2nd Annual L.A. Latin Jazz Festival at the Greek
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The last date listed for 2nd Annual L.A. Latin Jazz Festival was Saturday May 16, 2009 / 7:00pm.
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A dazzling who's who of Hollywood and Broadway talent will come together for this special benefit concert at The Pasadena Playhouse to help raise money to assist with relief efforts in the Philippines following November's devastating typhoon. Performers donating their time and remarkable talents include Lea Thompson (Cabaret, NBC's Caroline in the City), Loretta Devine (Dreamgirls), Sam Harris (The Producers), Nicole Parker (Wicked), Gwen Stewart (Rent), Valerie Perri (Evita, Gypsy) and many more. Proceeds will support the American Red Cross' Typhoon Appeal and its efforts to assist overseas as the people of the Philippines begin to recover and rebuild. Please see the full event description for a complete list of scheduled performers. Learn More
Reviews & Ratings
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I enjoy jazz. Real authentic improvised jazz in almost all its forms. Small ensemble usually but big band if it is smart and varied. I do not appreciate something completely different using the term to draw the wrong crowd. This performance was not what a fan of Coltrane, Hubbard, Armstrong or Ellington thinks of when they say jazz. This was what someone thinks of when they say Salsa, Samba, dance music or the like. Ricky Ricardo would have been comfortable on the stage Saturday night.
That is not to say these were not skilled musicians playing well in a context. If 4 hours of cha cha cha is your thing plan for next year. If variety and some intimacy is on your list, cross this Festival off. It was for this reviewer 4 tedious hours of repetition with scarcely a memorable moment.
Most troubling - two real jazz players , Kenny Burrell and Hubert Laws, were brought in to give the thing credibility. They offered several minutes of the real thing but in the context of the big band ompah mode. I was suspicious to begin with a LATIN Jazz Fest which the promoter kept calling a blend of Latin and Jazz. It is really the first and not the second.
So why stay? Because the Greek only offers STACKED PARKING, no ability to leave, at a quite greedy 15 Dollars to line up on grass. Once you arrive you are Stuck for the Whole Event. Best make sure it is something you want.
A real disappointing affair though run decently in a natural setting. Gets quite cold in May so bring your overcoat, unless you are one of those ladies dancing all night near the stage with barely a thread. Some people run on fusion power!
<p>Held every year at Los Angeles’ Greek Theatre, the goal of Nederlander Concerts is to present artists and music that have been recognized by the Grammys in the category of Latin Jazz and the Best Latin Jazz Album of the Year. According to event producer, Eddie Rodriguez, “We are preserving and bringing to ‘Angelinos’ a genre of music that dates back to pianist Jelly Roll Morton’s Habanera rhythms of the 1920’s. These are the same rhythms that found their way to New York City in the 1940s via Dizzy Gillespie, Mario Bauza, Chano Pozo, Machito, Tito Puente and are as relevant today as they were then.”
The one night only event will bring together an assortment of award winning artists who have played a significant role in the development and popularization of Latin Jazz. The lineup includes: Dave Samuels and the Caribbean Jazz Project, Paquito D’ Rivera, Jose Rizo’s Jazz on the Latin Side All-Stars, jazz legends, Kenny Burrell and Hubert Laws and Charlie Sepulveda and the Turnaround and Giovanni Hidalgo. The L.A. Latin Jazz Festival is a celebration of Jazz, Latin Jazz and the artists who create it.
Kenny Burrell</p> <p>Kenny Burrell is among a handful of guitar greats who have forever changed the role of their instrument. Staunch musical integrity and discriminate taste coupled with matchless technique have made him a legend among his peers. Burrell is a master instrumentalist, composer and virtuoso whose quest is to get the most out of a natural acoustic sound. And he is no stranger to Latin Jazz. Case in point, his 1963 recording, “Midnight Blue” and the tune, “Chile Con Carne,” where he collaborates with NEA Jazz Master and Salsa legend, Ray Barretto.
Paquito D' Rivera</p> <p>Born on the island of Cuba, saxophonist/clarinetist and 9-time Grammy Award winner, Paquito D’ Rivera began his musical trajectory as a child prodigy. D’ Rivera is a founding member of the Orquesta Cubana de Music Moderna, the former co-director of the groundbreaking group, Irakere and a charter member of the Caribbean Jazz Project. His appearance at the L.A. Latin Jazz Festival marks a historic reunion between him and Dave Samuels of the Caribbean Jazz Project.
