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  • HB
  • Jul. 12, 2005
  • Week-long Festival Includes Orchestral, Jazz, and Pops Programs

    Featured Soloists include Audra McDonald, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Wayne Brady and
    Jean-Yves Thibaudet, as well as Vocalists Oleta Adams, Jon Hendricks, Cleo Laine,
    Barbara Morrison, and others

    July 12 concert sponsored by Fidelity Investments; July 16 concert sponsored by Princess Cruises
    Media sponsor for July 12 and 14: K-MOZART 105.1; Media sponsor for July 13: KKJZ

    Leonard Slatkin takes the baton for his first performances as Principal Guest Conductor of the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl on Tuesday, July 12, kicking off the week-long Gershwin Festival which runs through Saturday July 16. In addition to performances by the Philharmonic on July 12 and 14, the festival includes a Jazz at the Bowl concert on July 13, featuring Gershwin's music from the movies. The Weekend Spectacular shows (July 15 and 16) highlight music from Porgy & Bess, also led by Slatkin.

    On July 12 and 14 at 8 p.m., Slatkin leads the Philharmonic and pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet in Grofé's Hollywood Suite, Bennett's Concerto Grosso for Dance Band and Orchestra, and Gershwin's Concerto In F, I Got Rhythm Variations, and An American In Paris

    The concert on July 13 at 8 p.m. highlights the Gershwins in Hollywood. Launching the season's Jazz at the Bowl series, the show features a stellar selection of the Gershwins' timeless songs featured in some of RKO's and MGM's most famous movies. Jazz's hottest pianist Bill Charlap, his Trio with Kenny Washington and Peter Washington, and an all-star lineup of Oleta Adams, Jon Hendricks, Cleo Laine, Barbara Morrison with Jeff Clayton, Bob Efford, Wycliffe Gordon, Nicholas Payton, and Houston Person bring the night to life, and the performance is sprinkled with clips from the movies.

    On Friday and Saturday, July 15 and 16 at 8:30 p.m., Slatkin again leads the Philharmonic, this time with Broadway stars Audra McDonald and Brian Stokes Mitchell, vocalist Wayne Brady in his Bowl debut, and Thibaudet as soloists. Seventy years ago, George and Ira Gershwin created a sensation on Broadway with the premiere of their first opera, Porgy and Bess. The program features selections from this American masterpiece, as well as orchestral favorites and Thibaudet performing the famed Rhapsody in Blue .

    Florida native Wayne Brady began his career as a comedian and an actor performing in community theatre productions including A Raisin in the Sun, A Chorus Line, and Jesus Christ Superstar. The two-time Emmy-nominated comedian and actor moved to Los Angeles and began his acting career by performing in the prestigious Mark Taper Forum in its production of Blade to the Heat. In 2000, the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences invited Brady to perform solo at the 52nd Annual Emmy Awards. His musical medley, which spoofed many of the seasons' top shows, including The Sopranos and Survivor, was a hit. In 2001, Brady produced and starred in The Wayne Brady Show, a primetime variety show for ABC. He was also a series regular on the syndicated sketch comedy show Kwik Witz for two seasons, and hosted the VH-1 comedy series Vinyl Justice which was KABC's Countdown to the American Music Awards. In 2002, Brady received his second Emmy Award nomination (Best Individual Performance in a Variety or Musical) for his work on ABC's hit comedy series Whose Line Is It Anyway? Brady made history as the first African American to ever host the Miss America Competition in September of 2002. Brady currently is touring the country with his own improv show Wayne Brady and Friends.

