About Us

Who We Are

– The NVJS is made up of jazz lovers, educators, producers, and performers.

What We Do

– Present a great variety of national, regional and local jazz artists in live performance.
– Present all-seasons jazz concerts in clubs, halls, wineries and other venues.
– Stage workshops, panels, residencies, master classes, and Meet the Artist events.
– Collaborate with other local arts organizations in Napa Valley, Sonoma, and the Bay Area
– Create and implement educational programs for Napa Valley families and students.

NVJS Board of Directors Board members also produce concerts
Bill Hart   Founder / President

Bill Hart grew up with the jazz scene in New York City in the Fifties and Sixties.  “My first Jazz At The Philharmonic at Carnegie Hall was at age 16.  From the time I was old enough (18 in those days), I would sit at the bar at the Five Spot for the price of two beers and listen to the likes of Coltrane, Adderley, Coleman (Hawkins and Ornett), Mulligan, and Monk.  I only wish I had known Bruce Hopewell back then.”

After successful careers in management consulting and venture capital, Bill and his wife, Margie, moved to St. Helena, where they own and manage a small vineyard.  Bill joined the Board of the Napa Valley Opera House in 2002, and has provided guidance to their jazz programming, and produced a jazz series tribute to the great bassist Ray Brown.  Bill continues to advise start-up ventures, and serves or has served on the boards of Robert Biale Vineyards, Duckhorn Vineyards and Trimble Navigation, and the advisory boards of the business schools at Dartmouth (the  Tuck School) and Rensselaer (the Lally School).  He holds degrees from both of these institutions.

Bruce Hopewell   Founder / Treasurer

BHopewell B+W (B)Leo Bruce Hopewell, is a well known Jazz Concert Producer, who has represented many famous and seminal jazz figures in a variety of productions dating back to the early 1950’s.  Currently owner of East~West Festival Productions, he consults with jazz festival producers, presenters, jazz club owners, and jazz/blues musicians to present jazz performances worldwide.

He is also the owner of a Tax Accounting and Small Business Consultant Advisory Firm.  His firm has forty-year experience specializing in tax return preparation, financial estate planning, setting up tax exemption not-for-profit organizations and obtaining funding for arts and music organizations.  Additionally his firm provides well known music artists with accounting services, financial planning and tax services in conjunction with attorneys, recording companies, personal managers, and agents.

Mr. Hopewell was an Advisor to the New York State Council of the Arts, and was responsible for distributing $25M annually to many Tax Exempt Performing Arts Organizations from 1968 through 1970.

Bruce was appointed by President Jimmy Carter in 1980 to The White House Conferences on Small Business.  He also assisted in proposing new U.S. tax legislation which was passed in 1986.

Janice King   Founder / Membership Advisor

Jazz always meant good times in her childhood household.  Growing up in Michigan there was always and abundance of music but when Dad put on the jazz that meant “party time”.  These fond memories brought Janice to volunteer for the Sonoma Valley Jazz Society where she served as Treasurer for her first year and then President for the past 12 years.  She has produced over 300+ jazz events (mostly Free to the community) in the Sonoma Valley.  She has helped to bring many amazing jazz artists to Sonoma including Chuchito Valdez, Mose Allison, Omar Sosa, Brubeck Brothers, Brian Nova, Eddie Duran and many others.  Janice will use this jazz  production expertise and experience for the jazz lovers of Napa Valley.

Janice also has 25 years experience in the software industry working in Quality Assurance and Software Developement at startups and larger corporations.  Janice has an Accounting degree from Golden Gate Universary, San Francisco.

Susan Bogar   Ticketing & Membership

Originally from York, Pennsylvania, Susan has lived in Napa since 1980.

“My love of jazz began as a teen-aged rebellion against my parents’ insistence that classical music was the only genre!  To mollify my parents, I continued to study classical piano but spent as much time as I could at the local record store, listening to, and spending baby-sitting money on, big band jazz records”.

Since moving to Napa in 1980, Susan has worked in various financial capacities, most recently as a Portfolio Manager and Chief Compliance Officer at Harrington Investments, a local Registered Investment Advisory firm.  Susan was a Board Member of the Napa Valley Opera House from 1997 through 2003, serving on the Finance Committee and as Treasurer for two years.

“Music of all kinds has always been a big part of my life. I am pleased to serve on the Board of the NVJS and especially excited to be coming back to my first love.”

Dr. Bill Manahan    Education

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAs a native of the Chicago area Bill grew up with Jazz and became an avid listener at an early age. “I remember purchasing new “45” rpm records with my paper route money and enjoying recordings by Louis Armstrong, Ellington, Dorsey, Basie, Krupa, Harry James, Artie Shaw and numerous Jazz Vocalists.  I‘ve never stopped listening or enjoying Jazz as it has evolved over my lifetime.  The Stan Kenton Orchestra played for our senior prom.”

