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Playboy Jazz Fest Highlights New Talent

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Wednesday June 13, 2018

From Downbeat

Playboy Jazz Fest Highlights New Talent and Genre Titans
By: Andy Hermann

For the first time in its 40-year history, the Playboy Jazz Festival returned to the Hollywood Bowl without its founder, Hugh Hefner, who passed away in September at the age of 91. Apart from a brief tribute delivered by his son Cooper, it was business as usual for the venerable two-day event at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles.

The lineup was especially strong on rising stars from Latin America, starting with Monsieur Periné, a Colombian ensemble whose insouciant mix of cumbia, gypsy jazz and French chanson pop got the Saturday crowd up and dancing. Its set was followed by 26-year-old Havana singer Daymé Arocena, who came across as an Afro-Cuban Ella Fitzgerald, scat-singing over her trio’s swaying rhumbas and cha-cha-chas, and radiating charisma as she exhorted the audience to sing along to her “Don’t Unplug My Body,” which lured the event’s MC, George Lopez, out from the wings for an impromptu slow dance with the singer.

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