Classic Wineseller' s May live series —  jazz, cabaret, pop, soul

By Kay Stegall Miller | Apr 30, 2014
Courtesy of: James Hammel Singer-songwriter James Hammel performs jazz standards and pop tunes Friday, May 2 at the Classic Wineseller.

There is no listening experience more immediate or satisfying than a live performance. The Classic Wineseller, Waynesville’s premier small plate restaurant, retail shop, and intimate live music venue is offering a wide range of performances during the month of May to pique the interest of even a marginal music fan. Live music starts at 7 p.m. each Friday and Saturday night. The on-premises restaurant serves small plate and tapas-style fare from 5:30 to 9 p.m.

Charismatic singer-songwriter James Hammel (guitar, vocals) will kick off the Wineseller’s May music series with jazz and pop tunes at 7 p.m. Friday, May 2. Hammel was at the top of the corporate ladder in New York City when 911 occurred. Devastating effects to his company and among co-workers and friends led him to re-evaluate life and return to his love of music.

Singer-songwriter Matthew Welborn, and vocalist wife Jessi Stone perform as the duo, Bohemian Jean, at 7 p.m. Saturday, May 3. Stone chooses covers that suit her soulful alto voice — including hits from Janis Joplin, Stevie Nicks, Patsy Cline, and Carly Simon. Welborn complements his wife’s voice with rich harmonies, also adding his own fun covers and original music to the mix. High school sweethearts, the couple’s natural chemistry shines through when they perform the music they love.

Daniel Shearin performs at 7 p.m. Friday, May 9. He is a singer and multi-instrumentalist who lives in Asheville. Shearin has been an active member of several popular bands in the area such as Uncle Mountain, River Whyless, and Now You See Them as well as performing regularly as a solo artist. Shearin will play and sing a mix of folk, rock, and world music on finger-style acoustic guitar and harmonica.

Joe Cruz (piano, vocals) delivers with hits of Paul Simon, the Beatles, and Elton John at 7 p.m. Saturday, May 10. Cruz grew up singing and playing in church. As a teenager, he started performing regularly at clubs in New York City. He has opened for such greats as Chicago, Bonnie Raitt and Santana.

Singer-songwriter Jay Brown performs at 7 p.m. Friday, May 16. Brown has spent years traveling and playing across the U.S. taking in its rich musical heritage. He performs music from multiple genres including blues, bluegrass, and American roots music. He is a member of Lazybirds, Swing Guitars and Shantavaani, an Indian-fusion group he started with his wife. Brown has performed with the Old Crow Medicine Show and shared the stage with musical legends, Etta Baker and Doc Watson. For more information about Jay Brown visit

On Saturday, May 17 the Classic Wineseller will introduce themed cabaret to Waynesville. Singer and actress Wendy Jones will perform her show, entitled “Love, Lies, Liaisons,” which looks at the highs and lows of love — searching for love, being in love and falling out of love. Witty banter and swinging songs relate to her own journey through the highs and lows of love. Joining Jones will be Steve Davidowski, piano; Zack Page, bass; and Rick Dilling, drums. A four-course dinner is included with the musical performance for $34.99 per person. Seating is limited. Reserve a table at 452-6000.

On Memorial Day weekend, Joe Cruz is back at the piano singing the best of the Beatles and Elton John at 7 p.m. Friday, May 23. The Michael Jefry Stevens Trio performs at 7 p.m. Saturday, May 24. Featuring Stevens on piano, Zack Page on bass, and Rick Dilling on drums, the trio will perform traditional jazz standards and original music by Michael Jefry Stevens. A four-course dinner is included with the musical performance for $34.99 per person. Seating is limited. Reserve tickets by calling at 452-6000.

At 7 p.m. Friday, May 30, the Classic Wineseller welcomes singer-songwriter Ben Wilson performing hits from the 60s, 70s, and 80s. His style has been compared to Elvis Costello, Bob Dylan, John Prine and Todd Snider. Wilson’s extensive repertoire includes originals, Americana, and acoustic classics.

Enjoy an evening of gypsy jazz music with Michael Pilgrim mandolin and Don Mercz guitar at 7 p.m. Saturday, May 31 at 7pm. Pilgrim and Mercz have been playing music together for over 30 years and share an affinity for the passionate and exhilaratingly up-tempo Gypsy jazz music.

The complete May schedule includes:

Friday, May 2 — James Hammel, guitar and vocals. Jazz and pop

Saturday, May 3 — Bohemian Jean with Jessi Stone, vocals, and Matt Welborn, guitar, harmonica, vocals. Originals, pop, soul, country

Friday, May 9 — Daniel Shearin, guitar and vocals. Pop, originals

Saturday, May 10 — Joe Cruz piano, vocals. Beatles and Elton John

Friday, May 16 — Jay Brown, guitar, harmonica, vocals. Folk, blues, Americana roots

Saturday, May 17 — NEW! “Love, Lies, Liaisons: A Cabaret Show” featuring Wendy Jones, vocals; Steve Davidowski, piano;

Zack Page, bass; Rick Dilling, drums.

Friday, May 23 — Joe Cruz piano, vocals. Beatles and Elton John

Saturday, May 24 - Live jazz and dinner. Michael Jefry Stevens Trio, featuring Michael Jefry Stevens, piano; Zack Page, bass; Rick Dilling, percussion

Friday, May 30 — Ben Wilson, guitar and vocals. Music of 60s, 70s, 80s

Saturday, May 31 — Mike Pilgrim, mandolin, Don Mercz guitar. Gypsy jazz

The Classic Wineseller presents local, regional, or national talent every Friday and Saturday night at 7pm. Enjoy daily wine tastings and weekly food, wine, and beer specials. There is a $10 per person minimum on non-ticketed live music nights that includes food, drink, and retail purchases. Reservations are accepted from 6 to 7 p.m. by calling 452-6000.Visit for additional information.