Ky Hong La, Miss Hall's; Valerie Smalls, Pittsfield H.S.; Lana Godfrey, Taconic H.S.

Honorable Mention:

Kristen Bossio PHS
Lauren Farry PHS
Winnie Lee, Miss Hall's
Hannah Penner Miss Hall's
Emily Ren Miss Hall's
Judges Choice: Kaileigh Hayman St. Joseph's H.S.

The “Judges Choice" selection is intended to call attention of especially creative work that would not be suitable to be a part of the festival marketing materials.

This year's judges included artist Julio Granda; and graphic designer Tom Buckley of Greylock Marketing Group. Art teachers engaged in the project were coordinator Colleen Quinn, Pittsfield High School; Lisa Ostellino and Barbara Patton, PHS; Marybeth Eldridge and Mike Boroniec, Taconic; Dale Zola, St. Joseph’s; and Ellie Kreischer and Sophie Lee from Miss Hall’s.

Project coordinator is Art Niedeck, a jazz musician and music educator, and chairman of the Education Committee of Berkshires Jazz, Inc., which is responsible for planning the Pittsfield CityJazz Festival and other events throughout the year. In addition to its mission of presenting 'live' jazz, the not-for-profit Berkshires Jazz is chartered to promote jazz education throughout Berkshire County. Its activities are supported by ticket sales from the festival, as well as donations from sponsors, which this year include the Pittsfield Cultural Council, the New England Foundation for the Arts, Berkshire Bank – Legacy Region, and Greylock Federal Credit Union.

About Berkshires Jazz

Berkshires Jazz, Inc. is a non-profit organization whose mission is to present jazz events and encourage jazz education in Berkshire County, Massachusetts. It was formed in 2008, as an outgrowth of the Pittsfield CityJazz Festival, which remains a signature event of the Fall Foliage season in western Massachusetts.

This story appears courtesy of Ed Bride Associates.
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