Tag Archives: Euge Groove

San Diego re-emerges as America’s Finest “Jazz” City!

Peter White; Maggie & Willie Shares from Atlanta; Brian Culbertson at the San Diego Smooth Jazz Festival (Photos: Pat Benter)

With a stellar lineup of fan favorites and popular emerging artists, The San Diego Smooth Jazz Festival returned to the Embarcadero Marina Park South to record crowds!

Presented by Payne Pest Management (Kathy & Willie Payne, along with their son, Jason) and Rainbow Promotions, this classy and scenic event featured Brian Culbertson (as host and performer), Boney James, West Coast Jam (Rick Braun, Richard Elliot & Norman Brown), Peter White, Euge Groove & Keiko Matsui (performing as EPK), Michael Franks, Gerald Albright & Jonathan Butler, Nick ColionneEric Darius, Monty Seward, Curtis Brooks, and The The L.A. Collective (Adam Hawley, Greg Manning, Darryl Williams and Tony Moore).

For those who weren’t there, here are some photos to see what you missed! For those of us who attended this revived annual event, we can reminisce about the great time we had.

This is a partial post, which I plan to update shortly, along with dates for next year’s San Diego Smooth Jazz Festival. So, after reviewing these photos, please check back again.

By Melanie Maxwell, PublisherSmooth Jazz News

Brian Culbertson, Marqueal Jordan on sax and vocals and Michael Stever on trumpet, at the San Diego Smooth Jazz Festival on July 8, 2017 (Photo: Pat Benter)

Embarcadero Marina Park North, venue for The San Diego Smooth Jazz Festival before gates opened on July 8, 2017 (Photo: Pat Benter)

Brian Culbertson performing at the San Diego Smooth Jazz Festival on July 8, 2017 (Photo: Pat Benter)

Marqueal Jordan and Brian Culbertson performing at the San Diego Smooth Jazz Festival on July 8, 2017 (Photo: Pat Benter)

Nick Colionne performing (and thrilling fans) at the 2017 San Diego Smooth Jazz Festival (Photos: Pat Benter)

Peter White, Keiko Matsui & Euge Groove performing as EPK at the San Diego Smooth Jazz Festival (Photos: Pat Benter)

Eric Darius in the VIP section at the 2017 San Diego Smooth Jazz Festival (Photo: David Hopley)

Fans enjoying The San Diego Smooth Jazz Festival at Embarcadero Marina Park North (Photo: Pat Benter)

Left photo: (Bottom row) Kathy Payne (Payne Pest Management) with her mother, Joan Giddens (celebrating her 86th birthday at the San Diego Smooth Jazz Festival) & Tim Hurley (Kathy’s brother)
Top row:Ursula Hurley (Kathy’s sister-in-law married to Tim); Mitch Hurley (kathy’s brother), Marilyn James & Rick Phetteplace; Other photos (clockwise): Eric Darius serenading Joan Giddens; Kathy Payne groovin’ to Michael Franks’ “Popsicle Toes”; Eric Darius wishing Joan Giddens a happy 86th birthday; Nick Colionne playing to Joan Giddens
(Photos: Pat Benter)

Food vendors at the San Diego Smooth Jazz Festival at Embarcadero Marina Park North (Photos: Pat Benter)

Michael Franks singing his hits in his home town at the San Diego Smooth Jazz Festival (Photo: Pat Benter)

VIP section lounge and lunch buffet (Photos: Pat Benter)

Festivalgoers posing with the free Justin Young “Blue Soul” CD they received at the Smooth Jazz News booth (Photo: David Hopley)

Smooth Jazz News booth at the entrance of The San Diego Smooth Jazz Festival (Photos: David Hopley)

 

Seabreeze Jazz Festival ticket giveaway!

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By Melanie Maxwell

Click here for a chance to win a pair of 4-day passes (Thursday-Sunday) to the 17th Annual Seabreeze Jazz Festival presented by ResortQuest in Panama City Beach, Florida: http://dev.smoothjazznews.com/enter-win/

When: April 22-26

Lineup:

Wednesday, April 22 Jazzy Dinner Cruise on St. Andrews Bay aboard the Solaris entertainment yacht featuring Brian Culbertson (sold out), boards at 6:30 p.m., sails at 7 p.m.

