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Half Moon Bay Wine & Jazz Festival 2023


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The Second Annual Half Moon Bay Wine & Jazz Festival took place on historic Main Street Half Moon Bay, with perfect 76° weather and a cloudless sky complementing the day's music and wine tasting. Artists for the HMB Festival included El Guajiro (The Peasant), the Marcus Shelby Quintet, Sammi Joy, Paula West, the Brian Andres Trio and the John Santos Sextet. HMBW&JF 2 was brought together by the Half Moon Bay Downtown Association and volunteers, with support from major sponsors and partners.

Saturday's HMB Wine & Jazz Festival was dedicated to Harpo Marx (no relation), the motivating spirit behind this relaxing festival located just an hour south of San Francisco. Marx unfortunately passed away soon after the first festival in 2022.This second edition is dedicated to his efforts to bring jazz and positive vibes to this coastal town. Strolling through friendly crowds, while listening to live music wafting through the ocean breeze, made for a memorable day. Sampling a wide variety of California wines under a flawless sky only enhanced the afternoon.

All the performing artists, including vocalist Paula West drew a receptive response from the various stages. John Santos, native San Franciscan and seven time Grammy nominee, closed out the pleasant day with his sextet's potent blend of Afro Caribbean polyrhythms and genuine enthusiasm.

Mr. Marx's popular Cafe Society was renamed by his family to Harpo's Café Society after his death. Samantha Corsiglia, a small business owner and local resident, summed up Harpo's energy and contributions to the area. "The Second Annual Half Moon Bay Wine & Jazz Festival is dedicated to the memory of Harpo Marx, who was so instrumental in getting the first festival off the ground."

"In Café Society, Harpo created a gathering spot for neighbors, a home for lovers of jazz and all of the arts, but above all, a place where all of us could count on a friendly smile and a kind word. It was his inspiration, and love of Jazz and Art that brought this festival to fruition. Coming from Germany, as a young man following love, he brought with him the Jazz scene. He had cafes in San Francisco for years, and settled in his final café in Downtown Half Moon Bay. He brought jazz artists from around the world to our Coastside Village, every Friday. It was a lifeline we needed, especially to bring us through the Pandemic."

"One month, after the 1st Annual Half Moon Bay Jazz & Wine Festival, he unexpectedly passed away. His adult daughters, have changed the name of his café to "Harpo's Café Society," in his memoriam. When you visit, you will find 'Harpo's Chair.' When you sit in his chair, you will feel him hugging you, just as his daily presence, greeting, smile, and kindness we, the Coastside Village Community counted on. He was the hub of our community, and is dearly missed by all who met him, from visitors to those who live here."

The Half Moon Bay Wine & Jazz Festival 2023 created a perfect day for blending people, good music and wine tasting under a flawless sky in this small Northern California coastal town. It was a grand way to celebrate the enduring spirit of the festival's patron, Harpo Marx.
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