Mariachi Divas Among the Acts Taking Part in Mariachi USA’s First-Ever Digital Festival

Mariachi Divas are among the acts taking their Mariachi USA show online…

For the first time in its 30 years of existence, the Mariachi USA festival is going digital and hosting a free two-hour special event in celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, featuring the Grammy-winning all-female mariachi band based in Los Angeles.

Mariachi Divas

The virtual festival will take place on Sunday, October 11.

The festival, founded in 1990 by artist and producer Rodri J. Rodriguez, was held every summer at the iconic Hollywood Bowl, but because of COVID-19, this year’s event will look different.

“To know we weren’t having a show at the Bowl was heartbreaking,” Rodriguez tells Billboard. “We know what this festival means to our musicians, which is exposure, and our now multigenerational audience since we are now entertaining the grandkids and great grandkids of those who have supported us since day one.”

This year’s virtual fest, which will stream on YouTube, will feature mariachi ensembles from all over the U.S., including Mariachi Divas, Mariachi Los ReyesMariachi Lindas Mexicanas and Mariachi Nuevo Tecatitlán, to name a few.

“We still have to take music to the people and I needed to create something that would put a little bit of money in our musician’s pockets because they are hurting,” says Rodriguez.

Sidelined by the global pandemic, the mariachi community, which depends heavily on gigs in order to make an income, has reinvented the serenata. Now, wearing face masks in addition to their traditional charro suit and standing six feet apart from each other is the new norm.

Rodriguez also had to reinvent the festival in order to make it work. “We had to pre-record everyone because mariachi is very unique. It’s not just three or four bandmembers. Some groups have 16 and each state has different COVID-19 regulations,” Rodriguez explains. “Some recorded in backyards, horse ranches and empty theaters. I have been so impressed with how everyone stepped up. It’s exciting and motivating.”

As Hispanic Heritage Month comes to an end, Rodriguez hopes this virtual festival will remind the Latino community that, “there is pride in what we do and what we own. What we own is our heritage and our culture and no one can take that away from us,” she says. “With our concerts we deliver a very specific message and that’s a message of passion and the pride that we all carry within us and that cannot be silenced.”

The first-ever virtual Mariachi USA festival will stream here on Sunday starting at 8:00 pm ET.

Rodrigo y Gabriela Appear in KCET’s Series “In Concert at the Hollywood Bowl”

Rodrigo y Gabriela are ready to bowl you over…

The Mexican acoustic guitar duo, composed of Rodrigo Sánchez and Gabriela Quintero, appear in the premiere of KCET’s six-episode series In Concert at the Hollywood Bowl.

Rodrigo y Gabriela

It’s one of the most beautiful venues,” says Quintero of performing at the Hollywood Bowl. “And it’s one of my favorite spots, which is the Hollywood Hills. And nearby is the Observatory. Also it has good acoustics and the audiences there are just so loving. It’s magical every time.”

In January — after around two decades as professional musicians —Rodrigo y Gabriela won their first Grammy award for their album Mettavolution.

“Oh my goodness, this year was going to be a very busy one. We had a full year [of touring] booked,” says co-founder Quintero. Instead — as concert tours around the world were cancelled due to the coronavirus epidemic — the duo have spent the past few months in the Pacific coast Mexican town of Zihuatanejo.

Even though live shows are on hold, Rodrigo y Gabriela can be seen in action in a never-before-televised performance on In Concert at The Hollywood Bowl, which runs on PBS SoCal and which runs through September 23.

Produced in association with The Los Angeles Philharmonic Association, the shows are a selection of some of the best performances at the iconic L.A. venue over the last 10 years, all drawn from the L.A. Phil’s archives. The Bowl itself closed this summer for the first time in its 98-year history.

The first episode — hosted, as all in the series are, by L.A. Phil Music and Artistic Director Gustavo Dudamel — is titled “Hecho en Mexico” and also features Los Angeles Azules with Youth Orchestra Los Angeles (YOLA) and Paolo Bortolameolli, La Santa Cecilia and Natalia Lafourcade.

“Even though we met for the first time at the rehearsal, it felt like he was an old friend,” says Quintero of working with Dudamel. “It felt so familiar. And then working with him, it was incredible to feel his energy and watch him with the Philharmonic. As a human being, he’s a really nice guy and very down to earth.

Upcoming episodes of the weekly series will feature performers like Kristin Chenoweth, Herbie Hancock, Dianne Reeves, Carlos Santana and ballet star Misty Copeland.