Thursday, April 23 Jazzy Lunch Cruise on St. Andrews Bay aboard the Solaris entertainment yacht featuring Eric Darius (sold out), boards at 10:30 a.m., sails at 11 a.m. (Both cruises, which are sold out, sail from the Lighthouse Marina, 5325 N. Lagoon Dr., Panama City Beach, Florida)

On festival grounds (gates open at 3 p.m.) Urban Jazz Coalition with Althea René, 5p.m.; The Rippingtons featuring Russ Freeman, 6:15 p.m.; Euge Groove, 8:30 p.m.     After-Party All-Star Jam hosted by Eric Darius, 10:30 p.m., Pompano Joe’s at Pier Park

Friday, April 24 Sax Pack 10th Anniversary CD-Release Party featuring Jeff Kashiwa, Steve Cole and Kim Waters (includes a lunch appetizer buffet, private performance, question-and-answer session with the band and signed copy of the new CD), noon, Pompano Joe’s (rooftop stage, overlooking the Gulf of Mexico)

On festival grounds (gates open at 3 p.m.) Down to the Bone, 5 p.m.; Ken Ford, 6:30 p.m.; George Benson, 8:30 p.m.

After-Party All-Star Jam hosted by Euge Groove (sold out), 10:30 p.m., Pompano Joe’s at Pier Park

Saturday, April 25, on festival grounds (gates open at 8:30 a.m.) Rob Tardik, 9:30 a.m.; Eric Darius, 11 a.m.; Acoustic Alchemy, 12:30 p.m.; The Sax Pack featuring Jeff Kashiwa, Steve Cole and Kim Waters, 2 p.m.; Brian Culbertson, 4:30 p.m.; Al Jarreau, 6:30 p.m.; BWB featuring Norman Brown, Kirk Whalum and Rick Braun, 8:30 p.m.

After-Party All-Star Jam hosted by Brian Culbertson (sold out), 10:30 p.m., Pompano Joe’s at Pier Park

Sunday, April 26, on festival grounds (gates open at 8:30 a.m.) Ryan Montano, 9:30 a.m.; The Seabreeze Groove Project featuring Four80East, Matt Marshak and Marcus Anderson, 11 a.m.; Chris Standring, 12:30 p.m.; Mindi Abair & The Boneshakers, 2:30 p.m.; Jazz Funk Soul with Chuck Loeb, Jeff Lorber and Everette Harp, 4:30 p.m.; Josh Vietti, 6:30 p.m.; David Sanborn, 8:30 p.m.

Seabreeze Jazz Festival After-Party hosted by Four80East, Matt Marshak and Marcus Anderson, featuring special smooth jazz guest stars and surprises (free admission), 10:30 p.m., Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville at Pier Park

Where: Aaron Bessant Park Amphitheater, 500 W. Park Dr., Panama City Beach, Florida

Getting there: Flights are available to the Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport (ECP) in Panama City Beach, and Northwest Florida Regional Airport (VPS) in Fort Walton Beach, Florida. The venue is approximately 10 miles from ECP and 55 miles from VPS.

Couple enjoying a spectacular view of the Gulf of Mexico from a Resort Quest condo in Panama City Beach, Florida

Couple enjoying a spectacular view of the Gulf of Mexico from a ResortQuest condo in Panama City Beach, Florida

Staying there: Accommodations at reduced rates are available through ResortQuest by Wyndham Vacation Rentals. For reservations, visit www.seabreezejazzfestival.com/accommodations.html or call 855-990-0087 and mention group code “JAZ5” for the discounted rate. Free round-trip shuttles are available to the festival for occupants of ResortQuest properties.

Tickets and information: Visit www.seabreezejazzfestival.com (which also features information on other accommodations partners) or call 800-595-4849.

For more information on the Seabreeze Jazz Festival, check out pages 11-13 of the April 2015 issue of Smooth Jazz News.

