Stevie Wonder sits in with Brian Culbertson at Long Beach concert!

(left to right) Brian Culbertson, Stevie Wonder, Rodney James Jr., (and, in back) Marqueal Jordan and Michael Stever (Photo by Rhonda Kilpatrick)

(left to right) Brian Culbertson, Stevie Wonder, Rodney Jones Jr., (and, in back) Marqueal Jordan and Michael Stever at the Terrace Theater in Long Beach, California, on Valentine’s Day (Photo by Rhonda Kilpatrick)

By Melanie Maxwell

When Stevie Wonder walked on stage during Brian Culbertson‘s show last night, he thought the crowd had burst into ecstatic applause because they were diggin’ the way he was wailing on the keyboards. It was Valentine’s Day after all. And, Brian was the headliner at Rainbow Promotions’ three-act concert at the Terrace Theater in Long Beach, CA, which also included saxophonist Jeanette Harris and Will Downing. But when he lifted his head up and opened his eyes, Stevie was standing next to him playing harmonica. Startled and shocked, Brian bent over slightly, stepped away from his keyboards, cupped his face in his hands, shook his head, then stared at Stevie for a moment.

Brian Culbertson & his bad react to a surprise appearance by Stevie Wonder during his performance at Rainbow Promotions' Valentine's Day concert at the Long Beach Terrace Theater on Feb. 14, 2015 (Photo by  Ambrosevents.com/Ellis Moore Photography)

Brian Culbertson & his band react to a surprise appearance by Stevie Wonder during their performance at Rainbow Promotions’ Valentine’s Day concert at the Long Beach Terrace Theater on Feb. 14, 2015 (Photo by Ambrosevents.com/Ellis Moore Photography)

After composing himself from this surprise, he walked back, placed his fingers on those ivories and jammed with the 25-time GRAMMY winner. His band––comprising Marqueal Jordan, Chris Miskel, Eddie Miller, Michael Stever, Rodney Jones Jr. and a guitarist––jumped around the stage with expressions of joy and disbelief, never missing a beat.

Brian Culbertson & his band performing at Rainbow Promotions' Valentine's Day concert at the Long Beach Terrace Theater on Feb. 14, 2015 (Photo by  Ambrosevents.com/Ellis Moore Photography)

Brian Culbertson, Marqueal Jordan, Michael Stever & Rodney Jones Jr. performing at Rainbow Promotions’ Valentine’s Day concert at the Long Beach Terrace Theater on Feb. 14, 2015 (Photos by Ambrosevents.com/Ellis Moore Photography)

There had been rumblings all night that Stevie was in the house, but no confirmed sightings until halfway through Brian’s stellar performance. Stevie was certainly feeling the vibe of that signature Culbertson funky flair, which exuded the energy and showmanship of a major rock concert. So, he emerged from backstage where he was enjoying the show, and joined the spiky-haired blond boy from Chicago.

Brian Culbertson & Stevie Wonder performing together spontaneously

Brian Culbertson & Stevie Wonder performing together spontaneously on Valentine’s Day in Long Beach, California (Photo by Ambrosevents.com/Ellis Moore Photography)

Happy Valentine’s Day indeed…Amazing!

Brian Culbertson & Stevie Wonder performing an impromptu song at Rainbow Promotions' Valentine's Day concert at the Long Beach Terrace Theater on Feb. 14, 2015 (Photo by Ambrosevents.com/Ellis Moore Photography)

Brian Culbertson & Stevie Wonder performing an impromptu song at Rainbow Promotions’ Valentine’s Day concert at the Long Beach Terrace Theater on Feb. 14, 2015 (Photos by Ambrosevents.com/Ellis Moore Photography)

Brian Culbertson, who is celebrating his 20th year as a smooth jazz star, is also hosting his 4th annual Napa Valley Jazz Getaway, June 10-14. The lineup includes Al Jarreau, Chaka Khan, Boney James, Peter White, Mindi Abair, Eric Darius, Spyro Gyra, Kenny Lattimore, Maysa, DW3, Eric Marienthal, comedian Alonzo Bodden & more! For more information on this 5-day, luxury wine & jazz festival held at Jamieson Ranch Vineyards and various venues throughout the Northern California Wine Country, visit www.jazzgetaway.com.

Brian Culbertson & Stevie Wonder backstage at the Long Beach Terrace Theater on Feb. 14, 2015 (Photo by Ambrosevents.com/Ellis Moore Photography)

Brian Culbertson & Stevie Wonder backstage at the Long Beach Terrace Theater on Feb. 14, 2015 (Photos by Ambrosevents.com/Ellis Moore Photography)

For more information on Rainbow Promotions‘ events, including the Long Beach Jazz Festival, visit www.rainbowpromotions.com.

Kim Benoit (producer of Rainbow Promotions' Valentine's Concert) backstage at the Long Beach Terrace Theater with Stevie Wonder, Will Downing & 94.7 The WAVE on-air personality Pat Prescott on Feb. 14, 2015 (Photo by Ambrosevents.com/Ellis Moore Photography)

Kim Benoit (producer of Rainbow Promotions’ Valentine’s Concert) backstage at the Long Beach Terrace Theater with Stevie Wonder, Will Downing & 94.7 The WAVE on-air personality Pat Prescott (Photo by Ambrosevents.com/Ellis Moore Photography)

Stevie Wonder, Brian Culbertson, Al Williams (Rainbow Promotions founder) & Will Downing backstage at the Long Beach Terrace Theater on Feb. 14, 2015 (Photo by Ambrosevents.com/Ellis Moore Photography)

Stevie Wonder, Brian Culbertson, Al Williams (Rainbow Promotions founder) & Will Downing backstage at the Long Beach Terrace Theater on Feb. 14, 2015 (Photos by Ambrosevents.com/Ellis Moore Photography)

Also, if you attended this concert, please post a comment below about your experience there. We’d love to hear from you!

Stevie Wonder, Luke Pierce & Brian Culbertson backstage at the Terrace Theater in Long Beach, CA, on Valentine's Day 2015

Stevie Wonder, Luke Pierce & Brian Culbertson backstage after the show at the Terrace Theater in Long Beach, California, on Valentine’s Day 2015

One thought on “Stevie Wonder sits in with Brian Culbertson at Long Beach concert!

  1. domain typos

    WOW, I was fortunate enough to win 2 tickets to the Brian Culbertson’s Valentine’s Day show in Long Beach when I attended the Smooth Jazz News annual party at Spaghettini’s in Seal Beach February 8th. Just a week later I was at Brian’s concert. Brian was playing his heart out. Toward the middle of one of his songs, Stevie Wonder walked on stage. Everyone knew immediately it was Stevie. We all stood at once and remained standing even after Stevie walked off the stage. We just couldn’t believe it. Everyone was in amazement. It was the icing on the cake for me after having an awesome time at Melanie Maxwell’s Smooth Jazz News annual party the week before, listening and watching Peter White, Euge Groove, Keiko Matsui jamming with DW3, then winning two tickets to Brian’s show on Valentine’s Day, I have to say it was a great night to have Orchestra seats!!!

    Reply

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