The Napa Valley Opera House Hosts A Wonderful Lineup Of Talented Artists This Summer

The Napa Valley Opera House has a swinging August ahead with three jazz performances, the return of Ottmar Liebert and Luna Negra, theatre with the Lamplighters and several films. They’ve also announced a number of new shows for the Fall, listed below. Note that performance on Aug 9 with Terence Blanchard has been canceled. We hope to see you at a show soon!

John Pizzarelli –  Fri, July 27, 8pm, $30 / $35 –

John Pizzarelli, the world-renowned jazz guitarist and singer, was called “Hip with a wink” by Town & Country, “madly creative” by the Los Angeles Times and “the genial genius of the guitar” by The Toronto Star. After his recent smash success with the Boston Pops, he was hailed by the Boston Globe for “reinvigorating the Great American Songbook and re-popularizing jazz.” And the Seattle Times called him “a tour de force” and “a rare entertainer of the old school.”

For nearly 30 years, guitarist John Pizzarelli has explored various corners of the jazz landscape and merged a variety of styles into a single, distinctive signature sound. On any given recording – indeed, in any given song – one is likely to encounter an entertaining convergence of jazz, swing, the American songbook, pop, bossa nova and more.

Double Exposure, Pizzarelli’s latest recording on Telarc – a division of Concord Music Group – focuses on two distinct styles to make a single fine recording. Set for release on May 15, 2012, Double Exposure is a collection of tunes by some of the great pop songwriters of his own generation that are framed squarely within traditional jazz arrangements.

“I didn’t want to just cover these songs, but rather find a way to present them that was unusual and interesting’” says Pizzarelli. “I think growing up in a household that had two specific record collections became the inspiration – my father’s jazz records, my sisters’ record collection and records brought around by their friends.”

Ottmar Liebert– Wed, Aug 1, 8pm, $30 / $35

In 1989 Liebert founded the first incarnation of his band Luna Negra (black moon). That year he recorded a self-produced album titled Marita: Shadows and Storms. The initial thousand copies were were sold in the gallery of Santa Fe artist Frank Howell. When the record found its way to radio stations and began generating a response among listeners, Higher Octave Music picked it up and released a remastered version titled Nouveau Flamenco (1990). The album eventually sold double-platinum in the United States and has become one of the best-selling guitar albums of all time.

Liebert followed up his debut with several successful albums that continued and expanded his New Flamenco sound, including Borrasca (1991), Solo Para Ti (1992), and The Hours Between Night + Day (1993), all three earning Gold certification. Liebert’s international success continued with ¡Viva! (1995) and Opium (1996), both of which earned Platinum status in the United States and Latin America.

Liebert has recorded with Luna Negra since 1989. Personnel in the band have changed regularly since then, with the only constant being bassist Jon Gagan.

Since 1990 Ottmar Liebert has released a total of 25 albums including live releases, Christmas CDs, 15 CDs of original music, a DVD, and various remixes. He has received 38 Gold and Platinum certifications in the USA as well as certifications in Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.

Jane Monheit – Fri, Aug 10, 8pm, $25 / $30

Jazz vocalist Jane Monheit celebrates the tenth anniversary of her remarkable recording career with her most mature, heartfelt album yet, Home, a collection of standards that represents a passionate return to her roots as a jazz musician. The CD features the band she has worked with onstage and off for most of her career, as well as special guests such as John Pizzarelli, Mark O’Connor, and Larry Goldings. This is her first album for Emarcy/Universal and also marks her debut as sole producer of a recording.

“I didn’t feel the need for anyone to help me realize the vision of this record”, says Monheit. “This is a project I’ve been thinking of for a long time…an album of songs and a group of musicians that are deeply important to me. There was no need to discuss what should or should not be included, or who should play….this is clearly me, from the heart. My relationships to these songs and my love for the people playing them make this album what it is.”

On Home Monheit has upped the ante in her career by digging deep into what brought her to this music in the first place: great songs, and her passion for interpreting them. This return to the heart of who she is, and the fearless honestly with which she imparts her musical truth, lend great maturity and sincerity to the album: her closeness to these songs and the musicians who play them are what Home is all about.

