04-21-10-smooth-wines.gifOn May 1, J.P. Riddle Stadium will come alive with the sounds of jazz as the second annual Carolina Wine & Jazz Festival takes place. In addition to great jazz, the festival will feature terrifi c local wines and food.

“The whole idea behind it is that we wanted to focus on wines from North Carolina. We have wines from Duplin Winery, Cypress Bend and J. Wesley Vineyards,” explained Kimberly Durden, one of the event organizers. Vendors will be selling wine at their booths by the glass or by the bottle. Beer and soft drinks are also available.

No festival is complete without food. The Carolina Wine & Jazz Festival will feature something for everyone

.“We’ll have a great variety — everything from BBQ to fi sh, low country boil, hot dogs, hamburgers, funnel cakes. A little bit of everything really.There’ll be something for just about any taste,” said Durden.

And while the wine and food will be great, the entertainment lineup is amazing for a jazz lover. According to Dionne Maldonado, the festival will feature “the absolute best in contemporary jazz.” The headliner artist is Peter White, who for nearly 20 years, has made the acoustic guitar a dynamic and expressive voice in the overall soundscape of contemporary jazz. Bringing a little Latin fl avor to the jazz festival is an up and coming artist, Jesse J. With her sizzling mix of hot beats, Latin and samba rhythms, instantly captivating melodies and model looks, this Mexican-American saxophonist/singer proved quite the sensation with her debut CD Tequila Moon — earning her such accolades as Radio and Records “Debut Artist of The Year” and contemporary jazz song of the year by R&R and Billboard.

“We also have independent artists. Daniel Davis is a bright young acoustic violin player out of Charleston, S.C. Then there’s American Smooth Jazz Award nominee Cindy Bradley. Marcus Johnson, a jazz pianist from Washington, D.C., was nominated for a NCAA Image Award this spring. Brian Simpson has three releases, and he’s played with absolutely everybody. He’s also an experienced composer and director,” added Maldonado. “David Dyson is an independent jazz basist, as well as a performing member of Pieces of a Dream. And of course, there’s Marilyn Scott — a phenomenal jazz vocalist. This lady can sing. She is a wonderful, wonderful vocalist.”

Musician Warren Hill is also in the line up.

The Carolina Wine & Jazz Festival will be held at JP Riddle Stadium at 2823 Legion Rd. Gates open at 2 p.m. and festival entertainment starts at 3 p.m. The festival will conclude around 11 p.m. Advance tickets are on sale now for $45 and can be purchased on line at www.carolinawinejazzfest.com. Tickets are also available until Friday, April 30, on Fort Bragg at the Ticket and Tours offi ce for Department of Defense ID card holders at a discounted price. Tickets will also be available on the day of the event and the box offi ce opens at 12 p.m. Ticket prices are $55 on the day of the event. There will also be an after party at Ambiance Entertainment Venue at 2510 Legion Rd., immediately after the festival.

“We’re trying to let people know as much as possible that still photography is allowed, but no video recording is allowed. Also, no outside picnic baskets or coolers are allowed,” added Durden.

The Carolina Wine & Jazz Festival is sponsored in part by Up & Coming Weekly, Bank of America, and Cross Creek Lincoln Mercury. The host hotels are the Hampton Inn and Residence Inn by Marriott.

For more information about the festival, visit www.carolinawinejazzfest.com or call 867-8779.

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