Tag Archives: Rainbow Promotions

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)