For the last three years, the Whale Watch Inn has hosted Romance & Jazz at sunset and featured various extraordinary jazz musicians along with a wine tasting and delectable buffet in the cozy Whale Watch Room overlooking Anchor Bay and the spectacular coast.
Owners Jim and Kazie Poppelwell invite you to enhance your romantic coastal getaway as either room guest or visitor and enjoy this year's entertainers, lovely Bay Area vocalist Serafina Brown accompanied by Rob Ellis, keyboard and Steve Webber, acoustic bass.
Cost for the evening is $40 per person and includes wine, buffet and jazz entertainment. Seating in the Whale Watch Room is limited, so please call Whale Watch Inn 800-WHALE.4.2 (800-942-5342) for event and/or lodging reservations.
Serafina Brown, vocalist
New York / San Francisco Bay Area vocalist Serafina Brown has studied voice and acting with Broadway musical legend Helen Gallagher, film and stage veteran actress Anne Jackson, former hungry-i house singer Faith Winthrop, and the Jean Shelton Actor's Lab. Serafina has been inspired and deeply influenced by her family: her classical singer mother, her classical pianist grandfather and her father, an Olympic figure skater, musician and renaissance artist, who lovingly educated her in visual art, the history of music and dances of many cultures.
Her sensitive vocal styling has been featured in New York City at the Broome Street Gallery in Soho, the Singer's Forum, Cleopatra's Needle, the Laurie Beechman theatre after-party and The James Beard Foundation. She has also performed in such Northern California venues as Brannan's restaurant, Annapolis Winery, Timber Cove Inn, Gualala Arts Center, Top of the Cliff restaurant, the No Name Bar, Lark Creek Inn, Anna's Jazz Island, Art House and Expressions Galleries as well as previously at Whale Watch Inn. For the past two years, she has performed weekly at The Sand Dollar, a favorite Stinson Beach restaurant.
At ease in the recording studio, she has recorded original songs by clarinetist / composer Larry London and lyricist Tilton Hack at Berkeley's famed Fantasy Records and has recorded jazz standards at Northern Lights recording studio in Santa Rosa, CA. Known for her simpatico musical collaborations with partner bassist Steve Webber, Serafina has also worked in concert with the following top caliber musicians: Spencer Allen, Dick Conte, Wayne De La Cruz, Mad and Eddie Duran, Dick Fregulia, Herb Gibson, Larry London, Bill Moody, Ylonda Nickell, Si Perkoff and others. She has worked with Whale & Jazz Festival performers Chris Doering, Susan Sutton, Terry Simcik and Larry Vuckovich. She is equally at home with both standards and lesser-known whimsical numbers, bringing her moving and unique emotional phrasing and point of view to each tastefully chosen composition.
Robert Ellis, keyboard
Ellis is a seasoned performer, having entertained since the age of five when he and his dad played for friends, neighbors, relatives, and retirement homes. His piano playing and improvising started in kindergarten when he taught himself the boogie-woogie to play for show and tell. Robert studied music throughout elementary and high school, and went on to study at the University of Washington.
A prolific composer, he has composed 9 full symphonies, about 380 compositions and songs, including jazz, classical, new age, adult contemporary and sacred music. About 350 of these are orchestral and other instrumentals composed in the last year. He has also produced 14 of his own CD albums. His classical training is evidenced in his jazz performance, bringing subtler colors into jazz expression, along with a virtuosity developed from years of playing classical music. Ellis played for many years on cruise ships as entertainer, jazz trio leader, and solo pianist / vocal artist. He now resides in Northern California, where he entertains in clubs, restaurants and at corporate and private events. His repertoire ranges from the '20s to current music, including many of his own compositions. He has performed with a number of jazz trios and orchestras and was a popular entertainer on his cruise engagements.
Highlights of his career include appearances on the TV shows "Boston Today" and "The Seattle Morning Show," and at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel Cine Bar and Grill. He also placed as a finalist in the Song of the Year Contest, as a runner up in the same contest, and received an honorable mention award in the Billboard Songwriting Contest.
Steve Webber, acoustic bass
Steve Webber has been playing the bass for over thirty years, studying at Santa Rosa Junior College, Sonoma State University and the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.
Webber has worked with many bands of all sizes from duo and trio combos up to full 18-piece jazz bands, and has performed regularly with many notable jazz musicians including Dick Conte, Bill Moody, Terry Henry, Benny Barth, Randy Vincent, Si Perkoff, Rob Roth, Jay Thomas, Steve Heckman, Michael Aragon and Festival musician Susan Sutton (Whale & Jazz 2006 and
Currently, he plays with the Dick Conte Quartet, frequently with Susan Sutton as a duo and with The Michael Aragon Quartet.