The Jazz Party takes place over four days, Sept. 3 to 6, at the Irvine Marriott. Brubeck’s quartet comes into nearby Cerritos Center for Performing Arts. In turn, Bennett’s group and Marsalis, leading the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra will appear at Orange County Performing Arts Center.
This is the 15th jazz party and, as usual, promoters Joe Rothman and John McClure have put today together a lineup of stellar musicians, plus some surprises. On Thursday night, the venerable favorites the Four Freshmen open the celebration with their ever-popular vocal arrangements.
Friday evening brings on stage long time Southern California favorites Terry Gibbs with a quartet together with blues singer Ernie Andrews. Moreover. Saturday evening promises to be extra special featuring an infrequent West coast appearance of New York vocalist Marilyn Maye, who was recently acclaimed for her June concert in Carnegie Hall.
Sunday’s closing concert features another surprise A Tribute to Rosemary Clooney starring Debby Boone. Here, the pop star sharpens her jazz styling to honor the singing great. Also noteworthy Sunday a Sounds of Shearing concert, featuring Charley Shoemake and Terry Trotter, both of whom played with the piano great.
Notwithstanding the special sets, the promoters will stick to their tried and true system bring in the best musicians and have them play in various groupings. This year’s players include, clarinetist Ken Peplowski, pianist Tom Ranier, saxophonist Houston Person, trumpeter Byron Stripling , drummer Butch Miles and the list goes on. As always there will be morning, and afternoon concerts and a ship-board jazz brunch Sunday on Newport Bay. For information on concerts and rooms, call (949) 759-5003.
The Performing Arts Center, divides its jazz schedule between the two large Segerstrom concert halls and the smaller intimate. Samueli Theater. Bennett and Marsalis will appear in the big venues, as well as Herb Alpert and Lani Hall on Dec 5, recreating their brand of Latin jazz. On April 24, the Monterey Jazz Festival on Tour will present top stars from the festival, including, Kenny Barron, piano, Regina Carter, violin, Kurt Elling, vocals, and Russell Malone, guitar.
The Samueli’s schedule begins Nov. 6 and 7 with rising star Esperanza Spalding who charms with her outstanding talent on the bass along with her fetching jazz vocals. On Jan. 29 and 30, Django 100 honors the centennial of the great guitar virtuoso violinist, the highly influential Django Reinhardt. For OCPAC tickets and information, (714) 556-2787 or www.ocpac.org/jazz.
At Cerritos, following Brubeck on the schedule, Sept. 12, will be guitarist-vocalist George Benson in An Unforgettable Tribute to Nat King Cole. Oct. 2, Sergio Mendes will bring in his latest group, specializing in Brazilian jazz. Keb Mo, the understated blues man, plays Jan 16.
Cerritos continues its Sunday afternoon schedule of swing bands which recreate the big band music popular in the ‘30s, ‘40s and ‘50s. On Sept. 20, Les Brown’s Band of Renown, led by Les Brown Jr. appears. Nov. 15 brings in Guy Lombardo's Royal Canadians with Al Pierson.
Slated Jan. 17 is the Woody Herman Orchestra, while Tex Beneke and the big band follow March 21, with guests Buddy Greco and the Modernaires.