Pittsfield CityJazz Festival
Moved to Jazz Month in April
By: Ed Bride - Mar 24, 2022
You read it right: the Pittsfield CityJazz Festival has moved from our traditional mid-October date to become part of the nationwide Jazz Appreciation Month activities, which take place every year in April. OK...our capstone event is on May 1 (we extended Jazz Appreciation Month by a few hours. The Sunday matinee is a first for us).
Featured performances include a CD release concert by the DIVA Jazz Orchestra, the annual jazz crawl, a new entry in the Jazz Prodigy series, and vocalist Lydia Harrell with the George Russell, Jr. Trio. The festival kicks-off on Saturday, April 23 with a new Berkshire Jam Session, featuring local artists.
Scheduling complications associated with the pandemic have enabled some innovative programming ideas, starting with the local jam session. The Jazz Crawl, where multiple restaurants and lounges host local musicians, has been moved to Saturday of headline weekend, April 30. And, the culminating concert with the 16-piece DIVA Jazz Orchestra takes place on Sunday afternoon, May 1.
The day-by-day schedule:
• Saturday, April 23: Berkshire Jazz Jam, Mission Restaurant, 7-10pm (free)
• Wednesday, April 27: Jazz Prodigy Concert, with 16-year-old bassist Ruby Farmer, Berkshire Athenaeum, 7:30pm (free). Sponsored by the Friends of the Athenaeum, the concert takes place during the centennial birth year of Charles Mingus, perhaps the most influential bass player in the history of jazz. Ruby will be backed by local musicians Benny Kohn on piano and Conor Meehan, drums.
• Friday, April 29: The George Russell, Jr. Trio with vocalist Lydia Harrell. Berkshire Museum, 7:30pm. The concert represents the Berkshires debut for Harrell and Russell, who are on the faculty of Boston’s renowned Berklee College of Music. Tickets go on sale April 1.
• Saturday, April 30: the annual Jazz Crawl, sponsored by Pittsfield Cooperative Bank. Various venues throughout Pittsfield’s Upstreet Cultural District. All evening. (free)
• Sunday, May 1: the DIVA Jazz Orchestra, the first stop on the CD release tour for “DIVA Swings Broadway,” which had its premiere performance during March at Dizzy’s Club in New York. A new iteration of the Berkshires Jazz All-Star Youth Band will open for DIVA. Tickets are now on sale at the Colonial Theatre box office.
• The DIVA concert will be preceded by a jazz brunch at Dottie’s.
The festival is made possible by a $10,000 grant from The Feigenbaum Foundation and sponsorships from Berkshire Bank, Greylock Federal Credit Union, HyBrid, the Massachusetts Cultural Council, Pittsfield Cooperative Bank, and WETF, the jazz station (www.WETFthejazzstation.org). We hope you can join us in thanking them, and enjoying our return to in-person programming.