Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Playboy Jazzfest Conference - DownBeat

Playboy Jazzfest Conference at the Playboy Mansion - 2/16/12

Organizers for the 2012 Playboy Jazz Festival have announced this year’s lineup, which includes the Ramsey Lewis Electric Band, the Cookers, the Christian McBride Big Band, the Soul Rebels and Terri Lyne Carrington.

The announcement was made yesterday on the plush grounds of the Playboy Mansion in Los Angeles. With Hugh Hefner under the weather, the eclectic collection of musicians for the 34th annual fest was announced by event producer Darlene Chan and master of ceremonies Bill Cosby (who made jokes about Cuban health care, the effects of second-hand smoke and the origins of the name “Zigaboo”).

The June 16–17 festival will take place at the Hollywood Bowl.

Performing on Saturday, June 16, will be Christian McBride, who won a Grammy in the category best large jazz ensemble album for his Mack Avenue CD The Good Feeling. McBride will bring his big band to 18,000-seat venue, while Sheila E., a regular performer at the festival, will be leading her own band for the first time there.

Drummer Ndugu Chancler, a frequent punchline during the conference, will be appearing with Cosby’s own Cos of Good Music, a band Cosby declared is about “solos” and which will feature saxophonist Tia Fuller and trumpeter Ingrid Jensen.

Soul belter Sharon Jones will return with her Dap-Kings in tow. The exciting New Orleans brass band the Soul Rebels will perform alongside special guests from the Crescent City: Leo Nocentelli, Zigaboo Modeliste and Ivan Neville.

A group calling themselves the Global Gumbo All-Stars will feature a virtual United Nations of musicians with Cameroonian bassist Richard Bona and young Cuban pianist Alfredo Rodriguez bringing the heat. Saxophonist Boney James and Los Angeles-based genre-hoppers Ozomatli round out the first day’s lineup.

On Sunday, June 17, the lineup will feature Lewis leading a plugged-in band, and the unplugged Preservation Hall Jazz Band, who will supply a dose of traditional New Orleans jazz. Folk-blues maestro Keb’ Mo’ is likely to play songs from his 2011 CD The Reflection.

Sunday’s lineup also has a couple of notable supergroups, including Spectrum Road, which features the curious combination of former Cream bassist Jack Bruce, drummer Cindy Blackman, Living Colour guitarist Vernon Reid and keyboardist John Medeski from Medeski, Martin & Wood.

The Cookers—a septet whose members include pianist George Cables, saxophonist Craig Handy, bassist Cecil McBee and drummer Billy Hart—will cook up some straightahead jazz.

Another recent Grammy winner, drummer Terri Lyne Carrington, will present music from her Concord album The Mosaic Project. Her collaborators will include vocalists Gretchen Parlato and Carmen Lundy backed by pianist Helen Sung and bassist Mimi Jones, among others.

Chico Trujillo will bring a taste of Chile, and Afro-pop songwriter KG Omulo has committed himself to a little dancing.

Playboy Jazzfest Lineup @ DownBeat

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