Thornton Winery’s annual Champagne Jazz Series is a widely popular Temecula wine country tradition; offering musical lovers a chance to see some of the biggest names in the jazz genre in an intimate and beautiful setting. Now in its 28th year, the Champagne Jazz Series began as a way for the winery to gain recognition as not only a producer of fine wine, but also an entertainment and nightlife destination.
When speaking to contemporary jazz musician and composer Brian Culbertson about his two decades of performing professionally, he seems genuinely grateful for being able to sustain a successful career while still being true to himself as an artist. Twenty years and sixteen albums later, Culbertson’s music has run the gamut of genres from smooth jazz to R&B to funk, depending on the time in his career or the album being recorded.
The music of Saxophonist, Songwriter and Producer Boney James has been identified as everything from contemporary to smooth jazz to instrumental pop. When he returns to the Champagne Jazz Series at Thornton Winery on Saturday, September 13th, James hopes that the positive energy he feels while playing live will shine through in his performance.
Vincent Ingala’s music can be called a mixture of many genres and influences; an almost perfect illustration of the cliché “something for everyone.” “What I do would be classified as smooth jazz, but technically, if you really look into it, it’s instrumental R&B music.”
It’s been eight years since the popular weekly series, Jazz at the Merc, debuted in Old Town. Creator, musical powerhouse and Temecula resident, Sherry Williams, looks back fondly on the inception of what has become a local entertainment favorite.