Los Angeles Jazz Institute will bring its four-day “Big Band Showcase: A Cavalcade of Big Band Jazz” event to the local area Thursday through Sunday, October 4th to 7th, at the Four Points Sheraton LAX Hotel, 9750 Airport Blvd., Westchester.
The festival includes a tribute to legendary saxophonist and jazz writer and arranger Bill Holman, as well a tribute to the late trumpeter Maynard Ferguson (1928-2006), who performed in recent years at the festival.
Tickets are $10 to $40 per individual concert event or $325 to $400 for the full four-day package of concerts and jazz special events.
The festival, which in addition to concerts includes jazz film screenings and panel discussions, has events scheduled from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday, October 4th; 9 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. Friday, October 5th; 10 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. Saturday, October 6th; and 10:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sunday, October 7th.
Performers include the Bill Holman Band, Terry Gibbs Dream Band, Pete Christlieb Big Band, On the Richter Scale All-Star Big Band featuring Stan Kenton Alumni, Maynard Ferguson Alumni Band, California State University Northridge Jazz “A” Band, Gary Urwin Jazz Orchestra, Kim Richmond Concert Jazz Orchestra, Buddy Childers Big Band directed by Ron King, The Collegiate Neophonic Orchestra of Southern California, Los Angeles Jazz Orchestra (performing the film music of Duke Ellington); Cal State University Long Beach Jazz Orchestra, Cal State Fullerton Jazz Ensemble, Fischer Big Band, The Bob Florence Limited Edition, Fullerton College Jazz Ensemble, Chris Walden Big Band, Jack Sheldon Big Band and the Clayton-Hamilton Orchestra.
Holman was active in the West Coast jazz movement in the 1950s. He began his association with legendary band leader Stan Kenton in 1952 and eventually became the chief arranger for the Stan Kenton Orchestra, creating a large percentage of the ensembles 1950s repertoire.
In the 1960s, his writing and arranging associations spread out to include contributions to bands led by Louie Bellson, Count Basie, Terry Gibbs, Woody Herman, Bob Brookmeyer, Buddy Rich, Gerry Mulligan and Doc Severinsen.
He wrote for Natalie Cole on her Grammy Award-winning album Unforgettable…With Love.
In recent decades, he has written for Tony Bennett, Carmen McRae, Mel TormÈ, Woody Herman, Anita O’Day, Sarah Vaughn, June Christy, and the Fifth Dimension.
Stylewise, Holman is known for his exploration of polyphonic texture (as opposed to block harmonization of single melodic lines) to give his work a dramatic effect.
Friday is designated “Bill Holman Day” at the festival and will include a performance of the “Bill Holman Songbook,” and a performance by the Bill Holman Band at 10:30 p.m. to conclude the day’s festivities.
The Terry Gibbs Dream Band, itself a legendary name in jazz, will participate in the tribute to Holman by performing a number of pieces that Holman arranged for the ensemble through the years.
Vibraphonist Gibbs was a frequent guest on The Steve Allen Show in the 1950s, where he performed frequent duets with the host, Allen.
Gibbs has performed and/or recorded with Tommy Dorsey, Chubby Jackson, Buddy Rich, Woody Herman, Benny Goodman, Louie Bellson, Charlie Shavers, Mel TormÈ and Buddy DeFranco.
The Terry Gibbs Dream Band performs at 9 p.m. Friday, October 5th.
Bebop and West Coast jazz movement trumpeter, singer and actor Jack Sheldon is another featured performer at the festival.
In the 1950s, Sheldon performed with Art Pepper, Gerry Mulligan, and Curtis Counce.
He starred in his own television show, Run Buddy Run, in the 1960s and served as Merv Griffin’s sidekick and comedic foil on Griffin’s television show.
Sheldon appeared numerous times from 1967-1970 on the television series Dragnet. The Jack Sheldon Big Band is scheduled to perform at 4:30 p.m. Sunday, October 7th.
The Los Angeles Jazz Institute is a nonprofit organization operating out of California State University at Long Beach that archives both contemporary jazz and jazz from its great periods throughout the 20th century.
Goals of the Los Angeles Jazz Institute are to collect and preserve jazz materials and make them accessible to scholars, students, researchers and the jazz community; actively acquire new materials and continue to seek out important private collections; provide a setting where musicians and their estates can donate or lend their materials with the assurance that they will be preserved for future generations; place a special emphasis on maintaining and adding to the music archive to establish a setting where the music can be performed on a regular basis, insuring that their legacies will live forever.
The Los Angeles Jazz Institute uses the material it acquires by maintaining a busy schedule of outreach activities including concerts, festivals, broadcasts, publications and the release of recordings on compact disc.
The organization also initiates jazz research projects and publishes the results in journal form and on a Web site.
Information, (562) 985-7065.