Nineteen venues. More than 70 performances by hundreds of musicians. Think hot fun on cold days as the 2013 Long Island Winterfest: Jazz on the Vine kicks off this weekend for the sixth consecutive year.
Running every weekend from Saturday through March 17, Winterfest pairs jazz by top-level performers with tastings at a myriad of North Fork wineries – close to 20 in all. It's grown into a regional attraction, with visitors filling North Fork B&Bs and restaurants during what's traditionally been the slowest time of the year. The event's been so successful to date; it was awarded the 2012 National Destination Marketing Award by Americans for the Arts and Destination Marketing International.
And that's no surprise.
This year over 250 musical acts applied for slots in the festival. Many of the performers are Grammy-nominated artists. The event is a collaborative effort, with East End Arts, the Long Island Wine Council, the Long Island Convention and Visitors Bureau, and the Suffolk County Office of Film and Cultural Affairs all pitching in.
"The East End of Long Island is a great place to hear world class music," Paul Snyder, executive director of East End Arts said in a release touting Winterfest. "The talent scheduled for this year is amazing; our musicians are from the East End, across the country and abroad. We are thrilled to be welcoming back many of our favorites and introducing exciting new artists to the line-up."
"The past five years have clearly demonstrated that great music and fine wine combine to make the East End a wonderful winter weekend destination," added Steve Bate, executive director of the Long Island Wine Council.
Beginning Friday, and for each Friday through March, a Winterfest Warm Up will be held at the Hilton Garden Inn in Riverhead at 7 PM.
This Saturday the music begins at 2:30 PM with the Dred Scott Trio playing Brubeck at Clovis Point. Baiting Hollow Farm Vineyard hosts Champian Fulton at 3 PM, with Pellegrini Vineyards featuring the David Allen Trio at the same time. At 4:30, three separate venues offer wine and song – Raphael with the Mark Portugal Quartet, Waters Crest Winery with the Mark Elf Trio, and Harbes Family Vineyards with JJ-Jazzmataz. Sunday sees another half dozen wineries presenting performances.
Check out the full schedule by visiting www.liwinterfest.com.