Sunday, July 27, 2008

Report from ... Hillebrand Jazz at the Winery – July 12, 2008

What started out as a beautiful, hot summer day, turned into a downpour and then back to a beautiful, hot summer day over the course of a four hour period. This year’s Hillebrand Jazz at the Winery featured The Pat Carey Group, Kely Lee Evans, Darryl Stuermer and Molly Johnson, and was a fantastic, fun-filled event that had a little of everything. 1500 people packed into the area around the stage, which also includes in and amongst the vines, the side part of the courtyard and, of course, the beautifully set up red sling back chairs in the main courtyard (directly in front of the stage). I had the good fortune to sit up in the winemaker’s tower with a dozen or so other folks and was treated to a variety of tasty dishes from the Hillebrand kitchen, paired with a number of delicious wines (some new, some old – all wonderful).

The rains came rolling in mid-way through the second act and delayed the opening of the third act’s performance. Between sets I met KellyLee Evans, a very talented genial singer who has a real lilt to her laugh and an ever-present smile; and Darryl Stuermer, who, unbeknownst to us all in the tower, is the touring second guitarist for Genesis – you know Phil Collins, Anthony Banks and Mike Rutherford. In my glee of finding this out I went looking for him to shake his hand and was rewarded with a Genesis 2007 World Tour guitar pick … too cool. (Deep down I’m a fanboy of music as well as wine … movies too, but no actors were present that I could gush over – but of course I digress.)

My fanboy glee aside, the afternoon proved to be a great success, even with the rains. I remembered hearing somebody say, just before the concert began, as we stared up at the cloudy sky, “In all our years of having this event we’ve been lucky, it’s never rained.” And so with those words of hubris, mother nature decided to send some liquid sunshine down … but it didn’t deter a soul, in fact it made it all the more fun.

Look for the Blues at the Winery event coming in August.

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