Tag Archives: Peter White

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)

 

Smooth jazz in a magnificent resort setting

The Westin Mission Hills Golf Resort & Spa Announces Spring 2017 Performances for “Grooves at The Westin” Jazz Concert Series

The Westin Mission Hills Golf Resort & Spa in Rancho Mirage, California

RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. – January 20, 2017 – The Westin Mission Hills Golf Resort & Spa announces the line-up of the next four concerts with world-class musicians performing in the beautiful outdoor resort setting of the Masters Plaza, weather permitting. Prices vary for seating options from $45 to $99, but all seats offer exceptional views.

The concert schedule is as follows:

Greg Adams & East Bay Soul

Saturday, February 18, 7 p.m. – Greg Adams and East Bay Soul, LA Collective featuring Adam Hawley and Greg Manning with special guest Eric Darius

Eric Darius (photo by Jeff Sciortino)

Greg Adams and East Bay Soul will move you with a performance that keeps the funk alive.  A combination of instrumental funk, soul jazz and rhythm and blues vocals, East Bay Soul creates a union that is nothing short of musical wizardry. Opening the show is the high-energy performance of LA Collective featuring Adam Hawley and Greg Manning with chart-topping saxophonist Eric Darius.

The sound of Greg Adams and East Bay Soul is one of the world’s best-known musical signatures, with a musical journey that has spanned more than four decades.  Adams is a founding member of Tower Of Power, legendary for the arrangements that made the TOP horn section a sought out entity all its own. Greg Adams is the driving force behind East Bay Soul. The expansive ensemble is a blend of Funk Jazz, R&B and Soul. East Bay Soul with a most soulful ensemble creates a union that has been nothing short of musical wizardry. Their extraordinary combined talents all bring incredible energy to the music with heart and soul.  East Bay Soul is dedicated to a singular vision of bringing their brand of funk and the magic of their live performance into every note they play.

Los Angeles Collective, LA Collective for short, is a group of five producers/ musicians/ engineers/ artists/ songwriters who collectively create a variety of versatile styles of music such as Rock, Funk, Dance, Disco, Ska, Punk, Hip-Hop, Reggae, Metal, Country, Folk, R&B, Blues, Electro, Pop, Jazz, Samba, Bossa Nova, Cumbia, Tropical, Merengue, Punta, Indy, etc. Their high-energy performances have been delighting audiences since 2011. Joining them is chart-topping recording artist, Eric Darius. A contemporary jazz saxophonist and composer, Darius’s music has been described as a combination of jazz, R&B, hip-hop and pop.

Tickets for the February 18th show can be purchased at https://www.tix.com/Event.aspx?EventCode=932272

Mindi Abair

Saturday, March 4, 7 p.m. – Mindi Abair

The smooth Lady of Saxophone comes to the Westin for the first time. In a career that spans seven solo albums and countless collaborations in the studio and live on stage, Mindi Abair has made her mark as one of the most recognizable saxophonists in the United States. She has appeared on stage with Bruce Springsteen for a historic night at the Beacon Theater, performed with Paul Shaffer and the CBS Orchestra on the “Late Show with David Letterman,” and is the only saxophonist to tour with rock legend Aerosmith since 1973. She has earned the respect of top-shelf artists representing just about every genre of music. Abair’s solo work has garnered ten #1 radio hits, six top-five spots and two #1 spots on the Billboard Contemporary Jazz album chart. Abair received a 2014 GRAMMY nomination in the Best Pop Instrumental Album category for Summer Horns, a #1 recording with her friends Dave Koz, Gerald Albright and Richard Elliot, and more recently she received a 2015 GRAMMY nomination for Best Contemporary Instrumental Album for her solo CD “Wild Heart.”

Tickets for the March 4th show can be purchased at http://www.tix.com/Event.aspx?EventCode=939392

Rick Braun

Saturday, March 18, 7 p.m. Rick Braun and special guest Josh Vietti

Rick Braun is a smooth jazz trumpet player, multi-instrumentalist and producer known for his gregarious and charismatic performances. However, the humble trumpeter-flugelhorn player-vocalist Braun is “grateful to still be making music with friends.” Braun is a consistent chart-topper who has amassed a catalogue of No. 1 Billboard Contemporary Jazz chart and radio hits throughout his solo career that began in earnest in 1992. A two-time winner of the Gavin Report’s Smooth Jazz Artist of the Year award, Braun excels playing any style and genre of music, and his style on the trumpet is unrivaled. In addition to his solo career, Braun also plays in the band BWB, with saxophonist Kirk Whalum and guitarist Norman Brown. In 2005, he and saxophonist Richard Elliot co-founded ARTizen Music Group.

