Lineup includes Poncho Sanchez, Dr. John
Herbie Hancock and the band that backed him on the disc that won the album of the year Grammy will headline the 30th edition of the Playboy Jazz Festival at the Hollywood Bowl.
Hancock will appear with bassist Dave Holland, drummer Vinnie Colaiuta and guitarist Lionel Loueke plus saxophonist Chris Potter on June 15, day two of the fest. Al Jarreau and Tower of Power are first-day headliners.
One of the most popular annual music festivals in Southern California, the Playboy Jazz Fest boasts a half-dozen straight-ahead jazz acts and musicians performing everything from funk to big band to Brazilian jazz to smooth jazz to blues.
June 14 lineup includes the Poncho Sanchez Latin Jazz Band; the James Moody Quartet; Dr. John; R and R featuring Rick Braun and Richard Elliot; Hirmoi’s Sonicbloom; Sherrie Maricle and the Diva Jazz Orchestra; and pianist Robert Glasper. Emcee Bill Cosby will again oversee the Cos of Good Music, which this year will feature Ambrose Akinmusire, Dwayne Burno, Ndugu Chancler, Benny Green, Billy Harper, Jerry Peters and David T. Walker.
Besides Hancock, the June 15 lineup features Keb’ Mo’, Roy Hargrove Big Band, Guitars & Saxes, Ivan Lins with Oscar Castro-Neves, Plena Libre, Ryan Shaw and the View Park Prep Jazz Ensemble.
At Wednesday afternoon’s announcement held at the Playboy Mansion, Cosby spoke fondly of the Monk Legacy Septet featuring Ben Riley. Cosby said the band, which has no piano, has created some of the freshest arrangements of Monk’s music he has ever heard.
Playboy will sponsor a series of free community concerts prior to the festival. Lavay Smith and her Red Hot Skillet Lickers perform May 4 in Beverly Hills; Playboy Jazz at Warner Park in Woodland Hills will be held June 1.
To celebrate the fest’s 30th, the inaugural Playboy Jazz Cruise will depart from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., on Jan. 25. Bassist Marcus Miller will be musical host and Hancock will be special guest. Other performers include Dianne Reeves, Keb’ Mo’, Sanchez, Moody, Hargrove, saxophonist James Carter, pianist Eldar and the New Birth Brass Band.