Jazz on the Vine – 2023
Welcome to Jazz on the Vine, a three-night live music event centered around the appreciation for jazz. The intimate inside event space offers the unique chance to experience up-close and dynamic performances by world-renowned jazz musicians: Najee, Spyro Gyra, Kirk Whalum, Keiko Matsui, Jackiem Joyner, Alex Bugnon, Mark Marshak, Alexander Zonjic and Friends, Blake Aaron and Eric Stevenson, Jeanette Harris and Marcell Guyton will perform following the last performance both evenings in the Concourse Restaurant. The core audience of our loyal jazz patrons and adventurous travelers creates a relaxed ambiance, where sitting back in your chair or letting your hair down to dance in the back are equally encouraged.
Thursday, May 11, 2023
4:45 PM Doors Open
5:15 PM Blake Aaron & Erin Stevenson
7:15 PM Alex Bugnon
9:15 PM Kirk Whalum
Friday, May 12, 2023
4:45 PM Doors Open
5:15 PM Alexander Zonjic & Friends
7:15 PM Jackiem Joyner
9:15 PM Spyro Gyra
Saturday, May 13, 2023
1:45 PM Doors Open
2:15 PM Jeanette Harris
4:00 PM Matt Marshak
6:00 PM Keiko Matsui
8:15 PM Najee
Following the last performance each evening, Marcell Guyton will perform at Concourse Restaurant & Lounge, located on-site at The Osthoff Resort.
Named “one of our greatest treasures as a guitarist” by Najee and "amazingly talented" by Dave Koz. Aaron was an immediate success as a solo artist, with three singles from his debut With Every Touch remaining in the Top 50 on the Gavin/Smoothjazz.com charts for at least eight weeks. He reached even higher ground with his second album, Bringin' It Back, who's single "She's So Fine" remained on the Radio & Records charts for eight straight weeks; two singles from this release reached the Top 100 of the year. After the well-received holiday set A Romantic Christmas, Aaron's 15-track third album Desire spawned a variety of hit singles, including "Bumpin' on the Wes Side"; Desire was in the Top 20 on Radio & Records for 15 weeks and #1 on the Indie Charts for 20 weeks.
Aaron's fans have long been entertained by his multiguitar approach in his live performances where he'll set up his nylon string guitar on a stand while the Strat or hollow body is strapped around his shoulder – allowing for some amazing switchoffs during the same song. "As with my live performances, I like to make all of my records as if they are movies," he says, "with all the emotional ups and downs, as if I am taking the listener through a story or a musical landscape. With Soul Stories, I wanted to try to tell compelling musical stories, some with words but most without. Many artists like to focus on one trademark sound, but I have to use different modes of expression because that's really who I am. It keeps the albums fresh and allows for more spontaneity onstage."
Houston we have a problem cause this rocket’s finally ready to take off and change the atmosphere…which is exactly what she does every time she opens her mouth to pour out her heart through song. Either she’ll win you over with her natural southern charm or her undeniable talent and infectious energy.
“One morning I woke up bored and tired of living a purposeless life. I walked into my boss’s office while working for NASA and told him to fire me. I laid my CD on his desk and told him to listen to it, and if he felt like I sucked I’d return to work the next day with a smile on my face…that evening I received my notice…the next day I was asked to tour with Janet Jackson.” But that’s not where her story begins.
At the tender age of 10 she was a member of “Girls Tyme”, a prepubescent group of girls who later became Destiny’s Child. Her first single reached to number 5 on the Billboard Dance Charts in 2006 and she’s had several songs featured in major films.
Erin has been blessed with many gifts including a sultry voice, electric dance moves, producing and songwriting, and the ability to deliver breathtaking performances with her feisty personality. This has led her to starring in her own right opening for or background singing for Justin Timberlake, Pharrell Williams, Duran Duran, Nicki Minaj, John Legend, Jennifer Lopez, Janet Jackson, Ciara, Rihanna, Camilla Cabello, Chaka Khan, Stevie Wonder, EnVogue…to humbly name a few.
Some have even dubbed her the hardest working undiscovered star, but undiscovered she’ll be no more. While rehearsing and touring for other mega talents by day, Erin was brewing her own storm by night.
