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The Thornton Winery Champagne Jazz Series in the formerly “undiscovered” Temecula, CA wine country has set a standard for big names and great performances in an intimate venue, but this 24th season just might boast their best lineup ever. It’s more than remarkable that a venue seating less than 600 can bring in the likes of Chris Botti, Bobby Caldwell & David Benoit, Dave Koz, George Benson, Boney James, and Peter White, just to name a few. And a beautiful venue it is, with a Mediterranean terrace overlooking the Temecula valley and terrific acoustics.
But the show I truly cannot wait to see is coming up Sunday July 15th with David Sanborn & Brian Culbertson. Having seen them separately several times, the chance to see them on the same stage has even veteran jazz concert goers excited.
It’s quite an interesting pairing since they were born 27 years apart. Sanborn is about to turn 67, and Culbertson (despite looking like he’s in his 20’s) will be celebrating his 40th next January. The Grammy winning Sanborn is one of the most celebrated, ‘iconic’ sax players in music with both Platinum and Gold albums, and has played with everyone from Stevie Wonder to the Rolling Stones. Culbertson is an accomplished keyboard player who has toured with Dave Koz and other big names, but he also has thirteen albums to his credit and his compositions are a staple of Smooth Jazz radio. His new album “Dreams” hit stores last month, hence the name of their current tour “The Dream Team.”
Thornton Champagne Jazz series run through October 21st. Tickets are available at www.thortonwine.com/jazz, with both general admission seats and gourmet supper packages available. Most shows are on Sunday, but there are a few Saturday shows as well.