Naturally 7 makes their festival debut and rocks the bowl with their distinctive "vocal play":
No one knew what to expect when the one-of-a-kind group, Naturally 7, made their much anticipated Festival debut. Using only their own voices to replicate the sounds of musical instruments, their unique a cappella style known as "vocal play" was the surprise hit of the show with fans and critics alike.
23-year-old "Trombone Shorty" brings the crowd to its feet with the "Supafunk Rock" sounds of New Orleans in a triumphant debut: 23-year-old trombonist/trumpet phenomenon "Trombone Shorty" and his group Orleans Avenue, brought the crowd to its feet and had everyone dancing in the aisles to the "Supafunk Rock" sounds of the Crescent City in a triumphant debut performance that showcased the virtuosity and star power that has made him one of today's hottest up and coming stars.
In a festival first, multi-talented ukulele artist Jake Shimabukuro mesmerizes the audience in a stellar debut: In an appearance that not only marked the debut of a young visionary, but the first time Playboy has ever presented a solo ukulele player, multi-talented Jake Shimabukuro blew everyone away with a knockout performance that included interpretations of everything from jazz to the Beatles.
Rising Young Star Esperanza Spalding Makes a Stunning Debut:
In what can only be described as a stunning standout performance, 24 year old bassist and vocalist Esperanza Spalding made her Festival debut as the leader of her own band. A rising young star, Spalding captivated the audience with her innovative vocal stylings and distinctly individual sound.
Sharon Jones and The Dap Kings Rock The House: In a rousing performance, Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings rocked the house with the group's blistering brand of funkified R&B and 60's soul that brought the crowd to its feet and left fansbegging for more.
Quincy Jones' Protege Alfredo Rodriguez Makes a Dazzling Festival Debut After Defecting From Cuba: The newest protégé of legendary producer Quincy Jones, gifted 23 year old pianist Alfredo Rodriguez dazzled the audience in his Festival debut just months after defecting from Cuba in one of his first United State performances.
Multi-Grammy Winning Pianist Herbie Hancock and the Debbie Allen Dancers Electrify the Audience and "Rockit" to a Standing Ovation:
In one of the most innovative and imaginative collaborations ever seen on the Playboy stage,Festival favorite Herbie Hancock was joined by over forty young dancers from The Debbie Allen Dance Academy for a special performance of Hancock's renowned hit “Rockit.” A huge success with fans and critics alike, the electrifying performance brought the crowd to its feet for what was undoubtedly one of the longest standing ovations in the Festival's 30 year history.
Dee Dee Bridgewater's 'Malian Journey' Captivates the Crowd: Returning to the Festival with a special group of musicians direct from Mali, Bridgewater traversed the musical landscape like no other. Backed by a blend of traditional Malian music, voices, and native African instruments in a colorful celebration of her cultural roots, Bridgewater's enticing performance captivated Festivalgoers.
Tower of Power Celebrates Their 40th Anniversary and Dazzles Fans: With their signature horn driven sound, Tower of Power blazed on to the stage for another high octane performance. Mixing jazz, funk, rock, and soul, the group dazzled fans with their high energy style, proving they are still “one of the world's greatest rhythm and blues bands.”
Guitar Icon Buddy Guy Delivers Unforgettable Performance and Electrifies the Crowd:
Guitar icon and multi Grammy winner Buddy Guy returned to the Playboy stage and dazzled the crowd with his trademark frenzied guitar playing, demonstrating the influential style that earned him a permanent place in the Rock 'N Roll Hall of Fame and left fans clamoring for more.
African Singer Angelique Kidjo Ignites the Audience in Her Festival Debut: Young African singer Angelique Kidjo, a four time Grammy nominee, made her Festival debut, adding to the multicultural mix. Kidjo ignited the audience with her scintillating sound and colorful arrangements of Caribbean rhythms and West African beats, fused with R&B, funk and jazz. Her charismatic performance captivated the crowd.
Grammy Winning Trumpeter Terrence Blanchard Captured the Crowd With His Soulful Playing: In a poignant moment, renowned trumpeter Terrence Blanchard captured Festival goers with his moving performance from the score he and director Spike Lee wrote for the 2006 documentary When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts, about Hurricane Katrina.
