Lauryn Hill, who hasn’t been heard from since winning five Grammys in 1999, will make a special one-off performance July 14 at the Hollywood Bowl, headlining a bill featuring South Africa’s Mahotella Queens and Mariza, a singer from Portugal.
Hill’s perf is part of the Bowl’s third World Festival, which will include South African trumpeter Hugh Masekela, Yerba Buena and Latin percussionist Eddie Palmieri on July 7; Nigerian Afrobeat leader Femi Kuti, who gave a spectacular perf two years ago at the Bowl, sharing a July 28 bill with rapper-poet Michael Franti and his band Spearhead plus French femme group Les Nubians; and a reggae festival with Burning Spear, Lucky Dube and Steel Pulse on Aug. 11.
Fest will start June 30 with a Polynesian program and will continue with soul music programs Aug. 14 (Isaac Hayes, Maceo Parker, Arrested Development) and Aug. 25 (Erykah Badu, Zap Mama).
Hollywood and Broadway will make their annual return to the Bowl stage this summer as well with a “75 Years of Oscar” program Sept. 20, planned with the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences.
The “Sing-Along Sound of Music” will return July 6, this time with Kathy Najimy leading. John Mauceri will lead the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra through “The Music Man,” with Eric McCormack and Kristin Chenoweth in the leads, on Aug. 4, while the 100th anniversary of the birth of Richard Rodgers will be celebrated Aug. 16-17 with the HBO performing Rodgers & Hammerstein songs while scenes from films such as “Oklahoma!” and “The King and I” are shown on a giant screen. The Bowl will deliver the U.S. premiere of Alex North’s “Cleopatra” as part of the HBO’s Aug. 27 program.
Howard Shore’s Oscar-winning score to “The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Rings” will be performed by the HBO Aug. 9-10. Mauceri said Shore eventually will create a “Lord of the Rings” symphony by using a half-hour of music from each of the films in the J.R.R. Tolkien trilogy.
New York will be on parade Aug. 30-Sept. 1 with Davis Gaines, Rebecca Luker and singing policeman Daniel Rodriguez performing Broadway faves.
Music from films about Africa fill the HBO’s Sept. 13-15 program, with Miriam Makeba as guest vocalist.
James Taylor will headline the fireworks spectacular with the L.A. Philharmonic, conducted by John Williams, July 2-4.
The third annual Hall of Fame gala will be held June 28, with Esa-Pekka Salonen conducting the Los Angeles Phil and guests to be announced.
Although the Clayton-Hamilton Orchestra is no longer backing artists on a half-dozen Wednesdays, the big band will return Aug. 21 to duel with the Carnegie Hall Jazz Band, which is being disbanded this year.
Other jazz on the bill includes a swing night with Big Bad Voodoo Daddy and the Glenn Miller Orchestra (July 10); a salute to Billie Holiday (July 17) with Oleta Adams, Alan Cumming, Dianne Reeves and Jimmy Scott, among others; Natalie Cole and Joe Sample (July 24); Tony Bennett (Aug. 7); George Benson and Fourplay (Aug. 18); and Chick Corea performing with three different bands featuring Gary Burton, Michael Brecker and Flora Purim.
To enhance the L.A. Philharmonic Assn.’s jazz plans, the org has named singer Reeves to the new position of creative chair of jazz. Named to a two-year term, her charge is to develop a cohesive jazz program for the L.A. Phil at the Bowl and elsewhere.
On the classical side, the L.A. Phil will handle many of the earlier dates before heading to Europe for a tour of festivals. They will be previewing Euro programs under Salonen’s baton on Aug. 6 with pianist Yefim Bronfman (Bartok Piano Concerto No. 1), Aug. 8 (Beethoven Symphony No. 9) and Aug. 13 with baritone Thomas Quasthoff and mezzo-soprano Lilli Paasikivi (Mahler songs from “Des Knaben Wunderhorn”).
Latin music also will have a presence at the Bowl: Sergio Mendes and Brasil 2002 will play July 19-20 with Pink Martini, salsa queen Celia Cruz will headline July 31, Gal Costa and Dori Caymmi will mark the 40th anniversary of bossa nova Sept. 8 and bolero singer Pepe Aguilar will close the season Sept. 28.
Disco, blues and flutist James Galway are also on Bowl bills. Subscriptions are on sale and single-event tickets will be available May 4.