The 16th Annual Long Beach Jazz Festival, presented by Rainbow Promotions was the hottest ticket the weekend of August 8 - 10. Over 30,000 plus jazz aficionados blanketed the entire grounds the Rainbow Lagoon Park for three days of great jazz music. A stellar line-up of famous musicians and singers provided continuous entertainment for the crowd.
Opening the music Festival on Friday evening, was saxophonist Kim Waters followed by the smooth sounds of vocalist Brenda Russell. James Ingram who closed the show had the crowd on their feet dancing and singing all night.
The jazz party continued on Saturday, with the hot sounds from the Latin band Louie Cruz Beltran; Bobby Lyle with special guest (violinist Karen Briggs and saxophonist Michael Lington); saxophonist Paul Taylor with vocalist Cassandra Reed; guitarist extraordinaire Marc Antoine; one of the kings of Latin jazz Poncho Sanchez; incredible jazz vocalist Rachelle Ferrell and bass player Marcus Miller.
Sunday, the final day of the festival featured jazz search winners LA Mambo Combo; smooth jazz musician Jeff Kashiwa; Al Williams with vocalist Niki Harris (the daughter of the late great piano player Gene Harris); Ronnie Laws; balladeer Phil Perry; saxophonist Kirk Whalum who rock the house and after a three year west coast absence, the legendary Roberta Flack graced the stage and sang her classic hits.
Jazz impresario and entrepreneur Al Williams and daughter Kimberly Benoit and the marvelous staff of Rainbow Promotions have consistently provided premiere jazz entertainment for 16 years to the delight of an international audience. Festival treats included a variety of tasty food vendors, various vendors, arts and crafts etc. It is no surprise that this is the longest running jazz festival in the county.
Future events produced by Rainbow Promotions include Jazz Under The Stars on August 23 featuring vocalist Diane Schuur, at the Village Green (Euclid and Main Street) in Garden Grove.
On August 30, is the 1st Annual Love L.A. Gospel Festival at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum featuring T.D., Jakes, Shirley Caesar, Oleta Adams, Kurt Carr and The Kurt Carr Singers, Smokey Norful, Fred Hammond, Juanita Bynum and more.
Valentine's Day Dinner/concert 2004 at the Long Beach Center for the Performing Arts, a Winter . Spring Concert Series at various venues around town, and last but certainly not least is the very popular San Diego Smooth Jazz Festival in 2004. You can find more detailed information on www.rainbowpromotions.com website.
Bank Of America, Northrop Grumman, Alize, Budweiser and Good Neighbor Pharmacy were some of the sponsors for the 16th Annual Long Beach Jazz Festival.
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