Last weekend’s inaugural Napa Valley Jazz Getaway was an overwhelming success, according to the folks at Stiletto Jazz who helped smooth jazz sensation Brian Culbertson produce the weekend of music, wine and food events.
Not only was it a sell-out, Culbertson’s jazzfest launch was roundly received by fans from all over the country who packed the Napa Valley Opera House for a pair of upbeat performances and gathered at wineries (Miner Family Vineyard, Gargiulo, Silver Oak) and restaurants for tastings, meals and receptions.
Miner Family Vineyard’s Steve Gage helped keyboardist Culbertson with local logistics and the wine supply, including tastings prior to the concerts at the Opera House.
Sinbad emceed Friday night’s musical gathering, one that included jazz/soul vocalists Oleta Adams and Kenny Lattimore. Performing on Friday and Saturday nights were pianist David Benoit, jazz fusion alto saxophonist Eric Marienthal, young tenor saxman Eric Darius, Culbertson and a swinging jazz quintet.
Culbertson said he picked Napa for his new project because “(the Robert) Mondavi (Winery) stopped doing its jazz series. I used to play the summer festival at Mondavi but it doesn’t look like I’ll be doing it any time soon.”
The inaugural event sold out on Culbertson’s website so Culbertson said he would stage the festival in a setting that could accommodate a larger audience next year.
The folks at Stiletto hinted that venues for the 2013 Napa Valley Jazz Getaway would include an outdoor setting. The main venue reportedly could be Silverado Resort.
If this year’s well-run, well-attended gathering of top-flight jazz musicians is any indication, next year should be a blowout.