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21st Annual Long Beach Jazz Festival to offer an eclectic lineup

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jazz-festival-logo.jpgThe Long Beach Jazz Festival takes place the weekend of August 8, 9, and 10. Once again, the festival venue is the seaside setting of Rainbow Lagoon Park on Shoreline Drive, where, for two decades now, thousands of faithful music fans have made the Long Beach Jazz Festival (LBJF) an annual family affair.
True to its reputation as the most soulful and well-rounded summer music festival in Southern California, the 21st Annual Long Beach Jazz Festival for 2008 is loaded with an array of musical talents for every taste. Not only is it a jazz festival celebrating straight-ahead and contemporary jazz, but also this year’s weekend includes top-flight star talent from worlds of classic R&B, neo soul and blues— ideal for the more seasoned as well as the newer generations of listeners.
Festival founder Al Williams and his band Al Williams Jazz Society, featuring vocalist Barbara Morrison, will once again delight jazz lovers with its highly anticipated set on Sunday. “I am really pleased to have such a great variety of artists this year” says Williams, in anticipation of 2008’s star-studded festivities.
The smoothly soulful and classily jazzy singer Kem kicks off the three-day festival Friday night, previewing material from his third project, Album III (his first in three years). Additionally, a special appearance by chef G. Garvin, the entertaining host of TV One’s popular cooking show Turn Up the Heat, will share techniques and recipes from his new book Dine in with G. Garvin (slated for release the first week of October).
2008’s lineup also includes singer/composer Michael Franks— the master of poetically sensual and witty lyrics— tenor saxophone superstar Kirk Whalum and conga drum master Poncho Sanchez, a torchbearer of jazz and funk with tropical Latin flair. An amazing assemblage of soul-jazz legends will perform under the umbrella title “The Superstars of Jazz Fusion” starring vibraphonist Roy Ayers, keyboard wizard Lonnie Liston Smith, trumpeter Tom Browne, founding Jazz Crusaders trombonist Wayne Henderson and singer extraordinaire Miki Howard.
Female musicians are thoroughly represented by the piano artistry of frequent LBJF participant Keiko Matsui, the versatile spice of saxophonist/singer Mindi Abair, and the sweet, fleet-fingered guitar style of Joyce Cooling.
Old-school soul music lovers will swoon for the sounds of West Coast vocal legends The Whispers and the Grammy Award-winning Commodores, while neo soul fans can check out the rousing and righteous sounds of acclaimed singer/songwriter Chrisette Michele, funk-soul-jazz party starters Down to the Bone, and modern soul-jazz stars Nick Colionne on guitar and Euge Groove on sax.
This year, Linda Morgan from Rainbow Promotions, LLC is coordinating the Long Beach Jazz Talent Search, an event that encourages upcoming jazz musicians. Two winners will be selected to open the festival on Saturday and Sunday.
Tickets are available through Rainbow Promotions, LLC at (562) 424-0013, or online at VIP tickets are $150 per seat for Friday and $175 per seat /per day on Saturday and Sunday—includes dinner, wine service and access to mingle with jazz artists. Reserved box seat tickets are $60 per seat on Friday and $75 per seat/per day on Saturday and Sunday. General admission/lawn seating is $45 (prior to July 30) and $50 at the gate. For the Friday show, gates open at 5 p.m., with a show time of 7 p.m. until 11:30 p.m. For the Saturday and Sunday shows, gates open at 11 a.m. with show times starting from noon until 10:30 p.m.

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Serving Bixby Knolls, California Heights, Los Cerritos, Wrigley and Signal Hill
21st Annual Long Beach Jazz Festival to offer an eclectic lineup