Rubén Blades to Take Part in the Hollywood Bowl’s 2020 ‘Jazz Plus’ Concert Series

Rubén Blades is jazz’edfor a special performance…

The 71-year-old Panamanian singer/songwriter will grace the stage during the Hollywood Bowl’s 2020 Jazz Plus concert series.

Ruben Blades

Blades, a nine-time Grammy winner, will perform with Chick Corea and the Spanish Heart Band and Cuba’s Los Van Van on Wednesday, July 29.

The concert is part of the LA Phil’s Pan-American Music Initiative.

Other acts set to take part in the concert series include Debbie HarryCharlie WilsonHiatus Kaiyote and Sheryl Crow.

The lineup is curated by the LA Phil’s creative chair for jazz Herbie Hancock—who will also headline one of the shows—the series will begin on July 29 and run through September 23.

Here’s the schedule:

July 29 — Chick Corea and the Spanish Heart Band featuring Rubén Blades; Los Van Van. This concert is part of the LA Phil’s Pan-American Music Initiative.
Aug. 5 — Miss Peggy Lee at 100. The Grammy-winning singer/songwriter will be saluted by the legendary Count Basie Orchestra and special guest Debbie Harry.
Aug. 12 — Charlie Wilson
Aug. 19 — John Fogerty; Robert Randolph and the Family Band. Fogerty’s 50-Year Trip Show will include Creedence Clearwater Revival’s 1969 Woodstock set list as well as other fan favorites.
Aug. 26 — Dave Brubeck and Charlie Parker centennial celebrations. The Brubeck tribute will feature the Brubeck Brothers Quartet, David Benoit, Joey DeFrancecso, Bobby Millitello and Lizz Wright. Parker’s will be helmed by John Beasley + Magnus Lindgren featuring MONK’estra with Strings and special guests Tia Fuller, Donald Harrison, Charles McPherson and Chris Potter.
Sept. 9 — Hiatus Kaiyote; additional guest to be announced
Sept. 16 — Sheryl Crow; Lake Street Dive
Sept. 23 — Herbie Hancock; Jamie Cullum

George Lopez Returning as Host of the Playboy Jazz Festival

George Lopezis back at the helm…

The 58-year-old Mexican American comedian/actor will host the Playboy Jazz Festival when it returns to the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles on June 6-7.  

It’ll be Lopez’s eighth anniversary as festival host.

The Los Angeles Philharmonic Association’s first wave of announced performers includes R&B/funk legends the Isley Brothers featuring Ronald and Ernie IsleySt. Paul and the Broken BonesTerri Lyne Carrington and Social ScienceMusiq SoulchildFemi Kuti & the Positive ForceThe Crosscurrents Trio with Dave Holland, Zakir Hussain & Chris PotterBokanté; all-star female jazz group Artemis with Renee RosnesAnat CohenIngrid JensenAllison MillerNoriko Ueda and Nicole GloverCimafunkIncognitoLean on MeJosé James Celebrates Bill WithersAzar Lawrence with the Azar Lawrence Experience and Mr. Sipp “The Mississippi Blues Child.”

The full talent lineup for the 42nd annual Playboy Jazz Festival will be announced on February 18, along with the complete schedule for the Hollywood Bowl’s summer 2020 season. 

Presented by the Los Angeles Philharmonic for the seventh straight year, the Playboy Jazz Festival is produced by FestivalWest Inc.

Order forms for Bowl subscription-holders have been released with single tickets going on sale on February 18. 

For more information, visit https://www.hollywoodbowl.com/concerts-and-events/playboy-jazz-festival/.

Luis Miguel Launching 22-City North American ¡México Por Siempre! Tour

Luis Miguel is celebrating his home country in a special way…

The 47-year-old Mexican singer, often referred to as El Sol de México, has announced the North American tour dates for his ¡México Por Siempre! trek.

Luis Miguel

The 22-city run launches on May 4 in San Diego, and is followed by his first-ever headlining performance at the world-famous Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles on May 6.

Miguel’s highly-anticipated tour is produced by Live Nation and will stop in other major cities across the U.S. and Canada, including Chicago, Houston, Miami, Toronto and New York, among many more.

¡México Por Siempre! is the title of Miguel’s latest studio album, which earned him his second No. 1 on Billboard‘s Regional Mexican Albums chart in December 2017.

Tickets will go on sale to the general public beginning Friday (February 16) at 10:00 am on LiveNation.com.

