Berkshire Gateway Jazz Weekend, June 15-17

From June 15, 2018 - 07:30 PM
to June 17, 2018 - 02:00 PM
Lee Congregational Church
25 Park Place
01238, Lee

Festival Line-Up and Programs:


7:30 pm - The Frank Vignola Trio

Frank Vignola is one of the most extraordinary guitarists performing before the public today. His stunning virtuosity has made him the guitarist of choice for many of the world’s top musicians, including Donald Fagen, Wynton Marsalis, Tommy Emmanuel, the Boston Pops, and guitar legend Les Paul, who named Vignola to his “Five Most Admired Guitarists List” for the Wall Street Journal. Vignola’s jaw dropping technique explains why the New York Times deemed him “one of the brightest stars of the guitar”.

Vignola recently resumed performing and touring after a near-fatal accident during 2017, when his ATV crashed into a tree. He has performed at two Pittsfield CityJazz Festivals, to great critical and popular acclaim. His trio includes co-guitarist Vinny Raniolo and bassist Elias Bailey.


11 - 2 pm - Jazz Brunch; Food Vendors in the Park

11:30 - 4 pm - Al Fresco Jazz

11 - 4 pm - Vintage automobile display

7:30 pm - The Jeff Holmes Big Band                                              with vocalist Dawning Holmes

Pianist, composer, arranger and trumpeter Jeff Holmes is a nationally published and commissioned composer/arranger, and a multiple recipient of National Endowment For The Arts Jazz Composition Grants. He has written music for renowned jazz musicians including John Abercrombie, Max Roach, Sheila Jordan, Yusef Lateef, Rufus Reid, and the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra.

In addition to its impressive library of big-band standards and originals, the Jeff Holmes big band’s repertoire will include a tribute to Leonard Bernstein, whose 100th birthday is being celebrated this year by many musical organizations across the globe. Bernstein’s music touched all genres, from classical to pop, opera to jazz, and Hollywood.

The band features the outstanding vocalist Dawning Holmes. In addition to her work with Jeff’s big band, Dawning has sung in jazz clubs from New York City to London, has guested with both Paul Winter and the UMASS Studio Orchestra/Jazz Ensemble I, and most recently opened for Bob Newhart at the Foxwoods Casino Theatre. She performs pieces made popular by Ella Fitzgerald, Etta James, Sam Cooke, Amy Winehouse, and is currently working on a project of her own original music and lyrics.


11 - 2 pm - Jazz Brunch at Starving Artist Cafe and Creperie


About the Berkshire Gateway Jazz Weekend:

A collaboration of Berkshires Jazz, Inc., Berkshire Gateway Preservation, Inc., and the Lee Chamber of Commerce, and supported by a grant from the Massachusetts Cultural Council, the affair takes place in the western Massachusetts town of Lee, which is known as the “Gateway to the Berkshires.” The principal performing venue is the Lee Meeting House (a.k.a. Lee Congregational Church), 25 Park Place.

Over the course of its 6-year history, the Gateway festival has featured NEA Jazz Master Phil Woods, renowned touring artists such as Karrin Allyson, Bobby Sanabria, Frank Potenza, and the only authorized George Shearing tribute band; regional favorites such as the Greg Caputo Big Band, the Amherst Jazz Orchestra, Charles Neville, The Lucky Five; Sonny and Perley, and the New Black Eagle Jazz Band; and rising stars such as Justin Kauflin and Bria Skonberg. Something for every taste and style.

Tickets for each concert are $25 in advance, $30 on the day of the event, and are online at, where schedule updates are posted regularly, and at several locations in the Berkshires, including the Lee Chamber of Commerce Info Booth, Downtown Lee (413) 243-0852, and at the Lee Congregational Church (413) 243-1033.  To go to their website please click on the below link: