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Playboy Jazz Celebrates 25 Years of Good Music

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Live and celluloid celebrations of jazz will highlight the Playboy Jazz Festival events this week.

Rare footage of Miles Davis, Stephane Grappelli, Julian “Cannonball” Adderley, Coleman Hawkins, Thelonious Monk and Duke Ellington will be screened tonight at 7:30 p.m. in “Jazz on Film” at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art’s Bing Theater.

The film program, presented and hosted by jazz film archivist Mark Cantor, will conclude the series of free community concerts presented by festival organizers and Playboy Enterprises. Admission is free, but tickets are required.

Tickets may be obtained at the museum ticket office located at 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, beginning at noon today. Doors open at 7 p.m. and seating is on a first-come, first-served basis.

The paid all-day Playboy Jazz Festival at the Hollywood Bowl will feature mainstream, bebop, Afro-Cuban, modern and contemporary jazz artists performing from 2:30 to 11 p.m. Saturday, June 14, and from 2 to 10:30 p.m. Sunday, June 15. Some tickets are still available for the bowl shows. Information and tickets: (310) 449-4070.

The night at the movies will feature Miles Davis’ 1957 European concert tour as well as live 1950s’ recordings of Benny Goodman with Buck Clayton and Urbie Green, a 1946 clip of jazz violinist Stephane Grappelli which includes an appearance by pianist/composer George Shearing, Julian “Cannonball” Adderley analyzing the music of Thelonious Monk and an early 1960s performance of the Bud Powell Trio with drummer Kenny Clarke.

Cantor has also customized clips featuring such industry icons as prolific composer/bandleader Duke Ellington, saxophonist Coleman Hawkins, trumpeter Roy Eldridge and pianist/composer Monk. The evening concludes with film appearances by notable jazz artists of the 1920s.

Cantor celebrates his 25th anniversary as a jazz film researcher dedicated to preserving America’s classic art form on film. He has assembled one of the largest and most comprehensive collections in the United States.

The Saturday show at the Hollywood Bowl features the Blind Boys of Alabama, the oldest living gospel singers in the world; legendary saxophonist James Moody in a guest slot with Latin jazz master Poncho Sanchez; young vocal lioness Lizz Wright, and master bassist Dave Holland, the 2003 recipient of the International Association for Jazz Education international artist of note award.

Also playing Saturday will be pop singer Boz Scaggs, smooth jazz saxophonist Boney James, Brazilian singing sensation Daniela Mercury, Fanfare Ciocarlia and the Los Angeles County High School High School for the Arts Jazz Ensemble.

Hiroshima, featuring three masters on taiko, koto and shakuhachi, will uniquely blend the ancient sounds of Japan with expert presentations of modern and straight-ahead jazz. Bringing together West Coast master musicians into one ensemble, the L.A. Home Grown All-Star Band will perform blues, bebop and mainstream jazz. The group includes drummer Ndugu Chancler, guitarist Paul Jackson Jr., pianist Patrice Rushen, alto saxophonist Tom Scott and tenor saxophonist/flutist Ernie Watts. Singer Al Jarreau and pianist Dave Brubeck will be among the best bets for the Sunday bowl concert. The two legends will be featured in individual sets as well as a 2003 duet rendition of “Take Five,” the classic composition penned by Brubeck and saxophonist Paul Desmond, first popularized instrumentally by the Brubeck quartet and later successfully sang by Jarreau.

The Sunday line-up additionally includes legendary drummer Roy Haynes, trumpeter Bobby Rodriguez and his salsa orchestra, the New Orleans Klezmer All-Stars, the Brubeck Institute Jazz Quintet, and Guitars and Saxes with Richard Elliott, Peter White, Jeff Golub and Steve Cole.

The eighth installment of master of ceremonies Bill Cosby’s hand-picked ensemble, the Cos of Good Music VIII, will present Ndugu Chancler, vibes master Bobby Hutcherson, tenor saxophonist Pete Christlieb, trumpeter Eddie Henderson, bassist Dwayne Burno, pianist Harold Mabern and alto saxophonist Keschia Lynn Potter.

Cuban singer/songwriter Issac Delgado and Nigerian master jazz artist King Sunny Ade, were scheduled to perform Sunday, but had difficulties with their visas and can’t attend Playboy Jazz Festival. Ade and his African Beats were replaced by Ozomatli, a rap, hip-hop group. Taking Delgado’s spot will be Los Hombres Calientes, the Billboard Latin Music Award-winning multiethnic group led by percussionist Bill Summers, trumpeter/composer Irvin Mayfield and Cuban drummer Horacio “El Negro” Hernandez.

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