Jamie Cullum debuts in stand-out performance:
In a sensational Festival debut, young British singer and pianist Jamie Cullum wowed the crowd with his artistic vocals and exuberance. He alternately sprinted across the stage and enthusiastically jumped on the piano in a stand-out performance that left the audience begging for more.
Jazz greats George Duke and Stanley Clarke reunite for Clarke-Duke Project: Marking their first extended tour together since 1990, jazz greats George Duke and Stanley Clarke rocked the house when they came together for a special performance as the Clarke-Duke Project. This was only the second time the famed keyboardist and the acclaimed electric bassist performed together on the Playboy stage, showcasing the unique talents that have made them both Grammy-winning artists and Festival favorites.
McCoy Tyner and his Trio team with Lula Washington Dance Theater for special collaboration: The renowned McCoy Tyner Trio and the acclaimed Lula Washington Dance Theater teamed up together for a special collaboration featuring the Trio's music and dazzling dancers from Washington's group. Their performance, the Festival's first-ever presentation of a modern music and dance partnership, was a hit with critics and fans alike, and also marked Washington's Festival debut as well as her first appearance together with Tyner on the Playboy stage.
Festival favorite George Benson returns and ignites the crowd:
Guitar legend and eight-time Grammy winner George Benson returned to the festival, giving an electrifying performance that had the crowd on its feet and dancing in the aisles from the minute he took the stage to his final riff. Benson demonstrated the vocal prowess and riveting guitar playing that has won him an international fan base and made him a festival favorite.
daKAH, the world's biggest hip-hop orchestra, debuts and dazzles festival-goers: Featuring more than 60 performers live onstage, the multi-cultural ensemble covered the Hollywood Bowl's entire turntable and then some, marking the first time such a huge group has ever performed at the festival. Their genre-bending performance—which included dancers, rappers and DJs—and multi-ethnic urban sound impressed the crowd, inspiring raucous applause.
A Tribute to the Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Jazz Orchestra legacy featuring the legendary Dee Dee Bridgewater and famed trumpeter Jon Faddis touches the audience: Renowned vocalist Dee Dee Bridgewater and legendary trumpeter Jon Faddis led an all-star group of musicians in a spectacular tribute to the influential big band. But the real highlight came when Dee Dee Bridgewater walked onstage singing the classic song "A Child is Born," carrying Thad Jones's granddaughter in her arms, creating one of the festival's most memorable moments.
Direct from South Africa, icon Hugh Masekela captivates the crowd:
Making a rare Jazz Festival appearance, Hugh Masekela broke it up with his eclectic fusion of jazz, bebop and funk, and the traditional South African sounds of his native homeland.
Legendary jazz great Barbara Morrison dazzles the audience in a duet with rising star Reneé Olstead: Jazz and blues legend Barbara Morrison made her long-awaited Jazz Festival debut with premier bandleader Gerald Wilson and his orchestra. Joined onstage by 14-year-old rising star Reneé Olstead, they dazzled the audience with their stunning duet.
The incomparable Etta James rocks the house: Grammy winner Etta James returned to the Playboy stage better than ever and rocked the house with her renowned Roots Band, proving she is still the undisputed "Matriarch of the Blues."
Surprise guest Reneé Olstead wows the crowd and wins standing ovation:
Making her festival debut, 13-year-old singer Reneé Olstead, a surprise guest, wowed the crowd with her searing rendition of the Etta James classic "At Last," in a standout performance that rocked the house and brought the sell-out crowd of 18,000 fans to its feet.
Legendary stars Al Jarreau and Dave Brubeck perform "Take Five" together to celebrate the Festival's 25th anniversary: Acclaimed vocalist Al Jarreau and the legendary pianist/composer Dave Brubeck (who appeared at the very first Playboy Jazz Festival in Chicago in 1959), performed Brubeck's classic hit "Take Five" together, live onstage, for the first time on a festival stage in celebration of the Festival's 25th Anniversary. Their charismatic performance captivated the audience.
Young vocalist and rising star Lizz Wright ignites the crowd in her debut appearance: In a compelling Festival debut, young vocalist Lizz Wright delivered a stellar performance, capturing the audience with her commanding voice and gospel-infused style, and was a hit with fans and critics alike.
