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Preview: Playboy Jazz Festival

Al Jarreau & Stanley Clarke on their planned tribute to George Duke

George Duke and Al Jarreau
George Duke and Al Jarreau at Freihofer Jazz Festival at Saratoga Springs (photo: Ben Johnson)
Stanley Clarke

One of the highlights of last year’s 35th Playboy Jazz Festival at the Hollywood Bowl came during singer Jeffrey Osborne’s segment, which was significantly enhanced by the stellar playing and magnetic presence of the multi-talented keyboardist, singer and producer George Duke.

Equally comfortable in jazz, pop, R&B and funk settings, Duke captivated festival attendees while supporting the singer, whose top pop hits he produced. Less than two months after that memorable performance, Duke, 67, died from leukemia at a Los Angeles hospital on August 5, 2013. His death came just after his new contemporary jazz CD Dreamweaver had been released, and was a shock to both fans and fellow artists.

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