Photo Gallery: Jazz Festivals Napa Valley Jazz Festival, 1995
Napa Valley Jazz Festival, 1995

This was from the Napa Valley Jazz Festival, where I was the music director for seven years. This was the only festival that highlighted the San Francisco jazz history with musicians who contributed to San Francisco's reputation. This line-up should have been a part of all the Bay Area jazz festivals. Musicians featured were John Markham, who was with Red Norvo, Frank Sinatra, and was in the movie Oceans Eleven with Sinatra, and was also with Benny Goodman. Trumpeter Allen Smith, formerly with Benny Goodman, Gil Evans and Duke Ellington was one of the regulars at the festival. Some other great players like Vince Cattolica, Pete Escovedo, Jeff Chambers, Vince Delgado, and Omar Clay were there. Tenor players such as Noel Jewkes, Vince Wallace, Chuck Travis and Pee Wee Claybrook were some of the regulars. Jazz organist Dave Matthews was there too, and so was Sweetie Mitchell, one of the great San Francisco singers who sounded like Ella. Jules (Broussard) of course was there. Other vocalists like Jackie Ryan, Steve Situm, and Paula West sang there, and so did my wife Sanna. Napa, of course, is wine country. The food and wine in these places were beautiful. In this three day festival, Friday would sometimes be held in a wine cellar. It was a nice festival.

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