*NOTE: In their commitment to contribute to the community, the Carters are offering a four-day pass ($250 value) to the Seabreeze Jazz Festival in exchange for each good, used, band instrument donated to L.I.N.K.S. of Northwest Florida (Lonely Instruments For Needy Kids). This non-profit program takes used band instruments, repairs them and puts them in the hands of disadvantaged kids who wouldn’t normally be able to participate in their local middle or high school band programs. Playground Music Center in Fort Walton Beach, Florida, is collecting the donated instruments. For more information, call Tony Leonard at 850-243-2514, or visit www.seabreezejazzfestival.com/links.html.

Behind the scenes with Seabreeze Jazz Festival producer

Patio at the oceanfront Calypso Resort and Towers in Panama City Beach, Florida

Patio at the oceanfront Calypso Resort and Towers in Panama City Beach, Florida

Are you planning to attend the Seabreeze Jazz Festival this year? If so, check out this interview I had with Mark Carter, the event’s producer. He talks about his passion for the genre, how he chose the lineup, and what changes are happening for this 17th annual event in Panama City Beach, Florida.

2013 Seabreeze Jazz Festival in Panama City Beach, Florida

2013 Seabreeze Jazz Festival at Aaron Bessant Park in Panama City Beach, Florida

SJN: You have another amazing lineup this year. What was your artist selection based on?

Brian Culbertson, Al Jarreau and George Benson are scheduled to perform at the 2015 Seabreeze Jazz Festival

Brian Culbertson, Al Jarreau and George Benson are scheduled to perform at the 2015 Seabreeze Jazz Festival

MC: This year, we focused on three types of smooth jazz artists in our festival bookings. First you have what I call “The Legends.” These are artists or groups that were credited with actually starting the smooth jazz format…going back to the mid 1980’s. I’m talking about artists like David Sanborn, The Rippingtons featuring Russ Freeman, Acoustic Alchemy and the multi-talented George Benson. These are the core legendary artists that caught the nation’s attention and started the renaissance of what became contemporary jazz or smooth jazz. Al Jarreau also fits in this category as his music also helped to paint the canvas of coolness in a mass appeal way.

BWB featuring Norman Brown, Kirk Whalum and Rick Braun (Photo by Lori Stoll)

BWB featuring Norman Brown, Kirk Whalum and Rick Braun, scheduled to perform on Saturday, April 25  (Photo by Lori Stoll)

The second group we targeted was “The Hit-makers”––the current top smooth jazz artists shaping contemporary jazz today. These are artists like Brian Culbertson, Euge Groove, Jazz Funk Soul, BWB, The Sax Pack, Mindi Abair, Eric Darius, Down To the Bone and others.

Euge Groove

Euge Groove is scheduled to perform on Thursday, April 23

Since Seabreeze Jazz Festival is the only jazz festival in America created by an actual smooth jazz radio station, current airplay and new CD releases all play important roles in booking the right blend of artists. Attention to both artist tempo and texture is factored, so that some sets of music soothe while others get you on your feet! This is why stellar guitar player Chris Standring, Canada’s Four80East, as well as UK-based smooth jazz group Down To The Bone are included for their diverse sounds and “funkanomics”––there has to be some funk in the mix. Like programming a great set of music on the radio, the lineup and order of the artists can make or break a great listening experience. We treat the lineup like a weekend of music programmed on the radio.

Chris Standring, Marcus Anderson (Photo by Pat Benter) and Matt Marshak are scheduled to perform at the 2015 Seabreeze Jazz Festival

Chris Standring, Marcus Anderson (Photo by Pat Benter) and Matt Marshak are scheduled to perform at the 2015 Seabreeze Jazz Festival

And, the third group is the “New Lions”––the new talented artists of tomorrow that are turning heads and ears today. Artists like trumpeter Ryan Montano and pop/jazz/hip-hop violinist Josh Vietti. Canadian guitarist Rob Tardik fits this description as he has won numerous awards in Canada yet many smooth jazz fans are not familiar with him though he is amazing.

Mindi Abair (Photo by Greg Allen)

Mindi Abair is scheduled to perform with The Boneshakers on Sunday, April 26 (Photo by Greg Allen)

The 2015 lineup represents a full roster of all of these styles and categories, which is why I feel the Seabreeze Jazz Festival is unique.

