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35th Playboy Jazz Festival Showcases Diverse Array of Talent

New emcee George Lopez replaces Bill Cosby after 31 years

Hugh Hefner, 2013 Playmate of the Year Raquel Pomplun and Master of Ceremonies George Lopez at the 2013 Playboy Jazz Festival
Sheila E., George Lopez and India.Arie (from left) at the 2013 Playboy Jazz Festival
Trombone Shorty at the 2013 Playboy Jazz Festival
Jeff Hamilton of the Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra at the 2013 Playboy Jazz Festival
Taj Mahal at the 2013 Playboy Jazz Festival

Los Angeles’ Playboy Jazz Festival celebrated 35 years at the Hollywood Bowl with a new emcee, comedian/entertainer George Lopez. For 31 years Bill Cosby was synonymous with the festival, even having his own ensemble, the Cos of Good Music. He tapped Lopez to preside over the festival’s customary mix of mainstream, Latin, big band, world, blues, funk and even pop.

Los Angeles’ Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra commanded the partying audience’s attention with a program that celebrated Quincy Jones’ 80th birthday. Jones beamed while the orchestra powerfully rendered Count Basie’s sassy “Nasty Magnus” and Hank Mobley’s soulful “Moanin’.” With flutist Hubert Laws they performed Jones’ campy “Austin Powers Theme” and immortal “Killer Joe.” Sadly, Patti Austin, scheduled with the CHJO, was unable to sing. The Brubeck Brothers performed a pleasing tribute to their recently departed father. Though differing from the legend, the quartet captured his essence through the ballad “Cathy’s Waltz” and of course “Blue Rondo à la Turk” and “Take Five.”

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