Jazz Under the Stars

It's the new "Jazz Space"! Every first Thursday of the month, the Neag Planetarium at the Reading Public Museum features live jazz featuring a variety of local, regional and national artists in the area's most unique venue. The series, "Jazz Under the Stars," lets you enjoy great musical performances while experiencing the visually stunning images on the theatre's dome above.

In addition, the newly renovated foyer have food and beverages available for purchase, provided by VIVÁ Bistro & Tapas Lounge (CLICK HERE for menu), as well as a spacious area with seating and tables. Plus, while you are enjoying food and conversation in this area, you'll be able to see the musicians on our digital screens and hear them on the Planetarium's sound system.

The series is presented by Hair On The Avenue.

Doors open at 6 p.m. and music begins at 7 p.m.
Price is $20 per person, payable at the door, or in advance. Call 610-371-5850 x230 for ticket reservations (strongly suggested — limited seating in the theatre area).

The regular "Jazz Under the Stars" series is presented by Hair On The Avenue, with the additional support of the 25th annual Boscov's Berks Jazz Fest and the Berks Arts Council. Food and beverages by ViVÁ Bistro & Tapas Lounge.

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Thursday, September 4
"Electric Mingus Trio" featuring Gerald Veasley, Tony Miceli & Chris Farr

mingus trioNo stranger to Berks County and worldwide jazz audiences, bassist Gerald Veasley returns to the "Jazz Space" with the trio version of his legendary "Electric Mingus Project." This group interprets the work of legendary jazz composer, band leader and bassist Charles Mingus, a seminal figure in jazz music history. Mingus died in 1979. When asked to explain the foals of what initially appears to be a tribute project, Gerald Veasely responded, "Any recording should reflect not just how you play, but also how you are as a person. We want this record to be a snapshot of these five musicians and who they are."

By rejecting the idea of a tribute album in this way, The Electric Mingus Trio in fact pays the ultimate tribute to the late composer. So,though Mingus wrote or inspired all of the music for this band, the feeling, power, and irrepressible soul that bursts from every song belongs to no one but the musicians of the Electric Mingus Trio. Joining Gerald onstage tonight will be Chris Farr on saxophone/EWI and Tony Miceli on vibes.

Tickets - $30

Thursday, October 9 (*Note: this is the 2nd Thursday of the month)
Dave Wilson Quartet

wilson Saxophonist Dave Wilson is recognized for his exciting improvisations, creative compositions and unique arrangements. He leads his own quartet whose recordings span jazz classics to pop tunes. His music has made the charts on over 35 stations nationwide. His current CD "Spiral" is his third solo release.

He is a professional woodwind player with an emphasis on the saxophone. Dave studied classical saxaphone with David Bilger for 3 years, and also had some lessons with the saxaphonists Joe Lovana, Bill Barron, Raplh Lalama, Tim Price, Glenn Gudione and Tom Stroman.

He owns Dave Wilson's Musical instruments, located in Lancaster, Pa. which specializes in buying and selling vontage, modern, and student brass and woodwind instruments.

Dave has performed in venues such as Chris' Jazz Cafe in Philadelphia, The Berks Jazz Fest, Harrisburg's American Music Festival and has headlined Yorkfest in York, Pa. in 2007, 2009, and 2010. Dave's band also includes Steve Rudolph, piano; Rob Swanson, bass, and Butch Reed, drums.

Tickets - $20

Thursday, November 6
From the HIP

eben"From the HIP" plays classic soul jazz and hard bop, along with funk and fusion. Their inspiration comes from the great jazz artists of the past — Trane, Miles, Cannonball, Horace Silver, Freddie Hubbard, and Lee Morgan. Groove, soul and swing makes up the essence of jazz and this is what From the HIP is all about. If you like your jazz funky, groovy, and tuneful you'll dig From the HIP!

Fronting this jazz group is Mike Eben who is a saxaphonist and music educator from Reading, Pa. He is currently an adjunct professor at Albright College, where he teacher jazz band and jazz history. In November 2006 with cooperation of the Reading Music Foundation and Project Penske, Mike began hosting Berks Jazz Jam, a jam session for student musicians. The jam features professional musicians and educators from Berks County and beyond, performing with and giving advice to budding jazz artists.

The band also includes Roger Morgan, trumpet and flugelhorn; Marty Mellinger, keyboards; Mike Byrne, guitar, trombone, & vocals; Terry Bortman, bass; and Dave Santana, drums.

Tickets - $20

Thursday, December 4
Larry Marshall Quartet

marshallDrummer, composer, and educator, Larry Marshall, has appeared on over 50 CDs as a performer and/or producer in the U.S, Europe, and Japan.

In the late 1970s he moved to Berks County and played in Daniel Boone High School's marching, jazz, and concert bands. Following graduation he headed to Weste Chester University, and, in his words, "things just snowballed." He moved to Florida and continued performing throughout the United States, the caribbean, and Canade for about 10 years. During this time he won the "Best Jazz CD in South Florida" for two consecutive years. He lived in Japan from 2006 through 2012, and performed in clubs and venues all over that country, as well as in South Korea, Thailand, and other parts of Asia.

Marshall moved back to Berks and now resides near Geigertown. In addition to performing, Marshall currently is teaching students at The High Street Music Company in Pottstown. His band also includes Jimmy Wood, piano; Bob Meashey, trumpet; and Steve Meashey, bass.

Tickets - $20