    Born in New York City, pianist Bill Charlap grew up surrounded by Broadway composers and lyricists such as Charles Strouse, Yip Harburg, and Marilyn & Alan Bergman. His father is Moose Charlap, the Broadway composer best known for his score to Peter Pan, and his mother is Sandy Stewart, a singer who 40 years ago sang the hit Kander and Ebb ballad, "My Coloring Book." After studying music at the New York High School for the Performing Arts and studying with jazz pianists Jack Reilly and Dick Hyman and classical pianist Eleanor Hancock, Charlap got his start playing in Gerry Mulligan's band. He has worked with and been influenced by such jazz greats as Benny Carter, Clark Terry, Jim Hall, Frank Wess, Grady Tate, Phil Woods and Tony Bennett. His current trio includes bassist Peter Washington and drummer Kenny Washington.

    Vocalist Jon Hendricks was one of the founding members of the jazz vocal group Lambert, Hendricks and Ross. Born and raised in Toledo, Ohio, he formed the group in the late '50s with Dave Lambert and Annie Ross and was one of the main contributors to the trio's lyrics with his ability to write words to some of the most complex improvisations. The trio has gone on to influence many other vocal groups including the Manhattan Transfer. Hendricks performed several times with the Basie Orchestra over the years. His most recent recording is Boppin' At the Blue Note. He last performed at the Hollywood Bowl in 2004.

    Grammy-winning singer Cleo Laine has recorded with artists such as Ray Charles, Mel Torme, George Shearing, Mark Whitfield, Joe Williams, Toots Thielemanns, Kenny Wheeler and Clark Terry. She is a diverse performer, having sung jazz and Broadway standards in intimate clubs such as the New York Blue Note and larger venues such as Carnegie Hall and the Sydney Opera House. Her long relationship with musical theatre began in Britain in the 1950s and continued in the United States. In 1985, she originated the role of Princess Puffer in the Broadway hit musical, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, for which she received a Tony nomination; and in 1989, she received critical acclaim in Los Angeles for her portrayal of the Witch in Stephen Sondheim's Into the Woods. In addition to numerous recording industry accolades (including Grammy nominations and gold and platinum albums), Laine has been awarded honorary doctorate degrees from Boston's Berklee College of Music in the United States and, in the United Kingdom, from Cambridge University, the University of York, the Open University and the University of Luton. In 2002, she was recognized by the British Jazz Awards for Lifetime Achievement. She last performed at the Hollywood Bowl in 2003.

    Audra McDonald is a once-in-a-generation performer. By the time she was 28, she had made Broadway history, winning Tony Awards for Carousel, Master Class, and Ragtime. She recently won Tonys for A Raisin in the Sun and Marie Christine, a musical re-telling of the Medea myth, created for her by Michael John LaChiusa. Since then, she has distinguished herself as a concert performer, recording artist, and dramatic actress, adding an Emmy nomination ("Wit," the HBO film of Margaret Edson's Pulitzer Prize-winning play directed by Mike Nichols and starring Emma Thompson) to her expanding list of critical and popular acclaim. Last season McDonald made her non-singing stage debut in New York, as Lady Percy in an all-star Lincoln Center Theater production of Henry IV with Kevin Kline in the title role. She will also resume an active concert schedule that includes a solo production at the Frederick P. Rose Hall, the new home of Jazz at Lincoln Center. Happy Songs - her third disc under her exclusive contract with Nonesuch - was comprised greatly of classics by Harold Arlen, Duke Ellington, and the Gershwins. The releases of Way Back To Paradise -- named Adult Record of the Year by the New York Times -- in 1998, and the best-selling How Glory Goes in 2000, launched Ms. McDonald's solo recording career. She last performed at the Hollywood Bowl in 2003.