True to his reputation, Rick Braun brings a smooth, mellow and heartfelt performance to Grooves at The Westin. Rick Braun’s inimitable style of jazz trumpet delivers an experience straight to the soul. Joining him is Josh Vietti, Grammy-nominated hip-hop/pop violinist from southern California who incorporates pop, classical, country, gospel and jazz into his performances.

Tickets for the March 18th show can be purchased at http://www.tix.com/Event.aspx?EventCode=932275

Peter White

Saturday, April 1, 2017, 7 p.m. – Peter White with All-Star band featuring Michael Paulo

Undoubtedly one of the most popular figures in smooth jazz and a jazz fusion guitarist and songwriter, Peter White is a veteran on the scene. Over the years, Peter White has maintained a reputation as one of the most versatile and prolific acoustic guitarists on the contemporary jazz landscape. Armed with an unparalleled combination of lyricism and energy, he combines elements of jazz, pop and classical guitar to create a sound that is singular and at the same time accessible to a broad audience. He is known for his 20-year collaboration with Al Stewart. In addition, his songs “Midnight in Manhattan”, recorded by Grover Washington, Jr. (1998), and “Bright” (2009) have each reached number one on the Billboard Jazz Songs chart.

Back by popular demand White brings his endearing style and immense talent on acoustic guitar back to Grooves at The Westin, where he will be performing songs from his 15th solo release “Groovin” and will be joined by saxophonist Michael Paulo and keyboardist Gregg Karukas.

Tickets for the April 1st show can be purchased at http://www.tix.com/Event.aspx?EventCode=932276

Post sponsored by The Westin Mission Hills Golf Resort & Spa, 71333 Dinah Shore Dr., Rancho Mirage, California. (760) 328-5955

25 years of Dave Koz!

Dave Koz enjoying a cigar with his friend, TV writer, producer and director Norman Lear

Dave Koz enjoying a cigar with his friend, TV writer, producer and director Norman Lear

There were too many quotes and too little print space to include all of them in our Dave Koz feature story in Smooth Jazz News this month. In celebration of his 25th anniversary as a recording artist, here are the quotes from the beloved saxophonist’s friends and family in their entirety, and a few that weren’t printed in the current issue. Please enjoy reading them and perusing vintage Dave Koz photos, and feel free to add your own quote or comment on this post.

Hats off! Well done! Say all…

Dave Koz, alongside Barry Manilow and Christopher Gardner, receiving his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame (photo by Pat Benter)

Dave Koz, alongside Barry Manilow and Christopher Gardner, receiving his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame (photo by Pat Benter)

“Congratulations Dave on 25 great musical years! Dave Koz is one of our great musicians, a great human being and a true friend. Love you, Dave!” –– Barry Manilow

Dave Koz and his family dining at Spaghettini & the Dave Koz Lounge in Beverly Hills, California

Dave Koz and his family dining at Spaghettini & the Dave Koz Lounge in Beverly Hills, California

“Uncle Dave made us feel so special. He used to make it a point to play a private concert for my elementary school classes and let me sit on the stage. It was never a question of being too busy for his family.

We would go to his concerts and dance for the finale or get a shout-out from the stage. Being able to really see his world of music made us fall in love with jazz.” –– Taylor Wilson, Dave Koz’s 23-year-old niece (and daughter of Dave’s sister, Roberta Koz Wilson)

Dave Koz mountain biking in Marin County, California

Dave Koz mountain biking in Marin County, California

“When you have an uncle who has exemplified what it means to be truly present, that’s something. What a special treat it’s been to be Dave’s niece. Congratulations to a man who has given all of himself to his craft and those he surrounds himself with. He deserves so much to be appreciated-I know I certainly appreciate him!” –– Jenna Wilson, Dave Koz’s 20-year-old niece (and daughter of Dave’s sister, Roberta Koz Wilson)

Dave Koz and his prom date, Lisa

Dave Koz and his prom date, Lisa

“Dave is unlike any person I’ve ever met. He is always kind, very generous and considerate, always smiling and VERY funny…I love Dave!

I’m inspired by his consistent positive outlook on life. And, not to mention what a fantastic musician he is! I look up to him a great amount. I remember when Isabella and me had a sleepover with Dave when we were maybe about 8 and 11, and we went on the roof to swim in his COLOR-CHANGING Jacuzzi (we were fascinated by this), which sat atop a luxurious bed of plastic grass. We finished off the night by watching ‘Tootsie.’ It was a very sweet night:). There is a very special place in my heart for Dave!

