READING, PA – Berks Arts Council is presenting the Boscov’s Berks Jazz Fest Encore Online concert series from Thursday, April 2, through Monday, April 6.
The 30th anniversary Boscov’s Berks Jazz Fest was postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic and rescheduled until April 9-18, 2021 with the same artist lineup and schedule. All current tickets will be honored on the corresponding artist/show dates.
To help fill the void this year, Berks Arts Council and festival officials are providing fans with 11 great online concert experiences during this time of social distancing.
Berks Jazz Fest is well known for the amazing connection between fans, artists, staffers and volunteers. Berks Jazz Fest Encore Online sustains this connectivity virtually, underscoring the reality that we all are in this crisis together.
The online concerts will be posted on the Berks Jazz Fest Facebook page at the designated date and time. After the scheduled Facebook posting, all concerts will be available on the Berks Jazz Fest Vimeo Channel so fans can view shows they missed.
Festival officials are asking fans to consider making a voluntary donation to Berks Arts Council to help offset the financial losses resulting from the postponed 30th annual Berks Jazz Fest.
Please visit berksjazzfest.com to make your donation.
Contributions are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law. Berks Arts Council is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization registered with the Pennsylvania Department of State Bureau of Charitable Organizations.
“Berks Arts Council and Boscov’s Berks Jazz Fest invite our fans to enjoy the Celebration of Jazz this week with our online fest,” said Meggan Kerber, executive director of Berks Arts Council. “Though we wish we could have all of us together to celebrate our 30th Anniversary, our team is looking forward to celebrating with you April 9-18, 2021 with you in person.
“This week let’s get together online and enjoy great concerts with amazing jazz musicians and support our local arts community. Please consider making a contribution to Berks Arts Council to support our mission to inspire, engage and unite our community through arts education, collaboration and presentation.
“Your special gifts will help us to continue providing youth education programs, public art, grants to artists and art organizations and hosting Berks Jazz Fest, Reading Blues Fest and our Bandshell Concert series for years to come.”
“The feedback we were getting from our fans after we postponed the festival is that they would miss the live music,” said John Ernesto, BJF general manager. “When we present shows at the DoubleTree and Scottish Rite Cathedral, ChoiceLIVE (formerly Upstage Video) from Lititz captures concerts while projecting them live on the videoboards.
“It started with us planning to just present the Chuck Loeb Memorial All-Star Jam online this Thursday, April 2, which would have the date of the All-Star Jam this year. Then we decided to expand it and the next thing you know we were up to 11 concerts and created an online festival. We had this asset of videos and we wanted to utilize it to stay connected with our fans.
“We had to get permission from all the artists. They have been fantastic about their cooperation and support. They embraced the idea as a way to stay connected with their fans.”
Berks Jazz Fest videographer Andrew Lepley coordinated and prepared all the videos from selected festival concerts over the past three years. Mike Anderson, who produces the festival television and video promotions, created the promo video and logo for Boscov’s Berks Jazz Fest Encore Online.
“We’ve been doing video reviews of shows for quite a number of years,” Lepley said. “We used the same exact mechanism but expanded to a much longer form as entire concerts. The company that shoots the video captures beautiful audio, pristine perfect audio, synced up with great video.”
Acclaimed bassist Gerald Veasley, the festival’s official ambassador, hosts all the online shows.
“As musicians, we’re missing the Berks Jazz Fest and the camaraderie with the fans who have become friends, volunteers, concert officials and fellow artists,” Veasley said. “I’ve heard from fans how much they’re missing us. Boscov’s Berks Jazz Fest Encore Online gives us a unique opportunity to come together virtually to enjoy the music and celebrate the festival.
“This will help us remember some of those great experiences and help us connect again with our fans and let them know we are thinking of them. We won’t be able to experience the music together shoulder to shoulder this year but at least now we have this opportunity to come together. It also is a unique opportunity to spread the good news of the festival around the world.
“My participation as host adds another voice to the concert they will be experiencing. I introduce and close the concert as face and voice to welcome fans to the experience.”
Boscov’s Berks Jazz Fest Encore Online schedule:
Thursday, April 2 / 8:00 p.m.
Chuck Loeb Memorial All-Star Jam
Rick Braun, Gerald Veasley, Brian Bromberg, Randy Brecker, Nick Colionne, Peter White, Ray Fuller, Richard Elliot, Kim Waters, Art Sherrod, Andy Snitzer, Everette Harp, Althea Rene, Chris “Big Dog” Davis, Tom Zink, Jason Miles, Tony Moore, Chris Walker, Phil Perry (BJF 2019)
Friday, April 3 / 8:00 p.m.
Remembering Grover Washington at 75
Gerald Albright, Everette Harp, Kirk Whalum, Andy Snitzer, Gerald Veasley (BJF 2019)
Friday, April 3 /11:00 p.m.
Rick Braun & Dave Koz (BJF 2018)
Saturday, April 4 / Noon / Saturday Brunch
Brazil & Chill featuring Ann Walsh and Tom Zink (non-BJF video)
Saturday, April 4 / 3:00 p.m.
Everette Harp & Friends: The Music of George Duke
Chante Moore, Phil Perry, Brian Bromberg, Brian Simpson, Rayford Griffin, Dwight Sills, The Berks Horns (BJF 2018)
Saturday, April 4 / 8:00 p.m.
Will Downing, Gerald Albright, Alex Bugnon (BJF 2017)
Saturday, April 4 / 11:00 p.m.
Berks Bop Night
Jeff Lorber, Gerald Albright, Rick Braun, Randy Brecker, Eric Marienthal, Brian Bromberg, Everette Harp, Rayford Griffin, Paul Bollenback (BJF 2018)
Sunday, April 5 / Noon / Sunday Brunch
Brian Bromberg’s Unapologetically Funky Bombastic Big Band
Everette Harp, Ray Fuller, Tony Moore, Tom Zink, The Berks Horns (BJF 2019)
Sunday, April 5 / 3:00 p.m.
Pieces of a Dream with Kim Waters, Nick Colionne, Eric Roberson (BJF 2018)
Sunday, April 5 / 8:00 p.m.
Gospel According to Jazz
Kirk Whalum, Jonathan Butler, Maysa, Wycliffe Gordon, Kevin Whalum, John Stoddart, DOXA Gospel Ensemble (BJF 2018)
Monday, April 6 / 8:00 p.m.
The Allman Betts Band (BJF 2019)
Concert Schedule Subject to Change