Twain + Murray + Cello … A Musical and Comedy Mash-Up at Festival Napa

The famed comedian takes the stage on July 20 as part of Napa’s annual cultural and culinary event.

Festival Napa Valley, the annual summer celebration recognized for transforming California’s wine country into a cultural destination, announced the lineup for its 12th edition, July 14-23, 2017. The 2017 season continues the tradition of staging performances by the world’s finest artists in iconic wine country settings. With nearly 60 events at 30 venues over 10 days, Festival Napa Valley provides entertainment and curated food and wine events to suit every taste and budget.

A highlight of this year’s festival is Bill Murray, Jan Vogler & Friends: New Worlds. Murray—who often conducts public readings—will take the stage of Yountville’s Lincoln Theater to recite poems by Walt Whitman and read passages from Mark Twain, Ernest Hemingway, and Truman Capote. In between, Jan Vogler, an acclaimed cellist, will perform as part of a chamber trio.

In a recent story in Vanity Fair, writer Yohana Desta says, ”Murray and Vogler inspire one another, bringing new musical discoveries to the proverbial table. Murray, who has long comfortably moonlit as a musician, compares performing with Vogler to hanging out with one of his friends who occasionally takes him surfing. When he gets up on the surfboard, he feels like he’s catching the wave himself, without realizing that it’s actually his friend propping him up. Vogler compares Murray to the wave itself, pushing him to ‘re-evaluate’ his style and escape his comfort zone. The musician was a prodigious cellist and grew up in a musical household where detail orientation was next to godliness. ‘Jazz musicians, in a way, are nerds,’ he says. ‘We are so in our world.’”

Other events include:

  • A glamorous Opening Night Gala at Meadowood Napa Valley with opera stars Danielle de Niese and Lucas Meachem and dinner paired with Napa Valley’s fine wines.
  • Taste of Napa, a festival signature event that showcases 80 of the region’s best wineries, restaurants, chefs and food artisans.
  • Joshua Bell leads the Havana Chamber Orchestra, pianist Aldo López-Gavilán, and other special guests in Seasons of Cuba, a special evening under the stars at Far Niente.
  • Sunday at the Symphony, a multimedia concert at Lincoln Theater, and a performance at Napa Valley College by the Napa Regional Dance Company, both admission-free.
  • Seven-time Grammy Award winner Gloria Estefan headlines the Arts for All Gala at HALL St. Helena benefiting Napa County public school arts education and the festival’s free and affordable community programming.
  • Stéphane Denève conducts musicians from the Napafest Academy Orchestra in a special program at Bouchaine Vineyards.
  • Hot Havana Nights, an evening of Cuban jazz, food and wine at Blue Note Napa featuring Aldo López-Gavilán and friends.
  • Legendary pianist André Watts headlines an all-American concert featuring music from Bernstein’s On the Town and the Napa premiere of Gordon Getty’s Young America, with Festival Orchestra NAPA and Volti Chorus under conductor Joel Revzen.
  • Jarvis Conservatory hosts the admission-free Bouchaine Young Artist Series, with concerts by the Havana Chamber Orchestra, guitarist Jiji and pianist Nikolay Khozyainov.
  • The San Francisco Ballet returns to perform a rich mix of contemporary and classic works in the annual Dance Gala.
  • Lester Lynch and Angel Blue sing highlights from Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess accompanied by Festival Orchestra NAPA under the baton of Joel Revzen.
  • Festival Orchestra NAPA, a sterling ensemble comprising musicians from New York’s Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, the San Francisco Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, and other top orchestras, back for a second season.
  • Festival Napa Valley 2017 Event Hosts include Alpha Omega, Auberge du Soleil, B Cellars, Blue Note Napa, Bouchaine Vineyards, Castellucci, Calistoga Ranch, CIA at Copia, Darioush, Far Niente, Green Music Center, HALL St. Helena, Jarvis Conservatory, Lincoln Theater, Meadowood Napa Valley, Napa Valley College, Promontory, Quintessa, Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars, St. Supéry Estate Vineyards and Winery, Swanson Family Estate, Trefethen Family Vineyards and Zakin Family Estate.

To purchase passes, visit festivalnapavalley.org, call 888.337.6272 or visit the Festival Box Office between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday to Friday, 1850 Soscol Ave., Suite 205 in Napa.