P.S. Oh and btw, yes, being a fantastic musician DOES run in the family; just a little self-promo here: check out my band aquacult on SoundCloud, soundcloud.com/aquacult, Instagram @aquacultband and Facebook aquacult ;))))))” –– Jordan Koz, Dave’s 16-year-old niece (and daughter of Dave’s brother, Jeff Koz)

Dave Koz performing with (the late) Jeff Golub, Kirk Whalum & Marcus Miller at the Hyatt Regency Newport Beach Jazz Festival

Dave Koz performing with (the late) Jeff Golub, Kirk Whalum & Marcus Miller at the Hyatt Regency Newport Beach Jazz Festival

“Dave is such a special part of my life, and though I don’t get to see him much, when I do it is so special and I always have an amazing time. One of my favorite memories with him was the first time I saw him perform. I was so proud of him, and excited about his success! I’m so so proud of him every day, and I’m so lucky to have him in my life. Love you Dave!” –– Isabella Koz, Dave’s 13-year-old niece (and daughter of Dave’s brother, Jeff Koz)

 

Dave Koz, Wink Martindale and Christopher Gardner greet VIPs at AARP's Life@50+ Expo in Los Angeles (photo by David Hopley)

Dave Koz, Wink Martindale and Christopher Gardner greet VIPs at AARP’s Life@50+ Expo in Los Angeles (photo by David Hopley)

“Dave’s my brother from another mother. That dude is something. As a young guy, my first ambition in life was to be a Miles Davis. I played trumpet for nine years. But, then you get to see someone like Dave who has the talent, and has taken it to the top for 25 years.

I just got back from Tokyo, and they were playing ‘Honey Dipped’ in the airport!

My favorite Dave Koz moment was last year when I saw him on tour with Barry Manilow. Dave was moving all around, doing his thing with the tenor saxophone. Then he dunks it, the strap broke, it bounced back in his hands and he kept playing. He had to send that saxophone to ICU, but he kept playing.” –– Christopher Gardner, New York Times best-selling author (“The Pursuit of Happyness,” “Start Where You Are: Life Lessons in Getting from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be”), international speaker and co-producer of the Maya Angelou documentary film in production

 

“Dave should be an ambassador. In fact, he already is an ambassador to the music industry in many peoples’ eyes. Not only is he one of the nicest guys in the business, he’s also one of the most persuasive. Whenever Dave calls, it’s hard to say no. After many years of doing the Dave Koz and Friends Christmas tour, followed up by my own Christmas tour for the next few years, Dave called me to reunite with him and the original members of his holiday tour. This meant that I would have to give up my own Christmas tour for that year. But, I found myself saying, ‘Sure, Dave, I would love to do that,’ without even thinking about it. You just cannot say no to Dave!

He’s a hell of a guy, and I’m proud to have been associated with him over all these years. By the time this goes to press we will have played some shows together in London. One thing that I love to do to Dave onstage in the U.K. is to tease him about not knowing British music. I challenged him with this last year when we were appearing together in London, and he immediately countered by playing ‘Got to Get You into My Life,’ a song he recorded on his Summer Horns album, but written by Lennon/McCartney and originally recorded by The Beatles. Okay, Dave, you got me there.

Congrats on a great career in music! I’ll see you soon!” –– Peter White, guitarist (who is also celebrating 25 years as a solo recording artist)

Cary Hardwick, Dave Koz & Laurie Sisneros giving a Greek cooking demo at Spaghettini in Seal Beach, California (photo by David Hopley)

Cary Hardwick, Dave Koz & Laurie Sisneros giving a Greek cooking demo at Spaghettini in Seal Beach, California (photo by David Hopley)

“There’s a reason Dave Koz has had such a long successful career. He’s a great player and artist, but he’s an even better human being. I remember the first year I played the San Diego Gaslamp festival with my band. It was my birthday, and Dave walked out on stage with a huge bouquet of flowers and played “Happy Birthday” to me. He shows everyone around him so much love. It has to come back to him.

Congratulations, Dave, on 25 amazing years. You’re an inspiration.” –– Mindi Abair, GRAMMY-nominated saxophonist

Mindi Abair & Dave Koz performing at the 2012 KSBR Birthday Bash (Photo by David Hopley)

Mindi Abair & Dave Koz performing at the 2012 KSBR Birthday Bash (Photo by David Hopley)

“Working with Dave on Summer Horns was one of the most wonderful collaborative projects I’ve ever been involved with. Dave and I have known and worked with each other for decades, but this was a truly special endeavor both musically and personally. We all brought our diverse individual passions to the tour. Mine is food. I think I drove Dave and the rest of the gang crazy by pointing out my favorite food hang at every stop. ‘Hey! This town has great BBQ” or “Hey, lets stop at this great Thai place down the street!’

The fact is, we ate together, traveled together, laughed together and made music together. The bottom line is that aside from being a great musician and a great performer, Dave is a great friend, and I cherish that friendship very much.

