Napa Valley Jazz Getaway June 5-9

Idyllic Napa Valley will serve as the beatific backdrop for a festival of wine and jazz next month when the second Napa Valley Jazz Getaway (www.napavalleyjazzgetaway2013.com) takes place June 5-9 featuring a luminous lineup of performers topped by the event’s Founder & Artistic Director Brian Culbertson (www.brianculbertson.me). The soulful hit-making multi-instrumentalist will be joined by Grammy winners Take 6, Ray Parker Jr., Norman Brown and Kirk Whalum united with Rick Braun as BWB, funksters Larry Graham & Graham Central Station, saxophonists Eric Darius and Michael Lington, guitarist Nick Colionne, R&B vocalist Selina Albright, keyboardist Cecil Ramirez, party band DW3 and special guest comedian Sinbad. With this much talent on display, it’s no wonder that the VIP and Silver ticket packages sold out months ago.

Over 1,200 festival goers from all over the nation will flock to California wine country for concerts at the Napa Valley Opera House and Lincoln Theater while more intimate shows will be held at several wineries including Silver Oak and Chimney Rock. VIPs will be treated to a solo piano performance by Culbertson staged in the wine cave at Miner Family Winery, which was one of the most buzzed about shows at last year’s inaugural event.

The Napa Valley Jazz Getaway is a not-to-be-missed interactive lifestyle experience at which fans can share their passion for wine and jazz with the musicians while dining, during wine receptions and tastings, at autograph sessions, at a golf tournament at Silverado Resort & Spa, and at casual post-concert hangs at the Westin Verasa Napa. Prior to the June 8th concert, a silent auction and wine reception will be held in support of music education to benefit The GRAMMY Foundation at which many of the winery partners will provide complimentary pourings.

One of the brightest stars in the contemporary jazz galaxy, award-winning musician, songwriter and producer Culbertson is a consistent chart-topper with a catalogue that spans 13 solo albums along with hits that he wrote and produced for other marquee artists. Known for distilling a soul-splashed vintage of shimmering jazz, funk grooves and sophisticated R&B-pop, creating the Napa Valley Jazz Getaway has enabled the dynamic artist to prove his mettle as a lifestyle curator. Culbertson is a consummate entertainer who has a hot new band and a slamming show that is certain to get and keep people on their feet each time they hit the stage in Napa.

The forecast is bright

Looking ahead a few months, jump starting the 5th Annual Carolina Jazz Concert Series hosted by the Jazz Diva in Charlotte, NC will be Najee and Alex Bugnon on August 3rd at the Halton Theater. The second concert in the series will be headlined by Take 6 on September 28th at the Halton Theater. The season will end with a “MUST SEE” concert featuring Johnathan Butler on November 2nd at the Halton Theater. Tickets can be purchased for these shows at http://tix.cpcc.edu/events/carolina_jazz_concert_series or by calling 704-330-6534. Tickets go on sale on February 15th.

Guitarist Jonathan Butler

Guitarist Jonathan Butler

There are many concerts to attend this year. However, I must admit that I’m so excited to end the year with one very special evening with Spyro Gyra and The Yellowjackets on December 14th at 8:00pm. The show will be held at The Knight Theater in Charlotte, NC.  Tickets can be purchased at www.carolinatix.org, or by calling the box office at 704-372-1000. They are 2 of my all time favorite jazz bands that I’ve loved and listened to for many years. It’s like the best Christmas gift I could have received.  Thanks to the Jazz Diva Tammy Greene for making this happen. You don’t want to miss this opportunity to see them perform live. I can personally attest to that.

Spyro Gyra and The Yellowjackets

Spyro Gyra and The Yellowjackets