The Jazzcat

The 27th Annual Playboy Jazz Festival at the Hollywood Bowl!

by on Jun.13, 2005, under News



Bubbles, beach balls,

sunshine, big booties good food and jazz music always add up to big fun

at the Playboy Jazz Festival. It is the 27th anniversary of

an event that has brought jazz music and so much joy to the Hollywood

Bowl here in Los Angeles for a great many years. Would you believe that

out of two entire days of music, I was only able to see two





I went on Sunday and

caught Ledisi, the soul sistah from the Bay Area who funkified the

stage with a voice and band that rocked the house. What a great way to

kick off a final day of music. This will get the audience geared up for

the mood that they are to encounter for the rest of the afternoon.




Quite frankly, the

audience at the Playboy Jazz Festival is primarily a soul, smooth,

blues and funk audience anyway. The promoters at the Playboy Jazz

Festival do still book quality jazz acts to perform, but in my

experience, those artists always seem to be overshadowed by the music

of the more “popular” artist. Popular meaning radio friendly, in

rotation, easy listening and music that is propelled by the business of





Oh, but don’t get me

wrong, the cats who represent creative instrumental music are still

holding down their space and the festival could not be called a jazz

festival without them. This year Joshua Redman was there with is

Elastic band and so was Chico Hamilton, Joe Lovano, Dave Liebman, Dee

Dee Bridgewater, Kenny Burrell, Joey DeFrancesco,The Thad Jones

Orchestra and the Heath Brothers (RIP to Brother Percy) and a few





The other act I saw

was Chico Hamilton and Euphoria. My main man Eric Person was in town

and performed with these cats and which was definitely a treat for me.




 I heard that

The Saxophone Summit with Joe Lovano, Dave Liebman and Michael Brecker

kicked some serious ass! I wish I could have been there. And of course,

rounding out a weekend of fun was Mr. George Benson who continues to

elate audiences all over the world with his classic hits.




Perhaps next year I will not be so over booked and will be able to report more.

I will see you then!


LeRoy Downs









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