Here’s the full tour schedule:

DATE                                                  CITY                          VENUE
Friday, May 4, 2018                            San Diego, CA            Mattress Firm Amphitheatre
Sunday, May 6, 2018                          Los Angeles, CA         Hollywood Bowl
Thursday, May 10, 2018                     San Jose, CA*             SAP Center
Friday, May 11, 2018                          Sacramento, CA*        Golden 1 Center
Sunday, May 13, 2018                        Phoenix, AZ                Comerica Theatre
Saturday, May 19, 2018                     Salt Lake City, UT      USANA Amphitheatre
Sunday, May 20, 2018                        Denver, CO                 Pepsi Center
Wednesday, May 23, 2018                 Chicago, IL                  Allstate Arena
Friday, May 25, 2018                          Dallas, TX                   American Airlines Center
Saturday, May 26, 2018                     Laredo, TX                  Laredo Energy Arena
Sunday, May 27, 2018                        Houston, TX                Toyota Center
Wednesday, May 30, 2018                 Orlando, FL                 Amway Center
Friday, June 1, 2018                           Miami, FL                    AmericanAirlines Arena
Tuesday, June 5, 2018                       Washington, DC         The Theatre at MGM National Harbor
Thursday, June 7, 2018                      Toronto, ON                Budweiser Stage
Friday, June 8, 2018                           Montreal, QC              Bell Centre
Saturday, June 9, 2018                      New York, NY             Madison Square Garden
Thursday, August 30, 2018                San Antonio, TX         AT&T Center
Friday, August 31, 2018                     Edinburg, TX               Bert Ogden Arena
Sunday, September 2, 2018               El Paso, TX                 Don Haskins Center
Saturday, September 8, 2018            Anaheim, CA              Honda Center
Sunday, September 9, 2018               Fresno, CA                 Save Mart Center

Maxwell Releases “Gods” Remix Video, “More Gods”

Maxwell is ready to bring more (gods)…

The 44-year-old half-Puerto Rican R&B singer, currently on tour, is releasing a remix video for his R&B smash single “Gods.”

Maxwell

Maxwell fans can get their first look at “More Gods”– the Grammy winner’s upbeat, stylish revamp centered around DJ Kapiro’s remix of the song — on Billboard.

Motivated after listening to DJ Kapiro’s remix, Maxwell tells Billboard that he “was inspired to add an extra visual element to the video, something different. I’m looking forward to hearing it on the radio.”

Brandon Carter directed the “More Gods” video remix. The original neon pink “Gods” video, released in March by Maxwell and Tidal, was directed by Philip Andelman.

Aside from the remix’s beat-heavy rhythms and Maxwell’s mesmerizing refrain “do what you want” (also written out in various languages onscreen), the video finds the singer also teasing his next album. It’s the anticipated final chapter in an album trilogy that began with 2009’s BLACKsummers’night and 2016’s second installment blackSUMMERS’night, which features “Gods.”

Asked about the arrival date for his next album, Maxwell offers only a cryptic reply: “Be prepared to be surprised. Night is coming.”

Maxwell will perform at the UNITAS Gala “Against Human Trafficking” on Sept. 12. Upcoming stops on his national tour include Los Angeles (Hollywood Bowl, Oct. 6), Las Vegas (The Cosmopolitan, Oct. 7) and Concord, Calif. (Concord Pavilion, Oct. 8).

Gente de Zona to Co-Headline Celia Cruz Tribute at the Hollywood Bowl

Gente de Zona is preparing to pay tribute to a late compatriot…

The Cuban reggaeton group, comprised of Alexander Delgado and Randy Malcom Martinez, will perform at the the Hollywood Bowl’s special tribute honoring Celia Cruz.

Gente de Zona

Co-headlined by Grammy-winning singer/songwriter Angélique Kidjo and Gente de Zona, the tribute to the late Queen of Salsa will take place on August 9 as part of the Hollywood Bowl’s Jazz at the Bowl summer series.

In addition to the Latin Grammy-winning duo and Kidjo, Pedrito Martinez will also perform at the tribute.

The Pedrito Martinez Group, whose Habana Dreams album debuted at No. 1 on Billboard‘s Tropical Albums chart last June, will be the opening act.

It’ll be the first time Gente de Zona has performed at the iconic Hollywood Bowl.

“We are thrilled to be part of the Hollywood Bowl’s summer season this year. See you soon in California,” the “Traidora” singers tweeted.

The Celia Cruz tribute is part of the Hollywood Bowl’s summer 2017 lineup recently announced. Other Latin artists on the summer schedule include Café Tacvba, La Santa Cecilia and Mon Laferte, who will perform at the Bowl on Sepember 17 as part of the Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA series.