First time performers to our festival this year include David Sanborn, Al Jarreau, Acoustic Alchemy, Chris Standring, Josh Vietti and Rob Tardik.

SJN: I believe you mentioned that you were expanding your VIP area this year. Can you please provide me with the details?

MC: We added a secondary level of VIP seating called Gold Reserve. This new section of 800 reserved seats will be located directly in front of the stage right behind the VIP section. Gold Reserve offers many of the benefits of VIP including reserved seating for all four days of the festival, on-site parking, dedicated air-conditioned restrooms, special entrance and early entry, with complimentary water and beer/wine (4 per day). Gold Reserve attendees select their seat and row from the festival seating chart and guaranteed to be the same great seat each day. No need to stand in line early and rush in with your chairs to get the best seats up front. VIP tickets sold out so fast this year (in just a few weeks) that the Gold Reserve became a reality––and a new alternative.

SJN: Which vendors do you plan to have this year?

MC: We are planning to upgrade the vendor area with more food options that cater better to the “smooth jazz experience.” Our vendor area will include a diverse selection of gourmet food trucks from as far away as Atlanta, Jacksonville, Orlando and New Orleans. Many attendees have asked for more variety and healthier options, so we are responding to that request. Food trucks are really popular across America today, and they excite the palate with the ability to offer high-end tastes in what is a rolling restaurant. Fans with gluten-free diets, vegan and vegetarians will be pleased with the changes. But we also will continue with the tried and true soul food, barbecue, chicken, hot dogs, burgers, and seafood along with gourmet grilled cheese, tacos, Mediterranean wraps, healthy wraps, pizza and more. We will even have an unbelievable cupcake food truck with dozens of decadent cupcakes.

In addition, our vendor area will include select art and merchandise vendors with original art, hats, women’s clothing, jewelry and more. One vendor exclusively sells items direct from Africa at our event, so the selection will be both interesting to shop and very unique.

SJN: I received a press release from you last week regarding you partnering with Top Global Radio Jazz Provider JAZZRADIO.com. As the owner of a terrestrial radio station yourself, how is it that you have always welcomed partnerships with online radio stations, especially because your station is streamed online?

MC: JazzRadio.com has 37 online channels of jazz and currently reaches over 2 million listeners per day, and currently offers the most inclusive and diverse online jazz streaming service on any company on the Internet. This fact is very attractive in growing the jazz festival to a more global audience. Streaming audio is becoming more important to smooth jazz fans around the country who have unfortunately lost their local smooth jazz radio stations. They either have to go to satellite radio or turn to the Internet for new music. These are the listeners who are left in the cold, who love the format but their local stations are gone. We are trying to reach these displaced listeners with our sponsorship with JazzRadio.com.

JazzRadio.com has cultivated a solid smooth jazz base offering 37 unique jazz channels that will truly appeal to the tastes of the smooth jazz audience. JazzRadio.com also features Jimi King––renowned smooth jazz music programmer and presenter––with his weekly live show direct from London on Sundays. Their music is easily available online, or with a smart phone or tablet, and, again, it is free to all fans.

SJN: What is the best compliment you receive about your festival?

MC: “I had so much fun I got lost in the music” was one great comment. Many love the vibe of the festival: the sea breeze blowing off the beach, good times with good people all connected together with their love of smooth jazz.

Others comment how friendly everyone is, like “coming home” and feeling so welcomed.

The Seabreeze Jazz Festival showcases the best of the smooth jazz format, creating an “ultimate” weekend of music featuring 20 smooth jazz acts for one great ticket price. Many fans love the fact we don’t act like an R & B festival in smooth jazz clothing! You come for smooth jazz, you get smooth jazz.

Couple enjoying a spectacular view of the Gulf of Mexico from a Resort Quest condo in Panama City Beach, Florida

Couple enjoying a spectacular view of the Gulf of Mexico from a ResortQuest condo in Panama City Beach, Florida

The venue offers shopping at 160+ stores and eateries at Pier Park directly across the street, with white-sand beaches close by and convenient condos and hotels––many within walking distance. And, Panama City Beach offers world-renowned fishing, golf and other outdoor recreational activities.

