Chick Corea, George Benson to headline Playboy Jazz Festival
The Playboy Jazz Festival announced the lineup for its 32nd annual summer music party at the Hollywood Bowl, and fans of the festival's crowd-pleasing mix of mainstream jazz paired with diversions into pop and world music aren't likely to be disappointed.
Scheduled for June 12 and 13, Saturday's show will be headlined by the Chick Corea Freedom Band. While the keyboardist isn't exactly a stranger around here with recent shows with the Five Peace Band, and Corea Clarke and White, this ensemble, featuring bassist Christian McBride, drummer Roy Haynes and saxophonist Kenny Garrett, could pull off some surprises.
Other highlights on Saturday include recent Grammy-winning vocalist Kurt Elling, Cuban salsa greats Los Van Van, and fusion guitarist Marcus Miller with young trumpeter Christian Scott, who together have been exploring the music of Miles Davis' 1986 album "Tutu."
Sunday again tilts to the festival's taste for the smoother side of jazz with performances by veteran guitarist George Benson and breezy vocal group the Manhattan Transfer. Highlights for that day's lineup also include the energetic gospel-blues of pedal steel player Robert Randolph, Malinese afro-pop artist Salif Keita, and a quartet featuring a pair of jazz legends, vibraphonist Bobby Hutcherson and pianist Cedar Walton.
Esperanza Spalding will also perform Sunday, marking the second consecutive year the young bassist has played the festival.
And in a long-running tradition, Bill Cosby will again be the emcee.
Tickets are on sale now through Ticketmaster. Complete lineup after the jump.
-- Chris Barton
SATURDAY, June 12
Chick Corea Freedom Band
Sax for Stax with Gerald Albright, Jeff Lorber and Kirk Whalum
Los Van Van
Marcus Miller Band with guest Christian Scott
Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra salutes Louie Bellson
Javon Jackson Band featuring Les McCann
Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue
El Dorado High School jazz band directed by Chad Watson
SUNDAY, June 13
The Manhattan Transfer
Bobby Hutcherson and Cedar Walton Quartet
Robert Randolph and the Family Band
Irvin Mayfield and the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra
Cos of Good Music featuring Dwayne Burno, Ndugu Chancler, Mark Gross, Jay Hoggard, D.D.Jackson and Ingrid Jensen
Jazz Mafia / Bows and Beats
L.A. District High School Jazz Band directed by Tony Wright and J.B. Diaz.
Photo: George Benson at the Greek Theater in 2000. Credit: Los Angeles Times