Ambassadors of New Orleans, Jazz Pete Fountain and The Preservation Jazz Hall Band, appeared in rare performance together:
Renowned for keeping the soul of New Orleans jazz alive, Pete Fountain and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band brought the swinging sounds of the Big Easy to the Bowl in a rare appearance together. The audience conveyed their approval for the group's repertoire of Dixieland tunes and southern spirituals by starting a traditional second line that had fans parading through the aisles holding umbrellas and waving handkerchiefs in true New Orleans style.
Direct from Cuba, Maraca made a fiery debut: Direct from Cuba, Latin salsa band Maraca made its festival debut. Its fiery performance and Afro-Cuban rhythms ignited the crowd and had the audience screaming for more, bringing a true multicultural flavor to the event.
Grammy winning saxophonist Michael Brecker received a standing ovation: Seven-time Grammy winner and saxophonist Michael Brecker tore up the Bowl when he took to the stage for a rare five-minute sax solo with no accompaniment as part of Herbie Hancock's set. The standout performance was a hit with fans and critics alike, winning him a standing ovation.
Keb' Mo' Electrifies the Crowd:
Having played the festival before as part of "The Cos Of Good Music," singer-guitarist Keb' Mo' made his festival debut as the leader of his own group and ignited the crowd with his electrifying blues-playing. The audience expressed its excitement by waving white handkerchiefs and napkins as they danced in the aisles.
Isaac Hayes Captivates the Audience at Festival Debut: Legendary vocalist, musician and composer Isaac Hayes made his long-awaited Festival debut and brought the crowd to its feet as he captivated the audience with his powerful and sultry performance of the Oscar winning theme song Shaft, and such other classics as Walk On By, and The Look of Love.
Femi-Kuti Ignites Festival with Tribal Rhythms and World Music: Nigerian-born singer Femi-Kuti brought firebrand African rhythms and high-energy style to his Festival debut. His band, which featured dancers in African dress along with strong horns and percussion, wowed the crowd with its charismatic performance and brought the flavor of world music to the sold-out event.
Lou Rawls Makes his Festival Debut and Leaves the Audience Clamoring for More:
Making his long-awaited Festival debut, vocalist Lou Rawls proved his is still the personification of cool. Elegant in an all-white suit and alligator shoes, Rawls left the audience clamoring for more in a closing set that included such Rawls favorites as Groovy People, You'll Never Find Another Love Like Mine and Lady Love.
Ozomotli Wows the Crowd: Afro-Latino band Ozomotli wowed the crowd as they made their way to the Festival stage, traveling through the audience from the top of the Bowl. The Afro-Latino band had fans on their feet and dancing in the aisles for the duration of their show-stopping debut performance.
Multicultural Cameroonian Bassist Richard Bona Makes Debut: In a multicultural lineup that brought world music center stage, young Cameroonian guitarist Richard Bona more than lived up to the hype preceding him in a standout performance that was a surprise hit with the audience and critics alike.
Dianne Reeves and George Duke Receive Standing Ovation:
Vocalist Dianne Reeves electrified the audience in her fifth appearance at the festival with a standout Saturday performance that had conga lines weaving through the aisles to her unique rendition of Gershwin's Love For Sale, Peter Gabriel's In Your Eyes and Coltrane's Afro Blue Impressions. Reeves was joined by a surprise guest, keyboardist George Duke (also her cousin), for her last number, Wonders of the Universe. Their rousing performance won a thunderous standing ovation.
All-Star Tribute to Cannonball and Nat Adderley: One of the most moving high points of Sunday's concert was the special salute to Cannonball and Nat Adderley, featuring veteran jazz musicians from both Adderleys' bands, including trumpeter Longineu Parsons, drummer Roy McCurdy, percussionist Airto Moreira, pianists George Duke and Michael Wolf, saxophonist Vincent Harry and bassist Walter Booker. In a rare surprise appearance, renowned vocalist Nancy Wilson (who also worked with the original group) joined the ensemble onstage for several numbers. Together, the veteran musicians captured the essence of the soulful jazz sound for which both brothers were famous—and as Nat Adderley was brought onstage in a wheelchair, the crowd rose to its feet for a standing ovation.