Congrats Buddy!” –– Richard Elliot, GRAMMY-nominated saxophonist

Dave Koz jammin' with actor John Stamos, Peter White and Gregg Karukas at Spaghettini in Seal Beach, California (photo by David Hopley)

Dave Koz jammin’ with actor John Stamos, Peter White and Gregg Karukas at Spaghettini in Seal Beach, California (photo by David Hopley)

“I just finished touring with Dave and Kenny Lattimore this summer, so I have way too many great memories to share. But if I had to narrow it down, I would say this: Dave is family! I love him as I love my own brother, and we have been there for each other many, many times.

This past summer I really enjoyed every single moment. Many nights I caught myself smiling during our shows, just enjoying the company of a true friend, and being fortunate enough to share the stage with him. I think we were both in a great place, ready to just appreciate the joy of this amazing life we have been given and being able to share it!

Dave is incredibly thoughtful, kind and extremely talented. I have learned a lot from him over the years, and I am looking forward to many, many more memories to be made together in the years to come!

I am so thrilled that Dave was crazy enough to ask me to produce a track for his 25th Anniversary CD ‘Collaborations,’ and humbled that ‘Higher and Higher’ was chosen as the first single from the project.

Here’s wishing you 25 more glorious years, Dave! Love you my brother.” –– Rick Braun, GRAMMY-nominated trumpeter

“I have known Dave Koz for almost 20 years. As meticulous as he is about making music, he is even more so regarding his generosity and compassion to those close to him. It’s an honor to congratulate my dear brother for a quarter century in this business, but even more of an honor to call him my friend.” –– Brian Simpson, keyboardist and Dave Koz Christmas tour co-musical director

 

Candy Dulfer, Dave Koz and Jonathan Butler during a Dave Koz Christmas tour with Randy Jacobs in background (photo by Wesley Kridle)

Candy Dulfer, Dave Koz and Jonathan Butler during a Dave Koz Christmas tour with Randy Jacobs in background (photo by Wesley Kridle)

“My first contact with Dave was in 1996 when he called to ask me to join his band. I had been doing sessions for his brother Jeff, and I had just signed my band, the Boneshakers, to Virgin, so I couldn’t commit. I was re-introduced to Dave in 2003 by [bassist] André Berry at a festival in San Diego, and I later joined him onstage on one of the first cruises (a testing of the waters so to speak for his own upcoming cruise).

In 2006, I was asked to sub for Dave’s longtime guitarist, Tony Maiden, for a show, and then again on Dave’s official cruise. In 2007, Tony rejoined his former band Rufus, and that’s when I got the call from Dave’s then musical director, Brian Simpson, to officially join the band. Eight years later I am still doing it but, as musical director. I will be sharing my musical director duties with Brian on Dave’s Christmas tour this year. He was Dave’s MD for a decade, and came back last year, and so we do it together which feels right and makes it fun. He’s a total pro.

I have a few special memories with Dave, but the one that sticks out happened recently when we went to New York for the UN [United Nations] Summit post-party to play as opener per se for the President. Not only did we get to play and have a great time but I also got to meet and shake hands with President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama. How cool is that?” –– Randy Jacobs, guitarist and Dave Koz Christmas tour co-musical director

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By Melanie Maxwell

To read the entire story online, or to subscribe to Smooth Jazz News, visit www.smoothjazznews.com.

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

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)

Dave Koz & his friends celebrate the season at Spaghettini Beverly Hills

Dave Koz  (photo by Bryan Sheffield)

Dave Koz
(photo by Bryan Sheffield)

By Melanie Maxwell

We haven’t sat down yet for the big Thanksgiving spread, but after last night I certainly have “visions of sugarplums dancing in my head.”

Rather than St. Nick shouting “Now Dasher! Now, Dancer! Now Prancer and Vixen! On Comet! On, Cupid! On Donner and Blitzen! Dave Koz dragged a sleigh-full of celebrities to Spaghettini & the Dave Koz Lounge in Beverly Hills on Sunday, Nov. 23.

In addition to showing off the new restaurant before its official opening on Dec. 10, Dave was kicking off his 17th Annual Dave Koz & Friends Christmas tour and the release of his latest CD, The 25th of December.

Dave Koz & Friends "The 25th Day of December" CD

Dave Koz & Friends “The 25th Day of December” CD

And, guess who was there? Johnny Mathis!

Dave Koz & Johnny Mathis performing at Spaghettini & the Dave Koz Lounge in Beverly Hills (Photo by Ambrosevents.com/Ellis Moore)

Dave Koz & Johnny Mathis performing at Spaghettini & the Dave Koz Lounge in Beverly Hills (Photo by Ambrosevents.com/Ellis Moore)

“It’s not Christmas until you hear Johnny Mathis sing,” said Dave as Mr. Mathis maneuvered his way through a standing-room only crowd of close friends, family, artists, industry insiders, Concord Records executives, guests of 94.7 The WAVE, and Dave’s Spaghettini partners Laurie Sisneros, Cary Hardwick and Glen and Debbie Bickerstaff.

