Skip to page content
  • HB
  • Aug. 8, 2007


    Media Sponsor: KJAZZ

    To honor the birth and contributions of legendary jazz genius Benny Carter, the Hollywood Bowl hosts a tribute to his music, Wednesday, August 8 at 8:00 pm, highlighting original arrangements and rarely heard Carter tunes including an excerpt from the 1996 Peaceful Warrior Suite, Carter's last extended work commissioned by the Library of Congress. Composer, producer and music icon Quincy Jones hosts the show featuring the Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra with special guests James Moody, Gerald Clayton, Roy Hargrove, Russell Malone, Marlena Shaw, Eldar, Roberta Gambarini, and the Benny Carter Trio. August 8, 2007 would have been Carter's 100th birthday which he planned to attend before his passing in 2003.

    Carter, nicknamed "King" by jazz giants, had a mind for composition, arrangement and innovative style which redefined American music. Mostly self-taught, this master of the alto sax set the stage for some of the most influential arrangements in music history. This concert will feature some of these legendary jazz arrangements performed by a special sax ensemble and rhythm section as well as scarcely seen film footage compiled by jazz film archivist Mark Cantor. Maestro, written by John Clayton of the Clayton-Hamilton Orchestra and commissioned by the Los Angeles Philharmonic specifically for Carter's 90th birthday celebration at the Bowl, will be re-visited by the special guests that are a part of this centennial program.

    BENNY CARTER Born in New York in 1907, Carter spent over nine decades, occupying a unique place in American music. As Duke Ellington once wrote: "The problem of expressing the contributions that Benny Carter has made to popular music is so tremendous it completely fazes me, so extraordinary a musician is he." As a soloist, Carter, along with Johnny Hodges, was the model for swing era alto saxophonists. He is nearly unique in his ability to double on trumpet, which he plays in an equally distinctive style. In addition, he is an accomplished clarinetist, and has recorded proficiently on piano and trombone. As an arranger, he helped chart the course of big band jazz, and his compositions, have become jazz standards. Carter has also made major musical contributions to the world of film and television. His musicianship and personality have won him the respect of fellow artists and audiences on every continent. In the 1970s, Carter turned his talents in a new direction--education. He conducted seminars and workshops at many universities including Harvard and Princeton, which awarded him an honorary doctorate in 1974. Constantly evolving and absorbing, Carter's playing retains the basic foundations that have always made it readily identifiable. As he likes to say, "My good old days are here and now." Benny Carter proves it every time he steps on stage. It is not surprising that, in a music populated by royalty, Benny Carter is still known to his fellow musicians as "King."

    QUINCY JONES An impresario in the broadest and most creative sense of the word, Quincy Jones' career has encompassed the roles of composer, record producer, artist, film producer, arranger, conductor, instrumentalist, TV producer, record company executive, magazine founder and multi-media entrepreneur. As a master inventor of musical hybrids, he has shuffled pop, soul, hip-hop, jazz, classical, African and Brazilian music into many dazzling fusions, traversing virtually every medium, including records, live performance, movies and television. In 1990, Quincy Jones formed Quincy Jones Entertainment (QJE), a co-venture with Time Warner, Inc. QJE produced NBC Television's Fresh Prince Of Bel Air (now in syndication), and UPN's In The House and Fox Television's Mad TV. Quincy Jones, is also the publisher of VIBE Magazine (as well as founder), SPIN and Blaze Magazines. In 2001, Quincy Jones added the title "Best Selling Author" to his list of accomplishments when his autobiography "Q: The Autobiography of Quincy Jones" entered the New York Times, Los Angeles Times and Wall Street Journal Best-Sellers lists. The audio recording of "Q: The Autobiography of Quincy Jones," (Simon & Schuster) recently earned Jones his 27th Grammy Award, in the Best Spoken Word Category, while "Q: The Musical Biography of Quincy Jones" garnered him a 15th NAACP Image Award, in the category of Outstanding Jazz Artist.

    CLAYTON-HAMILTON JAZZ ORCHESTRA The Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra (CHJO) is an awesome machine that has flourished over the course of twenty one years under inspired and dedicated leadership. "We've worked at creating a family here, rather than just pulling together super players," said John Clayton. It has finally paid off. In December, 2003, CHJO was named the best big band in America by the Readers of Downbeat Magazine, and in 2004, Jazz Times Magazine rated the band #2! In 2005, CHJO released their CD entitled, "Live at Manchester Craftsmen's Guild" to commemorate their 20th anniversary. This CD topped the radio charts for a full seven weeks! John Clayton was nominated for a Grammy for arranging for the CD. From 1998 to 2001, the Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra served as the resident jazz orchestra for the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl. CHJO, co-led by bassist John Clayton, his brother, reed player, Jeff Clayton, and drummer Jeff Hamilton, received critical and commercial praise generated by their rousing live concert and festival performances and award winning recordings. The orchestra comprises many top rated musicians, some of whom have been with CHJO for the entire 21 year stint, including trombonists George Bohanon and Ira Nepus, and trumpeter Clay Jenkins. Most notable among the musicians, is 88 year old "Snooky" Young who continues to tour and record with the orchestra.