Jeff Goldblum Makes Festival Debut: Actor, director, musician Jeff Goldblum (best known for his roles in Jurassic Park and Independence Day) made his festival debut with his own group, the Mildred Switzer Orchestra, who opened Sunday's show to excellent reviews from critics and fans alike.
Pulitzer Prize-winner Wynton Marsalis
showcased selections from his vast body of innovative original jazz works and popular classic standards in a rare appearance with a small group.
A world-class performer and five-time Grammy winner Al Jarreau demonstrated the extensive vocal range and musical interpretations that have made him an internationally renowned star. A festival favorite, Jarreau performed a mix of his best-known works from his latest release, The Best of Al Jarreau, along with songs from his new repertoire.
Straight from Nigeria, the incomparable King Sunny Ade, the undisputed king of "juju" music, and his African Beats Band returned with their colorful costumes and infectious polyrhythmic music for another highly spirited performance.
Direct from Cuba, Los Van Van
makes their festival debut in a critically acclaimed, rousing performance: On the cutting edge of the upsurge in interest in contemporary Latin jazz, the Playboy Jazz Festival presented the undisputed king of Cuban dance orchestras, Los Van Van. The festival negotiated with the U.S. State Department to bring this unique charanga ensemble to Los Angeles and, based on the tremendous audience response, expects to have them back in 1998.
Award-Winning rock pianist and composer Bruce Hornsby makes his Playboy Jazz Festival debut: In his Playboy Jazz Festival debut, multi-award-winning rock pianist and composer Bruce Hornsby, who has performed with renowned artists from Bob Dylan to the Grateful Dead, turned his eclectic talent to the jazz idiom and electrified the Bowl with his artistry.
Musical giants Etta James and George Benson bring the crowd to their feet: The 1997 festival proved that legendary artists such as Etta James and George Benson can still galvanize an audience into a spontaneous party. James' rocking blues and Benson's uptempo pop-tinged jazz offerings had the crowd leaping to its feet and thousands of fans dancing in the aisles.
Legendary star Tony Bennett makes his Playboy Jazz Festival debut:
In his debut performance at the 1996 Playboy Jazz Festival, internationally acclaimed singing legend Tony Bennett proved he has not only bridged the generation gap, but as The New York Times put it, "He has demolished it. Bennett's vocal counterpoint in a surprise duet with world-renowned jazz singer Joe Williams clearly demonstrated why Bennett is a legendary star with multigenerational appeal."
Direct from Cuba, "Chucho" Valdes and Irakere make their festival debut in their first U.S. appearance since 1987: In their debut performance at the festival, "Chucho" Valdes and his band Irakere stole the show with their unique combination of Afro-Cuban rhythms. Their performance astonished critics and fans alike and brought the crowd to its feet for a rousing standing ovation. This was their first performance in the U.S. since 1987.
Trombonist J.J. Johnson is a big hit with critics and fans: The critically acclaimed J.J. Johnson, considered the most important jazz trombonist of our time, dazzled the audience with his technical prowess and innovative interpretation
Gladys Knight rocks the audience in her festival debut: Gladys Knight, one of the most popular singers in R&B history, broke it up and had the crowd begging for more at her first performance at the Playboy Jazz Festival.
The Lalo Schifrin Big Band thrills audience with the "Gillespiana Suite" tribute to Dizzy Gillespie: The Lalo Schifrin Big Band thrilled the Playboy Jazz Festival audience with the first West Coast performance of Schifrin's tribute to Dizzy Gillespie, the "Gillespiana Suite," a five-movement concerto grosso written to honor the trumpet master. The piece was showcased by Schifrin and Gillespie's protégé, Jon Faddis, with an orchestra featuring Tom Scott, Paulinho DaCosta and Alex Acuna.
Russ Ferrante and the Yellowjackets presented the world musical premiere of Maya Angelou's "On the Pulse of Morning": The world premiere of Russ Ferrante's musical version of Maya Angelou's poem "On the Pulse of Morning," recited originally at President Clinton's inauguration, was presented by the Yellowjackets, along with Dianne Reeves, Lori Perry and the Crenshaw High School Elite Choir.
