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Jazz series kicks off on the East End

Vadim Neselovsky Trio performing at Clovis Point Wines

Vadim Neselovsky Trio performing at Clovis Point Wines in Jameport during the kickoff of the Long Island Winterfest Jazz on the Vine series. (Feb. 11, 2012) Credit: Nicole Bartoline

The East End has a surefire remedy for the winter doldrums -- music, dancing, and of course wine. The Long Island Winterfest Jazz on the Vine series started Saturday at several area wineries.

Over the next six weekends, there are more than 70 jazz performances scheduled to take place at participating vineyards. Originally the program began as a way to invigorate the area in what is considered their slow season.

“The inspiration was to have people come out in February and early March,” said Kelly Bruer, senior manager of Clovis Point Wines in Jamesport. “It’s great that we get a lot of new customers to try our wine, but it’s a treat for our regulars.”

For an admission fee of $15, guests are treated to a live jazz performance, and a complimentary glass of wine.

Jazz on the Vine has proved to be one of the more successful events hosted by the vineyards in recent years.

“We had a really good 2011,” said Kelly, “but we expect to have a great 2012.”

After just five years, the Winterfest has many people that show up loyally for the music and the opportunity to take a day trip out to the vineyards.

“We’ve been coming for the last three or four years,” says Matthew Hochman, of Stony Brook. “We would go through a few places, see a few different acts.”

Each day of scheduled events has at least five performances lined up with artists that have a broad spectrum of experience and notoriety. Some are local artists, while others have been nominated for, or have received prestigious awards.

One of the more popular acts opening day was jazz guitarist Stephane Wrembel, who played at Bedell Cellars Winery in Cutchogue.

Wrembel, who scored the theme for “Midnight in Paris,” and won a Golden Globe for composition work on the soundtrack of “Vicky Cristina Barcelona, drew a crowd from all over the Island, and the Five Boroughs.

“He has a huge following,” said Molly Deegan, senior vice president of marketing and sales development at Bedell. “We’ve had at least 150 people come through so far, it has been good for us, and it’s important that these things bring people to the area.”

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