Berks Jazz Fest Kicks Off March 25th

I sometimes forget that on of the many advantages the Smithton Inn enjoys by being situated in Ephrata, is that we’re pretty much smack-dab in the middle of Lancaster City and Reading!  I’m always pointing out the fun and wonderful things to do in Lancaster… but this week it’s Reading’s turn, with the 21st Annual Berks Jazz Fest, one of the largest Jazz festivals in the country with over 130 scheduled events.

The Jazz Fest runs ten (10) days, from Friday March 25th to Sunday April 3rd, at multiple venues in the Reading area.  The performance styles run the gamut of jazz and blues, the performers hale from around the world and their talent spans the generations including old favorites and up-and-comers.  The organizers boast that this year’s performers feature some of the hottest names in contemporary and traditional jazz, blues, R&B, fusion and more.

In fact, two artists scheduled to perform at the Jazz Fest won Grammy Awards in Los Angeles last month!

Stanley Clarke won the award for Best Contemporary Jazz Album for The Stanley Clarke Band:   On Saturday, March 26, at 2 p.m., he and his band are performing with the Victor Wooten Band for an afternoon of legendary electric bass at the Crowne Plaza Reading Hotel ballroom.

And Kirk Whalum won a Grammy for Best Gospel Song, a songwriter’s award, for the track “It’s What I Do,” from The Gospel According to Jazz Chapter III. Whalum will join Grammy nominee Gerald Albright, Peter White and Jeff Golub as part of Guitars & Saxes on Sunday, March 27, at 7 p.m. at the Sovereign Performing Arts Center.

To see the complete list of scheduled events and performers go to the Berks Jazz Fest website.

For easy directions between the Smithton Inn and the Sovereign Performing Arts Center, one of the main event venues, click here.  It’s a 30 minute drive, straight up 222.

We hope you decide to come into town and stay at the Smithton Inn for the festival.  We haven’t decided which particular shows we’ll be catching, but it’s sure to be a few of them!