Ladies enjoying lunch and ocean view at a Pier Park eatery in Panama City Beach, Florida

Ladies enjoying lunch and ocean views at a Pier Park eatery in Panama City Beach, Florida

SJN: Are there any changes happening this year?

MC: One big change is our new “smart” armbands from Intellitix that we are calling “JazzBands.” Attendees will enjoy quick entry into the event with this new system currently being used by over 40 events across the globe in 2014.

The way the technology works is each fabric armband has a RFID chip inside that is encoded with their ticket order––so entry into the event is a simple scan through a portal at the entrance. We will be the first event on the Gulf Coast to use this technology for festival entry.

In addition, the Seabreeze Jazz Festival is using these armbands to go totally “cashless” with the convenience of linking a credit card or cash to the armbands. All food and merchandise inside the event will be purchased through a quick scan of these hi-tech wristbands. This is the same type of system that Disney has used at their theme parks (with The Magic Band) as well as some of the high-end cruise lines.

Attendees will be able to register their armbands starting April 9th at www.JazzBands.com, and allocate funds via their credit card to the wristbands. If they wish to wait until the event, they can stop at a Top Up Station on-site and load cash or credit to their JazzBands for a worry-free and hassle-free weekend of music and shopping. No need to worry about lost cash or credit cards. Or they can set a budget for spending and easily manage their account.

Attendees can pre-load credit on the armbands and manage their account via their smartphone. Any unspent monies are refunded back to the attendee’s credit card (or a bank check is mailed if cash is used) minus a $5 service fee at the end of the weekend. Seabreeze will be offering $5 free JazzBucks with each $100 that is loaded on the armbands to offset the service fee.

For the user, purchases take less than 3 seconds, as you simply swipe and tap to confirm each purchase. (www.seabreezejazzfestival.com/cashless.html)

Another change is year––to speed up entry and comply with security guidelines––is no outside food or beverages will be allowed including no coolers. Attendees are welcome to bring an empty water or sports bottle for free water refills inside the park, a small umbrella, small bag or backpack and one chair per person. Bottled water will be sold at $1 a bottle, and a wide variety of food options will be available with the new expanded food court area. Many food vendors will be offering $5 value meals and other affordable options.

Check the rules section of the jazz fest site for all rules and policies at www.seabreezejazzfestival.com/rules.html

The Sax Pack: Steve Cole, Jeff Kashiwa & Kim Waters, are scheduled to perform  at the Seabreeze Jazz Festival on Friday, April  25, and a CD-Release party at Pompano Joe's on Friday, April 24

The Sax Pack–Steve Cole, Jeff Kashiwa & Kim Waters–is scheduled to perform at the Seabreeze Jazz Festival on Friday, April 25, and a CD-Release party at Pompano Joe’s on Friday, April 24

SJN: What are the highlights of this year’s festival?

MC: In addition to the main performances, the dinner and lunch cruises and the popular after-party events, we have added a Sax Pack CD-Release Party on Friday, April 24th, at 1pm at Pompano Joe’s located inside Pier Park. The original Sax Pack (Jeff Kashiwa, Steve Cole and Kim Waters) will unveil their new CD celebrating the 10th Anniversary of The Sax Pack. The CD-Release Party will include a lunch appetizer buffet and a private performance, question-and-answer session with the band and signed copy of the new CD––all overlooking the Gulf of Mexico from the rooftop stage at Pompano Joe’s. Tickets are $55 each, and available online at www.seabreezejazzfestival.com or by phone at 800-595-4849.

Rob DeBoer & Tony Grace of Four80East

Tony Grace & Rob DeBoer of Four80East

We are also offering a FREE Sunday After-Party show at Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville at Pier Park on Sunday night April 26th, starting at 10:30pm. Hosted by Four80East, Matt Marshak and Marcus Anderson, the event will also feature special smooth jazz guest stars and surprises. A full menu and cash bar will be available. Free admission.

Is there anything else you feel is important for our readers to know about this year’s festival?

