Playboy Jazz Festival 2012

Jazz N LA — By on May 4, 2012 at 8:01 am

Cover photo- Sheila E, pictured in a spontaneous performance at the Playboy Mansion. Inside photo- Comedian Bill Cosby clowns with Sheila E.

Sheila E Wows The Press Conference Announcing The Playboy Jazz Festival

By Buddy Sampson

At a recent press conference at the Playboy Mansion to announce the Playboy Jazz festival, in a precursor of what’s to come at The Hollywood Bowl, entertainer, percussionist and singer Sheila E dominated the press conference. With an impressive impromtu performance on the drums, joined by drummer Ndugu Chancler and comedian Bill Cosby on what he called “the electric cowbell.” Sheila E wowed all the journalists in attendance.

Ndugu Chancler.

Bill Cosby, who in annual Playboy tradition, will serve as master of ceremonies for the shows at The Hollywood Bowl, was in rare form, telling jokes about artists announced as Playboy Jazz Festival promoter’s Darlene Chan played his straightwoman. They announced the Saturday line up, which will include the Christian McBride Big Band, Boney James and Playboy Jazz Fest sensation Ozomatli, who wowed the Hollywood Bowl a few years ago. Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings, Soul Rebels with special guests Leo Nocentelli, Zigaboo, Modeliste and Ivan Neville, Global Gumbo All-Stars (created by Quincy Jones-an ensemble of musicians from all over the world), which features Richard Bono, Lionel Loueke, Francisco Mela and Alfredo Rodriguez and Cos of Good Music, (Bill Cosby’s band) which will feature Dwayne Burno and Ndugu Chancler also round out the Saturday show. Opening the Saturday show will be the LAUSD/Beyond The Bell All City Jazz Band, under the direction of Tony White and J.B. Dyas. The sensation of the Saturday show, however, will be Sheila E, known by her hit “The Glamourous Life” and her association with artists such as Prince, Gloria Estefan, Marvin Gaye, Herbie Hancock and Lionel Richie among others. After her impromptu performance at the Playboy Mansion, Sheila E was candid about the influence of Latin music on pop music. “It’s all from the same pot,” said Sheila E. “It’s based on rhythm, it’s based on melody, it’s based on feel and what you play from your heart.”

Sheila E's hands were a blur.

The Sunday lineup will feature the Ramsey Lewis Electric Band, Robin Thicke, the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Keb’ Mo,’ Terry Lynn Carrington’s Mosaic Project, which features singer Carmen Lundy among others, The Cookers, which features Eddie Henderson and Billy Hart among others, Chile’s Chico Trujillo, KG Omulo and Spectrum Road, which will feature the legendary Jack Bruce on bass, John Medeski on keyboards, Vernon Reid on guitar and Cindy Blackman-Santana on drums. Opening the Sunday show will be the Calabasas High School Jazz Band, under the direction of Joshua Barroll.

This weekend, on May 6th, 2012 at the Beverly Hills Civic Center Plaza, located at 450 North Rexford Drive as part of the Playboy Jazz Festival’s free community series, Jose Rizo and his 9 piece band “Mongorama” will perfrom from 3:30PM to 5:30PM.

For more, including ticket information, visit

Sheila E.

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