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The 31st annual Boscov’s Berks Jazz Fest will begin its fourth decade with 10 days of celebration of jazz in all its manifestations, from blues to big band, from bebop to contemporary, from fusion to Latin.

Tickets go on sale Saturday, Dec. 4 at 10 a.m. for this nationally acclaimed event scheduled for April 1-10.

The festival, presented by Berks Arts, will open with the traditional Harold B. Leifer Memorial Luncheon at the Peanut Bar Restaurant in downtown Reading, with The Groovemasters, featuring bassist Bennie Sims, keyboardist Cliff Starkey and saxophonist/vocalist Erich Cawalla.

Opening night will feature the renowned Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with trumpeter/composer/director Wynton Marsalis at the Santander Performing Arts Center.

Marsalis, who was a headliner at the inaugural Berks Jazz Fest, returned with the JALCO for the 20th and 25th anniversary festivals, and last performed in Reading in May 2021 with the JALCO Septet in one of the first live concerts in the area after Covid-19. His performance on April 1 is sure to be one of the fest highlights.

Fest general manager John Ernesto said several special presentations – a staple of the annual fest — are planned for 2022, including “Celebrating the Women in Jazz,” featuring iconic vocalists Patti Austin and Maysa, on Saturday, April 9, at the DoubleTree by Hilton Reading grand ballroom.

Austin will appear as part of the Chris “Big Dog” Davis-produced celebration of women in jazz concert, where she will share the stage with the amazing Maysa Leak. Both are known worldwide for their brilliant vocals, and both have careers that include national awards, top hits, and international touring. Appearing with them will be vocalists Selina Albright (Gerald’s daughter) and Lindsey Webster; saxophonist Jessy J; violinist Karen Briggs; flutist Althea Rene; and multi-instrumentalist Marcia Miget.

“When we approached Chris about producing the project, he simply said: ‘Love the idea. Let’s do it,’” Ernesto said. “Chris has done an amazing job producing special themed concerts for the fest. This year’s tribute to the music of Stevie Wonder was a huge hit with our fans. “I have no doubt that the ‘Celebrating Women in Jazz’ concert will be a memorable music experience.”

Headliners for the 2022 jazz fest will include Bela Fleck, who had been scheduled to appear with the Flecktones in 2020 but was unable to make the August re-scheduled festival. Bela’s fans will be happy to hear that he will be performing with his touring project “My Bluegrass Heart” on April 2 at the DoubleTree by Hilton Reading grand ballroom.

Ukulele virtuoso Jake Shimabukuro will make his Berks Jazz Fest debut with his band on April 9 at the Miller Center for the Arts bringing his signature rock-style shredding to the tiny instrument. The Japanese American, Hawaiian-born musician has explored a variety of musical styles, and his latest album, “Jake and Friends,” pairs him with an array of legendary musicians, including Willie Nelson, Moon Taxi, Bette Midler, Kenny Loggins, Jimmy Buffett and more.

Other notable headliners and concerts for the 2022 festival will include:
Anniversary Celebration Concert featuring Eric Marienthal, Rick Braun, Keiko Matsui, Nick Colionne, Everette Harp, Adam Hawley and The Berks Horns

Chuck Loeb Memorial All-Star Jam that will feature Patti Austin performing a medley of her hits.

David Sanborn & Friends featuring Randy Brecker, Joey DeFrancesco and Billy Kilson.

Popular festival regular Brian Culbertson with Marcus Anderson

Peter White & Vincent Ingala with special guest Mindi Abair

Najee with special guests Bobby Lyle and Phil Perry

The Royal Scam and the Reading Pops Orchestra performing the music of Steely Dan

SFJazz Collective, a leaderless group from San Francisco exploring the latest in innovative jazz

Blues artists Selwyn Birchwood, John Nemeth, and Craig Thatcher & Mike Guldin

Norman Brown

Gregg Karukas’ Hammond B-3 Group

Eric Darius with Rebecca Jade

Everette Harp and Andy Snitzer debuting their new project “Inspirations!”

The Fest Finale featuring Rick Braun & Gerald Albright with special guest Jeff Lorber

Each Friday and Saturday at 11:30 p.m., fans can keep on partying with Gerald Veasley Jams in the DoubleTree small ballroom. And during the weekdays, the music will play on with special free community concerts and regional bands in more intimate venues.

“We are looking forward to having the fest return to its traditional spring schedule,” said Justin Heimbecker, Berks Arts executive director. “Having presented the twice postponed 30th anniversary fest last August, it is a quick turnaround, but the entire Berks Jazz Fest team is ready to go again.

“With a strong, diverse lineup of artists, appealing to a cross section of music fans, we are anticipating a successful fest.”