Tag Archives: Keiko Matsui

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)

 

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)