Temecula, CA – 2014

Temecula – 2014

We got in the car and drove from the wonderful Laguna Beach Festival of the Arts to yet another wonderful location and venue, the Thornton Winery.

I’ll summarize what I’ve said any number of times before. Enlightened and smart management in wine makers came to understand 30 years ago that there is an audience of music listeners who like to drink special wines. And they would love to come hear some great music (classical, blues, or jazz) and taste some of their finest products and order some to take home. But for the moment, they come to their special, improvised close-up, warm and friendly, afternoon cheese and wine celebrations and then relax and hear some music. All of these things go together. People who have special taste in wine often have special taste in music, and when you put the two together, you got the winning ticket…and it might be a season ticket.

In one season you might hear David Sanborn, Chris Botti, Diana Krall, BB King, etc. And so close you can see their hearts beat through their jackets and shirts. As the music has changed, especially here in America, venues of this sort become more and more important and take on the role of “patrons of the arts”. That is their amazing, wonderful music is not getting heard too often. There’s some fantastic music that should not be heard at large venues. And when that’s the only thing offered to the public (except for a karaoke room) and Top 40 bands haunt bars and clubs, we are really missing a lot of great stuff. So here’s a winery along with the occasional performing arts center downtown or the jazz festival still hanging in there that continues to offer some really special music to people beyond the “glitz”.

Well I sure do apologize long and loud if I’ve offended anyone. I’m thrilled that there are people who attract listeners in those numbers. It’s the epitome of gift giving that makes smiles and memories and maybe some healing, too.

It’s afternoon, the sun is shining, and we’re sound checking with a matinee audience already there.

At 5’o clock sharp, the sun still shining, I could hear this horn player just jump on the beat…the dance beat.

It’s Vincent Ingala. Well he is amazingly good and talented! He knows how to make them party.

They listened with wide eyes and attention as the music moved from featuring Joe Turano on sax to Chris Walker down front singing his original beautiful ballad to John Calderon playing a breadth of guitar (acoustic too) to Larry accompanying then soloing on keyboards and flute to Mark’s new killin’ drum solo. All of this within the parameters of one evening. They got it! How reassuring.

We leave it at that with everyone laughing and grinning and we head for the CD signing. This is always fun for me…kissing hands and shaking babies…oops :)…like this is so satisfying. You learn things about your connection with your audience that you can’t learn in any other way. And what a great way to end this summer tour.

Love you all,


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