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Jazz fest returns to Bowl

26th Playboy event will open the renovated venue with an all-star lineup.

March 04, 2004|Don Heckman | Special to The Times

The 26th annual Playboy Jazz Festival will be the first event in the newly renovated Hollywood Bowl on June 19 and 20 and coincides this year with the 50th anniversary of its namesake magazine.

The lineup, announced Wednesday at the Playboy Mansion, is strongly rooted in the jazz mainstream while clearly displaying the presence of jazz elements in a wide array of other musical styles. In recent decades the festival has included pop, blues, fusion and world music acts -- sometimes emphasizing other genres at the cost of its jazz franchise.

This year's program includes appearances by a range of established jazz figures, highlighted by the all-star ensemble of Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Dave Holland and Brian Blade, as well as the Wynton Marsalis Septet, the Christian McBride Band, the Charles McPherson Quartet, the Gerald Wilson Orchestra (featuring singer Barbara McPherson), Bill Cosby's "The Cos of Good Music IX," Bela Fleck's Flecktones and Roy Hargrove's RH Factor.

The Latin aspect of jazz is present in many forms, including Grammy-winning pianist Michel Camilo, Jose Rizo's Jazz on the Latin Side All Stars, the Yerba Buena Band, and Brazilian singer Katia Moraes & Sambaguru. African-based jazz is represented by South African trumpeter Hugh Masekela and Nigerian saxophonist Femi Kuti, and smooth-jazz acts include the duo of Brian Culbertson and Michael Lington and the band BWB (Rick Braun, Kirk Whalum, Norman Brown).

The festival's vocal offerings range from the blues of Etta James to the youthful stylings of Peter Cincotti. The broad reach of jazz will be further displayed by tap dancer Savion Glover and his Ti Dii dance troupe and genre-defying steel guitarist Robert Randolph.

Tickets are currently available by mail order only. Information: (310) 449-4070.

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