Tag: Fantasia Barrino

Playboy Jazz Festival to Celebrate George Duke; Entire Lineup Announced

george duke

Singer Al Jarreau and bassist Stanley Clarke will celebrate the legacy of their friend and musical partner George Duke on the opening day of the 36th annual Playboy Jazz Festival at the Hollywood Bowl.

The Los Angeles Philharmonic Association, which is presenting the festival for the first time, announced the lineup for the June 14-15 event on Monday, reports the APGeorge Benson and fellow smooth jazz guitarist Earl Klugh will headline the closing concert.

Saturday’s concert will pay tribute to Duke, the keyboardist, singer, composer and producer who headlined last year’s Playboy opener and was a frequent participant in the Los Angeles area’s biggest jazz event. Duke, 67, died of leukemia last August shortly after releasing his chart-topping contemporary jazz CD “Dreamweaver,” which included a straight-ahead acoustic jazz track featuring Clarke.

Jarreau first performed with Duke in the house band at San Francisco’s Half Note Club in the late ’60s and the keyboardist was featured on the singer’s 1981 album “Breakin’ Away.” Clarke and Duke recorded three groove-oriented albums together, including 1981′s “Clarke/Duke Project” with the R&B hit single “Sweet Baby.”

Comedian George Lopez said he’s “thrilled” to be hosting the Playboy festival again after taking over from long-time emcee Bill Cosby last year.  “This year’s lineup of talent is unparalleled, and it’s going to be a great weekend of music,” Lopez said in a statement emailed to The Associated Press.  Saturday’s lineup includes singer Dianne Reeves, who featured her cousin Duke on several of her albums; pianist Kenny Barron’s trio with guest saxophonist Ravi Coltrane; trumpeter Arturo Sandoval’s big band and British singer-pianist Jamie Cullum.

Continue reading “Playboy Jazz Festival to Celebrate George Duke; Entire Lineup Announced”

THEATER REVIEW: Fantasia Barrino Celebrates Harlem’s Jazz Age In “After Midnight”

fantasia barrino After Midnight
Fantasia Barrino performs at ‘After Midnight’ Broadway opening night curtain call at Brooks Atkinson Theatre on November 3, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images)

NEW YORK — NEW YORK (AP) — There are few things that bring smiles to even the most jaded faces — balloons, blaring trumpets and tap dancers. A new Broadway revue has two — no, make that all three — so no wonder it leaves you feeling lighter than air.  After Midnight, a candy sampler of some two dozen musical numbers that showcase dance, jazz or singing, opened Sunday at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre led by musical genius Wynton Marsalis, an endearing Dule Hill as its host and a thrilling guest singer in Fantasia Barrino.

The show, which first surfaced in 2011 off-Broadway, tries to re-create the energy and fun of Harlem’s famous Cotton Club nightclub in the 1920s and 30s, when Duke Ellington and his band made everything cool. It does so with panache but avoids sounding old-fashioned: There’s even room for some breakdancing and popping.  As 17 musicians from Jazz at Lincoln Center play, the night includes Fantasia belting out a super “I Can’t Give You Anything But Love,” a subdued “Stormy Weather” and an infectious “Zaz Zuh Zaz.” Adriane Lenox plays a hysterical boozy hellcat in two numbers, “Women Be Wise” and “Go Back Where You Stayed Last Night.”

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Mariah Carey Accepts Icon Award At BMI Urban Music Awards

Mariah Carey performing during a concert in Monaco. (AP Photo/Lionel Cironneau, file)

Mariah Carey performing during a concert in Monaco. (AP Photo/Lionel Cironneau, file)

BEVERLY HILLS, California (AP) — Mariah Carey was late to the BMI Urban Music Awards, where she was the guest of honor, but that didn’t stop other artists from literally singing her praises.

Fantasia Barrino and Eric Benet were among those who serenaded the star with her own hits. Benet performed “One Sweet Day” and the former “American Idol” sang “Hero” during the private ceremony at the Saban Theatre, where writers, producers and publishers of the year’s top urban hits were recognized Friday. Continue reading “Mariah Carey Accepts Icon Award At BMI Urban Music Awards”