A ‘Winterfest Warmup’ party Friday night at the Hilton Garden Inn in Riverhead helped set the mood for the start of Long Island Winterfest, which means six weeks of pairing wine with jazz at East End vineyards. The 2011 festival’s theme, as in past years, is ‘Jazz on the Vine’ and features four acts each Saturday and Sunday at participating wineries.
The party started Friday night at the Route 58 hotel with the King Scallop Ensemble playing in the Hilton’s Great American Grill. Ensemble members were Neil Ralph on keyboards , trombone player Bob Hovey, drummer James Benard, and Kim Tretrault on bass. They started off the set with ‘Little Sunflower’ by Freddie Hubbard.
The hotel’s general manager, Ed Carroll, said at least half of the rooms were booked by guests who had asked for the ‘Winterfest; Jazz on the Vine’ discount, which is 20% off the regular room price.
The ensemble is playing for the next five Fridays at the Hilton Garden Inn.
There is no cover charge and has free hors d’oeuvres starting at 6 p.m. The jazz starts at 7 p.m.