Over almost 3 decades, Alex Bugnon has built a strong and loyal fan base across the country and around the world. His tour schedule has never eased, even besting the great Dizzy Gillespie’s record of appearances at Washington, D.C.’s Blues Alley. Last year marked Alex’s 20th consecutive year’s appearance at the legendary venue! He makes it a point of never missing a day of piano practice or of writing. If he is not composing, he is listening to his favorite artists and biggest influences: Herbie Hancock, McCoy Tyner, Red Garland, Ahmad Jamal, Kenny Kirkland, Mulgrew Miller, Wynton Kelly, Joe Sample, George Duke and Keith Jarred.
Kirk Whalum is an American R&B and smooth jazz saxophonist and songwriter. He toured with Whitney Houston for more than seven years and soloed in her single "I Will Always Love You", the best-selling single by a female artist in music history. He was also featured on many Luther Vandross albums, most often playing on the singer's covers of older pop and R&B standards such as "Anyone Who Had a Heart", "I (Who Have Nothing)", and "Love Won't Let Me Wait". On June 20, 2014, Whalum was the inaugural Jazz Legend honoree of the National Museum of African American Music in Nashville, Tennessee. In September 2015, it was announced that Whalum would be joining the faculty of Visible Music College in Memphis, Tennessee. In September 2018 he received the coveted honor of a Brass Note on Historic Beale Street in his native Memphis.
A native of Windsor, Ontario (immediately across the Detroit River), Zonic is a 15-time Detroit Music Awards winner with deep and multi-faceted ties to and influence on the city. He has been a multi-media personality since he began hosting the morning radio show at the longtime smooth jazz station WVMV in 1998 – a popular stint that ran through 2010. Since 2016, he has hosted “Alexander Zonjic from A to Z,” a weekly half hour hybrid TV show on WADL TV-38.
In 2020, eleven years after releasing Doin’ the D, an album paying dynamic homage to the music and magic of Detroit, Alexander Zonjic got back in the throwback R&B groove with the release of another infectious, high-spirited valentine to his beloved adopted hometown. Written and produced for the veteran, multiple award-winning flutist by Pieces of a Dream keyboardist James Lloyd, ”Motor City Sway” – the infectious lead single from Playing It Forward, Zonjic’s first collection on his own Hi-Falutin Music label – quickly hit the Billboard Smooth Jazz Songs chart and was one of the most added singles on the Billboard BDS chart two weeks in a row. Ten of the eleven tracks on Playing It Forward were produced by keyboardist Jeff Lorber, who helmed the majority of sessions for Zonjic’s previous albums Reach for the Sky (2001), Seldom Blues (2004) and Doin’ The D.
Contemporary saxophonist, author, and music producer Jackiem Joyner has set the bar high in his close to 20 years as a performer. With a number one jazz album, several Billboard chart-topping hits, and a series of critically acclaimed books to his name, he has shown himself to be the rare artist capable of transcending his instrument and reaching a mainstream audience.
Now, as he begins the 18th year of his career during a time of unprecedented change in the entertainment industry, he remains as focused on his art as ever.
Jackiem was born in Norfolk, VA. At an early age, he began to show signs of the restless creativity that would later define his career. Despite his humble upbringing, he was able to get his hands on a saxophone as a child. The instrument quickly became his constant companion. After years of practice, he emerged in style with 2007’s ‘Babysoul.’ A masterclass in seductive smooth jazz, the album marked the arrival of a brilliant instrumentalist, and set the stage for a prolific recording career that would include Grammy runner ups, hit singles, and no shortage of critical adoration.
Spyro Gyra has long been known to its peers in the contemporary jazz world as a “well oiled road machine” due to its relentless schedule of over 45 years of performing. To date, they have logged more than 10,000 shows on six continents and released 35 albums, garnering platinum and gold records along the way. Spyro Gyra rose from humble beginnings in Buffalo, New York in 1974 to their current international prominence in the jazz world. Every year, they continue to exhibit how to remain among a relative handful of artists who are able to look forward to 50 years in the business. Their energy and joy in concert match their unmatched musicality.
