After last year’s hiatus due to COVID-19 guidelines, music enthusiasts will be pleased to know that Berks Jazz Fest returns to Reading, Pa. Held from Aug. 13-22, this year marks the festival’s 30th anniversary. Spectators can view an impressive lineup of both returning and new artists at several local venues to celebrate the milestone.

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For three decades, Berks Jazz Fest draws over 20,000 people to inspire, engage and unite through arts education, collaboration and presentation. Organized by Berks Arts, the event is funded by the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts. Each year, the jazz festival continues to be one of the largest and most diverse musical performances in the country. As a result, the festival helps Berks Jazz reach its goal of generating a more creative, desirable and resilient community through positive change and connectivity.

This year, the festival will open with Chris Botti, renowned trumpeter and largest-selling American instrumental artist. Other big names taking the stage include pianist Keiko Matsui, accordionist Julien Labro and guitarist Dean Brown. Outside of single artist performances, the festival will also feature special collaborations, like the 30th Anniversary All-Star Celebration on Saturday, Aug. 14, at Santander Performing Arts Center.

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Besides the well-known names of jazz music, this year’s lineup will also feature some new faces in the genre. Christone “Kingfish” Ingram, 22-year-old blues singer and guitarist, will be joining blues saxophonist Vanessa Collier at the Grand Ballroom in DoubleTree by Hilton Reading. After the release of his 2019 album, “Kingfish,” Ingram was awarded Album of the Year, among other titles, at the Blues Music Awards. Another young musician, King Solomon Hicks, will perform with David Bromberg Quintet on Sunday, Aug. 15. Only 25-years old, Hicks’ debut album, Harlem was released just last year and has already gained substantial popularity.

For spectators looking to commemorate their experience at the festival, Berks Jazz is also offering a special, full-color program book that includes artist features, major lineup, event features and more.

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Berks Jazz Fest

Ticket holders of the previously postponed 2020 Berks Jazz Fest are encouraged to hold onto their tickets, as most concerts have been rescheduled for this year’s lineup. Those with concert tickets for artists that will not be returning to the 2021 festival will be reimbursed accordingly.

For more information:

Plan Ahead

Berks Jazz Festival 2018

Berks Jazz Fest

Looking to stay the night in Reading? Berks Jazz Fest has plenty of partner hotels to choose from, including:

  • DoubleTree by Hilton Reading
  • Crowne Plaza Reading
  • Tru Hilton
  • The Gables at Stirling Guest House

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