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Free Events Leading Up to Playboy Jazz Festival Continue


The Playboy Jazz Festival's far-reaching series of free concerts continues today and right up until the festival in June.

The Los Angeles Multi-School Jazz Band, under the direction of Reggie Andrews, appears at the Watts Senior Citizens center at 11 a.m. today.

On May 15 at 11:30 a.m. in the plaza of the Music Center of Los Angeles, pianist Gerald Wiggins performs with his trio. Also on the program: Tom Nolan's band, playing "roots style" music that blends soul, jazz and rock, and the Student Ensemble of the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz.

A Latin Dance Jam will highlight the Playboy event on May 23, at the Conga Room dance club at 8 p.m., with the eclectic Afro Cuban soukous sounds of Ricardo Lemvo and Makina Loca.

The largest event in the Playboy free jazz concerts leading up to the Playboy Jazz Festival on June 12-13 will be the annual three-day extravaganza that is one of the centerpieces of the Old Pasadena Summerfest, May 29-31, with music from 11 a.m. in Pasadena's Central Park. Among the numerous showcase performers are the groups of trumpeter Bobby Rodriguez, saxophonist Everette Harp, drummer Bobby Matos and the offbeat San Francisco ensemble Mingus Amungus.

Another Afro Cuban master, drummer Poncho Sanchez, headlines a free concert at Santa Monica College's Corsair Field on June 6 at 1:30 p.m. Other artists scheduled to appear are Peter Erskine's Lounge Art Ensemble and the Braxton Brothers group.

Playboy's free events wrap up with jazz archivist Mark Cantor's annual "Jazz on Film" presentation, this year at the Bing Auditorium in the Los Angeles County Museum of Art on June 10 at 7:30 p.m.

Information about events: (310) 449-4070.

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