NEPA Scene Staff

Jazz guitarist and Yankees legend Bernie Williams will perform intimate Wilkes-Barre concert on May 30

Jazz guitarist and Yankees legend Bernie Williams will perform intimate Wilkes-Barre concert on May 30
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From a press release:

Put him in, coach. He can play a mean guitar.

The F.M. Kirby Center for the Performing Arts announced today that jazz guitarist and former New York Yankees center fielder Bernie Williams will visit Wilkes-Barre for a special concert that will also recognize the theater’s newly-retired Board of Directors Chairman, John Nackley.

Backed by his all-star jazz band, Williams will visit the Kirby Center’s Chandelier lobby for an intimate engagement on Saturday, May 30 at 8 p.m.

The Kirby Center will use this event to celebrate long-time Chairman John Nackley, a lifelong Yankees fan and a champion leader of the performing arts center’s Board of Directors for the past six years.

In all, Nackley served 16 years on the Kirby Center’s Board of Directors and was recently appointed to the theater’s Founders Board.

While limited in number, tickets will be available to the public beginning this Friday, April 24 at 10 a.m. and can be purchased at the Kirby Center Box Office, by phone at 570-826-1100, and online at Tickets are $51 and $151 (very limited VIP meet and greet), plus fees. A special Kirby Members pre-sale begins this Thursday, April 23 at 10 a.m. Join by calling 570-823-4599, ext. 225.

Growing up in Puerto Rico, Bernie Williams discovered his love for baseball and music at roughly the same time. When he was just 8 years old, he fell in love with the sounds of a flamenco guitar his merchant-marine father brought home from Spain. He also felt that same exhilaration when he first picked up a baseball bat.

Needless to say, the baseball bat proved to be a very solid instrument for the budding athlete.

Throughout his stellar 16-year career with the Yankees, Williams won four World Series Championships and played in five All-Star Games. He has more post-season RBIs to his credit than any other player in major league history, and his résumé also boasts four gold glove awards, six American League pennants, the 1996 ALCS MVP award, and the 1998 American League batting title.

Throughout Williams’ career, his passion for music never waned, and the sound of a guitar would often be heard emanating from the clubhouse or during team flights.

In 2003, he released his first album, “The Journey Within,” which shot to No. 3 on the Billboard Contemporary Jazz Chart. His second album, “Moving Forward,” reached No. 2 on the same chart and included guest appearances by Bruce Springsteen, Dave Koz, and others.

The album also spawned two consecutive Billboard No. 1 singles and was nominated for a Latin Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Album in 2009.

Just six days prior to his performance at the Kirby Center, Williams’ number 51 will be retired by the New York Yankees in a special ceremony at Yankee Stadium.