Our jazz festival artwork, “Body and Soul,” was created by the late Atlanta artist J. Micheal Howard, and will be featured on Seabreeze Jazz Festival T-Shirts and our festival poster. This work embodies all of the fun, funky and yet cool sound of smooth jazz in vibrant colors and true style. J. Michael Howard’s original works, posters, and T-shirts will be available for sale in our Featured Artist tent all weekend.

Colorful bedroom furnishings at Florida Linen, my favorite Panama City Beach store , 12011 Panama City Beach Pkwy. (www.floridalinen.net)

Colorful bedroom furnishings at Florida Linen, my favorite Panama City Beach store, 12011 Panama City Beach Pkwy. (www.floridalinen.net)

Also, we are again offering a FREE four-day pass ($250 value) for each good used band instrument donation to L.I.N.K.S. of Northwest Florida (Lonely Instruments For Needy Kids). This non-profit program takes used band instruments, repairs them and puts them in the hands of disadvantaged kids who wouldn’t normally be able to participate in their local middle or high school band programs.

In 2014, Seabreeze Jazz Festival fans donated over 120 good band instruments that went back into the music program at several Northwest Florida schools.

Playground Music Center in Fort Walton Beach, Florida, is collecting the donated instruments. For more on the program and the free jazz festival tickets call Tony Leonard at 850-243-2514. Here is the link to all the details: www.seabreezejazzfestival.com/links.html

Come experience the Southern charm of Northwest Florida at an event that pairs beautiful white-sand beaches with top smooth jazz entertainment all in an explosive weekend of 20 top artists at a venue you will fall in love with.

Ocean view from a condo in the Calypso Towers in Panama City Beach, Florida

Ocean view from a condo in the Calypso Towers in Panama City Beach, Florida

Seabreeze is more than just music…or a beach vacation. It is a place and time where you can get lost in the music and celebrate the good life: great music and good friends. Now that’s what smooth jazz is all about.

What do you think about the Seabreeze Jazz Festival, the lineup, the venue, Panama City Beach? Please post your comments below. We’d love to hear your feedback!

Check out the April issue of Smooth Jazz News for more information on the 17th Annual Seabreeze Jazz Festival, scheduled for April 22-26, in Panama City Beach, Florida. For tickets and details, visit www.seabreezejazzfestival.com.

Partying with Euge, Peter White & Keiko!

Brunchgoers checking out Smooth Jazz News at Spaghettini in Seal Beach (Photo by David Hopley)

Brunchgoers checking out Smooth Jazz News at Spaghettini in Seal Beach (Photo by David Hopley)

By Melanie Maxwell

What would a Smooth Jazz News anniversary party be without a few genre stars celebrating with us? Thankfully, we didn’t have to find out.

Spaghettini brunchgoers dancing in the lounge during the Smooth Jazz News 15th Anniversary celebration on Feb. 8, 2015 (Photo by David Hopley)

Spaghettini brunchgoers dancing in the lounge during the Smooth Jazz News 15th Anniversary celebration on Feb. 8, 2015 (Photo by David Hopley)

Peter White, Euge Groove and Keiko Matsui joined us on Feb. 8 for the last of two brunch parties commemorating our 15th year of publication. And, DW3 was onstage in the lounge for the festivities at Spaghettini Fine Dining & Entertainment in Seal Beach, California.

Euge Groove and his wife Bane at Spaghettini during Smooth Jazz News' 15th anniversary brunch celebration on Feb. 8, 2015 (Photo by David Hopley)

Euge Groove and his wife Bane at Spaghettini during Smooth Jazz News’ 15th anniversary brunch celebration on Feb. 8, 2015 (Photo by David Hopley)

Between trips to the buffet, these gracious guest artists (who remained a secret until they arrived) enjoyed a day of camaraderie with their peers, mingling with fans and nice bonding moments with festival promoters. Al Williams of Rainbow Promotions (Long Beach Jazz Festival and the upcoming Valentine’s Concert featuring Brian Culbertson & more) attended with his wife Sandy. Evette Benjamin from the City of Gardena was certainly getting her groove on, or maybe she was checking out headliners for the 2015 Gardena Jazz Festival or Food, Wine & Cigar Festival.

