Pittsfield CityJazz Festival kicks off with "jazz crawl" on Columbus Day weekend


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PITTSFIELD, Massachusetts, Oct. 7, 2010—The sixth annual Pittsfield CityJazz Festival, which takes place Oct. 8-21 in venues around the city, kicks-off with a 'jazz crawl' with about a dozen participating venues. Headline performers include baritone saxophone virtuoso Claire Daly, vibraphone up-and-comer Joe Baione, a return to Pittsfield of the American Jazz Repertory Orchestra, the Brazilian Jazz Trio, and the Berkshires Jazz Youth Ensemble.

The festival takes place during the height of the fall foliage season in the Berkshire hills of western Massachusetts. It swings into action on Columbus Day weekend, Oct. 8-10 featuring “Jazz About Town," a veritable jazz crawl when regionally-based performers appear in restaurants throughout the city; participating venues include barber shops to coffee shops, as well as bars and restaurants.

The Brazilian Jazz Trio, comprising the remarkable Warren Byrd (piano), Jason Schwartz (bass) and leader Tom Parker (drums) will perform at the Berkshire Athenaeum on Wednesday, Oct. 13.

Most of the events are free. The two ticketed events, both on the headline weekend, include:
  • Oct. 15: the Berkshires debut of Joe Baione, a Delaware-based vibraphonist and his quintet. The concert (7:30pm, Crowne Plaza Hotel, $20 general admission) will be preceded by an optional New Orleans-style sit-down dinner ($27, reservations required) with such delicacies such as shrimp etouffe,' jambalaya, and cajun catfish.
  • Oct. 16: a guest appearance of baritone saxophone virtuoso Claire Daly, who will be featured as a soloist with two big bands on the program: The Berkshires Jazz Youth Ensemble and the American Jazz Repertory Orchestra (AJRO); Colonial Theatre, 8pm ($15, $25). AJRO will be introducing a new program, called “The Great American Jazz Book." A takeoff on the familiar vocalizations that comprise an oeuvre called “the great American songbook," AJRO's material is primarily instrumental, and focuses on the great big-band hits of the mid-20th century.

AJRO is directed by Clem DeRosa, a member of the Jazz Hall of Fame, a big-band drummer and pioneer in jazz education. During his military career, DeRosa served with one of Glenn Miller's Air Corps Bands, and later fronted one of Miller's “ghost bands," and the Benny Goodman band, on tours.

AJRO returns to Pittsfield by popular demand, after a 2009 appearance on Independence Day weekend. Besides a set of familiar big-band selections spotlighting Daly and other soloists, AJRO will perform jointly with the Berkshires Jazz Youth Ensemble, directed by Ron Lively, in a finale that will bring all the musicians on stage at once.

The festivities conclude with various jazz-oriented performers on Oct. 21, part of Pittsfield's “Third Thursday" block party.

Once again, the festival will be collaborating with the schools of Berkshire County with free performances and discussions by the Pittsfield Sister City Jazz Ambassadors.

For ticketing and other information, visit Berkshires Jazz or call 413-997-4444.

About Berkshires Jazz .

Berkshires Jazz, Inc., a 501c3 non-profit organization, was formed in 2009 to present jazz events and promote jazz education in Berkshire County. The organization is the sponsor of the Pittsfield CityJazz Festival. Information at www.BerkshiresJazz.org. .

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This story appears courtesy of Ed Bride Associates.
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