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  • HB
  • Aug. 30, 2006
  • WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 30, 2006, AT 8:00 P.M.

    Concert is a Lexus "Passionate Performance"

    KKJZ is media sponsor

    The silky jazz vocals of jazz/pop superstars George Benson and Al Jarreau and impassioned soul-singer Raúl Midón fill the air at the Hollywood Bowl on Wednesday, August 30, 2006, at 8 p.m. Popular the world over for their smooth stylings, Benson and Jarreau hold 13 Grammy awards between them, and Midón, a noted up & coming singer/songwriter/guitarist, was labeled "a virtuoso" by The New York Times.

    Benson, an versatile musician with a golden voice, is considered one of the greatest guitarists in jazz history. The soulful tenor, who has more than 60 albums to his credit and created such hits as "Give Me The Night" and "Turn Your Love Around," moves from swing to bop to R&B to pop and from vocal to instrumental pieces with supreme taste and a lush rounded tone.

    With his own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, Al Jarreau is one of the most exciting and critically jazz acclaimed performers of our time. His unique vocal style and innovative musical expressions have earned him five Grammy awards and scores of international accolades as well as stints on Broadway and on television.

    Raúl Midón straddles pop, jazz, and Latin, with a hair-raising, show-stopping voice and dazzling guitar technique. He has toured with Shakira, was featured with Paquito D'Rivera, and sang background vocals on numerous records. Blind since birth, Midón recently released his debut album, State of Mind, on Manhattan Records.

    Jazz at the Bowl concludes on September 6 as the Godfather of Soul, James Brown, revisits his 1969 jazz-flavored album Soul On Top backed by a big band lead by Christian McBride, with the original arrangements by Oliver Nelson. R&B queen Angie Stone opens the show.

    From hard bop guitarist to R&B/pop superstar, GEORGE BENSON has worn a wide variety of hats over the years. R&B lovers know him as the guitar-playing vocalist responsible for such hits as "Give Me The Night" and "Turn Your Love Around," while the jazz world continues to treasure his classic instrumental albums of the 1960s and early 1970s. Benson's million-selling Breezin' album of 1976 practically defined the NAC, quiet storm and contemporary jazz radio formats. Because the guitarist/singer is so diverse and unpredictable, one never knows what he will do from one album to the next. On his latest GRP release, Absolute Benson, the eight-time Grammy-winner once again emphasizes instrumental music. Blending jazz with R&B and pop, Absolute Benson aims for accessibility. Born in Pittsburgh, Benson fell in love with a variety of music as a child and was only eight when he first sang in a local nightclub. As a guitarist, Benson's primary influences were Charlie Christian and Wes Montgomery. But by the time organist Jack McDuff hired a 19-year-old Benson as a sideman in 1962, it was clear that he had become quite distinctive and recognizable himself. Benson's first album as a leader, 1964's The New Boss Guitar of George Benson on Prestige, was in the hard bop/soul-jazz vein and was followed by the critically acclaimed straight-ahead albums he recorded for Columbia in 1965 and 1966. Benson, never a jazz purist, began to display his love of R&B, rock, and pop when he joined forces with producer Creed Taylor-first at A&M in the late 1960s, then at Taylor's CTI label from 1971-1975. In 1976, Benson took the plunge and became a superstar in the pop and R&B worlds thanks to the platinum Breezin', which soared to #1 on the pop charts. In the late 1970s and 1980s, Benson emphasized vocals and enjoyed one major R&B/pop smash after another, including "The Greatest Love of All," a remake of The Drifters' "On Broadway," and "Inside Love," among others. He then returned to classic standards and acoustic-oriented jazz with 1989's Tenderly and paid tribute to Count Basie on 1990's Big Boss Band. The 1990s found Benson rejoining LiPuma at GRP Records. Together they offered a modern vision of contemporary jazz on the 1996 gem That's Right. They also collaborated on 1998's Standing Together. Throughout his career, Benson has demonstrated that creativity and commercial success aren't mutually exclusive.

