A rare Southern California appearance by tenor sax great Sonny Rollins, encores of the popular blues and Brazilian nights, and a high-powered guitar evening highlight 1994’s Jazz at the Bowl series at the Hollywood Bowl this summer.

The guitar program July 6 — an unusually early kickoff date for Jazz at the Bowl — will feature George Benson, Lee Ritenour (in a program dedicated to the late Wes Montgomery) and the Joe Pass Quartet.

After nearly a month’s gap, the series resumes with an all-Brazilian night Aug. 3, with Gal Costa, Ivan Lins, Oscar Castro-Neves, Leny Andrade and several other yet-to-be-determined performers.

Aug. 10’s program is a mixed bag — Rosemary Clooney, the Carnegie Hall Jazz Band under the direction of Jon Faddis, and Jean “Toots” Thielsmans with Charlie Haden’s Quartet West. The now-annual blues night Aug. 17 will feature Ray Charles with a 40-piece orchestra and Etta James making her third consecutive appearance at the Bowl. The series closes Sept. 14 with Sonny Rollins, Grover Washington Jr. and Arturo Sandoval.

Elsewhere on the Bowl jazz scene, the JVC Jazz at the Bowl concert has also been moved up on the schedule to coincide with the World Cup Soccer Tournament. The July 10 JVC event, with nary a jazz headliner in sight, features R&B singers Lou Rawls and Chaka Khan and bluesman Buddy Guy. In addition, Harry Connick Jr. checks in with Funky Dunky and the Leroy Jones Quintet in something called “The New Orleans Jam” Aug. 1.

At a press conference Wednesday, Bowl general manager Anne Parsons said that there would be some additional jazz events during World Cup USA ’94 week at the Bowl July 11-17, but she didn’t release details.

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