Berks Jazz Fest - Preview Night: Erich Cawalla and All-Star Quartet

Berks Jazz Fest - Preview Night: Erich Cawalla and All-Star Quartet

Wednesday, Mar 22, 2023 at 7:00pm


The second of the two Berks Jazz Fest preview concerts being presented by The Rivet: Canteen & Assembly venue, features the music of Sinatra, Bennett, Darrin, and more!

Berks County native Erich Cawalla is a saxophonist and vocalist who performs jazz, contemporary R&B and songs from the Great American Songbook.

In 2006 he founded the Uptown Band, which performs throughout the Northeast and has recorded two acclaimed albums: “Waiting for Her” (2008) and “Heart, Soul, Body, & Mind” (2014).

Cawalla has performed with Marie Osmond, Bill Haley’s Comets, the Coasters and others. He played for the Florida Republican Inaugural Gala at Florida State University in 2000, and has performed at Berks Jazz Fest, the Bethlehem Musikfest and various venues nationally. He has recently released his second solo album, “The Great American Songbook.”

The other quartet members are pianist/composer Steve Rudolph, bassist Bennie Sims and drummer Marko Marcinko.

Steve Rudolph is a pianist based in Harrisburg, Pa., who was the house pianist for 22 years at the Hilton Harrisburg for all its jazz programming. He has performed with Clark Terry, Al Grey and many other headliners in Europe, Asia, Canada and the Caribbean. He has led many ensembles, including the River City Big Band (now the Harrisburg Jazz Collective). His latest CD is “Daydream” with his trio. He was the executive director of the Central PA Friends of Jazz from 2012 to 2019.

Bassist/producer Bennie Sims has toured the world and worked with countless A-list artists throughout his career, including Al Jarreau, Aretha Franklin, Pieces of a Dream, The Three Degrees (for whom he was the music director) and more. He performs as part of the Groovemasters with pianist Cliff Starkey and Cawalla, stars of the Boscov’s Berks Jazz Fest annual Kickoff Luncheon at the Peanut Bar. Sims was part of the number-one jazz album by Pieces of a Dream, On Another Note (2019) and has worked on many albums with them, as a performer, writer, and producer.

Drummer Marko Marcinko, from northeastern Pennsylvania, started performing professionally at 14. He studied with drummer Joe Morello, and while studying percussion at the University of Miami, Coral Gables, he was part of the university’s top concert jazz ensemble. He has performed with Joe Henderson, Red Rodney, the late Michael Brecker, and Paquito D’Rivera, and toured with Maynard Ferguson.

For the past decade, he has recorded and toured with Dave Liebman, and also performs with his own quartet, Active Ingredients. He created the non-profit Pennsylvania Jazz Alliance and has taught as an adjunct at Penn State University, Lehigh University and East Orange Community College.

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