Alex Theatre launches series of jazz concerts in association with Playboy Jazz Festival: In September, the Alex Theatre in Glendale, California launched a five-part series of jazz concerts in association with the Playboy Jazz Festival. Titled the "Playboy Jazz Festival in Concert" series, this new jazz venture's debut showcased Marcus Roberts with the Academy of the Ascension Orchestra in what the Los Angeles Times later termed the number one jazz event of the year in Southern California. Subsequent concerts in the series featured such jazz greats as George Shearing, the Charlie Haden Quartet West, Billy Taylor and Ramsey Lewis and Joshua Redman.
Cos of good music makes exclusive Playboy Jazz Festival debut:
For the first time, Master of Ceremonies and longtime jazz aficionado Bill Cosby formed his own group especially for the Playboy Jazz Festival. A not-to-be-missed happening, "the Cos" brought together some of the most exciting stars on the jazz scene today for this exclusive performance, including brilliant young bassist Christian McBride, master tenor saxophonist Stanley Turrentine, alto sax great Charles McPherson, pianist Benny Green, drummer Greg Hutchinson and premiere young saxophonists Craig Handy and James Carter. The group was the critical sensation of the festival.
"El Grand Cachao" makes his bowl debut and first appearance at the Playboy Jazz Festival: In a rare appearance, the creator of authentic Cuban music and the mambo, Cachao made his Hollywood Bowl debut with his first appearance at the Playboy Jazz Festival. Joined by actor Andy Garcia, who directed a feature-length documentary about the prolific composer and musician, Cachao and his group caused fans to form a conga line and parade through the aisles.
Playboy Jazz debuts at Old Pasadena Summerfest: For the first time in the history of the Playboy Jazz Festival, Playboy sponsored a free community event in Pasadena featuring more than 12 hours of first-rate jazz, including highly regarded saxophonists Tom Scott and Everette Harp. The two-day event, which also offered food tastings from many of Pasadena's top restaurants, arts and crafts displays, a children's petting zoo and more, attracted an astonishing 50,000 people.
Playboy Jazz Festival launches first nationwide tour, stopping in five cities around the U.S.:
Al Jarreau headlines: For the first time, the Playboy Jazz Festival took to the road in the United States. A series of minifestivals headlined by Grammy-winning vocalist Al Jarreau and including such greats as David Sanborn, George Duke and Marcus Miller played to enthusiastic audiences in Atlanta, Detroit, Denver and Washington, D.C., culminating with an entire weekend of great jazz entertainment at three separate venues in Playboy's hometown, Chicago. Although the members of the multitalented Laws Family had appeared before separately on the Playboy lineup, 1994 marked both a reunion and a first for them as Ronnie, Eloise, Hubert and Debra joined forces for a family performance.
The recently renovated Pershing Square was a new venue for one of the Playboy Jazz Festival's free community events. The noontime concert at the historic site featured saxophonist Ronnie Laws and drew more than 5000 jazz fans, despite the fact that O.J. Simpson was scheduled to surrender to police on suspicion of murder only a few blocks away at Parker Center.
Renowned jazz vocalist Al Jarreau makes his Playboy Jazz Festival debut:
Multi-Grammy Award winner Al Jarreau, acknowledged worldwide as one of the most respected male vocalists in jazz, made his first Playboy Jazz Festival appearance on the Hollywood Bowl stage. Other first-timers included blues superstar Buddy Guy, who left the audience shouting for more, Zawinul Syndicate, headed by keyboard great Joe Zawinul (formerly of Weather Report), the McCoy Tyner Big Band, Patti Austin and Dr. John (Mac Rebennack) and the New Island Social and Pleasure Club. Wynton Marsalis made his sixth appearance at the Playboy Jazz Festival. The trumpet legend showed his staying power by spurring the crowd into dancing in the aisles and the traditional New Orleans "second line."
Host Bill Cosby became special guest star: World-renowned entertainer Bill Cosby helped open the Saturday lineup by sitting in with the young musicians of the Washington Preparatory High School Jazz Ensemble. Multitalented vocalist Patti Austin, whose career has successfully ranged from that of a solo artist to a session singer and a commercial performer—with numerous honors and awards along the way—electrified the capacity crowd with surprise visits to the Bowl stage by her labelmate from Quincy Jones' Qwest label, James Ingram. Ingram joined Austin in a duet on their chart-topping single, "Baby Come to Me." Saturday's first performance was by two extraordinarily talented young musicians from New York's prestigious Juilliard School, trumpeter Mark Inouye and saxophonist Sam Karam. The two were winners of the first Sony ES Fellowship Awards, and Sony ES served as principal sponsor of the nationwide public radio broadcast of the Playboy Jazz Festival. In its second year, this broadcast was carried in whole or in part by some 175 stations coast to coast.
