Now in its 16th year, the Pasadena Summer Fest" keeps growing, and this year moves its traditional Memorial Day weekend festivities to the Rose Bowl, located at 1001 Rose Bowl Drive in Pasadena.
On May 28, 29 and 30, from 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., the festival traditions will remain the same with five great events presented simultaneously under the “Pasadena Summer Fest at the Rose Bowl” banner: Playboy Jazz at the Rose Bowl, the Family Fun Fest, A Taste of Summer, the Summer Art Fest and The Sports Zone.
Back in the early days, the audience was a scant thousand,” remembers Pasadena Summer Fest producer Ray Leier, adding; “Now we can boast an impressive attendance of well over 100,000 weekend visitors.” Darryl Dunn, General Manager, Rose Bowl Operating Company, is pleased. “We’ve watched Summer Fest get bigger each year, and we’re very happy that Ray Leier accepted our invitation to use the Rose Bowl facilities. Our venue is not only spacious and rich in history; it is also synonymous with family entertainment. It’s a perfect fit.”
Playboy Jazz at the Rose Bowl" will be the first-ever jazz concert held at the world-famous stadium. This annual free music event, presented at “Pasadena Summer Fest," will feature live performances all day long—-from contemporary/smooth and traditional jazz, to R&B, blues, Afro-Cuban and Latin/salsa, beginning at 11:00 a.m. daily.
“Since the Playboy Jazz Festival and the Pasadena Summer Fest teamed up to bring a weekend of music, entertainment and fun to the Southland, our collaboration has become a much-anticipated Memorial Day weekend tradition,” says Bill Farley, Vice President, Marketing Events at Playboy Enterprises, Inc. “Our events at Central Park and Brookside Park have attracted large and enthusiastic crowds, and this year's move to the legendary Rose Bowl augurs well for 2005 to be our biggest and best year ever. Short of the Playboy Jazz Festival itself, the Pasadena Summer Fest is the best place for jazz fans to enjoy the music they love. And, best of all, it's free!”
This Playboy Jazz Festival event has been an integral part of the “Pasadena Summer Fest” for eleven straight years, and it just keeps getting bigger and better. “We are thankful for the opportunity to present some of the best talent seen collectively at a free outdoor event,” says Summer Fest producer Ray Leier. “I am still amazed at how the event has grown. Before Playboy, we presented a small two-day event that offered entertainment on a small stage, an unexciting food court, a few rides and amusements for the kids and an art show. Now we have five events under our banner. Together we have created good chemistry and a great vibe!”
Free admission, rides, games and amusements, lots of good food and beverages for sale, and parking is available for $10.00. The event will benefit local schools and non-profit organizations in Pasadena and the surrounding area.
This year, festival-goers are encouraged to bring blankets, beach/lawn chairs to the new location; there will be NO stadium seating available. However, as in past years, NO umbrellas, canopies, coolers or picnic baskets, backpacks, glass containers, cans, alcoholic beverages, audio recorders, video cameras, barbecue grills or dogs will be allowed entry to the site, and smoking is not allowed on the Rose Bowl lawn.
For additional information, visit the website at www.PasadenaSummerFest.com or call the Summer Fest hotline at 626/797-0421.
Scheduled performances, not in order of appearance and subject to change, are as follows: (Editor’s note: Biographical sketches and JPEGs are available.)