    JAMES MOODY Born in Savannah, Georgia, on March 26, 1925, and raised in Newark, New Jersey, JAMES MOODY took up the alto sax, a gift from his uncle, at the age of 16. A few years later, impressed by saxmen Buddy Tate and Don Byas of the Count Basie Orchestra, he switched to the full-bodied tenor saxophone. Following his discharge from the U.S. Air Force in 1947, Moody joined the influential BeBop big band of Dizzy Gillespie. During that time, he recorded with trumpeter Howard McGhee and vibist Milt Jackson for Dial Records. A year later he made his recording debut as a leader (JAMES MOODY AND HIS BEBOP MEN), using players from the Gillespie band. Moody continues to surprise audiences with his vitality, innovative style of playing and his great sense of humour. He remains one of the most sought after artists for master classes, workshops and lectures, because, not only does he inspire young talent through his high standard of musicianship and positive outlook on life, but also through his ability to communicate his experiences in and around the jazz world.

    ROY HARGROVE Firmly established as among the premier players in jazz and beyond, Roy Hargrove is ever-stretching into more challenging and colorful ways to flex his musical chops and has left indelible imprints in a vast array of artful settings. Hargrove has won Grammy® Awards for two vastly different projects, Roy's Cuban-based band Crisol won the Best Latin Jazz Performance Grammy for the album Habana and in 2002, Hargrove, Herbie Hancock and Michael Brecker won Best Instrumental Jazz Album, Individual or Group, for their three-way collaboration Directions in Music. In 2005, he was a featured guest with Slide Hampton and the Dizzy Gillespie All Star Band in bi-coastal tributes to James Moody in honor of the saxophonists 80th birthday at Disney Hall in Los Angeles, the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, and approximately 25 other concerts around the globe. He has further ventured into the black pop mainstream as a collaborator with edgy soul star D'Angelo and guest appearances on albums by neo soul priestess Erykah Badu, thought-provoking rapper Common, and English acid jazz DJ/producer Gilles Peterson. Hargrove is the leader of the progressive group The RH Factor, which combines elements of jazz, funk, hip-hop, soul, and gospel music.

    RUSSELL MALONE Guitarist Russell Malone was born on November 8, 1963 in Albany, Georgia. His first exposure to music was through his church. As guitars began to be incorporated into the church music, Russell found himself fascinated by it. Before he was five, his mother bought him a toy guitar and he began copying the church players. At ten, Russell developed an interest in the blues and country music after seeing such musicians as Chet Atkins, Glen Campbell, Johnny Cash, Roy Clark, B.B. King and, especially, George Benson perform on television. Ultimately, it was jazz that Russell chose to play. He became a self-taught player influenced by players such as B.B. King, Wes Montgomery, George Benson, Kenny Burrell, and dozens of others whom he discovered through voracious research. Russell first worked with master jazz organist Jimmy Smith in 1988, and between1990 and 1994 toured with Harry Connick Jr. During the late nineties Malone toured internationally with Diana Krall, receiving critical acclaim for his role as Diana's right hand both in concert and on her recordings. Russell also has a stellar career as sideman. He played a very important role in Diana Krall's first recordings, the Grammy-nominated All For You and Love Scenes. He has also recorded, with Harry Connick Jr., Branford Marsalis, Natalie Cole, Ray Brown, Don Braden, Dianne Reeves and Etta Jones. He is currently touring with his Quartet, as well as with Benny Green to promote their new duo CD, Jazz at the Bistro on TELARC.

    MARLENA SHAW While everyone agrees that Marlena Shaw is a national treasure, it's difficult to categorize her. Both Downbeat and Record World have named her "Best Female Singer," and many have compared her range, class and swing that of to eternal jazz lights like Sarah Vaughn, Dinah Washington, and Nancy Wilson. But she's also been called a "soul legend," both before and after her successful detour into disco. Marlena's a lyricist and composer as well -- for example, her ballad "You" was recorded by both Stanley Turrentine and Benny Golson. Born in Valhalla, New York and raised on gospel and jazz, Marlena's first public performance was at the age of 10, at the legendary Apollo Theater. Marlena has fronted big bands and orchestras as well as performed and recorded with Ray Brown, Benny Carter, and Joe Williams, toured with Sammy Davis Jr. for four years, and graced every major jazz festival in the world, as well as top venues like Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center. It's not unusual for Marlena to be on the road over 200 days a year. The first woman vocalist ever signed to Blue Note Records, where she made five albums and several singles, Marlena's recording career actually began in 1966 with Cadet Records (a subsidiary of the ground-breaking Chess Records). But despite her long experience, there's no slickness or pretense in Marlena's style. Communicating directly from her heart and soul to yours, her undiminished creative vitality has no artificial ingredients. Like water -- or a welcome breath of fresh air - Marlena is an all-natural element.

