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Hollywood Bowl 2012: Smooth Summer Jazz

Smooth Summer Jazz Concert
Featuring the Men of Soul: Peabo Bryson, Jeffrey Osborne, Freddie Jackson
Sunday, August 26, 2012
Hollywood Bowl

Special guests: White Hot Summer Groove featuring Peter White & Euge Groove and Mindi Abair

Songs performed: (Freddie Jackson) Tasty Love, You Are My Lady, Jam Tonight, Rock Me Tonight (For Old Time’s Sake); (Peabo Bryson) By the Time This Night Is Over, If Ever You Are in My Arms Again, Show and Tell, Tonight I Celebrate My Love, Can You Stop the Rain, Ain’t Nobody; (Jeffrey Osborne) Stay with Me Tonight, On the Wings of Love, Back in Love Again, Love Ballad, We’re Going All the Way, Holding On (When Love is Gone), You Should Be Mine (The Woo Woo Song)

Comments: Smooth jazz and old school soul were in full effect for Sunday’s Smooth Summer Jazz concert at the Hollywood Bowl. So we were treated to almost 4 hours of music from talented musicians and distinctive vocalists. Presented by local radio station 94.7 The Wave, this annual concert is always a popular event.Men of Soul

First up was sax player/vocalist Mindi Abair. Mindi has done a lot of work with different pop stars (she’s on tour with Aerosmith this year), as well as recorded her own albums. She was famously featured in Season 11 of American Idol playing backup to Phillip Phillips. Highlights in her set included: “Be Beautiful,” “Lucy’s”, and the finale “All Star” which featured the Pasasdena City College Marching Band and Drum Corp. I loved the lyrics on “Be Beautiful” (a song she wrote to benefit breast cancer research). She also brought out Ambrosia vocalist David Pack to sing the group’s hit “Biggest Part of Me.”

Next up were veteran musicians Euge Groove and Peter White, performing under the band name White Hot Summer Groove. Peter is an accomplished guitarist who has played with Basia among other musicians. Euge Groove is a saxophonist, and has been featured on songs by Exposé. Their set had a sort of cool, Sunday vibe to it. Amongst all the songs were snippets of songs from Bob Marley, the Temptations (Papa was a Rolling Stone), Isaac Hayes (Theme from Shaft) as well as the James Bond theme. Euge Groove even got to shaking his ass while playing the sax and walking across the walkway near the orchestra section of the venue. Peter performed a nice solo Spanish guitar number. There also was a big beach ball being tossed around the crowd during their set.



Winter Concerts

Here’s the sequel to my blog on Summer Concerts. Here are 10 favorites from past winters (December to February) in no particular order. Believe me, it was hard narrowing it down!

Michael Jackson, January 1989, LA Sport Arena
This was my 3rd time seeing Michael, but the first without his brothers. This was one of the hottest shows I have ever seen in my life. Michael was on FIRE. The concert itself was delayed for a few months because he was sick. It was so worth the wait! A high-energy, hit filled extravaganza. “Man in the Mirror” live was awesome! He would never tour the US again. So I was very lucky to see him in his prime.

Spice Girls, December 2007, Staples Center
Reunited and it feels so good. All 5 girls were back for the reunion tour (dare we say Farewell Tour?).  The US never got all five women in concert before, Ginger Spice had quit before their first US tour. They put an excellent show, dancing and singing their hearts out in a high-energy show. Girl power was alive and well!Spice Girls

Justin Timberlake, January 2007, Staples Center
After this show, it was apparent that Justin wasn’t ever going back to NSync. He danced, he sang, he played multiple instruments. He showed what a great entertainer and performer he had become. With Pink as the opening act, and support from Timbaland during the show, Justin became a superstar with this show. The show was in the round and had great staging and choreography.

The Colors of Christmas, December 2003, Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts
I have seen this seasonal show 12 times. Every year features 4 different performers. This year’s edition featured Peabo Bryson, Sheena Easton, Christopher Cross, and Natalie Cole. They sing their own hits, plus Christmas songs too in solos, duos and groups. It is always cool to see who they match up with whom. Natalie was a last minute replacement for Irene Cara. They have back-up from a small orchestra with band, as well as a local gospel choir. One of the best shows around for the money.


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