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Playboy Jazz Festival

World class lineup highlights 34th annual festival

Posted: March 23, 2012 6:00 a.m.
Updated: March 23, 2012 6:00 a.m.

Bill Cosby and Richard Rosenzweig, President Emeritus Playboy Jazz Festivals, at the kickoff news conference.

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Featuring a world class lineup of talent, the 34th annual Playboy Jazz Festival will present an eclectic roster of Grammy-winning artists, acclaimed jazz icons, rising stars and festival favorites, Saturday and Sunday, June 16-17, at the Hollywood Bowl.

Among the headliners for the two-day concert are Ramsey Lewis, Robin Thicke, Ozomatli, Sheila E., Boney James and Christian McBride.

Having played the Festival on numerous occasions, Grammy-winner Ramsey Lewis will take to the Playboy stage for the first time with his popular Electric Band.

Making her Festival debut as a leader, Shiela E. has previously performed several times at the Festival with her legendary father, percussionist Pete Escovedo, and their family‘s famous band, with whom she still tours. A star in her own right, she has served as the musical director for such superstars as Jennifer Lopez, Beyoncé and Prince.

Currently riding high with the success of his fifth album, Love After War, R&B singing sensation Robin Thicke is making his highly anticipated Festival debut.

Celebrated Los Angeles culture-mashers Ozomatli are returning to the Playboy stage for their fifth appearance.

With four gold albums, three Grammy nominations, a Soul Train Award, and an NAACP award nomination to his credit, Boney James is considered by many to be one of the most influential jazz artists of his generation. James will bring his soulful grooves back to the festival for the fourth time. He has sold more than 3 million copies of his 12 albums.

Philadelphia born bass virtuoso and Grammy winner Christian McBride is one of the most recorded musicians of his generation. Having appeared on nearly 300 recordings as a sideman or leader before the age of 40, McBride has played with such high caliber artists as Sting, The Roots, Kathleen Battle, Carly Simon and James Brown to name a few. He has performed and recorded with such jazz giants as Herbie Hancock, Wynton Marsalis, Diana Krall, McCoy Tyner, Chick Corea, Roy Haynes, Joshua Redman, and many more. In 2006, he was named to the position of creative chair for jazz with the L.A. Philharmonic, taking over from Dianne Reeves. Making his first Festival appearance with his big band, McBride‘s first big band album, The Good Feeling, just won the 2012 Grammy for Best Large Jazz Ensemble.

Celebrating their 50th Anniversary, the Preservation Hall Jazz Band is synonymous with Dixieland and the best of New Orleans jazz and blues.

Making a return appearance, the group once again will bring the spirit of the Crescent City to the Playboy stage.
Renowned for their rotating group of local New Orleans musicians who tour throughout the world, the group‘s mission is to preserve the legacy of the traditional New Orleans and Dixieland jazz typically played on the Mississippi riverboats until the early 20th Century.

A Festival favorite, Keb' Mo' will bring the African-American folk-soul vibe of his 2011 collection, The Reflection, to the show. A three-time Grammy winner, The Reflection is Mo's first new album since Suitcase in 2006.

Returning as Master of Ceremonies for his 31st year is jazz aficionado Bill Cosby. He will bring his own group of specially chosen musicians to perform in the Cos Of Good Music.

For information on tickets and the complete lineup visit www.playboyjazzfestival.com. There is a link to the Ticketmaster website where tickets can be purchased.

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