The 16th annual Sweet & Hot Music Festival, featuring music of the 1920s through 50s, will take place over Labor Day Weekend, beginning Friday, Sept. 2 through Monday, Sept. 5, at the Los Angeles Airport Marriott Hotel, 5855 W. Century Blvd., Westchester.
The event will showcase music including swing, big band, classic jazz, and traditional blues, as well as New Orleans and Chicago-style jazz. Dancing on four dance floors and a myriad of other activities are also included.
This year’s event will offer entertainment by performers such as Herb Jeffries, Ernastine Anderson, Barbara Morrison, Banu Gibson, Rebecca Kilgore and many others. In addition, The Friday Night “Swing’s the Thing” Dance and the “Saturday Night Dance” with Johnny Vana’s “Big Band Alumni” will be featured, as well as disco dancing.
More than 200 musicians and over 20 bands, as well as 50 guest artists are scheduled to appear in 180 scheduled festival events over the holiday weekend.
“Something really entertaining this year is a special tribute to Neal Hefti with Ian Bernard.” says Festival Director Wally Holmes. “We’ll also have a colorful Vintage Ball with Mike Henry’s Crazy Rhythm Orchestra.”
Another of the anticipated highlights of the four-day festival will be the return appearance of the Hues Corporation and the popular songs they perform from The Great American Rhythm & Soul Song Book. They plan to sing favorites from Gladys Knight, Sam Cooke and The Temptations, among others, as well as their own mega-hit “Rock the Boat.” Popular R&B group “Pieces of Eight” will also take the stage, as well as the Zen Boogie Band, playing music influenced by the hits of the 1920s, 30s and 40s.
Music performances will start at 10:30 a.m. and continue beyond midnight in eight venues throughout the hotel (times vary each day).
Listening and dancing to live music, as well as shopping for rare records and nostalgic memorabilia, are some of the reasons that the event attracts music enthusiasts from all over the Southern California area, as well as from around the United States, event organizers say.
The Sweet & Hot Music Foundation is a nonprofit organization dedicated to perpetuating the music of the 1920s through 50s. In addition to producing the festival each year, the foundation encourages young musicians to take an interest in this type of music by offering scholarship grants from proceeds raised by the event to various jazz education programs for Los Angeles area high school students.
The foundation began honoring legends in classic jazz when it originated in 1996, by placing permanent bronze plaques with their names, in the ground surrounding the pool and garden area at the Los Angeles Airport Marriott Hotel. To date, the names of over 62 jazz legends have been placed around the pool, known as the Sweet & Hot Music Walk of Fame, featuring such greats from Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, George Gershwin and Benny Goodman to Cole Porter, Lionel Hampton and Billie Holiday.
Some of these jazz legends will be honored at a special Walk of Fame tribute, with a two-hour music-filled show Thursday night, Sept. 1. There is a special price of $25 for this Walk of Fame event.
For the four-day festival, ticket prices are: Sept. 2, $35; Sept. 3 and 4, $45 each; and Sept. 5, $25. All-events badges for the entire four-day festival are $100 and patron badges are $295.
Information, www.sweethot.org, or the Los Angeles Airport Marriott Hotel at (310) 641-5700 (ask for the Music Festival Office).