San Francisco Events

Margrit Mondavi 2017 Summer Concert Series

Saturday

Jul 1 - Jul 29, 2017

7801 Saint Helena Highway
Oakville, CA 94562 Map

  • Michael Franti & Spearhead
  • Ben Harper & The Innocent Criminals
  • Andrew McMahon
  • Patti LaBelle
  • The Revivalists

More Info


2017 SUMMER CONCERT SERIES

The Margaret Mondavi Summer Concert Series is back with an amazing lineup. Kicking it off on July 1st, Andrew Mchahon In The Wilderness with special guest Allen Stone followed by a fireworks spectacular. The Godmother Of Soul, Patti Labelle on July 8th. The Revivalists and special guest Jamestown Revival take the stage on July 15th. Michael Franti & Spearhead appearing on July 22nd. Ben Harper & The Innocent Criminals on July 29th. Enjoy wonderful live music, wine, and food under the stars this summer set against the beautiful backdrop of the Toe Kalon vineyard at Napa’s own Robert Mondavi Winery. Tickets on sale now at robertmondaviwinery.com

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ARTIST INFO:
Michael Franti & Spearhead: The Sound Of Sunshine -- the inspired and inspiring new album by Michael Franti & Spearhead -- is a kind of musical sun shower, a bright, beautiful and often buoyant song cycle created to bring all kinds of listeners a sense of hope during rough and rainy times for so many in our world.

“Music is sunshine,” says Michael Franti, one of the most positive and conscious artists in music today. “Like sunshine, music is a powerful force that can instantly and almost chemically change your entire mood. Music gives us new energy and a stronger sense of purpose.”

“Music is something you can’t hold in your hands, smell it, taste it or even see it, yet somehow just coming together and feeling these little vibrations that tickle our eardrums can somehow lift us all up out of our most difficult moments in life to unimaginable heights.”

Ironically, often joyous and uplifting The Sound Of Sunshine actually came out of a darker and tougher personal experience for Franti. “Last August, my appendix ruptured suddenly in the middle of a tour and I ended up in the hospital for eight days while they figured out what was wrong with me,” recalls Franti. “I almost died and I wrote many of these songs coming out of that experience while I was in the hospital for another week or so after that. During that time, I really took a moment to prioritize what’s truly important in my life -- and in the end, that’s really about the people who I love. Even in that hospital, I could laugh with the people I love, cry with them, and start to find the sun again.”

Well aware that countless others face far worse problems than he did, Franti wants The Sound Of Sunshine to communicate a sense of hope and possibility for anybody who needs it. Franti’s singularly open spirit reflects his own eclectic and intriguing background. Michael was born to an Irish-German-French mother and an African American and American Indian father in Oakland, then adopted by a Finnish American couple who raised him along with their three biological children and another African American son. While studying at the University of San Francisco, Franti formed the punk band The Beatnigs, and later the far more hip hop-inflected The Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy. Through it all, Franti has crossed all sorts of musical and physical boundaries in order to make music for everybody.

In the mid-Nineties, Franti first formed Spearhead, and increasingly in recent years, he’s found his own voice musically and his own organic brand of popular success. Franti and Spearhead’s last album, 2008’s All Rebel Rockers -- recorded in Jamaica with legendary producers and players Sly & Robbie – became the biggest hit of Franti’s career, hitting the Top 40 on the Billboard 200, and yielded his biggest hit, the Top 20 “Say Hey (I Love You).”

“I had a nice, long time to get ready for that first hit, and so I really appreciated it when it happened,” says Franti. “So when we were just mastering the new album, I was saying to my manager, “Boy, wouldn’t it be fun to have a sophomore hit?” He was like, “Sophomore hit? You’ve already been through grad school, man” So yes, I’ve paid some dues, and that’s made getting this far -- and still being here -- mean even more to me. The funny thing is that `Say Hey’ went into the Top Twenty right as I was being wheeled into surgery. I got the text, and I thought, `Wow, I’ve finally got a hit record, and I’m not even going to live to enjoy it.’ That put everything in perspective too.”

Michael Franti is not a man to openly chase success – in fact; he’s not a man who even wears shoes(for the last ten years). Still, Franti has absolutely no problem hearing his music on the radio now. “When I was a kid, I used to listen to AM radio on family vacations in the car, and at family barbeques and my dad would leave the radio on. So songs that were the silly pop hits became a really meaningful part of my childhood - and of my adult life now. So when I think of the fact that there’s some family out there on the beach in the summer together listening to `Say Hey,’ it makes me feel really good. The truth is a good pop song that makes you feel good can be something of value and meaning to people.”

