(LEE, Mass.) – Freddie Bryant & Kaleidoscope and the Greg Caputo Big Band with special guest Phil Woods headline the weekend-long Berkshire Gateway Jazz Weekend, in downtown Lee, from Friday, July 25, through Sunday, July 28, 2013. The festival, which includes jazz films, a jazz brunch, an art exhibit, and performances by local jazz musicians, is a co-presentation of Berkshires Jazz, Inc. and Berkshire Gateway Preservation, Inc.
The weekend kicks off on Thursday, July 25, at 6pm, with a screening of “A Life in E Flat,” a biographical profile of the legendary alto saxophonist, NEA Jazz Master and four-time Grammy Award-winner Phil Woods. Through a special arrangement with Jazzed Media, producers of jazz films and CDs, the screening at the Lee Library on Main Street is free and open to the public.
The festival includes two headline concerts at First Congregational Church, 25 Park Place. Freddie Bryant & Kaleidoscope appear on Friday, July 26, at 8pm; and the Greg Caputo Big Band with special guest Phil Woods takes the stage on Saturday, July 27 at 7:30pm. Tickets for these two concerts, $25 each, or $40 for both, are on sale at the Chamber of Commerce information booth in downtown Lee; at Qwik Print, Great Barrington, and Wood Brothers store in Pittsfield and online at Berkshire Gateway Jazz Weekend. Information at 413-243-1033.
In addition to the two headline concerts, the weekend features free events, starting with the Thursday movie, continuing with an art exhibit, and a series of “Jazz in the Alley” concerts next to Spectrum Theatre.
The first of the alfresco events is on Friday afternoon, July 26, 2-4pm, with a performance by the Berkshire Jazz Collective, faeaturing Andy Wrba and other musicians from the area.
“Jazz in the Alley” resumes on Saturday, July 27, with an outdoor art exhibit, plus a noontime concert featuring a quintet of local jazz performers, including Rich Vinette, Stan Pyrzanowski, Josh Kleederman, Jack DiNicola and Ted Murray.
Also on July 27, Andy Kelly’s Jazz Ambassadors, a roaming New Orleans-style group, will be strolling downtown in various locations along Main Street starting at 1pm, kicking off at Baja Charlie’s and finishing in the alley next to Spectrum Theatre.
The festivities conclude on Sunday, July 28, with a Jazz Brunch at the Starving Artist Creperie, 40 Main St,, 11am-1pm.