When Johnny stepped onstage, that’s when the magic happened. Still smooth at 78, Mr. Mathis began singing the fond, memory-invoking lyrics of “It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year.” And, the band featuring Randy Jacobs, Brian Simpson, Nathaniel Kearney Jr. and Jay Williams didn’t miss one note as they accompanied the living legend. Plus, these musicians had already performed three Christmas songs with Dave, as well as Maysa, Jonathan Butler and Eric Benét.

This moment even warmed the hearts of seasoned performers such as Peter White, Rick Braun and Mindi Abair (who embark on A Peter White Christmas tour this week), David Benoit (who also performs his Christmas Tribute to Charlie Brown beginning Nov. 29 in Brea, CA) and Kenny Lattimore.

As soon as I receive the photos from Ellis Moore and Ambrose, I will share them with you here. So, please check back.

You can read more about the Dave Koz & Friends Christmas tour in the December-January issue of Smooth Jazz News, which will be available on Dec. 1, www.smoothjazznews.com. For more information about Dave Koz,  including his upcoming tour dates, visit www.davekoz.com.

 

When is the Smooth Jazz News Anniversary Party?

Smooth Jazz News' 15th anniversary parties are scheduled for Jan. 25 & Feb. 8, 2015, at Spaghettini in Seal Beach!

Smooth Jazz News’ 15th anniversary parties are scheduled for Jan. 25 & Feb. 8, 2015, at Spaghettini in Seal Beach!

By Melanie Maxwell

When and where will be celebrating Smooth Jazz News‘ 15th anniversary?

We’re having two brunch parties at Spaghettini Fine Dining & Entertainment in Seal Beach, California; Sunday, Jan. 25, and Feb. 8!

Camella & Richard Elliot enjoying the 2014 SJN anniversary brunch at Spaghettini in Seal Beach, CA (Photo by Pat Benter)

Camella & Richard Elliot enjoying the 2014 Smooth Jazz News anniversary brunch at Spaghettini in Seal Beach, CA (Photo by Pat Benter)

We originally hosted small gatherings in one of the private banquet rooms at Spaghettini as a “thank you” to our advertisers, which also included a few artists.

Craig Collier & Sonia Patton enjoying serenade by Phil Perry & Ray Fuller at the 2014 Smooth Jazz News anniversary brunch at Spaghettini in Seal Beach, California (photo by David Hopley)

Craig Collier & Sonia Patton enjoying serenade by Phil Perry & Ray Fuller at the 2004 Smooth Jazz News anniversary brunch at Spaghettini in Seal Beach, California (photo by David Hopley)

As our business grew, so did our guest list for these annual parties that we used to have in December. We then changed the date to January, and reserved a section of the lounge, where the band (usually DW3) performs. And, our musical guests would sit in with the band.

Because 94.7 The WAVE broadcasts live during brunch, they would announce each surprise guest as they arrived. This attracted huge crowds of jazz fans. Our anniversary celebrations became so popular that we had to hold two separate events to accommodate all of our advertisers. It also gave the general public more opportunity to make individual reservations to enjoy Spaghettini’s legendary brunch and surprise performances by some of their favorite artists. And, we are thrilled that we can share these milestones with our readers.

Because these brunches have sold out in recent years, advance reservations are strongly suggested.

And, although we know where and when, we don’t know who our special musical guests making surprise appearances with DW3. That will be a secret until the day of the event. But, here are some photos of this year’s 14th anniversary celebration.

Mindi Abair & Peter White celebrating Smooth Jazz News' 14th anniversary at Spaghettini in February 2014 (Photo by Pat Benter)

Mindi Abair & Peter White celebrating Smooth Jazz News‘ 14th anniversary at Spaghettini in February 2014 (Photo by Pat Benter)

Rick Braun & Dave Koz sitting in with DW3 at the SJN anniversary brunch at Spaghettini (Photo by Pat Benter)

Rick Braun & Dave Koz sitting in with DW3 at the Smooth Jazz News anniversary brunch at Spaghettini (Photo by Pat Benter)

Christiane, Emma & Rick Braun at Spaghettini in Seal Beach for SJN's 14th anniversary celebration in February 2014 (Photo by Pat Benter)

Christiane, Emma & Rick Braun at Spaghettini in Seal Beach for Smooth Jazz News‘ 14th anniversary celebration in February 2014 (Photo by Pat Benter)

