It is almost spring, the weather is getting warmer and my allergies are at work. In about three months, music will fill the Hollywood Bowl for the 35th annual Playboy Jazz Festival. This year the host and emcee will be comedian/actor George Lopez. Last year's event was terrific and this year's shows promises to be outstanding as well. The dates are Saturday, June 15 and Sunday, June 16. The shows run from 3pm till 11pm.
The Saturday lineup includes: the always entertaining George Duke with special guest Jeffrey Osborne, Naturally 7 with special guest Herbie Hancock, Angelique Kidjo and special guest trumpeter Hugh Masekela, "Ole Coltrane" featuring Poncho Sanchez and his Latin Jazz Band with special guest James Carter. Also on Staurday, Gordon Goodwin's Big Phat Band with special guest guitarist Lee Ritenour, Gregory Porter, Robert Glasper Experiment, Grace Kelly Quintet with special guest Phil Woods. Rounding out the lineup on Saturday are the Pedro Martinez Group featuring Ariacine Trujillo and the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts Jazz Ensemble.
The Sunday lineup includes: drummer/vocalist Sheila E, Bob James and David Sanborn, India.Arie, Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue, Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra celebrates Quincy Jones 80th birthday with special guests Patti Austin and flute man Hubert Laws, Taj Mahal & The Real Thing Tuba Band, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, the Brubeck Brothers Quartet with a tribute to Dave Brubeck and ELEW & the Jazz Antiqua Dance Ensemble. You can find out more about the concerts by logging on to the website http://www.playboyjazzfestival.com