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  • HB
  • Jul. 23, 2008
  • Cassandra Wilson Opens the Show

    WEDNESDAY, JULY 23, 2008, at 8 PM

    This Concert is a Lexus Passionate Performance
    Media sponsor: 94.7 The Wave

    The 2008 Jazz at the Bowl series continues with trumpeter Chris Botti, who performs with the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, led by conductor Scott Dunn, on Wednesday, July 23, at 8 p.m., at the Hollywood Bowl. Vocalist Cassandra Wilson opens the show and performs in support of her latest release, Loverly.

    Chris Botti is a gifted instrumentalist, talented composer and charismatic performer who – since the release of his first solo album in 1995 – has created a series of recordings which have made him equally revered in the realm of both contemporary jazz and the pop music world. Through his singular combination of lush atmospheres and thoughtful improvisations, Botti has earned both critical acclaim and mainstream appreciation for a succession of best-selling albums. Botti’s Hollywood Bowl performance will include selections from his latest release, Italia, a suite of songs and music inspired by the romance of Italy. Los Angeles Times music critic, Don Heckman, says “Botti’s virtuosic trumpet work, his inventive melody-making, his engaging onstage presence and his powerful band…ruled the evening…”

    In 2001, Time magazine named Cassandra Wilson “America’s Best Singer.” With one of the most original and outstanding voices in jazz, Wilson has garnered similar accolades, including “The New Standard” from JazzTimes. Vibe magazine calls her a “goddess.” Wilson performs in support of her Blue note Records release entitled Loverly, her first release comprised of American standards since 1988’s Blue Skies. Wilson self-produced Loverly in just six days in her hometown of Jackson, Mississippi, with an all-star line-up of friends and collaborators.

    The Jazz at the Bowl series, under the guidance of Creative Chair for Jazz Christian McBride, offers an eight-concert series featuring major artists from the world of jazz. The 2008 season highlights include Gerald Wilson and Hank Jones’ 90th birthday celebrations on July 30; Etta James & the Roots Band with Solomon Burke and Paolo Nutini on August 13; Jamie Cullum with the Count Basie Orchestra and A Christian McBride Situation on August 20; George Benson and Thunder featuring bassists Stanley Clarke, Marcus Miller and Victor Wooten on August 27; and Bossa Nova at 50 with orchestra, Oscar Castro-Neves and special guests Maria Rita, Ivan Lins and others on September 3.

    CHRIS BOTTI is a native of Oregon who was born in Portland, raised in Corvallis, and spent two years of his childhood growing up in Italy. His earliest musical influence was his mother, a classically trained pianist and part-time piano teacher. He began playing trumpet at age 9 and, after hearing a recording of Miles Davis playing "My Funny Valentine," realized the instrument was his key to "doing something meaningful with my life." He pursued his music studies with a succession of outstanding teachers including Professor Bill Adam and Dave Baker in Indiana, and--following a move to New York City in 1986--the late trumpet master Woody Shaw. Botti established a name for himself early in his career as the jazz trumpeter that pop musicians could come to. In doing so, he toured with Joni Mitchell, Paul Simon, and Sting. After two years of worldwide exposure touring with Sting on his “Brand New Day” tour as a featured soloist, Botti successfully launched a solo career as an instrumentalist of superstar stature. Botti’s best-selling albums include When I Fall In Love (2004, No. 1 Top Jazz Album, No. 37 Billboard Top 200), To Love Again: The Duets (2005, No. 1 Top Jazz Album, No. 18 Billboard Top 200), and Chris Botti Live with Orchestra & Special Guests (2006, No. 2 Top Jazz Album). With his new album Italia, Botti has created a suite of songs and music inspired by the romance of Italy, each track conveying different aspects of that romance. Allowing his "love of slow moving orchestral pieces" to work through the album's arrangements, song choices, tone and melodic phrasing, Botti and his musicians have succeeded in conjuring an album of evocative atmospherics linking the worlds of jazz and pop and classical music. Botti maintains a busy touring schedule and numerous requests for television appearances, film scoring and other projects, as the sound of his trumpet is heard more and more throughout the world.