A year of firsts:
More than 100 public radio stations coast-to-coast participated in the first-ever broadcast of the Playboy Jazz Festival. Non-commercial radio stations (NPR and APR affiliates and independents) were provided free access to 17 1/2 hours of quality jazz entertainment from the two-day festival at the Hollywood Bowl. Many stations aired the entire two days live, while others delayed-broadcast the event throughout the summer. Reporting stations called the radio broadcast one of the highlights of their year and said that they looked forward to carrying the festival on a regular basis. Artists making their Playboy Jazz Festival debut included Mario Bauza, the "godfather" of Afro-Cuban jazz; T.S. Monk, son of the legendary Thelonious Monk; the Manhattan Transfer, in their first solo appearance; Japan's chart-topping fusion stars T-Square; and hot Latin jazz group Manteca, which performed both at the Los Angeles City Hall free community event and on the festival lineup.
Grover Washington Jr. was the winner of the festival's unofficial "crowd-pleaser" award with his high-octane set. The much-honored Playboy Jazz Festival official program captured the Gold Award for Excellence in its category in the annual Ozzie Awards competition. The Playboy Jazz Festival returned to Japan for the second successful year, attracting enthusiastic fans at Sapparo and at the famed Tokyo Dome. West Hollywood was the site for that city's first Playboy Jazz and Food Festival. More than 20,000 fans packed West Hollywood Park for an afternoon of entertainment featuring Poncho Sanchez, Linda Hopkins and the Blazing Redheads.
The Playboy Jazz Festival goes international hosting two concerts in Japan:
Playboy announced the expansion of the Jazz Festival to Japan in 1991 and 1992, with concerts in August 1991 in Tokyo and Fukuoka. Veteran Playboy Jazz Festival emcee Bill Cosby, who every year "sits in" briefly with groups on the lineup, made his debut as a full-set performer with his own group, Bill Cosby & Friends. Miriam Makeba made her first appearance at the Playboy Jazz Festival backed by Dizzy Gillespie. Gillespie also appeared with his own group the United Nations Orchestra the following day, only the third time any Playboy Jazz Festival artist has made back-to-back appearances. The most promising up-and-coming young stars of jazz made their Bowl debut as "Jazz Futures." Many of these outstanding performers had been featured in a Time magazine cover story on the resurgence of jazz in America. KLON-FM, Los Angeles' only full-time jazz radio station, joined KACE-FM as the official radio stations of the festival.
Jazz banjo made its first appearance at the Bowl with Béla Fleck and the Flecktones. For the fourth consecutive year, the Playboy Jazz Festival program received top honors from Magazine & Design Production, the trade publication and organization. This year's program won the Gold Award for design excellence, competing in a field of more than 1300 entries for the award from across the U.S. and Canada. For the first time in the history of the Playboy Jazz Festival, all of the prefestival free community events were presented by a single sponsor, GUESS MEN cologne. The first-ever free community event in Beverly Hills, "Playboy Jazz in Beverly Hills," was held in association with the Beverly Hills Restaurant Association. A record crowd for that city -- estimated at more than 25,000 jazz fans -- heard headliners Joe Williams, the Capp-Pierce Juggernaut Band and Poncho Sanchez. Three high school vocal groups, winners of the Fullerton College Jazz Festival Vocal Competition, were featured at "Playboy Jazz Festival Salutes the Winners," a free event at Hermosa Beach.
The Playboy Jazz Festival Program wins the gold, taking home first place at The Ozzie Awards:
The Playboy Jazz Festival program won its first Ozzie Award (Gold) for design excellence, Best Single Design/Consumer category, from Magazine Design and Production. Festival tickets sold out eight weeks before the opening note was played. KKJZ-AM and KACE-FM were selected as the "official" radio stations. Playboy Jazz Cruise was brought back by popular demand to the roster of free community events. The festival presented back-to-back appearances by the Chick Corea Akoustic and Chick Corea Elektric Band, only the second time in the event's history there had been such a booking. Joe Williams made his seventh appearance with special guest Jay McShann. McShann, a swing era legend, made his festival debut at age 74. In an all-star assemblage, Pat Metheny, Dave Holland, Jack DeJohnette and Herbie Hancock joined forces for a special one-time-only summer road tour, including this debut date.
