The Gateways Inn in downtown Lenox has announced a new jazz series, starting in October and running Thursdays through Saturdays, with a special concert on Sunday, Oct. 24. Presented in association with Berkshires Jazz, Inc., the series underscores the venue’s ongoing dedication to live music.
Curated by jazz musician, educator and leader Andy Wrba, the October calendar will present groups led by pianist Armen Donelian; alto saxophonist Kris Allen; vocalists Jeanne Laurin, Samirah Evans and Wanda Houston; and a special concert on Sunday afternoon, Oct. 24, Rhapsody in Gershwin, with the Ted Rosenthal Trio.
The series continues a long commitment to jazz that started with previous owners of The Gateways Inn (51 Walker St., Lenox). Now under the ownership of Mill Town Capital, the historic inn was recently refurbished, and hosted several summertime events both outdoors on its lawn and in its music lounge. It was the anchor venue for the successful Lenox Jazz Stroll, on Sept. 10-11 of this year.
The Thursday-Saturday events are free, with open seating, and run from 6-9pm.
Alto saxophonist Kris Allen, who has enjoyed a long career as both a sought-after sideman and leader, will perform with his trio every Thursday. A dedicated educator, he is the Lyell B. Clay Artist Artist-In-Residence in Jazz at Williams College, and has conducted clinics and master classes at institutions nation and worldwide.
Armen Donelian will be performing most Fridays, starting Oct. 1, with a variety of side musicians. For forty years, pianist, composer and Fulbright Scholar Donelian has distinguished himself as a performer, recording artist, educator and author. His distinctive music blends diverse influences including his Armenian origin, his Classical technique and his association with some of the biggest names in Jazz.
Jeanne Laurin, Samirah Evans, and Wanda Houston represent a sort of royalty of jazz vocalists in and around the Berkshires. Each with her own blues-infused stylings, their repertoire is wide and varied.
On Sunday, Oct. 24, pianist Ted Rosenthal performs his unique interpretations of George Gershwin compositions, highlighted by his treatment of the legendary Rhapsody in Blue. The “tea time jazz special,” collectively known as Rhapsody in Gershwin, starts at 4pm. Tickets are $25, and are available at https://gatewaysinn.ticketleap.com/ted-rosenthal/
The schedule follows. All Events 6-9pm, no cover (except 10/24)
10/1 - Armen Donelian with Don Mikkelsen (trombone)
10/2 - Jeanne Laurin with John Sauer
10/7 - Kris Allen Trio, with Matt Dwonszyk (bass) and Jonathan Barber (drums)
10/8 - Francesca Tanksley, piano
10/9 - Wanda Houston Band
10/14 - Kris Allen Trio with Matt Dwonszyk (bass) and Jonathan Barber (drums)
10/15 - Armen Donelian, with Aron Caceres (bass) and David Jimenez (drums)
10/16 - (Closed for Private Event)
10/21 - Kris Allen Trio with Matt Dwonszyk (bass) and Jonathan Barber (drums)
10/22 - Armen Donelian with Luke Franco (guitar)
10/23 - Samirah Evans and Matthew Dorko
10/24 - Ted Rosenthal Trio - Rhapsody in Gershwin . Special Event, ticketed 4pm
10/28 - Kris Allen Trio with Matt Dwonszyk (bass) and Jonathan Barber (drums)
10/29 - Armen Donelian with Chris Pasin (trumpet)
10/30 - (Closed for Private Event)