    Dubbed "the last leading man" by the New York Times, Brian Stokes Mitchell has a spectacular Broadway career that includes a starring role as Don Quixote in Man of La Mancha for which he received the Helen Hayes Award and Tony nomination. He won the 2000 Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards for "Best Leading Actor in a Musical" for his performance as Fred Graham/Petruchio in Kiss Me Kate. Other Broadway performances include Coalhouse Walker in Ragtime (Tony Nom.), August Wilson's King Hedley II (Tony Nom.), Kiss of the Spider Woman (Valentin), Jelly's Last Jam (replacing Gregory Hines), and David Merrick's Oh, Kay! His performance in Mail earned him the Theatre World Award for outstanding Broadway Debut. He has also starred in the City Center "Encores" productions of Carnival and Do Re Mi. Stokes has performed numerous times at Carnegie Hall, making his debut at the 1988 televised Gershwin Gala with the San Francisco Symphony. He has also been a frequent guest at The Kennedy Center in Washington DC, most recently appearing in the title role of Sweeney Todd at the tremendously successful Sondheim Celebration. Mitchell has had recurring roles on Frasier and Crossing Jordan with numerous other TV and film credits including DreamWorks' The Prince of Egypt, Too Rich with Lauren Bacall, Double Platinum with Diana Ross, and Call Me Claus with Whoopi Goldberg, Ruby's Bucket of Blood with Angela Bassett and PBS "Great Performances". His TV series debut began as a seven year stint on Trapper John, M.D. He has appeared on more than 10 albums and last appeared at the Hollywood Bowl in 2004

    Veteran jazz singer Barbara Morrison has performed with a virtual "who's who" in jazz and blues over her nearly 30 year career. Some of those names include Dizzy Gillespie, James Moody, Ron Carter, Etta James, Jimmy Smith, Johnny Otis, Dr. John, Kenny Burrell, Terence Blanchard, Joe Sample, Cedar Walton, Nancy Wilson, Mel Torme, Joe Williams and Tony Bennett. Her voice is featured on the movie soundtrack for The Hurricane, starring Denzel Washington, and on The Duke Ellington Millenium CD. Morrison tours extensively throughout the world and has opened for jazz and blues artists such as Ray Charles. She also guest stars with the Count Basie Orchestra, the Clayton-Hamilton Orchestra, and Doc Severinson's Big Band.

    Former member of the Wynton Marsalis septet, Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, and The Gully Low Jazz Band, trombonist Wycliffe Gordon has performed with jazz giants Dizzy Gillespie, Nat Adderley, Harry "Sweets" Edison, Joe Henderson, Al Grey, Clark Terry, Tommy Flanagan, Shirley Scott, Lionel Hampton and Shirley Horn. He was also a featured guest on Billy Taylor's "Jazz at the Kennedy Center" series. A gifted composer, Gordon was commissioned to write a new score for the 1925 silent film Body and Soul which premiered at the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra's 2000-01 season opener at Avery Fisher Hall. He is currently on the faculty of the new jazz studies program at The Juilliard School and has recorded eight albums under his own name.

    Grammy-winning trumpeter Nicholas Payton was born in New Orleans to a musical family. Payton began playing jazz at an early age, eventually playing with the All-Star Brass Band, a traditional youth jazz band that played in the U.S. and abroad. After studying at the New Orleans Center for the Creative Arts and the University of New Orleans (with Ellis Marsalis), Payton went on to perform and record with jazz giants Joe Henderson, Clark Terry, Jimmy Smith and Elvin Jones, who appointed him music director of his band at the age of 19. He has worked in film as well, portraying trumpeter Oran "Hot Lips" Page in Robert Altman's, Kansas City. In 1997, he received the "Best Solo Jazz Performance" Grammy for his rendition of "Stardust" on a recording with trumpeter Doc Cheatham. Although primarily touring with his own band for many years, Payton also has worked as a sideman, teaming up in 2003 with Roy Haynes' "Birds of a Feather" quartet (with Kenny Garrett, Christian McBride, and Dave Kikowski).

    Tenor saxophonist Houston Person's signature bluesy-soulful sound, in the tradition of Gene Ammons, has been heard in groups that also included Eddie Harris, Lanny Morgan, Leo Wright and Cedar Walton. Person gained much experience as a member of Johnny Hammond's group and has been a bandleader ever since. He frequently works with singer Etta James and blues-oriented organ groups and has recorded a series of albums for the Muse label.

