Friday, April 8 / 6:00 p.m.
ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION CONCERT
featuring ERIC MARIENTHAL, RICK BRAUN, KEIKO MATSUI, EVERETTE HARP, ADAM HAWLEY, BRIAN BROMBERG, LINDSEY WEBSTER, THE BERKS HORNS
Scottish Rite Cathedral
Tickets: $59 (Reserved Seating)
Boscov’s Berks Jazz Fest’s 31st Anniversary Celebration Concert will be presented Friday, April 8 at 6 p.m. in the Scottish Rite Cathedral by ijazzglobal.com (WJJZ personality Michael Tozzi’s smooth jazz streaming channel). The concert will feature a lineup of stars who have been festival favorites, and will also include “A Tribute to Nick Colionne,” the beloved guitarist who was scheduled to be a part of this event, but who passed away suddenly on Jan. 1.
Eight-time Grammy nominee and two-time Grammy winner Eric Marienthal will perform on sax and lead the Colionne tribute. The renowned jazz artist started his career in 1980 with trumpet great Al Hirt, and later joined the late Chick Corea’s Electric Band, recording six CDs with them. He also was a member of Jeff Lorber Fusion. He has performed with Barbra Streisand, Billy Joel, The Yellowjackets, B.B. King and many other artists, and has recorded 15 solo albums, the latest of which is “Double Dealin’,” with trumpeter Randy Brecker.
Trumpeter extraordinaire Rick Braun began developing his jazz chops as part of a jazz-fusion band at the Eastman School of Music in the 1970s. After graduating he entered the pop world as a singer and a successful songwriter for other artists. Then, returning to the trumpet, he worked as a session and touring musician with Natalie Cole, Sade, Rod Stewart, Tina Turner, War and others.
His debut album as a soloist, “Intimate Secrets” (1992) launched him as a band leader, and he released his 18th, “Crossroads,” in 2019. Braun also performs in the band BWB with saxophonist Kirk Whalum and guitarist Norman Brown.
Pianist/composer Keiko Matsui, known for bringing a unique spirituality to her music and performances, is celebrated as an artist and humanitarian. Highlights of her career include her 1997 tour and four-song CD, “A Gift of Hope,” to raise awareness of breast cancer; her award-winning 1998 PBS TV special, “Keiko Matsui: Light Above the Trees”; and her 2013 guest appearance in Istanbul for International Jazz Day, with Herbie Hancock, Branford Marsalis and Terence Blanchard. Her 28th album, “Echo,” was released in 2019.
Houston-born saxophonist Everette Harp started his career touring with Teena Marie and Anita Baker, and later worked with Stanley Clarke, Aretha Franklin, Neil Diamond, Dianne Reeves and many other stars. When he released his eponymous debut album in 1992, he was already combining contemporary jazz with edgier funk and other urban sounds. Harp, who has released nine studio albums on his own, also formed the group Jazz Funk Soul with the late guitarist Chuck Loeb and keyboardist Jeff Lorber. They released two albums, in 2014 and 2016 (a year before Loeb’s death from cancer).
Ubiquitous bassist Brian Bromberg is known for his innovations on acoustic and electric bass, and for the exceptional sound quality on his recordings. The Tucson, Ariz. native grew up in a musical family, and was playing drums professionally by age 13. After perfecting his bass playing in school, at age 19 he was hired by sax great Stan Getz in 1979, and toured the world with him. He has since played with innumerable jazz luminaries, and has been heard on a number of film soundtracks. His first solo album was “A New Day,” released in 1986, and his 24th, “A Little Drive Music,” came out in 2021.
Guitarist Adam Hawley holds a doctorate in musical arts from the University of Southern California, and has released three albums, the latest of which is “Escape” (2020). His first was “Just the Beginning” (2016), followed by “Double Vision” (2018). In addition to his solo work, Hawley has gained a reputation as an A-list sideman.
Singer/songwriters Lindsey Webster is a member of the younger generation of jazz singers, following in the footsteps of Ella Fitzgerald and Sarah Vaughan, but putting their own eclectic stamps on the genre. Webster, Billboard’s Artist of the Year in 2016 and 2017, released her fifth album, “A Woman Like Me,” in March 2020, showing her roots in R&B, pop, rock and jazz. She is also performing during this festival in “Celebrating the Women in Jazz” on April 9.
The Berks Horns, led by saxophonist Mike Anderson, is a local “band for hire,” and has performed at events with various bands at Berks Jazz Fest for over 15 years.