You might think that Spyro Gyra’s leader and saxophonist Jay Beckenstein might welcome a break in its 45+ years of non-stop, year round performances. After all, much of his adult life has been centered around the recording and performing activities of this now legendary group. Renowned bass player Will Lee once referred to the ensemble as a “well oiled road machine” as a tribute to their daunting schedule, bringing their music to fans around the globe. So what has it been like to have this well oiled road machine in the garage due to the pandemic? “Good!” Beckenstein laughingly replies, “A little more oil couldn’t hurt. But you know, it’s too long now. The first few months of it, after over 45 years of touring without really having a break, it felt good to not be touring. Even if it was to realize how much I love being out there. But now, It’s been too long.”
Fans of the band are familiar with the group’s rise to international prominence from humble beginnings in Buffalo, New York. That’s when a few area working musicians arranged for a weekly gig of playing less commercial music in a local club on everyone’s night off. So humble a beginning, there was no name for the band so they were only known as “Tuesday Night Jazz Jam”. Soon the word got around and the core group was joined by many of the city’s musicians to come and have some fun. And customers started showing up, too, prompting the club owner to press Beckenstein for a band name for the club’s new sign. Beckenstein offered up this late night, tipsy answer, “You can call it ‘spirogyra’”, an algae that he had studied once. The next week, he came back and there it was, misspelling and all, and so it began in 1974.
Fast forward to the band having logged over 10,000 shows on six continents, having released 35 albums garnering platinum and gold records along the way and here they are, once again looking forward. Speaking of the band’s return to live audiences, Beckenstein admits, “It’s been a long time since we played. We’ll do some fan favorites but we’re a bunch of wanderers by nature. We have a relatively short attention span as a band and we always will want to be doing our favorites too. That’s all I know right now. But it will be happy. We will be happy.”
Jeanette Harris was born and raised in California’s post-Gold Rush town of Fresno in the center of the San Joaquin Valley. Reared by her mother, Annette, and her church organist father, Floyd Harris – both of deep spiritual faith and intense believers in the art of music - Jeanette and her older brother, Michael, received their love of God and family genetically.
“When I was 5, my father put a guitar in my hands,” Jeanette begins. “A year later, he switched me to piano with a private teacher. I didn’t like it. Reading treble and bass clefs was so overwhelming that I would cry, but it gave me a great jumpstart. One day while driving me to 4th grade, Mom was playing a cassette by Grover Washington, Jr. I remember looking at the picture of his alto sax. It was beautiful and Grover made it look so hip. I felt it would be the perfect instrument for me.”
Jeanette played saxophone and piano from grade school to high school where band teacher Steve Alcala also had her play in the Fresno City College jazz band even before she graduated high school. She won numerous awards and accolades, which led to a scholarship to attend Berklee in Boston where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music Performance.
Jeanette has played major events from The Coombs River Bend Ranch Festival to festivals in Japan and London. She has performed as a side musician with Howard Hewett and Deniece Williams and has opened shows for greats ranging from smooth jazz stars Kirk Whalum, Najee and The Rippingtons to R&B stars Babyface, Phil Perry and KEM. “I got a standing ovation opening for KEM,” Jeanette beams. “He came out to meet me and get my CD. His people said he never does that! That let me know my music does crossover.”
The most special person to come along in the course of Ms. Harris’ career thus far was singer/songwriter Marie, who hired her unheard/unseen in a destiny-streaked leap of faith totally befitting Jeanette’s life and beliefs. “Her trumpet player saw me at the 2010 NAMM Show and asked for my business card. It had already been an unbelievable day where I got endorsements for both Unison saxophones and BARI Reeds. As I was driving home, the guy called me and asked if I wanted to play with Teena for a concert…in London! I couldn’t believe it. I got 4 hours sleep that night studying her music then drove to L.A. for the audition. I had to pull off the freeway when Teena called me personally to get my passport information. The band tested my improvising skills on a funk song and a ballad - then I was in! Teena finally arrived, gave me a big hug and away we went. She featured me in her last concerts playing sax on ‘I’m a Sucker for Your Love’ and ‘Portuguese Love,’ and flute on ‘Déjà vu.’ She was truly a blessing in my life. Teena taught me how to be a strong female leader. I will miss her always.”
