August 13th, 2012 · 1 Comment
By: Valerie Milano – Long Beach, CA (Hollywood Today) 8-13-12 25th Anniversary of the Long Beach Jazz Festival and Hollywood Today Was There Summer may be winding down but the music is turning up in Long Beach this past weekend. It was time to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the Long Beach Jazz Festival with one of the best concerts this season. The 2012 festival features a great line-up from classic R&B to hot summer night jazz. This special event was the only Southern California Jazz Festival scheduled on the gorgeous grassy knoll in a beautiful Lagoon setting at Rainbow Harbor, adjacent the Long Beach Hilton Hotel. This quarter of a century Long Beach Jazz Festival featured some of the top artists of the year and it includes VIP seating in an incredible outdoor setting with a great selection of food, art and much more. “Jazz”, an unforgettable experience. The Artist Entrance Press passes allowed us access to the Jazz Club, a back stage food/beer garden. A lovely experience and the opportunity to eat and drink with the artists and their entourages. Michael Townsend was relaxing in the Jazz Club and told us he wasn’t performing but was “very happy to be there and watch the show.” The three day festival kicked off Friday, August 10th, with The Blackbyrds, The Isley Brothers featuring Ronald and Ernie Isley. The lineup changed and the Isley’s performed second, as their schedule was too tight, so the Blackbyrds closed the show. The Isley’s started their all-hit set with talented dancers and with the spirit moving them for “Fight the Power”. The music and dancing continued throughout with “Who’s That Lady” which featured a Grace Jones wannabe dressed in black leather. As they took us back to 1978 with their originals as well as performing some favorites by Lionel Ritchie, Stevie Wonder, Luther Vandross and Seals & Crofts. They were on fire when brother Ernie played guitar with his teeth while Ron Isley did an “Atlantis” solo with a beautiful dancer dressed as Princess Jasmine. Highlights were when they performed “The Star Spangled Banner” and “Jesus Loves Me”.