The 40th annual Playboy Jazz Festival will be held June 9-10, 2018 at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles, CA. Of the many artists scheduled to appear at the world-famous amphitheater over those two days, perhaps the most noteworthy pairing is of Charles Lloyd and his band the Marvels (featuring Bill Frisell, Stuart Mathis, Reuben Rogers, and Eric Harland) with singer/songwriter and Americana specialist Lucinda Williams.
Other performers of special interest to JazzTimes readers include the Ramsey Lewis Quintet, Lee Ritenour and Dave Grusin, Snarky Puppy, Tower of Power (celebrating its 50th anniversary), the Miles Electric Band, the Edmar Castañeda Quartet with special guest Grégoire Maret, the Count Basie Orchestra under the direction of Scotty Barnhart, Daymé Arocena, Richard Bona and Mandekan Cubano, Kneebody, and 17-year-old pianist Matthew Whitaker.
The festival will also feature an all-star set honoring the late Freddie Hubbard, who would have turned 80 on April 7 of this year. “Hubtones: Freddie Hubbard’s 80th Birthday Celebration” will showcase the talents of Randy Brecker, Nicholas Payton, Jeremy Pelt, and David Weiss, among others; its title is an homage to Hubbard’s 1962 album Hub-Tones.