Benny Green – Sat, Aug 18, 8pm

Sponsored in part by Jim Maggetti and The Napa Valley Jazz Society

Benny Green possesses the history of jazz at his fingertips. Combine mastery of keyboard technique with decades of real world experience playing with no one less than the most celebrated artists of the last half century, and it’s no wonder Green has been hailed as perhaps the most exciting, hard-swinging, hard-bop, pianist to ever emerge from Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers.

Born in New York in 1963, Benny Green grew up in Berkeley, California, and began classical piano studies at the age of seven. Influenced by his father, a tenor saxophonist, his attention soon turned into Jazz: “I began trying to improvise on the piano, imitating the records I’d been hearing from my father’s collection, which included a lot of Monk and Bird… it was a gradual process of teaching myself”. Benny played in school bands before hooking up with Jazz singer Fay Carroll: “That was good training for me in terms of accompaniment and learning about the blues, and she also gave me a chance to play trio, opening for her every night”.

Other featured artists are:

Tuesday Night Flicks: Top Hat (1935) – Tues, July 31

Lamplighters: The Mikado – August 4 & 5

Documentary Film Series: DIVE – Living Off America’s Waste – Tues, Aug 7, 7pm

Opry at the Opera House featuring Radney Foster (a benefit for Notes for Education) – Wed, Aug 8, 7pm, $35 / $45 / $75

Miner Family Vineyards presents Benedetto Players featuring Howard Alden, Howard Paul, Andreas Oberg all on guitars with Quentin Baxter on Drums and Ben Tucker on bass – Fri, Aug 17, 8pm, $30 / $35

Also Coming Soon
Hapa – Thurs, Aug 23, 8pm
Colin Mochrie & Brad Sherwood: “Two Man Group” – Sat, Aug 25, 8pm
Cafe Cabaret: Richard Glazier – Sun, Aug 26, 4pm Note Date Change
Tuesday Night Flicks: Roman Holiday – Tues, Aug 28, 7pm
James Cotton – Fri, Aug 31, 8pm NEW!
Madeleine Peyroux – Sat, Sept 1, 8pm
Bela Fleck with Marcus Roberts Trio: Tues, Sept 4, 8pm
The Jack DeJohnette Trio featuring Chick Corea & Stanley Clarke, celebrarting Jack’s 70th birthday: Sun, Sept 9, 8pm
Documentary Film Series: UNacceptable Levels: Tues, Sept 11, 7pm
Lee Oskar Harmonicas present Mark Hummel’s Blues Harmonica Blowout with Lee Oskar, Kenny Neal, James Harman, Little Charlie, and the Blues Survivors – Thurs, Sept 13, 8pm NEW!
Dan Zanes & Friends – Sun, Sept 16, 2pm
Pat Metheny Unity Band featuring Chris Potter, Ben Williams & Antonio Sanchez: Tues, Sept 18, 8pm
The National Circus of the People’s Republic of China – Fri, Sept 21, 7pm
Tuesday Night Flicks: Grand Hotel – Tues, Sept 25, 7pm
Acoustic Africa – Thurs, Oct 11, 8pm
In the Footsteps of Django: Europe’s New Gypsy Jazz Masters – Sun, Oct 14, 8pm
Doc Severinsen and the San Miguel Five – Tues, Oct 16, 8pm
Pacific Guitar Ensemble – Wed, Oct 17, 8pm
Jorma Kaukonen – Fri, Oct 19, 8pm
The Parker Quartet – Wed, Oct 24, 8pm
Inti-Illimani – Fri, Oct 26, 8pm
Vienna Boys’ Choir – Sat, Oct 27, 8pm
Nitty Gritty Dirt Band – Sun, Oct 28, 7pm
Tuesday Night Flicks: The Birds – Tues, Oct 30, 7pm

Public on-sale: Monday, July 30 at noon
Septeto Nacional de Cuba – Wed, Oct 3, 8pm
Sara Davis Buechner – Mon, Nov 5, 8pm
Dorado Schmitt and the Django Reinhardt Festival Allstars – Thurs, Nov 15, 8pm
Angelique Kidjo – Fri, Nov 16, 8pm
MacHomer – Sat, Nov 17, 8pm
Punch Brothers – Thurs, Nov 29, 8pm

To buy tickets, please visit