Mindi Abair sitting in with DW3 at the Smooth Jazz News 14th anniversary brunch in February 2014

Mindi Abair sitting in with DW3 at the Smooth Jazz News 14th anniversary brunch in February 2014 (Photo by Pat Benter)

Rick & Emma Braun at the SJN brunch party at Spaghettini in Seal Beach, CA (Photo by Pat Benter)

Rick & Emma Braun at the Smooth Jazz News brunch party at Spaghettini in Seal Beach, CA (Photo by Pat Benter)

Spaghettini is located at 3005 Old Ranch Pkwy., Seal Beach, California. To make reservations, call 562-596-2199 or visit www.spaghettinisb.com. For more information, check out Smooth Jazz News in print or online, www.smoothjazznews.com.

Catalina Casino Ballroom is the SJN cover background

Tiffany chandeliers light up the Catalina Casino Ballroom during the JazzTrax Festival (photo by Pat Benter)

Tiffany chandeliers light up the Catalina Casino Ballroom during the JazzTrax Festival (photo by Pat Benter)

The Catalina Island JazzTrax Festivals provides the perfect mix of elegance, the serenity of nature’s awesome beauty and the magic of music in a seaside island cove.

Each of the two festival weekends kick off with a Thursday night “Unplugged Under the Stars” concert on the sand at Descanso Beach. The main festival is held inside this historic Catalina Casino Ballroom, Friday-Sunday.

Built in 1929, the circular, 12-story high Casino perched at the edge of Avalon Bay is Catalina Island’s most recognizable landmark. However, the Casino is not a gambling facility. The name was derived from the Italian word meaning “a gathering place.” The building houses a movie theatre, museum and the elegant ballroom, which played host to dozens of big bands in the 1930s and ’40s.

Artistic lighting in the Casino Ballroom during the Catalina Island JazzTrax Festival (photos by Pat Benter)

Artistic lighting in the Casino Ballroom during the Catalina Island JazzTrax Festival (photos by Pat Benter)

The recently restored ballroom retains its original exquisite style: a lavish medley of rose-hued walls, art deco decor, an arching 50-foot ceiling with five Tiffany chandeliers, an elevated stage and a vintage, full-service bar. The outdoor balcony encircles the ballroom and overlooks Avalon Bay and Descanso Beach.

Crowd enjoying the afternoon concert at the Catalina Island JazzTrax Festival (photo by Pat Benter)

Crowd enjoying the afternoon concert at the Catalina Island JazzTrax Festival (photo by Pat Benter)

The final weekend of the 28th Annual Catalina Island JazzTrax Festival is happening Thursday-Sunday. Here is the lineup:

Thursday, Oct. 16: Peter White (Unplugged Under the Stars at Descanso Beach), 7:30 p.m.

Friday, Oct. 17: The Jennifer Keith Quintet, 7 p.m.; Generation Next featuring Nicholas Cole, Lin Rountree and Lebron, 9 p.m.

Saturday, Oct. 18: Vincent Ingala, noon; Dirty Dozen Brass Band, 2 p.m.; Josh Vietti, 7 p.m.; David Sanborn, 9 p.m. After-party at Descanso Beach featuring DJ Jonathan Phillips, 10:45 p.m. (free admission)

Sunday, Oct. 19: DOTSERO, noon; Warren Hill, 2 p.m.; Greg Manning, 7 p.m.; Dave Koz, 9 p.m.

During intermission, festivalgoers often perch themselves on the balcony and admire boaters basking in the bay, scuba divers suiting up for spectacular underwater experiences, snorkelers flapping their fins through the waters’ surface and tourists taking it all in from the ground.

Fans enjoying intermission on the balcony during the Catalina Island JazzTrax Festival (photo by Pat Benter)

Fans enjoying intermission on the balcony during the Catalina Island JazzTrax Festival (photo by Pat Benter)

In addition to the Catalina Island JazzTrax Festival, the Casino Ballroom is available for private functions, weddings and special events.

For more information about the 28th Annual Catalina Island JazzTrax Festival, check out the current issue of Smooth Jazz News, or visit www.jazztrax.com.

Casino Ballroom during evening show at the Catalina Island JazzTrax Festival (photo by Pat Benter)

Casino Ballroom during evening show at the Catalina Island JazzTrax Festival (photo by Pat Benter)

The colors of lighting changes throughout the shows. Here is another view of the beautiful Tiffany chandeliers. (photo by Pat Benter)

The colors of lighting changes throughout the shows. Here is another view of the beautiful Tiffany chandeliers. (photo by Pat Benter)

Choose your “Wild” life at the Catalina Island JazzTrax Festival!