Saturday, May 28: Jeff Kashiwa and The Costal Access Band, popular smooth jazz saxophonists and former Rippington’s sideman, penned ABC-TV’s “All My Children theme song; jazz bassist Henry Franklin Group; Vocal Legacy featuring Victor Fields and Clairdee, a double-header featuring two northern California jazz singers with a passion for great old songs with a classic jazz, pop, and urban contemporary twist; Oskar Cartaya & Enclave, passionate Puerto Rican who’s ensemble perpetuates Latin jazz; The Hi-Fi Quintet, classic swingin’ cocktail-lounge sound; Trio Gonzalo, self-proclaimed musical legatees of the gypsy guitarist Django Reinhardt, and Pasadena’s own John Muir High School Jazz Band
Sunday, May 29: Ronnie Laws, award-winning and inventive non-traditional jazz fusion alto-saxman; Bill Fulton Band, high-energy contemporary jazz band that blends jazz, fusion, Latin and gospel; Odara, performing original Afro-Cuban music that pays tribute to the traditional styles of Són, Rubma, chachachá, guaguancó-son, bembe, and tumba Francesa; jazz vocalist Kristin Korb sings in the tradition of Ella Fitzgerald and Sarah Vaughan and plays bass with the authority of Ray Brown; CJS Quintet, a melodic mix of be-bop classics with classic straight-ahead acoustic jazz and original tunes, and winner of first-ever Long Beach Jazz Search Competition; and the Chatsworth High School Jazz Band
Monday, May 30: Soulful voiced Steve Oliver, the next superstar of Adult Contemporary pop and smooth jazz, blends a charismatic mix of colorful acoustic guitar melodies and wild vocal percussion; Rickey Woodard, one of the most sought-after saxophonists on the scene today with a mellow but strong style and impeccable chops; Taylor Eigsti, a 21-year old jazz pianist prodigy plays with amazing technical precision and a soulful be-bop attack; Luis Conte, Grammy-winning master of percussion and Afro-Cuban rhythms; Sandy Graham, silky warm voiced jazz vocalist that caresses the lyrics with perfect enunciation, and the Eagle Rock High School Jazz Band
This year’s other festivities will include the traditional favorites:
Family Fun Fest," presented by K-EARTH 101 , features rides, amusements and interactive games, plus an entertainment stage showcasing ethnic dancers, singers, storytellers, mimes, puppeteers, magicians, and oldies-but-goodies performances. Rides, interactive games and amusements range from $1.00 to $5.00 and discount family pack tickets are available.
A Taste of Summer," presented by KLXS 97.1 FM and 93.1 JACK FM, offers treats from restaurants, cafés and eateries from throughout Southern California. Beverage selections include fruit drinks, iced teas and soft drinks; plus a selection of wine, beer and frozen margaritas for adults. Food and beverage selections range from $1.00 to $10.00.
Summer Art Fest," presented by KNX 1070 NewsRadio, showcases fine art, prints and photography; gold and silver jewelry; hand-made clothing and wearable art; sculpture; furniture; hand-blown glass, pottery, and ceramics; children’s toys, furniture and clothing, and more.
The Sports Zone," presented by KFWB News 980, introduces L.A. sports teams cheerleaders and dance squads, presents exhibitions of extreme sports including BMX racing, inline, and skateboard ramp shows, offers sports buffs interactive games, beat-the-pros contests, autograph signings and photo opportunities. Interactive sports games, rides and amusements range from $1.00 to $5.00 and discount family pack tickets are available.
Playboy Jazz at the Rose Bowl" is presented in cooperation with the 2005 Playboy Jazz Festival, KTWV The Wave and KKJZ 88.1 FM, and is supported in part by the Recording Industry Music Performance Trust Fund. The Las Vegas Convention and Visitor’s Authority sponsor this year’s “Playboy Jazz Festival.” Darlene Chan, vice president of Festival Productions, Inc., produces the event.
Ray Leier of Altadena-based del Mano Productions, co-owner of Brentwood’s del Mano Gallery produces the annual “Pasadena Summer Fest.”
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EDITOR’S NOTE: If you’d like schedule an interview with any of this year’s participants or need JPEGs for your story, please contact Regina Davis at 626/356-1300 or e-mail [email protected]. A complete electronic press kit (press releases, JPEGs and Playboy Jazz artists bios) will be available after April 28 at www.PasadenaSummerFest.com, click on Media/Sponsors, then go directly to Media Downloads. VIP/Press credentials (parking and hospitality) are available for accredited media only; please contact Regina Davis at Davis & Associates Public Relations no later than May 25 to make your arrangements.