Reading Eagle: Pioneering Women of Jazz coming to KU; Jibberjazz festival set [Spotlight]

Jan. 30—In conjunction with Berks Jazz Fest, the KU Presents! series presents Pioneering Women in Jazz, featuring the Jazz at Lincoln Center's all-female jazz band backing vocalists Charenee Wade, Camille Thurman and Tahira Clayton on Feb. 16 at 7:30 p.m. in Schaeffer Auditorium on the Kutztown University campus.

The show tells the stories of three trailblazing singers from the Jim Crow era-South in the 1960s. Bessie Smith, Billie Holiday and Nina Simone were among the most influential and popular singers of their times. Both within their music and outside of the clubs and concert halls, they wielded their exceptional talents to combat racial prejudice, sexism and poverty.

Whether powerfully and playfully claiming her autonomy and sexuality (Bessie Smith), forcing America to acknowledge the racism pervasive in the American South and beyond (Billie Holiday) or giving voice to the Civil Rights movement with stirring protest anthems (Nina Simone), these singers spoke to and for the disenfranchised as women, African Americans and artists. All three women defied social norms, embracing self-empowerment through their art.

Tickets are $40; $34 for students and seniors and can be purchased at www.KutztownPresents.org or by calling the KU Presents! Box Office at 610-683-4092.

----Jibberjazz has announced the lineup for Some Kind of Jam 16, a music and camping festival scheduled for April 28 through May 1 at the Kempton Fairgrounds.

The festival features 28 musical acts performing on three stages, plus workshops, food and craft vendors, kids' area and activities, late-night indoor jams, light shows, fire performances, a parade, yoga and more. Musical styles will include jam, funk, bluegrass, folk, blues, rock, electronica, Americana, world, jazz and prog.

Scheduled to perform are Dopapod, Polyrhythmics, Mungion, CBDB, Flux Capacitor, Dr. Bacon, Dizgo, Breastfist, On the Spot Trio, Guavatron, Trymore Mojo, Bonnie Blue, Broken Robots, Monk Is King, Banshee Tree, Airshow, St. James & The Apostles, Odyssey Lab, Uncle Jake & The 18 Wheel Gang, Spud, Tin Bird Choir, Baked Shrimp, You Do You, Wahoo Skiffle Crazies, Qway, Madison Gerish, Rebecca Lang Fiorentino and Veronica Ann.

For tickets and more information, see jibberjazz.com.

----The Reading Philharmonic Orchestra, under the direction of Michael Slechta, will present a concert next Sunday at 2 p.m. in the sanctuary of Reformation Lutheran Church, 3670 Perkiomen Ave., Exeter Township. It will include pieces from such stage and screen titles as "The Music Man," "The Sound of Music" and "Star Wars."

The musicians in the orchestra come from all parts of the Berks County community and volunteer their time and talents for the love of music. Masks are required for those attending and a free-will offering will be received.

Art

The Foundation for the Reading Public Museum has announced the opening of "A Powerful Pantheon: Mythology of Ancient Greece and Rome," which is on display through May 15 in the museum's Works on Paper Gallery. The exhibition features works from the museum's permanent collection.

More than 60 prints by European artists spanning from the 16th to 19th centuries help tell the stories of the ancients, from the creation of the universe to the exploits of tempestuous gods and goddesses, the adventures of heroes and the misfortunes of hapless mortals. Artists include Pietro Testa and Jacob Jordaens, with several prints made after works by Annibale Carracci, Peter Paul Rubens, Titian, Guido Reni, Correggio, Poussin, Claude Lorrain and Salvator Rosa.

"A Powerful Pantheon" celebrates the stories from Greek and Roman mythology that still captivate us today. These tales offer unique insight into ancient Greco-Roman religion and how the ancients viewed the world around them.

Featured throughout the exhibition are 11 of the Olympian gods — including Zeus, Hera, Hades, Poseidon, Athena, Apollo, Artemis, Aphrodite, Ares, Hephaestus and Dionysus — as well as other minor deities. Also included are the heroes Perseus, Heracles, Jason, Achilles, Odysseus and Aeneas.

The Museum is open daily 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $10 for ages 18-64, $6 for children/seniors/college students (w/ID) and free to members and children 3 and younger. For more information, see www.readingpublicmuseum.org.

----Berks Arts has announced that entries are being accepted for the 18th annual "Frank Scott Memorial Art Show: The Art of Jazz," which will run March 12 through April 13 in the Schmidt Gallery at the GoggleWorks Center for the Arts.

Founded during the 2005 Berks Jazz Fest, "The Art of Jazz" honors local jazz musician Frank Scott. Scott was a renowned saxophone player and jazz musician who gained a musical education in the Reading School District. Scott was inducted into the Central PA Friends of Jazz Hall of Fame in 1994.

With the theme "Celebrate Jazz," "The Art of Jazz" is open to submissions in all media that express how jazz impacts art, music and the community.

All work must be hand-delivered to the Schmidt Gallery on either March 3 between 3 and 8 p.m. or March 4 between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. All work must be original and made within the past three years. The entry fee is $40 for the first piece and an additional $5 for each additional piece up to three. The fee is waived for high school students and younger. Additional entry guidelines can be found in the Art of Jazz prospectus at www.berksarts.org.

First through third-place winners, as selected by Dr. Christine Isabelle Oaklander, past director of Collections and Exhibitions at the Allentown Art Museum, will receive cash prizes, as will the top student entry.

----Screenwriter Quinton Buxton was named grand prize winner of the inaugural Haydenfilms 1.0 Screenwriting Festival, held Jan. 14-16 at Alvernia University. Buxton won the $10,000 prize for his Feature/Pilot submission, "Essential Workers — The Revolving Door."

Contestants had to pitch to a panel of judges including Hayden Craddolph of HFI; James R. (Doc) Ogden, Board of Directors Council for Retail and Sales at DeSales University; Michelle Lehman, Director for Student and Client Services at Alvernia University's O'Pake Institute; Johnny Ray Gill, former Haydenfilms Online Film Festival winner, actor and producer; Shelley Dennis, writer for "The Conners" on ABC; Reda Mustafa former Haydenfilms Online Film Festival winner, award-winning writer, director and producer; and filmmaker, director Doug Bresler, known for founding the animation production studio Doogtoons.

The event was hosted by HFI team member Kelly Adkins and premiered on cemboo.com on Jan. 17.

Haydenfilms also announced that the call for entries for its 5.0 Online Film Festival will open in the spring. The festival is scheduled for 2023 and will have a grand prize of $25,000.

For more information, visit haydenfilmsinstitute.org.