Guests will enjoy live entertainment from Culbertson and special surprises throughout the evening. The festivities will honor both the 150-year legacy of our extraordinary institution and the decades of service of its visionary leader and president.
“He was mezmerizing at the 50th Hampton Jazz Festival,” said President Harvey. “There’s no doubt he will rock the house launching our Anniversaries’ Kick-Off Celebration, the same way he left people buzzing in June.”
Heralding from the musically rich city of Chicago, Culbertson began his musical studies at the age of 8 on piano and quickly picked up several other instruments by age 12, including drums, trombone, bass and euphonium. Inspired by the great R&B/Jazz/Pop artists of the 70’s like Earth Wind and Fire, Tower of Power, Chicago, David Sanborn and others, Culbertson started composing original music for his 7th grade piano recital and hasn’t stopped. He has self-produced 16 solo albums, most of which have topped the Billboard Contemporary Jazz charts, including 28 No. 1 smooth jazz radio hits.
He has worked and performed with industry all-stars like Michael McDonald, Chris Botti, Ledisi, Barry Manilow, Herb Alpert, Natalie Cole, Chuck Brown, and Bootsy Collins. He has received numerous awards including being nominated for a 2012 NAACP Image Award and a 2012 Soul Train Award. He won the 2010 Canadian Smooth Jazz Award for Best International Artist and the 2010 American Smooth Jazz Award for Best Keyboardist. In 2012, he founded the Napa Valley Jazz Getaway, now in its 5th year.
Culbertson is touring a new album, “Funk!” due to be released just before the concert. The new set is a throwback to stanky P-Funk records,combining infectious bass lines, greasy horn licks, sing-a-long hooks and landing hard on “One.” This record is also a follow-up to his widely successful “Bringing Back The Funk” album from 2008, co-produced by the late Maurice White of Earth, Wind & Fire.
Fans can rest assured that, with 16 albums and counting, Culbertson always brings his very best – and brings out the best in others – in his broad-ranging musical endeavors.
Tickets for the Anniversaries’ Kick-Off Celebration start at $40 for upper level for Hampton students, $50 upper level general admission, $65 mezzanine level, $75 lower level (no VIP) and $150 floor (VIP reception access 6pm-7:30pm). Tickets are available at the Hampton University Convocation Center and Ticketmaster. For more information contact the Hampton University Convocation Center box office at (757) 728-6800.