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Playboy Jazz Festival Lineup
  • June 12, 2012 : 11:06
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We could go on for days about the Soul Rebels, but the Village Voice wrapped it up so nicely, describing them as “the missing link between Public Enemy and Louis Armstrong.” They are the definition of a touring jam band, playing upwards of 250 shows a year across North America, Europe, South Africa and Brazil, but if you manage to catch them standing still, they can usually be found at the center of the blues universe in New Orleans. Their latest album, Unlock Your Mind, recently cracked the number five spot on iTunes’ Jazz charts. If you haven’t seen them…do. It’s well worth it. 


They may be part punk and part SKA but this Chilean band is all party. Touted as one of the major orchestras in Chilea, according to their website are, “the soundtrack to every party, from Africa to Punta Arenas.” Playing big festivals like Roskilde in Denmark, Lollapalooza in Chicago and SXSW fest in Austin Texas, we’re starting to understand why they are such a hot ticket to see. Hopefully you’ll be able to find some bunnies to dance with once these wild guys take the stage. 

The Cookers - Listen HERE

It’s not every day you get to see seasoned jazz veterans play, let alone seven of them playing together. Save for David Weiss on trumpet and Craig Handy on alto sax, these musicians all hail from the 60’s and haven’t stopped pumping out some of the most incredible jazz coming out today. "This is the sort of music that should reflect the times we live in” explains Weiss, “as we should be screaming from the rafters trying to fix all that is going wrong in the world today." 


If you missed the hay days of Cream, loved the music of Tony Williams, and find yourself tapping your toe to the songs of Lenny Kravitz, Spectrum Road, with Jack Bruce (Cream) on Bass, Vernon Reid (Living Color) on guitar, John Medeski on keyboard and Cindy Blackman-Santana (Kravitz, Santana) is a band you need to see.. Spectrum Road first started out as a tribute band to the late great jazz drummer Tony William’s. Since then the group has transformed into one of the most notorious jazz super groups, reworking many of Tony Williams songs as well as original jazz fusion jams.

Louie Cruz Beltran - Listen HERE

Raised in a home where rhythm was king and the music always played, Louie Cruz Beltran learned an appreciation for an Afro-Cuban sound from a young age. He picked up the bongos and the congas and timbales followed and he never looked back. Today, he works as a composer, instructor and recording artist performing all along the West Coast. An open invitation from Cuban dignitary Dr. Ariel Aguilar Reyes from the University of Havana for Beltran to perform an instructional/cultural tour of Cuba stands as high praise to his talent and skill.

Ramsey Lewis Electric Band - Listen HERE

Ramsey Lewis has been credited with a lot of things: three Grammys, five honorary doctorates, a Jazz Masters Award from the Endowment of the Arts and for bringing not-so-mainstream jazz into the limelight. This year the award-winning pianist brings his electric band to the Playboy Jazz Fest stage in a set that revisits Lewis’ gold recording, Sun Goddess. As far as legends of the scene go, this is a show not to be missed by jazz enthusiasts and casual listeners alike. 

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read more: entertainment, music, playboy jazz festival, music festival, bill cosby


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