The International Association of Jazz Appreciation and the Playboy Jazz Festival co-presented for the first time the traditional annual in-school free concerts/clinics/workshop series, "Jazz Goes to School." A free concert, "Playboy Jazz Festival Salutes the Seniors," was presented on Mother's Day and featured three all-female lead groups. Poncho Sanchez presented the first performance by a Latin jazz group at a free concert on the steps of Los Angeles' City Hall. "Jazz at City Hall" has been a downtown noontime tradition for 12 consecutive years. More than 782 musical groups from throughout the U.S. and Canada, along with bands from as far away as Brazil and Japan, submitted entries to the Sixth Annual Hennessy Cognac Jazz Search in the hope of winning the opening act slot on the June 17 talent lineup. The crowd-pleasing debut performance of Poncho Sanchez joined by special guest star, Latin jazz great Tito Puente, closed the Saturday show with the biggest salsa party ever. Blues legend Etta James had the sold-out crowd dancing in the aisles throughout her entire performance.
An exciting lineup of Grammy winners take to the stage:
The Playboy Jazz Festival program won the MAGGIE Award from the Western Publication Association for publishing excellence for the fourth year. It also won the Gold Ink Award for design excellence. Grammy Award-winning a cappella gospel group Take 6 made its debut. Grammy Award winner Larry Carlton returned to the festival lineup after having made a virtually complete recovery from a near-fatal shooting in April 1987. Chart-topper Dianne Reeves made her solo debut. Reeves first appeared in 1985 as part of "Sing, Sing, Sing," one of the highlights of Playboy Jazz Festival history. The Terry Gibb Dream Band debuted, making its first live appearance in more than ten years. The previous year, the original Dream Band's 1959 tapes were released to rave reviews. Buckwheat Zydeco made its festival debut and closed the Saturday show with the exuberant dance music of Southwestern Louisiana's French-speaking Creoles, lead by accordionist, singer and songwriter Stanley "Buckwheat" Dural Jr.
Playboy magazine kicks off its 35th anniversary celebration:
The 10th Anniversary Playboy Jazz Festival kicked off the celebration of Playboy magazine's 35th anniversary and sold out an unprecedented six weeks before the two-day event. The Playboy Jazz Festival program won Gold Ink Awards (Silver) for excellence from Magazine Design and Production. King Sunny Ade made his debut with his 19-piece African Beats "juju" band. This was the first time the Playboy Jazz Festival had a performance of authentic Nigerian song and dance.
The City of Los Angeles honors jazz legend Lionel Hampton:
Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley honored jazz legend Lionel Hampton with a proclamation for his 60-year contribution to music during a noon concert on the steps of City Hall. The concert featured Duke Dejean's Olympia Brass Band and a special musical tribute to Hampton by 30 Southern California vibe players. Panamanian musician Rubén Blades made his debut. His rock-salsa hybrid, a departure from the usual festival programming, had the crowd standing and swaying throughout his performance.
An evening of music celebrates the sounds of Benny Goodman:
Box seat tickets sold out in late January only 24 hours after the on-sale announcement. The festival also sold out its Sunday concert five weeks before the event. A "Cinco de Mayo" concert reached an unprecedented crowd of 5000-plus at the Keyes Motor/LA Valley College Concert in Van Nuys. Sponsored for the second consecutive year by Keyes Motors to salute the Playboy Jazz Festival, this was part of the series of annual free community events. Saturday's concert was dedicated to the memory of Benny Goodman with a musical tribute by festival artist and producer George Wein. Goodman appeared on the lineup at the inaugural Los Angeles festival in 1979 as part of Playboy's 25th anniversary celebration and returned again the following year. Multi-Grammy Award-winning gospel singer Andre Crouch made the first appearance by a gospel performer. Herbie Hancock returned to the lineup of the Playboy Jazz Festival for an unprecedented fifth appearance. NBA superstar Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and his newly created record label, Cranberry Records, provided the winner of the Second Annual Hennessy Jazz Search (Terra Nova) with a master quality demo recording of their music. Jabbar also introduced the winning group as the opening act for Sunday's concert.
