Music, Pecans, Wine Abound
VVN/Dean H. Borgwardt
SEDONA vocalist Vismaya will perform jazz classics at the festival Friday.
“Jazz and wine go together,” said Michelle Ashley, events coordinator at the Camp Verde Parks & Recreation Department, which presents this festival.
The event provides festival-goers with an opportunity to purchase and taste wines from a variety of Arizona’s most premier wineries including Kokopelli, Village of Elgin, Fort Bowie, Charron, Oak Creek Vineyards, and Page Springs Cellars. In fact, only Arizona wineries are invited to attend this event.
In addition to the wineries, the festival will feature locally grown pecans for sampling and purchasing, a pecan bake-off, local blacksmith Gordon Williams, free hayrides, tours of Summer Place Pecan Farm, demonstrations by the Yavapai County Master Gardeners, more than 30 antique vendors from across the state, and don’t forget indulging in Sinful Delights homemade pecan pie.
Another treat is the addition of live jazz to the musical lineup this year, which was organized by music producer and vocalist Bobby Cottonwood.
Kicking off the festivities at noon Friday is Dos Geckos, featuring Bill Barns and Larry Perkins. This duo performs folk and bluegrass. At 1 p.m., catch Bel Canto featuring Laurie Burke and Bill Barns. Bel Canto means “beautiful singing” in Italian. It also is the name of the popular duo that has been performing locally for the past five years. Bel Canto is known for its eclectic style, which includes original music, Brazilian jazz, pop, rock, folk and Celtic.
Burke, a Sedona recording artist, has performed in Arizona since 1993. She has released three CDs including the award-winning children’s lullaby CD, DreamSongs. Barns, a guitarist, vocalist and sitar player, is the other half of Bel Canto. Barns’ talent and versatility on the guitar greatly contribute to the eclectic nature of Bel Canto. Barns released a CD entitled Gecko Echoes with violinist Larry Perkins.
Beginning at 3:15 p.m., the Bobby Cottonwood Jazz Quartet joins Sedona vocalist Vismaya.
Vismaya, a charming Swedish import, has entertained audiences here and abroad not only in English, but also in several other languages. She particularly excels in and enjoys performing lilting Brazilian tunes along with many jazz standards.
Bobby Cottonwood is a regular performer, vocalist, drummer and recording artist throughout Sedona, the Verde Valley and Northern Arizona with his own popular jazz ensembles as well as performing with many other groups in the area producing and appearing at fairs, festivals, restaurants, night clubs, race tracks and casinos.
Dos Geckos return at 9:30 a.m. Saturday followed by the five-piece band Midlife Crisis at 11:45 a.m. Midlife Crisis Trio has been together for four years, but last year it added two more talented musicians to become Midlife Crisis Band. Over time they’ve put together a collection of eclectic music, written original pieces and taken pride in contributing to the community spirit of the Verde Valley. Heavenly harmonies and acoustic rock/classic rock are its trademarks.
The Bobby Cottonwood Jazz Quartet returns at 2:30 p.m. Saturday with vocalist Amanda York, Sedona’s newest addition.
On Sunday, enjoy Bel Canto at 10:30 a.m. The festival concludes with the Jack Webb New Orleans Jazz Band from 1:45-4 p.m.
Other extras this year include a glass blower and Harmony on the Rocks, a strolling barbershop quartet and chorus. The group will be singing in the gymnasium on Saturday at approximately 11:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m. and 3:15 p.m., and on Sunday at 11:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.