    Named “America’s Best Singer” by Time magazine, CASSANDRA WILSON was born and reared in Jackson, Mississippi by musician and educator parents. In the 80’s, Cassandra moved to New Orleans and found herself performing with Earl Turbinton and Ellis Marsalis. Quite by accident, she was relocated to East Orange, New Jersey where she made a decision to take her changes on the New York jazz scene. After a stint as the main vocalist with Steve Coleman’s M-Base Collective, Cassandra began recording on her own. Her voice is more visual than audible; shaded, iridescent, tangible, substantial seemed to flow effortlessly. From the standards on Blue Skies to the Grammy-winning New Moon Daughter, to the combination of originals and interpretations played by Mississippi and New York musicians in Belly of the Sun (2001), as well as Glamoured (2003), Cassandra continued to evolve as a vocalist, songwriter, and producer. In 2000, Wilson returned to Mississippi to establish Ojah Media Group. Ojah, a Yoruba word meaning, “the marketplace,” is an independent multi-media entity dedicated to documenting and marketing the unique sounds emanating from the landscape and its multi-cultural influences. In 2006, Cassandra combined her sexy, honey-velvet vocals in a collaborative project with producer T Bone Burnett (delete--in her most recent release entitled) on Thunderbird. On her 2008 release Loverly, Cassandra celebrates her 15th year on the Blue Note Records label with a tantalizing, rhythmically driven collection of jazz standards given new luster with a top-drawer band of friends that includes Marvin Sewell on guitar, Jason Moran on piano, Herlin Riley on drums, Lekan Babalola on percussion and Lonnie Plaxico on bass. Cassandra Wilson is a world renowned vocalist, songwriter and producer, with an extraordinary following, but at heart she is still a Mississippi girl whose art reflects her deep musical and cultural roots, anchored in the fertile Mississippi soil.

    SCOTT DUNN made his 1999 Carnegie Hall debut with the American Composers Orchestra playing his own orchestration of Vernon Duke’s ‘lost’ 1923 Piano Concerto in C. Dunn made his first professional conducting engagements in 2000 and subsequently has held posts with the Music Festival of the Hamptons and Glimmerglass Opera. He currently holds conducting positions with the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra in Los Angeles and Pittsburgh Opera. Dunn has also appeared leading the North Carolina Symphony, the Filharmónica of Guanajuato, Mexico and the Orchestre National of Lyon, France. Also a distinguished pianist and orchestrator, Dunn’s acclaimed recording of his own orchestration and performance of the Vernon Duke Piano Concerto with the Russian Philharmonic was released in 2007 on the Naxos label. His 2005 solo recording of the complete piano works of Lukas Foss, also on Naxos, prompted the New Yorker to write, “a delightful new disk. Dunn’s playing — lean, incisive, occasionally flamboyant — has just the touch this music needs.” Other recent projects include a yet to be released Naxos recording of the chamber works of Franco Alfano, extensive work on Danny Elfman’s brand new ballet Rabbit and Rogue for Twyla Tharp and the ABT, a producer for the same composer’s Serenada Schizophrana CD for Sony, and assistance in the reconstruction and recording of George Gershwin’s original 1935 version of Porgy and Bess (with conductor John Mauceri and the Nashville Symphony) for a 2006 Grammy nominated release by Decca. Dunn’s musical mentors have included legendary pianists Byron Janis and Brooks Smith; conductor Jorge Mester, as well as composers Lukas Foss, Leonard Rosenman and Richard Rodney Bennett, among others. His remarkably diverse education includes musical studies at the Manhattan School of Music, Juilliard and Aspen School and Festival, as well as an M.D. from the University of Iowa, with post-graduate studies at USC and board certification in eye surgery. This is Dunns’ conducting debut at the Hollywood Bowl.

    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 40th 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 2008, the Hollywood Bowl was named Best Major Outdoor Concert Venue for the fourth year in a row at the 19th 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, JULY 23, 2008, at 8 PM

    HOLLYWOOD BOWL, 2301 N. Highland Ave. in Hollywood

    Jazz at the Bowl Series



    SCOTT DUNN, conductor



    This Concert is a Lexus Passionate Performance

    Media sponsor: 94.7 The Wave

    Tickets ($1 - $95) are on sale now at, at the Hollywood Bowl Box Office (Tuesday–Sunday, noon–6 p.m.), by phone 323.850.2000 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.

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  • Contact:

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