Evette Benjamin (right) with her friends Felicia & Yvette at the Smooth Jazz News anniversary celebration on Feb. 8, 2015 (Photo by David Hopley)

Evette Benjamin (right) with her friends Felicia & Yvette at the Smooth Jazz News anniversary celebration on Feb. 8, 2015 (Photo by David Hopley)

Candice Elliot (daughter of Camella and Richard Elliot) represented her musical family, who could not attend due to flight delays. And, legendary radio personality and Catalina Island JazzTrax Festival producer Art Good enjoyed socializing with our group while his friend Keiko was interviewed by Bill Dudley during a live broadcast on 94.7 The WAVE.

Keiko Matsui with Art Good; Keiko during on-air interview with Bill Dudley/94.7 The WAVE (Photo by David Hopley)

Keiko Matsui with Art Good; Keiko during on-air interview with Bill Dudley/94.7 The WAVE (Photo by David Hopley)

And, it didn’t take long before Peter grabbed his guitar and joined DW3 onstage. Soon, Euge was blasting away on his sax, and Eric Mondragon (DW3 keyboardist/vocalist) was relinquishing his seat at the keyboards to Keiko. The jam was on, and, of course, dancing was the audience’s response!

Candice Elliot with her friends Alex Trejo & Rachel Hamer at Smooth Jazz News' 15th anniversary celebration on Feb. 8 (Photo by David Hopley)

Candice Elliot with her friends Alex Trejo & Rachel Hamer at Smooth Jazz News’ 15th anniversary celebration on Feb. 8 (Photo by David Hopley)

Euge Groove, Art Good, Keiko Matsui, Al Williams & Peter White at Spaghettini (Photo by David Hopley)

Euge Groove, Art Good, Keiko Matsui, Al Williams & Peter White at Spaghettini (Photo by David Hopley)

DW3 performing in the lounge at Spaghettini Seal Beach (Photo by David Hopley)

DW3 performing in the lounge at Spaghettini Seal Beach (Photo by David Hopley)

Please check out the photos from this festival event.

Charlotte White, Robin Pao, Keiko Matsui, Art Good, Craig Collier, Peter White, Al Williams & Sandy Williams (Photo by David Hopley)

Charlotte White, Robin Pao, Keiko Matsui, Art Good, Craig Collier, Peter White, Al Williams & Sandy Williams (Photo by David Hopley)

This was such a fun and heart-warming way to celebrate our magazine and the exciting smooth jazz lifestyle. Thank you to everyone who made this occasion so special for us. We’re looking forward to celebrating 16 years in 2016!

Keiko Matsui & Peter White sitting in with DW3 during the Smooth Jazz News 15th anniversary brunch at Spaghettini on Feb. 8, 2015 (Photo by David Hopley)

Keiko Matsui & Peter White sitting in with DW3 during the Smooth Jazz News 15th anniversary brunch at Spaghettini on Feb. 8, 2015 (Photo by David Hopley)

DamonReel, Euge Groove, Art Good, Keiko Matsui, Al Williams, Peter White, Craig Collier, Billy Mondragon & Eric Mondragon outside of Spaghettini Seal Beach (Photo by David Hopley)

DamonReel, Euge Groove, Art Good, Keiko Matsui, Al Williams, Peter White, Craig Collier, Billy Mondragon & Eric Mondragon outside of Spaghettini Seal Beach (Photo by David Hopley)

For more information about Smooth Jazz News, visit www.smoothjazznews.com. To sign up for contests and announcements about concerts, festivals and new CDs, please click here http://smoothjazznews.com/join-our-mailing-list/. For more information on Spaghettini Fine Dining & Entertainment, visit www.spaghettini.com.

