The student surpasses the master at Berks Jazz Fest


When does the student surpass the master?

"Gabriel, that's the bass player, Gabriel Severn. He's only like 14 and he's crushing it," said accomplished Washington, D.C. bass player David Dyson. "He's incredible on the bass."

Dyson sat in the back of a ballroom at the DoubleTree Hotel in Reading and noticed a familiar set of fingers on stage.

"That was like my fourth time giving a master class there and he was there," Dyson recalled. "He could be giving one himself."

As Dyson dissects his former student's riffs, he can't help but travel back in time.

"I wasn't playing like that when I was 14," Dyson said.

Meanwhile, just down the hall, was a woman who grew up in a unique environment made up of music and joyful jazz mayhem.

"We were the loud, crazy house with lots of music," explained Teri Webb, a jazz DJ from Delaware.

Webb is following her dad, DJ Ken Webb, down the same path.

"Literally, I grew up in the studio. He worked at WBLS New York and KISS FM in New York," Webb said. "As a child, he'd bring us in. I was asleep under the console."

Now, Webb is wide awake and well aware that a story like this, at a festival like this, is anything but unique.

"It's the same kinda thing with artists like this, with festivals like this. You have a little boy who plays the bass," said Webb.

And she said these stories can only happen right here.

"It's so amazing to me that it's Reading and it's not New York, San Francisco, D.C.," she said. "It's Reading "

The 29th annual Berks Jazz Fest runs through the weekend.

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