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Free 'Playboy Jazz in Warner Park' Sunday

Diane Schuur, Ed Shaughnessy, Susie Hansen star

Posted: June 3, 2009 11:44 p.m.
Updated: June 4, 2009 5:39 p.m.

Jazz vocal star Diane Schuur plays at Warner Park in Woodland Hills on Sunday, one of the annual free events tied in with the Playboy Jazz Festival at the Hollywood Bowl June 13-14.

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It's summer...time to kick back, let your hair down and get your groove on when "Playboy Jazz in Warner Park" returns to Warner Park in Woodland Hills Sunday, June 7 from 4:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.

The free concert will be held at the park's Lou Bredlow Pavilion, 5800 Topanga Canyon Blvd., Woodland Hills 91367. The cross-street is Califa.

The popular concert, which annually attracts thousands of fans, will feature world-class vocalist Diane Schuur, jazz drummer Ed Shaughnessy, and Latin jazz violinist Susie Hansen and her band.

The El Camino High School Jazz Band under the direction of Kevin Glaser will open the show.

Offering a diverse mix of jazz and entertainment, from fiery salsa to classic jazz, the event is sponsored by the Playboy Jazz Festival as part of its free community concert series held in conjunction with the upcoming 31st annual Playboy Jazz Festival, set for Saturday and Sunday, June 13 and 14, at the world-renowned Hollywood Bowl.

Two-time Grammy-winner Diane Schuur, headlining the Warner Park show, is one of the world's most beloved and critically acclaimed jazz vocalists. Schuur will showcase her signature versions of classic jazz and pop standards and hits from her three-decade career.

A veteran drummer best known for his longtime stint with Doc Severinsen and "The Tonight Show" band, Ed Shaughnessy is also widely recognized for his work with the acclaimed big bands led by Benny Goodman and Tommy Dorsey, among others. Shaughnessy will bring his famous hard-swinging bebop sound and wide-ranging talents to the stage.

Celebrating their 20th anniversary this year, salsa violinist Susie Hansen and her Latin Jazz Band will ignite the crowd with their sizzling salsa and Latin jazz. Leading the ensemble with her electric violin, Hansen fuses her own interpretation of traditional Cuban "charanga" music with the compelling harmonies of straight ahead jazz for a dynamic sound that always moves fans to their feet.

Her all-star band features George Balmaseda on lead vocals, Joe Rotondi on keyboards, Rene Camacho on bass, and Jimmy Branly on timbales, among other great musicians.

In addition to music and entertainment, the family event will feature a Children's Play Zone complete with inflatable bouncers, clowns, face-painting and balloon artists.

"We are very pleased that the Playboy Jazz Festival free community concert series has been such a success in Woodland Hills," said Playboy Jazz Festival President Richard Rosenzweig. "Warner Center Park is an ideal location for a full day of jazz and we are delighted to continue making jazz accessible in the Valley and the greater Los Angeles area."

"Once again, the Valley Cultural Center is pleased to be associated with such a prestigious organization as the Playboy Jazz Festival. We look forward to a wonderful festival on June 7 to kick off our 34th season of 'Concerts in the Park,'" said James W. Kinsey, CEO/president of the Valley Cultural Center.

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