The Los Angeles Philharmonic has announced the line-up for the 36th annual Playboy Jazz Festival to be held Saturday, June 14, and Sunday, June 15, at the Hollywood Bowl. An internationally-acclaimed event, the Playboy Jazz Festival is one of the premiere jazz festivals in the United States and attracts audiences from around the globe.
Featuring an unparalleled mix of illustrious jazz greats, next generation leaders and Festival favorites, this year’s headliners include Dianne Reeves, George Benson with special guest Earl Klugh, Jamie Cullum, Fantasia, and Dave Holland, Kevin Eubanks, Craig Taborn and Eric Harland: Prism. They will be joined by The Kenny Barron Trio with special guest Ravi Coltrane, Dr. Lonnie Smith “In The Beginnings” Octet, José James, The Arturo Sandoval Big Band, Juan De Marcos & The Afro-Cuban All Stars, Allen Stone, New Orleans favorites Jon Batiste and Stay Human, Butler, Bernstein & The Hot 9 featuring Henry Butler and Steven Bernstein, Tia Fuller, The James Cotton Blues Band with special guest Big Jay McNeely, The New Jump Blues featuring Antonio “Huggy Bear” Fargas, Los Amigos Invisibles, The LAUSD/Beyond The Bell All City Jazz Big Band under the direction of Tony White and J.B. Dyas, and The Esperanza High School Jazz Band under the direction of Brad Davis. A very special celebratory tribute to the late, legendary George Duke will feature Al Jarreau, Stanley Clarke, Ndugu Chancler, Paul Jackson, Jr. and Byron Miller, with musical direction by John Beasley. Duke was a headliner at last year’s Festival and a frequent Festival participant over the years.
An impressive number of artists and special guest collaborations will be making their debuts at Playboy this year including Prism, Fantasia, The Kenny Barron Trio with special guest Ravi Coltrane, the Dr. Lonnie Smith Octet, Butler, Bernstein & The Hot 9 featuring Henry Butler and Steven Bernstein, The James Cotton Blues Band with special guest Big Jam McNeely, The New Jump Blues featuring Antonio “Huggy Bear” Fargas, The Esperanza High School Jazz Band under the direction of Brad Davis and emerging artists José James, Allen Stone, Jon Batiste and Stay Human, and Los Amigos Invisibles.
A legend in the pantheon of music festivals, the Playboy Jazz Festival has featured the talents of artists ranging from legends such as Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie and Count Basie to today’s hottest stars and contemporary artists including Herbie Hancock, Wynton Marsalis, The Roots, Esperanza Spalding and Trombone Shorty. Now in its 36th year, the Playboy Jazz Festival will once again feature two days of extraordinary musical performances with multi-talented entertainer George Lopez hosting for the second year in a row, having taken over the reins from Bill Cosby in 2013.