The newly renovated piazza of Urban Press Winery in Downtown Burbank was filled with guests, waiting patiently to see Dionne Warwick grace the stage and perform alongside friend and pianist, Todd Hunter.
On Monday, September 4th, Urban Press Winery hosted Todd Hunter’s release party for his latest album, “Postcards from Brazil, Volume Two.” Hunter and his quartet performed some music off the album including the song “New Beginning,” in which multi-Grammy award winning singer, Dionne Warwick, appears in. The sold out event began with a dinner from 4:30 to 6:00 PM, followed by a dazzling night of Bossa Nova Jazz music.
Musician Todd Hunter, grew up in San Diego, California, in a musical household and in his early adult years, found himself wrapped up in New York around the world’s best jazz scene. He has toured internationally with Dionne Warwick and it was Warwick who first introduced him to Brazil.
“You feel Brazil the moment you walk off the plane,” said Hunter, who now starts every trip in the country by going across the street to the beach, renting a chair and umbrella, getting a beer and enjoying the people, the waves, and the music. Warwick lived in Brazil for almost 25 years and composed a lot of her music there. “There are beautiful musicians and incredible recording artists there,” said Warwick.
Urban Press Winery, who has been voted myBurbank’s Best Winery in 2021, 2022, and 2023, brought Warwick on stage and presented her with a check for $5,000 made out to the Dionne Warwick Institute, a public school in East Orange, New Jersey, where she was born. The sold out venue stood in applause as Warwick accepted the check on behalf of the school.
Warwick, 82, has sold more than 100 million copies over her 60 years in the music business and has six Grammy Awards, an induction into the Hollywood Walk of Fame, the Grammy Hall of Fame, the R&B Hall of Fame, and the Apollo Theater Walk of Fame. This year Dionne Warwick will receive the Kennedy Center Honors, an award for lifetime artistic achievement. When asked what’s left for her to do, she jokes “Get an Emmy, an Oscar, and a Tony, and doesn’t have to be in that order.” Warwick’s sense of humor paired with her calm, cool, confidence, was magnetic and felt by everyone in the room.
Hunter and his quartet began the show by bringing Brazil to Burbank with calming jazz notes that had guests moving and swaying in the summer night air. Warwick sang “New Beginning,” which can be found on Hunter’s new album, and then continued singing some fan favorites, including the 1966 song, “What the World Needs Now is Love.”
During her song, “That’s What Friends are For,” Warwick invited her granddaughter, Cheyenne Elliot, on stage who was sitting in the audience. Elliot and Warwick sang the rest of the song together in a beautiful, touching moment of love and adoration.
Hunter frequently plays at Urban Press Winery, so follow them on Instagram for upcoming events.