Arguably the most cohesive, romantic and life-affirming album that Franti and Spearhead have ever made, The Sound Of Sunshine reflects the fact that, as Franti puts it, “With time, you get a better sense who you are and how to put together all your musical passions into your own sound. I feel like for a long time, I dabbled in other sounds. Like `Let’s do something with a reggae vibe here.’ Or `Let’s really rock here.’ But now, I write everything from the acoustic guitar up -- which keeps you honest. Then Jay Bowman, my songwriting partner and I, take a lot of time figuring out what’s the best way to present this song and make every word of it come across and ring true.”

Even the recording process for The Sound Of Sunshine reflects Franti’s desire to communicate directly with his audience. “We started in Jamaica actually recording a bunch of tracks with Sly and Robbie who are, of course, great, and we used some of those tracks. Then we got home and started mixing the record. Then I went to Bali and wrote some more songs, but we still didn’t have it finished. So we said let’s bring a portable studio on the road with us. We’d literally recorded the drums in the locker room of the Toronto Raptors or in the shower of some NHL team. Then we’d go right onstage and play the song and see how other people would react to it. We’d see what worked and go back and record it again the next day. So these songs have really been road tested in front of live bodies.”

For Franti, “To play for people and share your songs with them is to make a real connection. That’s why we play outside our shows for those who can’t afford to come inside. They need the songs too – maybe more. That’s the reality. And as a musician I was on tour with put it recently, “Our fans didn’t come to us from a reality show. They came to us from reality.” And so, we mean something in their lives. We’re the music they put on when they drive their little kids to school, or hang out with the person they love at night. There’s no higher honor. So they have an investment in the music. And that means so much because this music is very personal to me too.”

Patti LaBelle: Beautiful, simply does not describe the incomparable force known to the world as Patti LaBelle. As time continues to evolve, the soulful songbird’s name has become synonymous with grace, style, elegance and class. Belting out classic rhythm and blues renditions, pop standards and spiritual sonnets have created the unique platform of versatility that Ms. Patti is known and revered for. As she continues into her fourth decade of performing, the Philadelphia maven has returned to her roots with her latest project, The Gospel According to Patti LaBelle. “I was born gospel, so it’s not like I’m coming back or trying to impress people with this new gospel project. I’ve always done this. I’ve never done a whole album. That’s the only thing that’s missing,” observes the songstress. “I’ve come full circle where you can say it’s a complete project.”

Always on her heart, coupled with ten years of mental preparation, timing has always been the key component amidst Patti’s busy schedule to complete this life inspired album. In between touring, taping her TV One show Living It Up With Patti LaBelle, acting – having made a special guest appearance in the Bryan Barber directed, OutKast movie Idlewild and with her Home Shopping Network endeavor Patti LaBelle Clothing, it’s no wonder that everything has been crafted according to a divine plan. “Because of Bud’s (longtime Musical Director and friend, Budd Ellison) situation, and I always wanted him to be involved with my gospel project because he was involved in all of my CD’s, I said I better start now because he’s slowly going away. That was my real reason for starting it.”

Sadly, Bud Ellison passed away from prostate cancer before the completion of the album. Patti has dedicated this album to his loving memory in addition to donating all the proceeds to a variety of cancer organizations. “We’re praying it is going to be one of my bigger albums that I won’t be paid for. In a way, my payback will be we sold so many records and this money went to cancer research.”

Music industry veteran Jheryl Busby lent his time, talent and treasure overseeing the The Gospel According to Patti LaBelle via his Umbrella Recordings, and the guest appearances alone raise an eyebrow, as the all-star line up boasts of a who’s who across musical genres. “Many people do things like this and you never hear about it. I think it’s the right thing to do because you have to help wherever you can when you’re in the position to help. I’m in the position, I don’t need the money, but they need it for research so we can find out why we lost our loved ones and so that we don’t have to lose any more.”

The first co-singles possess sure fire messages within the music. “Anything,” co-written by Patti and longtime collaborator Sami McKinney, produced by Nisan Stewart features gospel duo Mary Mary, producer/lyricist Kanye West and his latest protégé Consequence. With its pulsating drum beat, its inspirational message of being able to accomplish anything as a child of the King resonates. “Where Love Begins” featuring Yolanda Adams is a groovy mid-tempo written by legendary songwriter Denise Rich and co-produced by Troy Taylor and Gordon Chambers. Guitar riffs and hand claps stir the encouraging words “deep from within, because that’s where love begins.”