    AL JARREAU boasts five Grammy awards, scores of international music awards, and popular accolades worldwide to his credit. In 1975, following an extended stint at the Bla Bla Cafe in Los Angeles, he was spotted by Warner Bros. Records talent scouts and was signed to a recording contract. His debut album for the label, We Got By, was released to unanimous acclaim. It was a reception that spread across the continent and over the Atlantic. In 1977, Jarreau embarked on his first world tour, from which the selections for Look to the Rainbow, his double live album, were culled. That year, he won his first Grammy for Best Jazz Vocal Performance. His fourth album, All Fly Home, was released in 1978 to further accolades and a second Grammy. It was followed by a string of innovative and original offerings, including 1980's This Time, and the million-selling Breakin' Away, which brought him two more Grammys. The follow-ups to Breakin' Away spawned a string of R&B and pop hits and further cemented him as an international superstar. He continued to top the charts in 1987 and became a weekly guest in America's living rooms singing the Grammy-nominated theme song for the hit television series Moonlighting. After touring the globe for nearly two years, he returned to the studio to fashion the sound that would launch him into his third decade of music making. The result was 1992's Heaven and Earth, for which he received his fifth Grammy. In 1996, while on a break from touring, Jarreau accepted a three-month stint on Broadway playing the role of Teen Angel in the hit musical Grease! Other credits include television guest-star appearances on New York Undercover and Touched by an Angel. Jarreau's first album for the GRP label, Tomorrow Today, was released in the U.S. in 2000. Jarreau received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2001, commemorating his status as one of the best singers of his generation.

    It is rare that an artist arrives onto the pop music scene so fully loaded with the kind of hit-making potential that singer-composer-guitarist RAÚL MIDÓN possesses. The New Mexico-born, New York-based Midón makes his recording debut with State of Mind, produced by Arif Mardin and Joe Mardin for Manhattan Records. The 13-track collection of Midón originals is a remarkable mélange of soul, R&B, pop, folk, jazz and Latin. The CD displays his earnest, lyrical songwriting; full-bodied vocals steeped in soul; a singular syncopated, flamenco- and jazz-infused acoustic guitar style; a unique vocal trumpet improvisation; and hopeful disposition. Midón, who has been blind since birth and is the son of an African-American mother and an Argentinean father, is an extraordinary original whose passion is expressed in his indelible songs. The CD not only trains the spotlight on Midón's buoyant delivery, but also boasts a guest roster featuring Stevie Wonder (in a guest harmonica performance) and Jason Mraz (in a vocal duet). In addition, jazz vibraphonist Stefon Harris performs on the sublime "All in Your Mind," a song that is Midón's way of opening a window on what it's like to be blind. "I wrote 'All in Your Mind' to talk about how, when you're blind, you perceive everything through your imagination." His music has been featured in the American Songbook series at Lincoln Center, and he appears on DJ/Producer Louie Vega's album "Elements of Life." He appears at the Hollywood Bowl after making his Carnegie Hall debut with the show "The Movie Music of Spike Lee" for which he received critical and popular acclaim.

    One of the largest natural amphitheaters in the world, with a seating capacity of nearly 18,000, the HOLLYWOOD BOWL has been the summer home of the Los Angeles Philharmonic since its official opening in 1922, and in 1991 gave its name to the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, a resident ensemble that has filled a special niche in the musical life of Southern California. The 2004 season introduced audiences to a revitalized Hollywood Bowl, featuring a newly-constructed shell and stage and the addition of four stadium screens enhancing stage views in the venue. To this day, $1 buys a seat at the top of the Bowl for many of the Los Angeles Philharmonic's concerts. While the Bowl is best known for its sizzling summer nights, during the day California's youngest patrons enjoy "SummerSounds: Music for Kids at the Hollywood Bowl," the Southland's most popular summer arts festival for children, now in its 38th season. Attendance figures over the past several decades have soared: in 1980 the Bowl first topped the half-million mark and close to one million admissions have been recorded. In February 2006, the Hollywood Bowl was named Best Major Outdoor Concert Venue for the second year in a row at the 17th Annual Pollstar Concert Industry Awards; the Bowl's summer music festival has become as much a part of a Southern California summer as beaches and barbecues, the Dodgers, and Disneyland.


    WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 30, 2006, AT 8:00 P.M.

    HOLLYWOOD BOWL, 2301 N. Highland Ave. in Hollywood




    A Lexus "Passionate Performance"

    Media support provided by KKJZ.

    Tickets ($1 - $81) are on sale now online at, at the Hollywood Bowl Box Office, by calling Ticketmaster at 213.480.3232, or at all Ticketmaster outlets (Robinsons May, Tower Records and Ritmo Latino locations). Groups of 12 or more may be eligible for a 20% discount, subject to availability; call 323.850.2050 for further details. For general information or to request a brochure, call 323.850.2000.

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  • Contact:

    Adam Crane, 213.972.3034; Libby Huebner, 562.799.6055; For photos: 213.972.3034