Blue Note Jazz Festival in Napa Valley merged worlds of hip-hop, jazz, wine & culture this weekend

Article Contributed by Shore Fire Media | Published on Tuesday, August 2, 2022

The 2022 Blue Note Jazz Festival in Napa Valley, marking the first-ever Blue Note Jazz Festival presented as an outdoor, multi-day/multi-stage event, made its unforgettable, sold-out debut this past weekend at Charles Krug Winery in St. Helena, CA. With its electrifying mix of top-tier hip hop, jazz and comedy performances set amid the laid-back beauty of California wine country, the festival provided a unique and intimate experience for its 6,000 attendees.

“The inaugural festival brought together great cultural icons both through their love of outstanding music and the camaraderie of their artistic community,” said Alex Kurland, Director of Programming at the Blue Note.

The Napa festival’s all-star lineup, with Artist in Residence Robert Glasper and comedian host Dave Chappelle, featured the reunited Black Star yasiin bey and Talib Kweli, Maxwell, Chaka Khan, Snoop Dogg, Corinne Bailey Rae, D Smoke, Dinner Party featuring Robert Glasper, Kamasi Washington, Terrace Martin, Alex Isley, Madlib, Flying Lotus, Thundercat, The Soul Rebels featuring GZA and Talib Kweli, Phony Ppl, Emily King, Butcher Brown, BJ the Chicago Kid, Chief Adjuah, Frederic Yonnet and others, leading Glasper to call it his “dream come true,” noting the festival’s many “influencers and trailblazers.” The festival also marked the first-ever live audience recording of the award-winning podcast, The Midnight Miracle, presented by Luminary. Hosted by Dave Chappelle, yasiin bey & Talib Kweli, “The Midnight Miracle Live from Napa'' will debut as a part of season two of The Midnight Miracle later this year on Luminary.

“We are all witnesses to history. This is the best that America has to offer in music. What a festival. What a weekend,” said Chappelle from the stage.

The event also drew celebrity attendees including Nas, Dwayne Wade, Gabrielle Union, Michelle Wolf, Katt Williams, Anthony Anderson, Terry Crews, JEEZY, and more.

The Blue Note Napa Valley Jazz Festival grew from Robert Glasper’s month-long residency dubbed “Robtober, held each October at the Blue Note New York. “With Napa Valley, it was our plan to create an outdoor, festival-style version of Robtober in the spirit of a traditional jazz festival, with spontaneous collaborations, special guests, and once-in-a-lifetime improvised performances,” said Steven Bensusan, President, Blue Note Entertainment Group.  “We couldn’t be happier with the result,” he added.

Read more about Glasper’s curational approach for the inaugural festival at Billboard, Uproxx and BET.