The Playboy Jazz Festival’s annual ‘Jazz on Film’ night, presented by noted jazz archivist Mark Cantor, on Thursday evening, June 10th at 7:30 p.m., will celebrate the legacy of jazz with a move to a new location in Mid-City Los Angeles this year. A longtime fixture at LACMA’s Bing Theatre, the event will be held in cooperation with the Ebony Repertory Theatre at the Nate Holden Performing Arts Center on Washington Boulevard. Admission is free, although tickets are required and available on a first come, first serve basis. Tickets will be available beginning at noon on June 10th at the Nate Holden Performing Arts Center box office. There is a limit of 4 tickets per person.
Known for his extensive collection of rare jazz films and documentaries, Cantor will share a series of rarely seen performances celebrating some of the most important as well as the sometimes forgotten names in jazz. The Nate Holden Performing Arts Center was formerly the site of a popular Los Angeles playhouse, surrounded by the city’s top jazz clubs during Los Angeles’ golden era of jazz in the 50’s and 60’s in the heart of city. During that time, Mid-City Los Angeles (Washington Boulevard between La Brea and Crenshaw) was home to such legendary venues as the Parisian Room, The It Club, and the Hillcrest club, where many of the greatest names in jazz came to play on a regular basis.
‘Jazz on Film’ will feature archival footage of a variety of artists who appeared at these clubs, such as Thelonious Monk, Dexter Gordon and Miles Davis to name a few. There will also be film clips of performances by such notables as Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Louis Armstrong, Mel Tormè, Dinah Washington and more.
As an added bonus, Playboy will also present the award-winning jazz documentary CHOPS, after Cantor’s show. The documentary follows the quest of a high school band from the Douglas Anderson School of the Arts in Florida to prove they can ‘swing’ as hard as any band in the country--a quest that puts them onstage in front of a packed house at NYC’s Jazz at Lincoln Center and its artistic director, Wynton Marsalis.
“Jazz on Film” is part of Playboy's free community event series held in conjunction with this year’s annual Playboy Jazz Festival, set for June 12th and 13th at the world famous Hollywood Bowl.
“We are thrilled to be aligned with such an important cultural event as the Playboy Jazz Festival and with an historian of Mark’s caliber,” says Wren T. Brown, founder of Ebony Repertory Theatre. “The Mid-City community will be overjoyed to have a night of jazz again on what was formerly one of the most important jazz arteries in Los Angeles, especially because of the memory the residents have of the area’s rich history with jazz.
“We’re looking forward to a wonderful celebration of the artists who frequently performed at the jazz clubs in this thriving arts community, which remarkably, all took place in a three-quarter mile stretch of Washington Boulevard,” he adds. “To us, Washington Boulevard represents theatrical terra firma. The Festival’s ‘Jazz on Film’ night will be an opportunity for the diverse communities of Los Angeles to come together to celebrate our artistic legacy and realize what a small city we really are.”
Playboy Jazz Festival President Richard Rosenzweig says, “The Playboy Jazz Festival is proud to present an exceptional event and rare glimpse into the history of jazz at the Nate Holden Performing Arts Center, especially considering the historical significance of the theater’s unique location. The community’s involvement in the arts combined with Mark Cantor’s excellent program will make for an unforgettable evening and a special celebration of our city’s legacy of jazz.”
The Nate Holden Performing Arts Center is located at 4718 W. Washington Blvd. Lot parking is conveniently located one block east of the theatre on Washington and Vineyard Avenue. For more information about the Playboy Jazz Festival and its free events, call the Festival Hotline at (310) 450-1173 or visit www.playboyjazzfestival.com