Giovanni Hidalgo</p> <p>Widely acknowledged as the greatest percussionist of his generation, Giovanni Hidalgo was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico in 1963. He is the son of the noted percussionist Jose "Manengue" Hidalgo and was educated in Latin rhythms from childhood. While still in his teens he caught the attention of the legendary Dizzy Gillespie, toured in his United Nations All-Star Orchestra and became a noted session player, recording with Freddie Hubbard, Paul Simon and Mickey Hart's Planet Drum project among others. In 1997 he earned a Grammy nomination in the Best Latin Jazz Category for his collaborations with pianist, Michel Camilo on the album, “Hands of Rhythm.” Hidalgo has shared the stage and recorded with Batacumbele, Carlos Patato Valdez, Candido, Tito Puente, Eddie Palmieri, Brian Lynch, Arturo Sandoval, Paquito D’ Rivera, Horacio El Negro Hernandez, Hilton Ruiz and many others.
Hubert Laws</p> <p>Internationally renowned flutist Hubert Laws is one of the few classical artists who is able to move effortlessly from one genre to another. He took up the flute and was exposed to jazz while in high school. After graduating he began performing with the Modern Jazz Sextet, the Jazz Crusaders and more recently, the Crusaders. From 1963 to 1967 Hubert earned his “bones” as a Latin Jazz player with Mongo Santamaria’s band. Today, session work, collaborations and his publishing companies take up the majority of his time.
Jose Rizo's Jazz on the Latin Side All Stars</p> <p>The Jazz on the Latin Side All Stars, so named after creator Jose Rizo’s Latin Jazz radio program, is a 15-piece all-star ensemble made up of legendary figures, world-class studio musicians, jazz artists, and popular bandleaders. This versatile ensemble is as comfortable playing Salsa as it is performing progressive Latin Jazz. The Ensemble and its rotating members include: Justo Almario (tenor sax), Marvin "Smitty" Smith (drums), Danilo Lozano (flute / musical director), Francisco Aguabella (congas), Poncho Sanchez (congas), Alex Acuna (drums), Freddie Crespo (lead vocals / timbales), Francisco Torres (trombone / prime arranger), Rene Camacho (bass), Bijon Watson (trumpet), Sal Cracchiolo (trumpet), Robert Incelli (alto sax), Scott Martin (baritone sax), Gilbert Castellanos (trumpet), Eric Jorgensen (trombone), Joey De Leon (congas), Alfredo Ortiz (bongo / vocals), Andy Martin (trombone), Jimmy Branly (timbales), Joe Rotondi (piano),and Luis Eric Gonzalez (trumpet).
Dave Samuels and the Caribbean Jazz Project</p> <p>Dave Samuels is best known for his approach to both the vibraphone and marimba. Dave has demonstrated his versatility and gained world wide recognition by performing and recording with a broad scope of artists ranging from Gerry Mulligan, Oscar Peterson, Chet Baker, Stan Getz, Carla Bley, The Yellowjackets, Pat Metheny, Bruce Hornsby, Frank Zappa, The Fantasy Band, Spyro Gyra, Double Image and The Caribbean Jazz Project. During his time with Spyro Gyra, the 5-time Grammy Nominated group was named #1 Contemporary Jazz Artist and Contemporary Jazz Group of the 80's by Billboard magazine. Dave's other awards include: Best Vibes Player in both Jazziz and Modern Drummer Magazine. In addition, he received a Grammy Award in 2003 for Best Latin Jazz Recording with his group, the Caribbean Jazz Project’s, CD, “The Gathering”. In 2004 he received a second Grammy Nomination for “Best Latin Jazz Recording for the “Caribbean Jazz Project's release “Birds of a Feather” and in 2005 he received an unprecedented third consecutive Grammy Nomination for the Caribbean Jazz Project’s release “Here and Now, Live in Concert”.
Charlie Sepulveda and the Turnaround</p> <p>Trumpeter Charlie Sepulveda hails from Puerto Rico. His most recent recording, Charlie Sepulveda and the Turnaround was highly acclaimed and was nominated for a 2008 Latin Grammy for the Best Latin Jazz album of the year. Sepulveda studied at the School of Arts, the Conservatory of Music and the University of Puerto Rico as well as City College in New York. Over the years he has recorded and shared the stage with: Tito Puente, Eddie Palmieri, Dizzy Gillespie, Mc Coy Tyner, Wynton Marsalis, Dave Valentin, Hilton Ruiz, Paquito D’ Rivera, Michel Camilo, Sheila E., Ray Barretto, Marc Anthony, La India, the Fania All-Stars and has appeared on the Tonight Show.</p>