Keiko Matsui, Peter White & Euge Groove jammin' with DW3 at Spaghettini (Photo by David Hopley)

Keiko Matsui, Peter White & Euge Groove jammin’ with DW3 at Spaghettini (Photo by David Hopley)

DW3 members Eric Mondragon & DamonReel with a friend in the lounge at Spaghettini (Photo by David Hopley)

DW3 members Eric Mondragon & DamonReel with a friend in the lounge at Spaghettini (Photo by David Hopley)

Peter White with his daughter Charlotte & wife Robin at Spaghettini (Photo by David Hopley)

Peter White with his daughter Charlotte & wife Robin at Spaghettini (Photo by David Hopley)

Terri Normann & Janis St. Marie at Spaghettini Seal Beach during the Smooth Jazz News 15th anniversary brunch party (Photo by David Hopley)

Terri Normann & Janis St. Marie at Spaghettini Seal Beach during the Smooth Jazz News 15th anniversary brunch party (Photo by David Hopley)

Yvette reading the print version of Smooth Jazz News, while Felicia Pennington checks out the new website design on her cell phone & Evette Benjamin uses the interactive options on the blog from her iPad (Photo by David Hopley)

Yvette reading the print version of Smooth Jazz News, while Felicia Pennington checks out the new website design on her iPad & Evette Benjamin uses the interactive options on the blog from her cell phone (Photo by David Hopley)

Peter  White greets Al Williams & his wife Sandy as they arrive at Spaghettini for the Smooth Jazz News 15th anniversary brunch celebration (Photo by David Hopley)

Peter White greets Al Williams & his wife Sandy as they arrive at Spaghettini for the Smooth Jazz News 15th anniversary brunch celebration (Photo by David Hopley)

Peter White & DamonReel performing at Spaghettini Seal Beach (Photo by David Hopley)

Peter White & DamonReel performing at Spaghettini Seal Beach (Photo by David Hopley)

Kris & Pete Glaeser at Spaghettini (Photo by David Hopley)

Kris & Pete Glaeser at Spaghettini (Photo by David Hopley)

Gina Giblin (Smooth Jazz News graphic designer) with her husband Shane, and daughter Siena at Spaghettini on Feb. 8, 2015 (Photo by David Hopley)

Gina Giblin (Smooth Jazz News graphic designer) with her husband Shane, and daughter Siena at Spaghettini on Feb. 8, 2015 (Photo by David Hopley)

Ticket giveaway Tuesday!

Enter to win tickets to see Jonathan Butler & Harvey Mason at the Hyatt Regency Newport Beach Summer Concert Series, Friday, Aug. 22 (www.hyattconcerts.com)

Jonathan Butler will be performing at the Hyatt Regency Newport Beach Summer Concert Series on Friday, Aug. 22

Jonathan Butler is scheduled to perform on Friday, Aug. 22, at the Hyatt Regency Newport Beach Summer Concert Series

Congratulations to Pamela Bates of Los Angeles, CA, she won a pair of tickets to see Jonathan Butler & Harvey Mason at the Hyatt Regency Newport Beach Summer Concert Series on Friday, Aug. 22! Visit www.hyattconcerts.com for show details.

or

The Gardena Jazz Festival featuring Dave Koz & Friends “Summer Horns” with Mindi Abair, Gerald Albright & Richard Elliot, as well as Euge Groove, Brian Simpson & more, Sunday, Aug. 24 (www.gardenajazzfestival.com)!

Dave Koz & Friends Summer Horns with Mindi Abair, Gerald Albright and Richard Elliot will be performing at the Gardena Jazz Festival on Sunday, Aug. 24

Dave Koz & Friends Summer Horns with Mindi Abair, Gerald Albright and Richard Elliot will be performing at the Gardena Jazz Festival on Sunday, Aug. 24

Euge Groove is scheduled to perform at the Gardena Jazz Festival on Sunday, Aug. 24

Euge Groove is scheduled to perform at the Gardena Jazz Festival on Sunday, Aug. 24

We’ll choose first from those who have commented on blog post http://smoothjazznews.com/blog/?p=458, then from entrants of our Win Free Cool Stuff contest, www.smoothjazznews.com/freestuff.php. Good luck!

Congratulations to Lois Bush of Gold River, CA. She won a pair of tickets to the Gardena Jazz Festival, Aug. 24! Dave Koz & Friends “Summer Horns” with Mindi Abair, Gerald Albright & Richard Elliot, along with Euge Groove, Brian Simpson & more are scheduled to perform! Visit www.gardenajazzfestival.com for festival details.