2013 Winterfest/Jazz on the Vine is a week away, but the festivities have already started with the official kick-off party in the stunning Indigo Ballroom of the Hotel Indigo in Riverhead. Now in its sixth year, Winterfest is expected to draw close to 20,000 visitors to the North Fork and the Hamptons with vineyard, accommodations, dining and attraction specials, along with six weekends of live jazz at the 19 participating wineries.
The pre-party press conference began with a welcome from Hotel Indigo owner Rob Salvatico, whose beautiful boutique hotel has over the past few years become jazz central for Winterfest. Come evening there is live jazz on Fridays in the Bistro 72 restaurant and the Live at the Indigo jazz jam in the Indigo Ballroom every Saturday at 7:00 p.m. The Live at the Indigo house band is the Steve Watson
Trio, who will be joined Saturday nights by special guest musicians, many Grammy nominated, from the acts that make up the 70 jazz performances of Jazz on the Vine. Hotel Indigo also offers fabulous and affordable weekend overnight packages during Winterfest that includes admission to Live at the Indigo performances, a four course dinner for two and two tickets to any Jazz at the Vine winery performance.
Vanessa Trouble enraptured all in attendance with both her voice and her beauty. (Photo: Douglas Harrington)
Also addressing the crowd and media were Pat Synder (East End Arts), Steve Bate
(LI Wine Council), Moke McGowan (LI Convention and Visitors Bureau), Bryan DeLuca
(East End Getaway/LI Aquarium/Riverhead Hyatt) and Michelle Stark (Suffolk County Cultural Affairs). During their remarks it was announced that Winterfest/Jazz on the Wine was awarded the 2012 National Destination Marketing Award by Americans for the Arts and Destination Marketing International. Also noted was that for the first time a Long Island wine was chosen as part of the Presidential Inaugural Ceremonies, as Bedell Cellars
' 2009 Merlot was served at President Barack Obama
's Inaugural Luncheon.
Along with complimentary selections of Long Island wine, a fabulous cheese table and hors d'oeuvres by Hotel Indigo Executive Chef James Junk, guests were treated to a taste of the Winterfest jazz to come with the Steve Watson Trio and some outstanding guest artists. Without question jazz chanteuse Vanessa Trouble claimed the night as her own and transported this reporter back to Paris and my favorite French jazz haunts like Le Caveau de la Huchette and Le Duc des Lombards.
New to the Winterfest lineup this year is the historic and completely renovated Suffolk Theater on Main Street in Riverhead. Scheduled for a Grand Opening Gala on March 2nd, I recently received a tour of this glorious Art Deco jewel and I can tell you that this is a fabulous venue for jazz and, frankly, any kind of live performance. The Suffolk Theater will host several Jazz on the Vine performances in March, including separate tributes to Dinah Shore and the great Lionel Hampton. Also new this year is the Winterfest Warm Up at the Hilton Garden Inn in Riverhead with live jazz performances every Friday at 7:00 p.m. beginning February 8th. The Hilton Garden Inn is also offering Winterfest overnight stay specials.
Hamptons.com is once again proud to be a Presenting Sponsor of Winterfest/Jazz on the Vine and we will be hosting two Jazz on the Vine performances. On Sunday, February 10th at 4:00 p.m. we will be at Bedell Cellars Vineyards presenting the fabulous Lauren Kinhan Band and on Saturday, March 2nd at 4:30 p.m. please join us for jazz sax man extraordinaire Shenole Latimer at the Raphael Winery.
Six weeks of great jazz, great wine, great food, great attractions and great accommodations on Long Island's East End. Winterfest/Jazz on the Vine improves with age each year, just like the Long Island wines that inspired this now Internationally recognized festival.
Steve Bate of the LI Wine Council acknowledges Rob Salvatico for hosting another Winterfest Kick-Off Party at Hotel Indigo. (From left to right) Moke McCowan, Michelle Stark, Steve Bate, Pat Snyder, Rob Salvatico and Bryan DeLuca. (Photo: Douglas Harrington)
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Frequently mistaken for the "Most Interesting Man in the World" from the Dos Equis commercials and the iconic gray-bearded Sean Connery, DMH is the Senior Contributing Editor at Hamptons.com. www.hamptons.com