Entertainer Bill Cosby to emcee at Hollywood Bowl
Playboy Enterprises sponsors some of the most talented musical artists in the world and this year they will do it again. June 16 and 17 artists such as Etta James, Angelique Kidjo, Marcus Miller, Dianne Reeves and her band, Chris Bolotti, Ray Parker Jr. and others will gather at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles to celebrate the rich tradition of jazz, blues, soul, and R&B. Jazz aficionado, Bill Cosby is slated to introduce some of music’s brightest stars and future legends at the 29th annual Playboy Jazz Festival.
“Playboy is the one time in a year that puts jazz music in the same place in LA,” said 27-year old bassist Miles Mosley, “I’ve seen my heroes perform at the festival and I’ve wanted to play there.”
To further the rich heritage of jazz music the festival also sponsors free concerts in the months leading up to the main event. “Our annual series of free community events is one way in which we offer quality jazz entertainment to a broad diverse cross section of the public who already love jazz and expose potential fans to a musical experience that will remain with them for many years to come,” says Playboy Jazz festival president Richard Rosenzweig.
Sunday, June 10 the Playboy Jazz Festival teamed up with The Valley Cultural Center in Woodland hills to present “Playboy Jazz at Warner Park” as part of the Valley Cultural Center’s “Concerts in the Park” series, which featured music from around the world.
Headlining the event was Pancho Sanchez the master of Afro-Cuban rhythms and his Latin Jazz Band. Joining him in the lineup was keyboardist Freddie Ravel, renowned drummer Tootie Heath, female Jazz vocalist Judy Chamberlain and LA’s own up-and comer Miles Mosley.
Mosley, named after the great Miles Davis, began playing the bass at Palms Middle School in Inglewood California. Armed with a natural dexterity and speed on the bass Mosley instantly fell in love with the instrument. “I played one note and I was hooked,” he said.
The award winning jazz musician, who plays the piano, guitar, and bass grew up surrounded by the trumpets, horns, and pianos of jazz music. “Every Sunday morning I would wake up to the sounds of a Ray Brown or Miles Davis. I couldn’t hear the words I would just hear the bass rattling the pictures on the wall,” he recalls. Although he grew up listening to traditional jazz Mosley combines the contemporary with classic and his new CD entitled BEAR encompasses all of his musical influences. He has worked with artist such as India Arie, Lauren Hill, Terrence Howard, and Gnarls Barkley; from hip hop to classical he loves all genres of music but his heart will always remain true to jazz.
“Jazz is an intelligent music,” he says, “It’s a safe place.”
The Playboy Jazz festival’s main event held every year in mid-June attracts numerous fans, performers, and supporters. One of the festival’s most avid supporters is actor, comedian Bill Cosby who has emceed the event since 1995. Cosby has introduced performers such as Wynton Marsalis, Herbie Hancock and his own band Cos of Good Music XI. In its 28 years the Festival has showcased music from the Caribbean to New Orleans and has welcomed the talents of Ella Fitzgerald, Dizzy Gillespie, Miles Davis, and B.B King just to name a few.
Playboy magazine founder and Editor-in-chief Hugh Hefner founded the festival in Chicago at the Chicago stadium in 1959. The second festival wasn’t held until 1979 in Los Angeles at the Hollywood Bowl and has remained there ever since.