Avalon Harbor at dusk on Catalina Island

Avalon Harbor at dusk on Catalina Island

By Melanie Maxwell

Of course, there is live music in the Casino Ballroom at the Catalina Island JazzTrax Festival, Friday through Sunday.

There are also Thursday night “Unplugged” concerts at Descanso Beach (Oct. 9: saxophonist Mindi Abair; Oct. 16: British guitarist Peter White), with seating on the sand, in lawn chairs or at a private cabana.

DJ Jonathan Phillps spinning old-school dance tunes during the JazzTrax After-Party at Descanso

DJ Jonathan Phillps spinning old-school dance tunes during the JazzTrax After-Party at Descanso (photo by Pat Benter)

Then, a few minutes before the 11 o’clock hour on Saturday night things get really wild. That’s when the After-Parties at Descanso Beach start.

Festivalgoers dancing to the sounds of DJ Jonathan Phillips at the Saturday night After-Party on Descanso Beach (Photos by Pat Benter)

Festivalgoers dancing to the sounds of DJ Jonathan Phillips at the Saturday night After-Party on Descanso Beach (Photos by Pat Benter)

You can choose dancing to old-school R&B spun by DJ Jonathan Phillips alongside your fellow reveling festivalgoers until the bartenders yell, “Last call for alcohol!” Or, you can claim a seat around the fire pit a few feet from the serene sea. In either case, food can be ordered and cocktails poured and blended at the outdoor bar and restaurant under the evening sky.

Ladies having a great time at the JazzTrax After-Party (Photos by Pat Benter)

Ladies having a great time at the JazzTrax After-Party (Photos by Pat Benter)

Most likely, you’ll also encounter some of the local wildlife, mule deer, which often ramble around the beachside bash.

Friendly deer hanging out with festivalgoers at Descanso Beach (photo by Pat Benter)

Friendly deer hanging out with festivalgoers at Descanso Beach (photo by Pat Benter)

Which “wild” life do you prefer? Please post your comments. We’d love to hear from you!

Deer munching on a midnight snack, the landscape in front of the Casino (photo by Pat Benter)

Deer munching on a midnight snack, the landscape in front of the Casino (photo by Pat Benter)

The 28th Annual Catalina Island JazzTrax Festival is scheduled for Oct. 9-12 and Oct. 16-19.  You can read about it in the current issue of Smooth Jazz News (which is also posted online at www.smoothjazznews.com), which includes our Annual Catalina Island Visitors Guide. That’s where you can find details on how to get there, where to stay, dine, shop, play and plan a spa day!

For festival tickets and additional information, visit www.jazztrax.com.

Peter White celebrates 60th birthday at British pub!

 

Peter White at his 60th Birthday Party at the Robin Hood Pub in Sherman Oaks, California (photo by David Hopley)

Peter White at his 60th Birthday Party at the Robin Hood Pub in Sherman Oaks, California (photo by David Hopley)

Dave Koz, Mindi Abair, Warren Hill, Chris Standring, Michael Paulo, Vincent Ingala and a bunch of musicians and other friends celebrated Peter White’s 60th birthday with a Sunday brunch on Sept. 21.

Peter White's 60th birthday party at the Robin Hood British Pub in Sherman Oaks, California (Photo by David Hopley)

Peter White’s 60th birthday party at the Robin Hood British Pub in Sherman Oaks, California (Photo by David Hopley)

Peter chose one of his favorite haunts, the Robin Hood British Pub & Restaurant in Sherman Oaks, California, for the venue. He also selected the menu, a traditional English breakfast buffet with bangers (over-sized sausages), home-fried potatoes, bacon, scrambled eggs, fish and chips, fried tomatoes, beans and peas. But, the party planning and decorating were handled by a group of his friends.

Mindi Abair (center) with her boyfriend Eric Guerra (left) serving up an English breakfast the buffett while Andre Berry (right) looks on (Photo by David Hopley)

Mindi Abair (center) with her boyfriend Eric Guerra (left) serving up an English breakfast the buffett while Andre Berry (right) looks on (Photo by David Hopley)

Charlotte White, Peter and Robin's daughter (photo by David Hopley)

Charlotte White, Peter and Robin’s daughter (photo by David Hopley)

It was an intimate affair that included White’s wife Robin Pao and their daughter Charlotte. Rick Braun, who will be joining Peter and Mindi on A Peter White Christmas tour, couldn’t make it because he was performing back East. But, his wife Christiane, and their children Emma and Kyle represented Rick at this festive occasion.

Christiane Braun, Luis Del Arroz, Peter White & Emma Braun (photo by David Hopley)

Christiane Braun, Luis Del Arroz, Peter White & Emma Braun (photo by David Hopley)

“Usually, we all see each other at shows or music industry events, but last Sunday I loved that we all got together where none of us were working so we could all just relax and catch up,” Peter said.

