Steve Watson Trio kicks off Winterfest 2013

GIANNA VOLPE PHOTO  |  Steve Watson Trio performed Friday night during the kick-off event for Winterfest.

GIANNA VOLPE PHOTO | Steve Watson Trio performed Friday night during the kick-off event for Winterfest.

An evening of food and live jazz helped kick off 2013’s Winterfest Friday night at The Hotel Indigo in Riverhead. Winterfest, a jazz and wine festival held at North fork wineries, will run on weekends between Feb. 9 and March 17.

The kick-off event in the hotel’s ballroom featured live jazz by the Steve Watson Trio, along with eight other planned sit-in musicians, who also played throughout the evening.

The winter festival’s theme, Jazz on the Vine, has become a fixture during the event’s six-year run, according to the hotel’s owner, Rob Salvatico. He said the link between jazz and Winterfest has made the the mellow music form something visitors have come to expect along with their glasses of local wine.

“This is going to become a destination for people’s yearly jazz jaunts,” he said.

Mr. Salvatico isn’t the only one singing the off-season extravaganza’s praises.

County Executive Steve Bellone said Winterfest’s recent bestowal of the “Arts Destination Marketing Award” by Americans for the Arts and Destination International, “acknowledges what we who live and work in Suffolk have long known — that our region is a fascinating and fun destination all year around.”

For more about Winterfest’s effect on the East End’s development as a year-round destination, pick up a copy of next week’s Suffolk Times.

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