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Ritmo de Kuumbwa

Ritmo de Kuumbwa

Original artwork by Fred Tio

On Saturday, November 5th , Santa Cruz’s intimate jazz club was transformed into a sizzling, tropical Cuban party with an array of colorful decorations, sultry lighting, and temperate plants including palms and bird of paradise. As attendees entered the tented courtyard, Bill the Oysterman and his stellar team provided an endless supply of fresh oysters paired with Nicolas Feuillatte Champagne and Navarro Chardonnay. Guests moved on to wine tasting featuring fine reds from the private cellar of Erik and Judy Johnson (of Erik’s DeliCafé fame), 2012 Miner Family Winery’s “The Oracle”, 2013 Windy Oaks Estate Cuvée Pinot Noir, and 2014 Windy Oaks Estate Sauvignon Blanc.

Attendees mingled while surveying silent auction items, such as rare California cabernets and pinot noirs, handmade jewelry, golf and sports packages, winery tours, and a beautifully hand-knotted rug from Tibet. As guests moved into the club for dinner, live jazz played by the members of the Kuumbwa Jazz Honor Band filled the room. Chef Cheryl Simons began the meal with a crab salad with black beans, little gems, arugula and roasted red pepper sauce. The entreé was a delicious New York steak with wild mushroom red wine sauce, calabaza mash, and haricots verts. Coffee and vanilla pot de crème with dulce de leche and almonds and chocolate was served as the party moved onto the grand finale of the evening—the “live auction.”

Auctioneer Romney Dunbar motivated guests to bid on a stunning array of one-of- a-kind items, including VIP passes and accommodations to the 2017 Jazz À Juan Festival on the French Riviera and the 2017 Playboy Jazz Festival. Other exciting auction items included a chef tasting and wine pairing for two donated by David Kinch of the 3-star Michelin award-winning Manresa Restaurant in Los Gatos, while sommelier Alyssa Twelker of Soif Restaurant and Wine Bar expertly described the vast array of wines to raise funds for the nonprofit organization. Some of the superb wines for auction included a 3-liter bottle of 2012 Miner Family Winery “The Oracle” donated by event sponsor and special guest Dave Miner, and a three year vertical of Dunn wines donated by Robin and Greg Sirakides. At times the bidding reached zealous levels as Kuumbwa supporters raised their paddles in hopes of securing a coveted item—knowing their donations will help the nonprofit jazz and education venue continue to present world- class music and education programs throughout the year. The grand finale of the evening included a dance party outside in the tented courtyard to the swinging sounds of salsa—Ritmo de Kuumbwa—the rhythm of Kuumbwa!

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For additional photos from Ritmo de Kuumbwa visit Flickr.

Photos: Paul Schraub

Thank you to our premiere event sponsor Miner Family Winery!