Sunday, May 17, 2015

Jazzing it up with the Grown and Sexy Crowd in Reading PA

The 25th annual Berks Jazz Fest was in full swing the weekend of April 10th and there was no shortage of all-stars, repeat guests and of course the music.

James and bass player Brian Bromberg
This year we met up with a couple from Maryland who we had the pleasure of meeting at the Rehoboth Beach Jazz Festival in 2013.  It's ironic that we have the same last name, are lovers of music and love having a good time.

Not only is the jazz fest a great event, but the Crowne Plaza Hotel is a destination in itself this time of year. Many shows are performed here including the midnight jam sessions. At any given time during your stay you will see the artists and band members in the lobby mingling and chatting with guests.

After some of the main stage shows, the artists will come out to meet and greet you, the fans, as well as sign autographs, CD's and take pictures.

If I am going to be honest, the atmosphere at this years event seemed a bit off.  The music was great, but something was clearly different about the vibe in the main lobby of the hotel, where in the past guests, staff and artists would congregate and socialize.

It occurred to me after a few hours what was different; the manager Craig Poole was not present.  In the past 2 years Mr. Poole was available to the guests and artists during the entire event.  Friendly, outgoing and he made you feel welcome. We found out later that he was no longer manager of this hotel, and moved on to a new adventure.  We are looking forward to seeing him 2016.

During our free time, we hung around the hotel lobby, people watching, or shopping at the local mall and shops nearby.

One thing we never plan on getting much of when we attend these events, is sleep.  It just doesn't happen. But that's not a bad thing.  With only 2 nights and 3 days, there is not much time for sleeping between shows, but the best part is so much fun is packed into our short weekend, it is all worth it.  Until next year.

Najee & Pieces of a Dream, Midnight Jam Session

The Williams Crew

Hanging out in the Lobby

Gerald Veasley

The long line waiting to get into the popular midnight jam session