Monday, May 12, 2008

Sonoma Jazz + opens Memorial Day weekend

Every year Sonoma Jazz + (SJ+), sister to Jazz Aspen Snowmass, serves the quiet, mountain-nestled wine country town of Sonoma CA with world-class music. SJ+ is known for its excellent taste in music, having a history of scheduling top-notch artists like Tony Bennett, BB King, Natalie Cole, Isaac Hayes, Steve Winwood, and Dianne Reeves. Following in this tradition, SJ+ will open its 2008 festival season from May 22-25, featuring headlining acts Kool & The Gang (May 22), recent Grammy Award winner, Herbie Hancock (May 23), Al Green (May 23), Diana Krall (May 24), and closing the festival on the 25th will be Al Jarreau and Bonnie Raitt.

With room for over 3000 people, the main performances of the night will be held in a tent in the Field of Dreams, just two blocks away from the historic Sonoma Central Plaza. The earlier evening performances will be held on the Village Stage. Seating for events on the Village Stage opens half an hour before the start time and the main tent opens one hour prior to commencement.

Being held smack dab in the middle of wine country, Sonoma Jazz + will celebrate the viticulture that has visually enriched the landscape of the county by hosting the Wine & Song Around the Plaza. This daytime event will spotlight local music and local wineries. Tickets for Wine & Song Around the Plaza are available for $60, which includes a souvenir wine glass & tote, 7 performances by local musicians, 12 wine tastings and 4 food tastings daily. Wine & Song will be held May 24th and 25th from 2-5 PM.

Sonoma Jazz + prides itself on its marriage of fine musical entertainment and the highest quality cuisine. To fully experience all Sonoma Jazz + has to offer, private hospitality tents, or casitas, are offered for festival attendees and their guests. The casita package includes a private decorated tent, specialized menu with wine pairings, full bar, private wait staff and security, private lavatories, and premium patron seating in the main tent in the Field of Dreams. (This package requires a minimum of 20 guests and is sold per day4.)

As a not-for-profit organization, the festival aims to bring not only the best live music entertainment to the community, but music education into local schools. SJ+ has played a role in several youth-oriented programs, including Guitars in the Classroom and Opera a la Carte, allowing students to gain an in depth understanding of what goes into musical events from the production side as well as the aspects of learning to play and practice instruments.

Tickets for all Sonoma Jazz + events can be purchased online or over the phone by calling 866-527-TIXX. Visit their Web site for more information.

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