(PITTSFIELD, Mass.) – Vocalist Giacomo Gates, flutist Ali Ryerson, and trumpeter Adam O’Farrill headline the 8th annual Pittsfield CityJazz Festival, taking place Thursday, October 4, 2012 through Saturday, October 13, 2012, at assorted locations in downtown Pittsfield. The music spans the spectrum of jazz, and includes performances by the New England Jazz Ensemble and the Jazz Arts Trio with pianist Frederick Moyer and a Columbus Day Weekend “jazz crawl.” The festival is produced by Berkshires Jazz, Inc. The festival kicks off on Thursday, October 4, with an appearance by the Pittsfield Sister City Jazz Ambassadors at Patrick’s Pub at 6:30 pm.
Adam O’Farrill, son of renowned pianist Arturo O’Farrill, will appear at the Berkshire Athenaeum on October 10. His quartet has appeared at significant jazz venues in New York and he will be making his Berkshires debut at the festival.
The headline weekend opens on Friday, October 12 with the Jazz Arts Trio, is a kind of jazz tribute band, reproducing note-for-note transcriptions of historic moments in piano jazz. The group’s latest CD, Swing of Many Colors, includes a full re-performance of Ahmad Jamal’s landmark album But Not For Me: Live at the Pershing. The Jazz Arts Trio will appear at Barrington Stage Company’s Sydelle and Lee Blatt Performing Arts Center on Friday, October 12.
The New England Jazz Ensemble, a 16-piece big band, performs with Gates and Ryerson on Saturday, October 13, at the Colonial Theatre, on a shared bill with the Williams College Jazz Ensemble, under the direction of Andy Jaffe. The New England Jazz Ensemble appeared at the first Pittsfield CityJazz Festival in 2006, putting the festival on the map when they issued a recording from that performance. Jazz/blues vocalist Giacomo Gates will be a guest artist with the New England Jazz Ensemble. His CD Luminosity spent over three months in the top 20 of the Jazz Week charts. Gates has been nominated as Jazz Vocalist of the Year by the Jazz Journalists Association. Ali Ryerson will also appear with the ensemble. Ryerson has emerged as one of the most exciting and versatile flutists on the scene. She has performed with such diverse talents as Billy Taylor, Kenny Barron, Stephane Grappelli, and Frank Wess. She put alto flute in the spotlight in her years of duet concerts and recordings with guitarist Joe Beck.
One of the finest and most exciting jazz ensembles in the northeast, the 18-piece Williams College Jazz Ensemble first appeared at the Pittsfield CityJazz Festival in 2008, with special guest artist drummer Winard Harper. Jaffe, a renowned educator, composer, and performer, is Lyell B. Clay Artist in Residence in Jazz and Director of Jazz Performance/Senior Lecturer in Music at Williams College, and is a member of the Board of Berkshires Jazz.
Michael Bellar and the AS-IS Ensemble performs at the Garage at the Colonial on Wednesday, October 10, at 8:30pm, immediately following the Jazz Prodigy concert featuring O’Farrill at the Berkshire Athenaeum.
Berkshires Jazz, Inc. is a non-profit organization whose mission is to present jazz events and encourage jazz education in Berkshire County, Massachusetts. It was formed in 2008, as an outgrowth of the Pittsfield CityJazz Festival, which remains a signature event of the Fall Foliage season in western Massachusetts.