By Britt Bickel

Multi-talented musician Brian Culbertson dreamed up an event that brings food and wine, music, fans and artists together for a heavenly weekend getaway from the hustle and bustle of city life.

After the huge success of his first Napa Valley Jazz Getaway last year, Brian is doing it all again this year, but with extra flair and more funk.

Brian has made this year’s event bigger and better, expanding to a four-night getaway with concerts, outdoor events and of course plenty of wine tastings.

The stellar lineup includes the who’s who of smooth music like Norman Brown, Kirk Whalum, Rick Braun, Larry Graham & Graham Central Station, Ray Parker Jr., Eric Darius, Nick Colionne, Michael Lington, Cecil Ramirez and Take 6, DW3 and comedian Sinbad!

[Photos: Brian Culberston’s Napa Valley Jazz Getaway 2012]

The Napa Valley Jazz Getaway takes place June 5-9 up in Napa. Tickets and packages are on sale now, and for more information on the event visit for everything you need to know.

Brian called in for a brief chat with Pat Prescott to learn more about this huge event and how it all started. Listen below:

So what’s his reason for throwing this big bash of music, wine, food and events in the beautiful backdrop of Napa Valley? After visiting the area with his wife Michelle for their anniversary, Brian explains he “fell in love with the whole feeling and the vibe, the lifestyle, the wine and the food” that Napa had to offer.

But one thing he found missing from the vibe of Napa was the presence of music to perfectly pair with the nights of relaxing with a glass of wine. So he decided to bring the music to Napa himself.

“It’s a destination event where you come in for several days, get to hang out, there’s plenty of free time as well so you can go off wine tasting on your own,” said Brian. “Then there are plenty of large events. We’re having a huge outdoor welcome party … it’s just really bringing all the different, great things about Napa together.”

Brian’s event was a hit from the get-go, with an overwhelming response from fans. The first year of the event sold out within one week, and this year is on the same track with tickets going fast.

One thing that makes Brian’s getaway so intimate and different than any other event is a close connection between fans and the musicians themselves.

“I love hanging out with everybody,” said Brian. “Part of the Napa thing is we have late night hangs at the lobby of our hotel every night. So we’re all literally just mingling and talking,  hanging out and having more wine.”

In addition to all the great music, Brian welcomes the return of comedian Sinbad as the host of the events. After years of running into each other at concerts, the two became friends and Brian invited him out to host the first getaway.

And not only will you Sinbad be there to make you laugh, Brian says the entertainer will be sitting in with him and Larry Graham!

“He said, ‘man get some congas up there, I’m gonna play some congas and bongos. Some funk bongos!'” laughed Brian.

To see what Brian’s Napa Valley Jazz Getaway is all about, check out last year’s event highlights in the video below:


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