Playboy Jazz Festival Breaks Hollywood Bowl's attendance records:
The Playboy Jazz Festival program won the MAGGIE Award for editorial excellence from the Western Publishing Association for the third consecutive year. More than 400 amateur musicians submitted tapes to participate in the first Hennessy Jazz Search competition, co-sponsored by the Playboy Jazz Festival and Cognac Hennessy. Miles Davis returned to the all-star lineup for the first time since his 1959 Chicago appearance. More than 36,000 fans attended the two-day event, breaking records for attendance and gross sales for the Hollywood Bowl with an overcapacity crowd.
Playboy Jazz Festival dedicated to jazz great Count Basie:
The Playboy Jazz Festival program won the MAGGIE Award for editorial excellence from the Western Publishing Association for the second consecutive year. The festival was dedicated to Count Basie, who appeared in the original festival in Chicago in 1959 and again in 1979, 1981 and 1983 at the Hollywood Bowl. Mel Tormé and the Shorty Rogers Reunion Big Band performed together for the first time in more than two decades. Emcee Bill Cosby arranged and staged a special tribute to the late Willie Bobo, featuring Willie's son, Eric. Ray Charles, The Raelettes and the Ray Charles Orchestra made their debut at the Hollywood Bowl via the Playboy Jazz Festival. Records, tapes, videodiscs and videocassettes of the 1982 festival were released internationally. Community events continued throughout Southern California, including a concert on the steps of the Los Angeles City Hall featuring the Grammy-nominated Yellowjackets and "Celluloid Improvisations."
Joe Williams honored with a star on Hollywood's Walk of Fame:
Joe Williams made his fourth Playboy Jazz Festival appearance. His first dated back to the 1959 festival. Numerous fans and musicians were on hand to pay tribute to Count Basie's "Number One Son." The Playboy Jazz Festival program won its first MAGGIE Award for editorial excellence from the Western Publication Association.
Playboy Jazz Festival raises more than $40,000 for the South Bay Cancer Foundation and Salvation Army:
Box seats sold out five months before the event. A new festival community event, the King Harbor Celebrity Tennis Invitational, raised more than $40,000 for the South Bay Cancer Foundation and the Salvation Army; the tournament sold out one week in advance.
Festival's Community Jazz Jam makes the Guinness Book of Records:
The Community Jazz Jam sold out the Hollywood Bowl one week before the event. It was the largest jazz jam session ever held during community events (Rancho Cienega free concert), unofficially breaking the Guinness Book of Records mark, with more than 10,000 people participating. It is the largest press turnout for a non-rock musical event in the history of the Hollywood Bowl and in Southern California. Veteran jazz vocalist Helen Humes, in failing health, made her last public appearance with Joe Williams and the Count Basie Orchestra. Her emotion-charged performance resulted in an outpouring of respect and affection by the sell-out crowd, which gave her the most sustained ovation ever recorded at the festival.
Sold-out crowds makes southern California history:
The festival broke the record for the largest attendance at a jazz festival in the history of the Hollywood Bowl and Southern California. It also broke the record for most number of programs sold at a single two-day event. It sold out both performances in advance of the first note being played.
Jazz comes of age on the West Coast:
Part of Playboy's 25th anniversary celebration, the Playboy Jazz Festival is the first successful jazz festival ever held on the West Coast in terms of audience and community support. It sold out T-shirts and broke the record for the most T-shirts sold since the Beatles concert in 1964. Hugh M. Hefner decided to make the Playboy Jazz Festival an annual event, announcing it on the Hollywood Bowl stage Friday night.
Playboy Jazz in Chicago:
Two years after launching the annual Playboy Jazz Poll, Playboy Enterprises hosted a three-day jazz extravaganza at Chicago Stadium. Five shows featuring nearly all of the jazz greats on the scene at the time drew more than 68,000 fans to the first American indoor jazz festival. Many of the artists subsequently appeared at the Playboy Jazz Festival in Los Angeles.