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Seasonal Potpourri at Bowl : It's time for the annual medley of concerts, running the gamut from classical to pop, and sometimes featuring fireworks.

June 23, 1995|LEILA COBO-HANLON | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

So tonight you have a craving for some Beethoven and fireworks; next week the yen could be for a trip down Memory Lane with classic American music; or perhaps some light opera or hot salsa, all under one big starry roof and with the possibility of wining and dining while you take it all in.

The place is the Hollywood Bowl; the time is summer, and the 1995 season serves its usual eclectic mix of light classics, jazz, pop and children's fare, most of it middle-of-the-road, most of it enjoyable.

Although the official opening of the season with the L.A. Philharmonic is July 11 with . . . what else? Beethoven's Ninth Symphony, concerts at the Bowl kicked off Wednesday with a different kind of tune: veteran Engelbert Humperdinck singing '50s standards with the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, conducted by John Mauceri.

In the oldies vein, Peter, Paul and Mary will also perform with the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra on July 1, and on Aug. 2 venerable Miss Peggy Lee will celebrate her 75th birthday with legendary greats George Shearing and Mel Torme, appearing in his 19th consecutive Bowl season.

And in what promises to be another nostalgic evening, Rosemary Clooney will sing American favorites Aug. 4 and 5, complete with fireworks in what is being billed as "The Great American Concert."

Never one to prefer the avant-garde, the Bowl has made sure its pops evenings are tempered and suitable for all ears.

No surprise then in its two main pop acts: Dionne Warwick on July 21 and 22 and Natalie Cole on Aug. 25 and 26. Warwick will sing from classics to Burt Bacharach and Hal David to Brazilian jazz, while Cole will actually venture to cover a spectrum ranging from jazz to pop and R&B.

On the other hand, however, the second annual Hollywood Salsa and Latin Jazz Festival on Sept. 30 promises to be hot, hot, hot. Featuring salsa greats Ruben Blades, Celia Cruz, Oscar D'Leon and Tito Puente, it brings a refreshing dose of the tropics to the Bowl.

The official jazz series kicks off July 26 with a singing salute to singer Joe Williams.

A newer breed of jazz will make an appearance in what is possibly the most interesting jazz concert of the season, the so-called "Young Lions" on Aug. 16, featuring Wynton Marsalis, today's most visible jazz player, as well as saxophonist Joshua Redman and piano virtuoso Gonzalo Rubalcaba, making his Bowl debut with bassist Ron Carter and drummer Lewis Nash.

On the elder-giant spectrum, check out what is also sure to be a winner Sept. 13: Lionel Hampton and his Golden Men of Jazz with beloved violinist Stephane Grappelli and the Ray Brown Trio.

And if you're into show and names rather than musical interpretation, you might want to hear jazz pianist Chick Corea give a go at a Mozart piano concerto accompanied by the L.A. Philharmonic conducted by Bobby McFerrin. The July 28 and 29 concerts also include Mendelssohn's Italian Symphony, and--thankfully--a set of jazz improvisations.

For beautiful classics, however, there are other nights to pick from, starting with violinist Itzhak Perlman playing Beethoven with members of the L.A. Philharmonic in his only Southern California summer appearance Tuesday.

Divas Frederica von Stade and Kathleen Battle will also perform July 13 and Aug. 8, respectively, and for Mozart the way it's supposed to be, Alicia de Larrocha with the Philharmonic on July 20 is a must.

Chamber music will also have nights under the stars, including a duo recital July 12 by flutist Jean-Pierre Rampal and guitarist Angel Romero (let's hope the sound system will work for this delicate combination) and Beethoven trios played by the Beaux Arts Trio on July 31 in a 40th anniversary concert at the John Anson Ford Amphitheatre.

For children, the Bowl will host its traditional "The Magic of Discovery" festival, offering workshops and performances for children on weekdays from July 10 to Aug. 18.

For a truly special evening, however, few things will compete with the July 8 performance of "Peter and the Wolf," featuring the animated characters of Chuck Jones, which will be shown on the Bowl's big screen.

For detailed program information, tickets, "The Magic of Discovery" festival information and transportation and dining information, call Hollywood Bowl Information at (213) 850-2000. The Bowl offers BowlExpress Park & Ride services to San Fernando Valley residents from lots in Sherman Oaks and Canoga Park. For information and departure times call (213) 850-2000.

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