    Born in Sacramento in 1942, saxophonist/flutist MEL MARTIN has been a mainstay of the San Francisco jazz scene since the mid-1960s. In the 1970s he formed the group Listen, and in 1983 launched another innovative ensemble, Bebop and Beyond. The band's recordings include a critically acclaimed collaboration with Dizzy Gillespie, the trumpeter's last studio date. Martin has received four NEA grants for both composition and recording projects. His friendship with Benny Carter dates back to the mid-1980s and includes two tours of Japan with Carter's orchestra. Martin also assembled big bands for Carter's appearances in the Bay area. In 1994, Martin recorded his superb Mel Martin Plays Benny Carter (Enja), which includes several performances with Carter recorded live at Yoshi's in Oakland. In July 2007, Martin released additional tracks from that engagement on a new CD, Just Friends (Jazzed Media).

    ELDAR Jazz pianist ELDAR masters yet another milestone in his young but already remarkable career, with the release of Eldar Live at the Blue Note, his second CD for Sony Classical. Eldar has also become a thoroughly Americanized native of Kyrgyzstan, where he was born in 1987 to Emil and Tatiana Djangirov. Eldar progressed quickly when he began serious private study with his father and his mother, a musicologist who taught music history at the college in the city of Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan's capital. Though his studies were technical and included traditional classical keyboard training, Eldar gravitated to jazz. When he was given transcriptions of piano solos of Oscar Peterson and Bill Evans, the boy polished them off with ease. After his appearance on Piano Jazz, Eldar was invited by Marian McPartland to play in her annual Jazz Concert Series at Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY. He has also twice performed at the Millennium Stage of the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. When he was only 15, Eldar played Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue with the Independence Symphony Orchestra, and he has also performed as a guest artist with Nebraska Jazz Orchestra. The Djangirov family eventually moved to San Diego, and Eldar continued his academic studies on scholarship at the prestigious Francis Parker School there. He currently attends the University of Southern California.

    ROBERTA GAMBARINI Roberta Gambarini was born in Torino, Italy, into a family where jazz was much loved and appreciated. She began listening to this music as a child and started taking clarinet lessons when she was twelve years old. By the time she was 17, she began singing and performing in jazz clubs around Northern Italy and at the age of 18, she decided to move to Milan to pursue a career as a jazz singer. In 1998 she moved to the United States with a scholarship from the New England Conservatory in Boston. Two weeks later, Roberta stunned many in the jazz world with a third place finish in the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Vocal Competition. A dynamic performer with virtuosic vocal chops, she draws rave reviews and enthusiastic fan support wherever she performs. And shes done so with no hype and to the astonishment of many no domestic releases. Until now: on June 6, 2006, GROOVIN High will release Robertas North American debut, Easy to Love. Roberta shows off her instrumental approach and warm timbre, impeccable timing and intonation, incredible technique and scatting and improvisation skills on a set of 12 excellent jazz standards and classic songs from The Great American Songbook. The album also includes two bonus tracks and features special guest James Moody on a scintillating scat duel.

    GERALD CLAYTON Gerald was born on May 11, 1984 in Utrecht, The Netherlands and moved to the United States at a young age. He graduated from the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts (LACHSA) in the summer of 2002 and received a Bachelor's of Music from the Jazz Studies program at USC in the Fall of 2006. Gerald grew up in a musical family (his father is bassist/composer John Clayton and his uncle saxophonist Jeff Clayton) and was exposed to a variety of musical styles from a very young age. He studied classical piano with Mrs. Linda Buck and jazz piano and composition with Shelley Berg, Kenny Barron and Billy Childs. Gerald was the winner of the 2001 Music Center Spotlight Awards and received the 'Outstanding Soloist' Award during the Monterey High School Jazz Competition in 2001 and 2002. He was also selected for the Grammy High School Big Band, comprised of high school students from the entire United States. Gerald was presented with the "level 1" award by the National Foundation for the Advancement of the Arts (NFAA) in January of 2002. In the summer of 2002, he was named Presidential Scholar in the Arts and was asked to perform at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. In June of 2002, Gerald performed at Steinway Hall in New York and was presented with a scholarship award by the Music for Youth Foundation. In September of 2002, Gerald received the Shelley Manne Award for emerging young artists from the Los Angeles Jazz Society. In September of 2006, Gerald received Second Place in the prestigious Thelonious Monk Institute Jazz Piano Competition. Gerald can be heard on "Back in the Swing of Things," the latest recording by The Clayton Brothers as well as on several tracks of Diana Krall's most recent recording "From This Moment On."

    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 39th 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 2007, the Hollywood Bowl was named Best Major Outdoor Concert Venue for the third year in a row at the 18th 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.



    HOLLYWOOD BOWL, 2301 N. Highland Ave. in Hollywood

    Benny Carter's 100 Years of Music

    QUINCY JONES, host











    Sponsored by KJAZZ

    Tickets ($1-$93) are on sale now at, at the Hollywood Bowl Box Office (Tuesday - Saturday, 12 p.m. - 6 p.m.), or by calling Ticketmaster at 213.480.3232, and at all Ticketmaster outlets. Groups of 10 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.

    # # #

  • Contact:

    Adam Crane,, 213.972.3034; Lisa Bellamore,, 213.972.3689; For photos: 213.972.3034