June 16, 2013 |
There was a moment at the Hollywood Bowl on Saturday night when a question came to mind that felt a little like a Zen koan: If you hear a guitar solo but can't see a guitar, did the solo really happen? It's the sort of thought perhaps associated with backing tracks and radio-ready pop, but this was the Playboy Jazz Festival, and the source was unquestionably live in the vocal group Naturally 7, which closed a set steeped with hip-hop and R&B with an a cappella take on George Harrison's "While My Guitar Gently Weeps.
June 13, 2013 |
The question surely came up at some point during last year's Playboy Jazz Festival, which saw the retirement of its longtime master of ceremonies: Can there be a festival without Bill Cosby? Of course, it's just a rhetorical notion because the festival was never solely about Cosby, who was always a comforting (and comfortable) presence at the side of the stage, whether interjecting elements of goofy fun into the gathering's yearly roster of high school jazz bands or playfully sitting in on percussion with his ad-hoc band, the Cos of Good Music.
March 1, 2013 |
The lineup for the 35th annual Playboy Jazz Festival has been announced, and in addition to the weekend-long concert's signature mix of jazz, funk and R&B, the festival also revealed that comic and former late-night host George Lopez will take over for longtime host Bill Cosby this year. Cosby had served as master of ceremonies at the festival since 1979, and last year the comedy legend stepped down after becoming as much a part of the show's fabric as the Hollywood Bowl, parasols and picnic baskets.
December 19, 2012 |
At the Wednesday public memorial service that celebrated her tragically short life, Jenni Rivera was hailed as "the eternal diva," "la gran señora," "mariposa de barrio" (butterfly of the barrio) and other terms of deep affection and respect. But there was another title that Rivera had aspired to and earned: the Latin American Oprah Winfrey. Like Winfrey before her, the Long Beach native, who died with six other people in a Dec. 9 plane crash in northern Mexico, was more than simply a multitalented, multi-tasking woman of a certain age, ethnicity and oversize personality.
November 27, 2012
Re "Actor played villain J.R. Ewing on TV's 'Dallas,'" Obituary, Nov. 24 When I was 10 years old, Larry Hagman, Bill Cosby and others were filming "Mother, Jugs & Speed" down the street from my parents' house in Venice. The neighborhood kids would loiter around the set gawking at the equipment and activity; we were too young to be star struck. I fondly remember Hagman and Cosby hamming it up for us, smiling back whenever we smiled or laughed. Decades later I saw Hagman in Santa Monica and made a point of thanking him for engaging us rather than simply having us run off by security.
October 23, 2012 |
Ellen DeGeneres took home the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor, the top prize in comedy, on Monday night in Washington. "Washington, D.C., is so different from where I grew up," tweeted DeGeneres, a native of New Orleans, ahead of being honored. "When you take your top off, no one throws beads. " The evening - which saw the comic and talk-show host joining the ranks of previous winners including Will Ferrell, Billy Crystal, Tina Fey and Bill Cosby - wasn't all about jokes, however, reported the Washington Post, as DeGeneres was also recognized for one groundbreaking move: coming out as a lesbian on TV in 1997.