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Berkshire Gateway Jazz Weekend festival returns with performances by Karrin Allyson, Houston Person, Michael Benedict and Bopitude

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Five-time Grammy-nominee Karrin Allyson, who headlined the inaugural Berkshire Gateway Jazz Weekend in 2012, returns to the festival to perform its capstone concert.

LEE — Following a two-year pandemic hiatus, the Berkshire Gateway Jazz Weekend is resuming full-scale activities, including headline concerts by five-time Grammy-nominee Karyn Allyson with special guest Houston Person and Michael Benedict and Bopitude. 

The festival, which celebrates its 10th anniversary this year, will take place Friday, June 17, through Sunday, June 19, in downtown Lee. The weekend also will feature two jazz brunches and an afternoon of outdoor jazz performances at the Lee Common. 

The weekend kicks-off June 17, with a concert by Michael Benedict and Bopitude, a swinging quintet that plays familiar tunes and uncovers hard-bop material that has had little or no exposure. Bringing a 21st-century approach to this important era of Jazz, the group features a veritable who’s who of Albany-area artists, including Chris Pasin, trumpet; Brian Patneaude, tenor sax; David Gleason. piano; Mike Lawrence, bass; and Michael Benedict, drums and leader.

On June 18, Allyson, who headlined the inaugural Berkshire Gateway Jazz Weekend in 2012, returns for the capstone concert. Allyson has built a mastery of the Great American Songbook, blues, pop, be-bop, Brazilian, and French chansons. Her quartet features Person on sax, guitarist Jason Ennis, and bassist Marty Jaffe. Allyson serves as leader, vocalist and pianist.

Both headline concerts, at the Lee Congregational Church, start at 7:30 p.m. on their respective days. Tickets for each concert are $30 in advance, $35 on the day of the event, and are available online at berkshires-jazz.ticketleap.com. Tickets also are available at the Lee Chamber information booth.

Jazz in the Park, 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday, June 18, is free, and will take place in the new performance pavilion on the Lee Common. There is no music charge for the jazz brunches, which will be held at Starving Artist Café, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., June 18 and 19. The regular brunch menu will be available.

For more information and COVID-19 safety protocols, visit berkshiregatewayjazz.org.

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