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Dave Brubeck in rehearsal with Berkshires Jazz Youth EnsembleThe Berkshires jazz scene has had ups and downs over the decades, with the ups holding the upper hand, indeed. That is because of the fabled Lenox School of Jazz, which grew out of a casual series of events instituted by Phil and Stephanie Barber in the early 1950s as a means of entertaining guests at their little bed and breakfast near Tanglewood.

Jazz in the Berkshires

Roy Gerson Trio concert Feb. 15, 2014 Pittsfield, MA

BerkshiresJazz was incorporated as a non-profit organization in 2009 by the founders of Pittsfield CityJazz Festival (est. 2005), with the mission to present jazz performances and promote jazz education throughout Berkshire County. The festival has included performances by the Dave Brubeck Quartet, Randy Weston, Claire Daly, Joe Baione, the American Jazz Repertory Orchestra, the Brazilian Jazz Trio, NEA Jazz Masters Billy Taylor and Phil Woods, Grace Kelly, TS Monk, Jr., Peggy Stern, Winard Harper, and Barbara Dennerlein.

The New England Jazz Ensemble released a “live” recording of their appearance at the festival. The festival’s 2005 opening act, The New Black Eagle Jazz Band, was the first group to make a return engagement, appearing with the Pittsfield CityJazz Youth Orchestra in 2008. Details of the 2011 schedule for BerkshiresJazz will be posted here soon.

BerkshiresJazz, Inc.

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Writing about Tanglewood concerts and arts and recreation in the Berkshires since the 90s from the town of Lenox, MA.

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