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2011 Playboy Jazz Festival

Chris Walker reviews performances by Buddy Guy, Dianne Reeves, Eddie Palmieri, Bill Cosby and many more

Ambrose Akinmusire performing at the 2011 Playboy Jazz Festival
Biill Cosby performing at the 2011 Playboy Jazz Festival
Crowd at the 2011 Playboy Jazz Festival
Dianne Reeves performing at the 2011 Playboy Jazz Festival
Hugh Hefner at the 2011 Playboy Jazz Festival
Naturally 7 performing at the 2011 Playboy Jazz Festival
Terence Blanchard performing at the 2011 Playboy Jazz Festival
The Roots performing at the 2011 Playboy Jazz Festival

The two-day Playboy Jazz Festival at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles typically never focuses solely on jazz or, for that matter, music. For its 33rd installment, there was much excitement and promotion related to the Playboy brand. Large banners spread around the 19,000 capacity amphitheater announced the debut of the Mad Men-evoking The Playboy Club, airing this fall on NBC.

Furthermore, there was plenty of excitement regarding Playboy‘s founder and CEO, Hugh Hefner, who always makes a grand entrance with at least a half-dozen playmates in his procession. Hefner, 85, would soon be marrying Crystal Harris, a 25-year-old Playmate, and in the festival’s program booklet they were prominently featured and congratulated. Still, festival attendees seemed somewhat oblivious to the Playboy magazine/company events and showed more interest in eating, conversing and partying.

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