The 27th Annual Long Beach Jazz Festival will be filled with memory-making music, mingling, tasty festival fare and unique merchandise this weekend, Aug. 9-10. Among the many headliners, Al Jarreau will recall fond memories of the late George Duke with a musical tribute to his longtime friend on Sunday. The GRAMMY-winning vocalist will surely include songs from his new album My Old Friend: Celebrating George Duke. Jarreau re-interprets some of Duke’s renowned catalog on this album, which was released by Concord Records today, Aug. 5, 2014 (one year ago to the day that the 67-year-old Duke passed away from heart complications caused by treatment for chronic lymphocytic leukemia.)
The festival founder, Al Williams, and his Jazz Society featuring Ronnie Laws, Wilton Felder and special guests (TBA) are scheduled to perform a tribute to Wayne Henderson on Saturday. The 74-year-old trombonist and founding member of the Jazz Crusaders died from heart failure triggered by diabetes on April 5.
With health on the minds and hearts of Williams and his daughter Kimberly Benoit (who has taken over the helm of Rainbow Promotions, the family business), they are bringing back for a second year, the Health & Wellness Pavilion. Located in the food court and vendor area, this section will offer festivalgoers a total de-stressing experience (mind, body, spirit) all in one location, with a second stage for more live music. Inspirational and expert wellness speakers, treatment centers and healthy food sampling will offer attendees the tools to live healthier, feel energized and focused. Participating in the Health & Wellness Pavilion are the American Diabetes Association, American Heart Association, City of Hope’s Be the Match Bone Marrow Donor Program, K.I.S. Foundation (Kiki Shepard’s Sickle Cell Foundation), Triple Step Toward The Cure Breast Cancer Foundation and more.
The festival lineup includes:
Saturday, Aug. 9: Tyrese, Ramsey Lewis, Rachelle Ferrell, Najee, Michael Lington, Jesse Boykins III, Lee England Jr.
Sunday, Aug. 10: Lalah Hathaway; Will Downing; Al Jarreau; Daley; Hiroshima; Al Williams Jazz Society featuring Ronnie Laws, Wilton Felder and more in a tribute to Wayne Henderson; Rick Parma
The Long Beach Jazz Festival will be held each day from 11 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. at Rainbow Lagoon Park, E. Shoreline Dr. and Linden Ave., in Long Beach, California. For tickets and information, visit www.longbeachjazzfestival.com or call 562-424-0013.