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  • HB
  • Jul. 16, 2008
  • Jazz Ingénue Sophie Milman Makes Her Hollywood Bowl Debut

    WEDNESDAY, JULY 16, 2008, AT 8 PM

    Media Sponsor: KJAZZ 88.1

    Swing Night! at the Hollywood Bowl features retro-swing all stars Big Bad Voodoo Daddy celebrating 100 years of Cab Calloway - one of the greatest entertainers of all time. Cab Calloway led one of the greatest bands of the Swing era, and his historic residency at the world famous Cotton Club broke color barriers and popularized the big band movement. His 1931 smash hit “Minnie the Moocher” and his regular film appearances made Cab Calloway a household name. It is only fitting that Big Bad Voodoo Daddy - the band that brought back big band music to today’s pop culture - pays homage to the legendary entertainer. Also on the bill is the inimitable quartet, The Manhattan Transfer with big band backing, who celebrate their own milestone 35th anniversary, and young jazz ingénue, Sophie Milman, who makes her Hollywood Bowl debut. Swing Night! at the Hollywood Bowl takes place Wednesday, July 16, at 8 p.m.

    Formed in Los Angeles in 1992, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy was thrust into stardom when they were featured in the 1996 Jon Favreau film and accompanying soundtrack, Swingers. In 1998, they released their major label eponymous debut on Interscope. The album spent most of the year in Billboard’s Top 200 and was certified platinum. Since their inception, the band has toured virtually nonstop performing at Super Bowl XXXIII, the Grammy Awards, and with artists including Steve Wonder and Gloria Estefan. Their universally appealing music has been used in over 60 films and TV commercials.

    Officially formed in 1973, The Manhattan Transfer began performing regularly throughout New York City, quickly becoming a number one live attraction by the end of 1974. They were signed to Atlantic Records by the legendary head of the label, Ahmet Ertegun, and released their self-titled debut album in 1975. With their smash hit single “Operator” climbing the charts and their popularity skyrocketing, the group was offered their own variety show, The Manhattan Transfer which premiered on CBS in August, 1975. Nearly 35 years later, with worldwide sales in the millions, Grammy awards by the dozen and veterans of sold-out worldwide tours, The Manhattan Transfer make their triumphant return to the Hollywood Bowl to celebrate their landmark anniversary.

    Two and a half years of touring the world has deepened and strengthened the collaboration between Sophie Milman and her band, led by multi-instrumentalist, composer and arranger Cameron Wallis. This talented pool of musicians also features Paul Shrofel on piano, John Fraboni on drums and newest member Kieran Overs on bass. In support of her critically lauded sophomore album, Make Someone Happy, Sophie Milman makes her Hollywood Bowl debut.

    BIG BAD VOODOO DADDY helped define the Los Angeles lounge scene and resurrect the swing dancing movement of the 90s. They were given the unusual moniker by blues guitar legend Albert Collins who signed a poster for the band’s leader Scott Morris, “To Scotty, the big bad voodoo daddy.” It also became the title of the group’s first album, self-produced and distributed by Hep Cat in 1993. By 1995, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy were already a staple on the underground Hollywood club scene when actor friend Jon Favreau, who hung out at the band’s Wednesday night appearances at the Derby, asked Morris if he was interested in being in his movie. With the huge success of the movie and the accompanying soundtrack which featured BBVD, they became one of the hottest, hippest, coolest bands around. While their sound is often described as retro, Morris says, “We’re an alternative to retro. We’re high octane nitro jive – loud, wild, total edge…it’s our own modern version of swing.” Since their inception, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy have performed more than 1200 concerts around the world. Their talent can be seen on the stages of the biggest and best music festivals, jazz and blues festivals, night clubs, county fairs, symphony shows, black-tie events and wineries. The band has also been called upon to perform at major entertainment events and behind-the-scenes parties including the Grammy Awards, Billboard Awards, Espy Awards, the opening of the art world’s Getty Center Museum, and the halftime shows at the 1999 Super Bowl and Orange Bowl. Additionally, BBVD has been called on to play private events for President George Bush, President Bill Clinton, and President George W. Bush.

    THE MANHATTAN TRANSFER have been making music for 35 years. The a capella quartet was founded by Tim Hauser, a former Madison Avenue marketing executive, who dreamed of four-part harmonies without limits. Paying his bills by driving a taxi cab, one fateful day in the Fall of 1972, Hauser’s fare was an aspiring young singer named Laurel Masse, who was looking to form a group. A few weeks later, another of Hauser’s fares invited him to a party where he met Brooklyn native Janis Siegel who agreed to help out on some demos. Before long, she was the third member of the group. Masse’s then-boyfriend introduced Hauser and Siegel to Alan Paul who was co-starring in the original production of Grease. The original group was solidified. In 1978, Masse was injured in a car accident and during her convalescence, decided not to rejoin the group that had since moved to California. Cheryl Bentyne auditioned for her slot and the other Manhattan Transfer members immediately felt her impact and invited her to join. The four members remain a group to this day and have garnered incredible critical acclaim and accolades. In 1981, The Manhattan Transfer became the first group ever to win Grammy Awards in both Pop and Jazz categories in the same year. In 1982 and 1983, the group won consecutive Grammy Awards in the Best Jazz Vocal Performance, Duo or Group category. And, in 1985, for the album, Vocalese, the group received a staggering 12 Grammy nominations. They continued to garner popular and critical acclaim worldwide and closed out the decade by completing a 10-year sweep (1980-1990) as the Best Vocal Group in both the annual Downbeat and Playboy jazz polls. Throughout their career, The Manhattan Transfer has recorded with an impressive roster of artists including Tony Bennett, Smokey Robinson, Phil Collins, B.B. King, James Taylor and the original Jersey Boy, Frankie Valli. Heading into the new millenium, the group boasts worldwide sales in the millions, Grammy Awards by the dozens and consistently sold-out world tours. The release of The Definitive Pop Collection, a 2-disc retrospective of the group’s greatest hits, provides an opportunity to reminisce on one of the greatest bodies of work in American popular music.

    Barely 25 years old, SOPHIE MILMAN has already seen and done more than many people twice her age. Since her self-titled debut was released in 2004, it has sold almost 100,000 copies worldwide, hit the Billboard Top 5 in Canada and the Top 15 in the United States. Milman has maintained a rigorous touring schedule – headlining sold-out shows in Canada, the U.S., Mexico, Japan, and throughout Europe. After emigrating from Russia to Israel with her family, then moving again in her teens to seek a new life in Canada, the transition from bookish teenager to glamourous jazz ingenue was perhaps unlikely. It was the offer of a recording contract after just three professional singing engagements that touched off a series of events leading to her success. Before long, Milman had recorded and released her debut album, earned a 2006 Juno Award nomination for Best Jazz Vocal Album, and had appeared on stage with international musical superstars like Aaron Neville and the Neville Brothers, Chick Corea and Jesse Cook. In 2007, Milman released her sophomore album, Make Someone Happy.

    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 16, 2008, at 8 PM

    HOLLYWOOD BOWL, 2301 N. Highland Ave. in Hollywood

    Jazz Series





    Tickets ($1 - $95) are on sale now at, at the Hollywood Bowl Box Office (Tuesday–Saturday, 12 p.m.–6 p.m.), 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. For general information or to request a brochure, call 323.850.2000.

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  • Contact:

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