I don’t know if there was much relaxing, but there certainly was a lot of catching up and goofing around. A photo booth quickly filled up with quests in quirky poses, wearing funny hats, viking helmets, tiaras, satin crowns, over-sized glasses and holding up signs with sayings such as “princess,” “hot” and “someone alert the paparazzi.”

John Mahon (left), Peter White (center), John Menzano (right) & friends at photo booth (photo by David Hopley)

John Mahon (left), Peter White (center), John Menzano (right) & friends at photo booth (photo by David Hopley)

Peter White with Dave Koz, John Menzano, John Mahon, Charlotte White, Kyle Braun & friends in photo booth (photo by David Hopley)

Peter White with Dave Koz, John Menzano, John Mahon, Charlotte White, Kyle Braun & friends in photo booth (photo by David Hopley)

I’ll be writing more about this lively event in the October-November issue of Smooth Jazz News, which features the birthday boy on the cover! Meanwhile, here are some photos from this wonderful celebration (all taken by David Hopley):

Peter White (center) with his friends from Seattle, Chrissy & Eric Yamada (photo by David Hopley)

Peter White (center) with his friends from Seattle, Chrissy & Eric Yamada (photo by David Hopley)

Michael & Teri Paulo with friends at the photo booth (photo by David Hopley)

Michael & Teri Paulo with friends at the photo booth (photo by David Hopley)

Olivia Rox (Warren Hill's daughter), Charlotte White & Emma Braun (photo by David Hopley)

Olivia Rox (Warren Hill’s daughter), Charlotte White & Emma Braun (photo by David Hopley)

Olivia Rox with her parents, Warren & Tamara Hill at the photo booth (photo by David Hopley)

Olivia Rox with her parents, Warren & Tamara Hill at the photo booth (photo by David Hopley)

Eric Guerra, Peter White & Mindi Abair (photo by David Hopley)

Eric Guerra, Peter White & Mindi Abair (photo by David Hopley)

Bud Harner (Chapman & Co. Management) signing Peter White's birthday card (photo by David Hopley)

Bud Harner (Chapman & Co. Management) signing Peter White’s birthday card (photo by David Hopley)

Peter White getting ready to blow out candles on his guitar-shaped birthday cake (photo by David Hopley)

Peter White getting ready to blow out candles on his guitar-shaped birthday cake (photo by David Hopley)

Peter White & Jacqui Brown (Paul Brown's wife) posing for photos while Peter's wife Robin Pao (left) enjoys the fun (photo by David Hopley)

Peter White & Jacqui Brown (Paul Brown’s wife) posing for photos while Peter’s wife Robin Pao (left) enjoys the fun (photo by David Hopley)

Brian Simpson, Dave Koz & "Third" Richardson (photo by David Hopley)

Brian Simpson, Dave Koz & “Third” Richardson (photo by David Hopley)

Warren Hill & Michael Paulo (photo by David Hopley)

Warren Hill & Michael Paulo (photo by David Hopley)

"Third" Richardson, Vincent Ingala & Pat Prescott at Peter White's 60th birthday party (photo by David Hopley)

“Third” Richardson, Vincent Ingala & Pat Prescott at Peter White’s 60th birthday party (photo by David Hopley)

John Mahon (who played drums with Peter live and on his first three CDs, and who now has been percussionist & backing vocals for Elton John for the past 18 years) and Chris Standring (photo by David Hopley)

John Mahon (who played drums with Peter live and on his first three CDs, and who now has been percussionist & backing vocals for Elton John for the past 18 years) and Chris Standring (photo by David Hopley)

Stevo Theard & Jamey Tate (photo by David Hopley)

Stevo Theard & Jamey Tate (photo by David Hopley)

A dessert bar filled with candy! (photo by David Hopley)

A dessert bar filled with candy! (photo by David Hopley)

Guitar-shaped birthday cake (photo by David Hopley)

Guitar-shaped birthday cake (photo by David Hopley)

Peter White with his birthday cake candles (Photo by David Hopley)

Peter White with his birthday cake candles (Photo by David Hopley)

One of two birthday cakes (photo by David Hopley)

One of two birthday cakes (photo by David Hopley)

Peter White, Sherry Fisher & John Barnick (photo by David Hopley)

Peter White, Sherry Fisher & John Barnick (photo by David Hopley)

English breakfast buffet at Robin Hood Pub (photo by David Hopley)

English breakfast buffet at Robin Hood Pub (photo by David Hopley)

Robin Hood British Pub & Restaurant in Sherman Oaks, California (photo by David Hopley)

Robin Hood British Pub & Restaurant in Sherman Oaks, California (photo by David Hopley)