Now with her fourth and finest CD Summer Rain bowing with her own signature Summer Rain perfume to match, Jeanette Harris is unquestionably the next “Starchild of the Saxophone” touching hearts with every breath she takes.
Long Island, NY singer/songwriter and guitarist Matt Marshak brings a truly unique blend of heartfelt music to the world. His sound and his songs transcend the limitations of genre and classification. From his funky jazz and blues albums to his latest singer songwriter releases, Matt’s music always strives to be honest and from the heart. Whether it be festival stages across the world or an intimate small venue, Matt’s hope has always been to bring peace and joy to his audiences through his music. Some of his career highlights include two #1 songs on the jazz charts, his own furniture line from Pulaski Furniture, and tour dates across the globe.
Matt Marshak grew up in Eastern Long Island, NY. Rock n' roll and the blues were his first love. Guitarists Jimi Hendrix, Joe Satriani and BB King were some of his earliest influences. Matt performed with many bands as a sideman in NY performing at venues such as The Bitter End. On one special night while Matt was performing, legendary Deep Purple guitarist Ritchie Blackmore listened to the set and praised Matt for his guitar work--this was a pivotal moment for Matt and his musical journey.
Later it would be jazz guitarists such as Larry Carlton and George Benson who would influence Matt's music. R&B and Funk icons such as Prince and James Brown also had a major impact on Matt's music. Matt began performing his own original jazz at a little restaurant in Oyster Bay, NY called "Fiddleheads." Within months the trio had attracted a big following and they were soon invited to perform at the IMAC theater in Huntington, NY. NYC jazz station CD101.9 at the time named Matt "Best New Artist" and he received airplay from his new album.
Besides recording and touring, a big part of Matt's life is also performing for children across the country. Matt regularly visits school bringing his love and passion for music and guitar to the next generation of our world. Matt's mission is to bring peace and joy through music, to expose children to real instruments, and to play a variety of styles and sounds for the children. Matt also visits many programs for children who have special needs. Matt believes that music is a "universal language" that everyone can feel and enjoy.
Matt Marshak began with rock and blues, toured the world playing his brand of funky blues and jazz, and has now began another musical journey as a singer songwriter. His background is rich and diverse. His style is unique and original. He is Matt Marshak.
Acclaimed pianist, composer and humanitarian Keiko Matsui's transcendent and haunting melodies have long sought to build bridges. Her sonic cultural exchange has reached the hearts and minds of fans throughout the world and has allowed the pianist to work alongside icons Miles Davis, Stevie Wonder, Hugh Masekela and Bob James. “I would like my music to be a conduit for peace, kindness, love and light,” shares the petite, soft-spoken, yet commanding pianist. She adds, “My recording Echo is my attempt to capture all of these elements into the vibration of sound.” On February 22, 2019 Keiko Matsui will release her 28th recording as leader, Echo, which she co-produced with Grammy nominated producer Bud Harner. A master storyteller, Matsui crafts exquisite compositions replete with lush harmonies and global rhythms to create timeless musical anthems. Like iconic musicians Miles Davis and Shirley Horn, Keiko is also a master at utilizing space in her music to create a backdrop of drama, tension and sheer beauty. Keiko’s most inspired work yet, Echo features numerous special guests including bassist Marcus Miller, saxophonist Kirk Whalum, vocalist Gretchen Parlato, guitarist Robben Ford and bassist (and son of Clint Eastwood) Kyle Eastwood. The all-star line-up also showcases premiere recording musician's drummer Vinnie Colaiuta, bassist, Jimmy Johnson and guitarist Paul Jackson, Jr. and percussionist Luis Conte, as well as Keiko’s top notch touring band, Jimmy Branly, JP Mourão and Rico Belled.
Keiko Matsui took her first piano lesson at five and she made her US recording debut in 1987 with the recording A Drop of Water. Under Northern Lights followed in 1989 and her subsequent albums of note include No Borders (1990), Night Waltz (1991), Cherry Blossom (1992), Doll (1994), Sapphire (1995) and Dream Walk (1996), which remained on the Billboard Contemporary Jazz Chart for over 15 months and further cemented her reputation as a force to be reckoned with.