Co-producers Taylor and Gordon also contributed “Walk Away” featuring the incomparable CeCe Winans. Soft piano chords give way to the melodic harmony as the two women share their thoughts about overcoming obstacles by simply walking away from the enemy toward positivity. Country superstar Wynonna Judd lends her vocal prowess to the Shavoni and Sami McKinney produced track “Everything,” about God’s all encompassing power and love.

Anointed gospel powerhouses Tye Tribbett and GA, J Moss and the Soul Seekers lend their talents to “Pray Today,” “He Loves You,” and “God Ain’t Through,” respectively. “Pray Today,” co-written by Patti and Sami McKinney was written seven years prior to the album coming together and ironically was one of the first recorded songs, while “He Loves You” is one of Ms. Patti’s favorites. “You Are My Friend” was written and recorded nearly 30 years ago by Patti and Budd Ellison, co-produced by Ellison and Sami McKinney. “It’s Budd. He’s all through this album. Singing it makes me cry because I feel him all over the place, but it’s very, very therapeutic.”

The church tour accompanied the release of The Gospel According to Patti LaBelle. It began at The Potter’s House in Texas, home to Bishop TD Jakes. Patti was blessed to have gospel legend Shirley Ceasar pray a special prayer, “for people to accept me as the new carrier of His word. God is working on me, He’s working through me, and He’s putting changes all over me – positive. I know I’m chosen. I know this is something I was meant to do. For 10 years now I’ve been trying to do this gospel album and I finally did it. And it feels so good singing these songs.”

For Ms. Patti, she simply desires for her fans not to judge her with this record and to be aware that this gift is from her heart and deep within her soul. “I want them to take away a beautiful message. I want them to take away a beautiful CD, which means take it home, buy it so that we can help with this cancer calling.” That humility and honesty has been the true gospel according to Patti LaBelle. “Staying a person that people can say they encountered and she was very, very giving. She didn’t get Hollywood on us. I never want to be thought of as a Hollywood person, you know the people who don’t have time for the people who made them.”

The same motivation that had Patricia Louis Holt blossom from a choir member to lead vocalist for Patti LaBelle & The Bluebelles to a solo artist is the same energy that keeps her fire burning at six-two years young. “Each year I grow, and that’s a blessing from God. I do what I can do. I do what I feel God has given me the energy to do, so I just go out there and I do it…It’s not about making money because I don’t need money, but I need to sing. With a voice or without, I’ve got to get on that stage.” And the world is thankful that Ms. Patti’s preaching sounds so good to our ears.

The Revivalists: The formation of The Revivalists was all about chance, but everything since then has been a combination of hard work, awesome music, and friendship. The septet has been playing nonstop since 2007, crafting a genre-hopping sound that rounds out traditional rock instrumentation with horns and pedal steel guitar and mixes the divergent backgrounds of its individual members with the humid, funky undercurrents of the band’s New Orleans home. The result is like English spoken with an exotic accent: familiar, yet difficult to pin down.

Religion aside, a revival is all about the tangible electricity that can only be created when enough like minds are crammed under a single roof for a singular purpose. It’s a spiritual spectacle, a carnival of the divine, a whole greater than the sum of its parts. The same could be said for The Revivalists’ searing live performances. The band has a knack for bringing music to life on a stage, and they have tuned their talents to Swiss-watch precision over years of relentless touring. Their bombastic showmanship is the outgrowth of a desire to connect with audiences on a personal level, and that intimate connection is what elevates their shows above simple entertainment.

True to their name, The Revivalists lean more heavily on the older styles and warmer sounds of the golden age of rock ‘n roll, but the band isn’t afraid to dabble in electronics and sleight-of-studio when it’s right for the song. The group tends not to bother with questions like “does this sound like us?” or “does this fit with our other stuff?”, instead allowing songs to define themselves and take shape organically, each on its own terms. Is this a dark, heavy rock manifesto driven by a steel guitar line that borders on electronica, or is it an airy, acoustic story about star-crossed lovers, rich in vocal harmony and sparsely arranged until the coda? This one’s funky, that one’s sweet, this one’s heavy…

To The Revivalists, it doesn’t matter. They just write songs that they want to play.

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