(PITTSFIELD, Mass.) – DownBeat award-winning baritone saxophonist Gary Smulyan performs an intimate gig in the backroom at Baba Louie’s Sourdough Pizza on Friday, August 3, 2012, at 8 p.m., part of the Berkshires Jazz series attached to Pittsfield’s monthly First Fridays Artswalks. Smulyan will be accompanied by pianist Noah Baerman and the Berkshires Jazz Duo, featuring bassist Jeff Link and drummer Peter Coombs, the three of whom will kick off the evening’s entertainment with a set of their own.
Considered the standard bearer of his generation for the baritone saxophone, Smulyan has consistently been ranked as the number-one performer on his instrument in the annual Downbeat Readers and Critics polls. He is the baritone saxophonist with the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, and played with its previous incarnation, the Mel Lewis Big Band. He also plays baritone saxophone with the Dave Holland Big Band and Octet, and the Dizzy Gillespie All Star Big Band.
Noah Baerman has performed at the Pittsfield CityJazz Festival and as a rising talent in the Tanglewood Jazz Festival. A prolific composer, he has earned top honors from the Billboard Song Contest, the Unisong Contest , and ASCAP (“ASCAPlus Awards” every year since 2004). His long list of recordings is topped by a new solo album, Turtle Steps. He earned his bachelors and masters degrees in Jazz Studies from Rutgers University, where his mentor was Kenny Barron.
The concert ($20 for all tickets, general admission) starts at 8pm, and caps-off the “First Fridays Artswalks” in downtown Pittsfield, when some 30 venues will be featuring the paintings and other hanging art from local and regional artists.
Tickets are now on sale online at Berkshires Jazz. Dinner will be available earlier in the restaurant (34 Depot St., Pittsfield), in the backroom starting at 7pm, and continuing during the music in the backroom.
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.