Born 4th November 1957 in Jamaica, Queens, NYC where he still resides. Smooth Jazz artist, plays saxophone (soprano, alto and tenor), clarinet, flute and keyboards. As well as releasing a number of solo albums he has performed with other artists including Freddie Jackson, Will Downing, Jeffrey Osborne, Marcus Miller, Paul Jackson Jr. and George Duke.
An acclaimed saxophonist and flute player, Najee is one of the most successful and recognizable crossover jazz and R&B performers of his generation. Known for his warm, lyrical sound, he built upon the tradition of predecessors like Grover Washington, Jr., Ronnie Laws, and Stanley Turrentine. Following his initial breakthrough with 1986's Grammy-nominated Najee's Theme, Najee rose to widespread prominence with a series of Top Five-charting contemporary jazz albums, including 1990's Tokyo Blue, 1994's Share My World, and 2005's My Point of View. He has worked alongside such luminaries as Prince, Chaka Khan, Stanley Clarke, and others. The winner of two NAACP Awards, including for 2013's The Morning After: A Musical Journey, Najee celebrated his 30th year as a recording artist with 2017's Poetry in Motion and again reached number one on the contemporary jazz chart with 2019's Center of the Heart.
As a solo artist, Najee launched his career with 1986's Najee's Theme, which hit number one on Billboard's Contemporary Jazz Albums chart. The effort found him embracing the sound of the soprano sax, an instrument well-suited to his distinctive blend of soulful jazz and R&B. Audiences responded and the album earned a Grammy nomination for Best Instrumental R&B Performance. That same year he also joined singer Freddie Jackson on tour and returned to his solo work in 1988 with Day by Day. Najee's brother Fareed produced his third album, 1990's Tokyo Blue. Well-received, it landed on top of the contemporary jazz charts, achieved gold status, and picked up a Soul Train Award for Best Jazz Album.
Milwaukee-based professional piano player and singer, Marcell Guyton, has a diverse music catalog and strong work ethic that comes from over 30 years in the business, traveling throughout the country and the world. In addition to his solo show, he is also the founder and band leader for a popular local band called The Rhythm Kings. Whether performing his solo act or with a local band, his genre of music spans a wide variety from Johnny Cash to Bruno Mars, Michael Jackson to Billy Joel and everything in between. So if you're looking for a guaranteed night of dancing and singing, join him at Concourse Restaurant both Friday and Saturday evening following the last event performance.
What food/beverage options will I have?
Concourse Restaurant & Lounge is our newly-renovated on-site restaurant, previously known as Lola's on the Lake. Features casual dining in a family-friendly atmosphere with a variety of delicious features throughout the week. Not only can you experience the best lakeside views when dining, but a variety of seating options, including high-top bar tables and patio dining. We recommend making advance dinner reservations prior to the performance. (920) 876-5840
Otto's Restaurant, Elk Room Coffee & Cocktail Lounge, and Room Service, are also available There will be a cash bar, wine specials, and small plates available for purchase at the event.
How do I order tickets?
To reserve your overnight accommodations and/or tickets, please call (855) 614-7165 or click below. An e-mailed receipt will be sent to you the evening of your purchased date.
Please check-in at the front desk of The Osthoff Resort to receive a wristband for event entry. Event tickets will not be mailed.
Where is the event located?
The Grand Libelle Ballroom, which you will see labeled as "M" in the Conference Center on the Resort Map.
How will seating be arranged?
Theatre-style seating will be set up in a large, elegant ballroom that comfortably accommodates up to 1000 people,. A limited number of assigned Preferred Seating will be in the front and General Admission seating will be behind that on a first-come, first-served basis. Cocktail tables will be set up in the back of the room to enjoy food/beverages.
Will there be a Meet & Greet?
Yes! After each performance, you'll be able to take pictures with the artists, purchase merchandise and signed autographs.
The Osthoff Resort offers spacious one-, two-, and three-bedroom suites
with a choice of either a woodland or lake views.