Bill had two careers, one with the US Navy Reserve (32 years) and one as an educator in Southern California (31 years). Bill retired as a Commander with the Navy Reserve in 1994 and as a Superintendent of Schools in 2003.  Jazz in the schools was very popular in Bill’s school districts, as high schools and middle schools had jazz bands.

As a teacher of 6th grade, Bill taught the History of Jazz to his students.  As an Elementary Principal he would bring Jazz Bands from the high schools and local college to perform for his students and teachers.

Jazz is a “way of life” for Bill and his wife Yvonne, they consider NVJS an absolute treasure of the Valley!

Tim Ryan

Tim Ryan is a retired award-winning sports commentator whose more than fifty-year career has seen him take a unique path to the highest rungs of network television prominence.  He has been recognized for his excellence as a broadcaster of NHL hockey, NFL football, boxing (including the first Ali-Frazer fight), World Cup Ski Racing, Wimbledon and U.S. Open tennis, and has ten Olympic Games to his credit.

Ryan has served on the national board of the Alzheimers Association and as a Commissioner of the Smithsonian Institute’s National Portrait Gallery.  He has four children from his marriage to his late wife Leona Muir Ryan, and seven grandchildren. He and his wife of ten years, Patricia Benedict Ryan, now live in St. Helena, California.

In his new memoir, “On Someone Else’s Nickel,”  Ryan recounts all of these tales and more in the lively, trustworthy voice that sports fan will recognize from televised sporting events of the past fifty years.

Tim is also a life-long jazz fan who sought out live jazz performances wherever he was working or traveling around the world.

Tom Silva

A native Californian, Tom grew up in Danville and Southern California.  As a kid he used to listen to his parents’ big band albums.  In high school he would go see big bands play Disneyland at the Carnation pavilion.  “Louie Bellson, Buddy Rich, and Count Basie were a few that were exceptional in my mind. Back then Disneyland had a general admission fee of $3.25 so it was always easy to hear great live music for a minimal fee.  Sometimes we would make the trip to the Lighthouse in Redondo Beach for shows.”

Tom moved to Napa in 1984. There wasn’t much going on in Napa back then.  Yoshi’s and Kimball’s west offered some great shows for jazz if you were willing to leave town. When you are young, driving to Oakland or San Francisco for a Thursday night show and getting home after midnight was easy. Not so much now! “However, my wife and I love the live music available in the area, and try to support that as much as we can. We love NVJS!”

Tom went to college at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and graduated with a degree in Ornamental Horticulture.  He have been managing large estate gardens for the last 15 years in Napa and Sonoma.

 

 

NVJS Advisory Council

Mike Greensill, Musician

After graduating in 1972 from Leeds College of Leeds College of Music in England, Mike toured Europe and the Far East and lived in Hong Kong for 4 years before finally settling into San Francisco, in 1977.

Well known in his role as musical director to acclaimed vocalist Wesla Whitfield with whom he has recorded nineteen albums, Mike is also resident piano player on Sedge Thomson’s weekly Public Radio show to the world, West Coast Live.

As an arranger Mike has written for big bands and symphony orchestras including the Boston Pops, and the San Francisco Symphony.  He has accompanied diverse talents like Rita Moreno, Margaret Whiting, Madeline Eastman, Ann Hampton Callaway and Opie Bellas.

Mike’s latest CD, The Mike Greensill Trio “Live at the Plush Room”, is available online.

Larry Vuckovich, Musician

Larry Vuckovich has won acclaim from critics and jazz audiences for his imaginative style and repertoire heard in jazz clubs, concert halls and festivals around the globe.  He is equally at home in world music, modal jazz, hard-swinging bebop, and down-home blues.  The New York Times notes that his unique collection of influences “set him apart from most pianists…”

Born in Kotor (former Yugoslavia), he was classically trained as a child, and drawn to jazz during World War II.  Jazz symbolized freedom and his family immigrated to America in 1951.  Larry arrived in San Francisco, at age 14, to a flourishing jazz scene.

There he met Vince Guaraldi who taught him, and later featured him in a two-piano quintet.

Larry has worked with the premier names in jazz, like:  Jon Hendricks, Dexter Gordon, Philly Joe Jones, Mel Torme, Charlie Haden and Bobby Hutcherson.  His CD “Somethin’ Special” featuring Scott Hamilton, went straight to the top of the charts.

He was acknowledged as a “Jazz Legend” for the Fillmore Jazz Heritage Center in San Francisco.