    Combining the roles of internationally celebrated conductor, staunch advocate for music education, and champion of American music and musicians, Leonard Slatkin (August 30 and September 1), music director of the National Symphony Orchestra, was named this year to the newly created post of Principal Guest Conductor of the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl. He is the first to hold this post, a position that rotates on a two-year basis. Throughout his career, Slatkin has been praised by critics and audiences around the world for his imaginative programming and interpretations of a vast range of repertoire. Among his distinctions are a White House celebration honoring the National Symphony Orchestra and Slatkin for advocacy of America's artistic heritage; a Grammy for Best Classical Recording, awards for programming, and the National Medal of the Arts, the nation's highest honor for a performing artist. Slatkin has made regular appearances over the last two decades with virtually all the major international orchestras and opera companies, including the New York and Berlin Philharmonics, Cleveland Orchestra, and Amsterdam Concertgebouw, as well as the Metropolitan Opera and the Vienna Staatsoper. He is conductor laureate of the Saint Louis Symphony, following his highly successful 17-year music directorship and has just completed his tenure as Chief Conductor of the BBC Symphony Orchestra. Slatkin's discography includes more than 100 recordings recognized with five Grammy Awards and more than 50 other Grammy nominations. Slatkin is also extremely active as a broadcaster on musical topics. During his career he has had his own radio program, his own television program, and has been a guest commentator on NPR's Performance Today.

    Currently traversing the globe performing in such high caliber venues as Carnegie Hall, San Francisco's Herbst Theatre and Poland's National Philharmonic Hall, pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet will spend this season also performing with orchestras such as the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Cincinnati Symphony and the National Symphony Orchestra, to name a few. Additionally, Mr. Thibaudet is an award winning, Grammy nominated exclusive recording artist for Decca with over 30 recordings. He has performed and recorded with artists such as Renée Fleming, Cecilia Bartoli, Angelika Kirchschlager and many others. Thibaudet last performed at the Bowl in 2003.

    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 37th 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 2005, the Hollywood Bowl was named Best Major Outdoor Concert Venue at the 16th Annual Pollstar Concert Industry Awards; it is no wonder that 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



    Los Angeles Philharmonic

    Leonard Slatkin, conductor

    Jean-Yves Thibaudet, piano

    GROF&Eacute Hollywood Suite

    GERSHWIN Concerto in F

    BENNETT Concerto Grosso for Dance Band and Orchestra

    GERSHWIN I Got Rhythm Variations

    GERSHWIN An American in Paris

    July 12 concert sponsored by Fidelity Investments

    Media sponsor for July 12 and 14: K-MOZART 105.1



    The Gershwins in Hollywood

    Bill Charlap, musical director/piano and his Trio with Kenny Washington and Peter Washington

    Special guests include Oleta Adams, Jon Hendricks, Cleo Laine, Barbara Morrison with Jeff Clayton, Bob Efford, Wycliffe Gordon, Nicholas Payton, and Houston Person

    Media sponsor for July 13: KKJZ

    FRIDAY, JULY 15 AT 8:30 PM

    SATURDAY, JULY 16 AT 8:30 PM

    The Gershwin Weekend: Porgy and Bess

    Los Angeles Philharmonic

    Leonard Slatkin, conductor

    Audra McDonald, Brian Stokes Mitchell and Wayne Brady, vocalists

    Jean-Yves Thibaudet, piano

    Paul Smith Singers (Paul Smith, director)

    July 16 concert sponsored by Princess Cruises

    Tickets ($1 - $110) are on sale now at the Hollywood Bowl Box Office, by calling Ticketmaster at 213.480.3232, at all Ticketmaster outlets (Robinsons May, Tower Records, and Ritmo Latino locations), or online at Groups of 12 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.

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  • Contact:

    Adam Crane, 213.972.3422; Rachelle Roe, 213.972.7310; photos: 213.972.3034