Angelique Kidjo to Perform Celia Cruz Tribute at the Hollywood Bowl

Prepare to be bowled over by Celia Cruz’s music…

Singer-songwriter Angelique Kidjo is set to perform a special tribute to the late Cuban singer, who passed away in July 23 at the age of 77, at the Hollywood Bowl.

Celia Cruz

It’s all part of the 2017 Jazz at the Bowl summer series, kicking off July 19, featuring eight Wednesday evening concerts.

Cruz is hailed as the most popular Latin artist of the 20th century, earning 23 gold albums. She was a recipient of the National Medal of Arts. She was renowned internationally as the “Queen of Salsa“, “La Guarachera de Cuba“, as well as The Queen of Latin Music.

Guided by Herbie Hancock, the L.A. Philharmonic’s creative chair for jazz, this year’s series features performances by a diverse lineup of established and emerging artists, including Kidjo’s Cruz tribute on August 9.

The lineup also includes performances by Jill Scott and the Robert Glasper Experiment, Andra Day, Leslie Odom Jr. and more in a salute to Ella Fitzgerald and Dizzy Gillespie, and Steve Winwood with Mavis Staples.

The complete 2017 Jazz at the Bowl schedule, as well as ticket information, is available at www.HollywoodBowl.com.

Lopez Returning as Host of This Year’s Playboy Jazz Festival

George Lopez is jazzed about his upcoming gig…

The 55-year-old Mexican American actor/comedian will host this year’s Playboy Jazz Festival, which will be presented by the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association June 10-11 at the Hollywood Bowl.

George Lopez

It’ll be Lopez’s fifth consecutive year as host.

This year’s 39th Festival will feature a star-studded lineup that includes Gregory Porter, Corinne Bailey Rae, Kenny Garrett, Common and Keb’ Mo’ Band.

The full talent lineup will be revealed on March 7.

Tickets go on sale Tuesday, March 7.

Click here for more information about the 2017 Playboy Jazz Festival.

Blacc to Perform at This Year’s Playboy Jazz Festival

Aloe Blacc is a playboy

The 35-year-old Panamanian American singer-songwriter has been selected as one of the headliners for the 37th annual Playboy Jazz Festival at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles.

Aloe Blacc

Taking place June 13-14, the two-day lineup includes appearances by Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Ledisi and Terence Blanchard.

Blacc, who has the most Shazamed song of all time, will perform on Saturday, June 13.

Other Latino/a artists/acts include Ozomatli and the Eddie Palmieri Afro-Caribbean Jazz Band.

In addition, the slate includes Jason Moran‘s Fats Waller Dance Party, Snarky Puppy and Blue Note 75th Anniversary Presents: Our Point of View featuring Robert Glasper, Derrick Hodge, Kendrick Scott, Lionel Loueke, Marcus Strickland and Ambrose Akinmusire. The legacy of late jazz icon Gerald Wilson will be saluted by the Celebrating Gerald Wilson Orchestra under the direction of Wilson’s son Anthony.

Returning for a third consecutive year as host is comedian/actor George Lopez.

Additional information about the 2015 Playboy Jazz Festival is available at HollywoodBowl.com/PlayboyJazz.

Here’s the complete schedule:

PLAYBOY JAZZ FESTIVAL 2015
Saturday, June 13, 3-11 p.m.

Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter and the Monk Institute of Jazz Performance Ensemble
Eddie Palmieri Afro-Caribbean Jazz Band with special invited guests Ronnie Cuber, Alfredo De La Fe, Donald Harrison, Joe Locke
Aloe Blacc
Tower of Power
Jason Moran’s Fats Waller Dance Party
Celebrating Gerald Wilson Orchestra under the direction of Anthony Wilson
Melissa Aldana & Crash Trio
Morgan James
A Sacred Steel Love Supreme:  The Campbell Brothers Present “A Love Supreme”
Los Angeles County High School for the Arts Vocal Jazz Ensemble under the direction of Pat Bass

Sunday, June 14, 3-10:30 p.m.
Ledisi
Terence Blanchard E-Collective
Ozomatli
The Dizzy Gillespie Big Band under the direction of John Lee
Snarky Puppy
King Sunny Ade and his African Beats
Preservation Hall Jazz Band
Blue Note 75th Anniversary Presents: Our Point of View featuring Robert Glasper, Derrick Hodge, Kendrick Scott, Lionel Loueke, Marcus Strickland and Ambrose Akinmusire
The Jones Family Singers
The LAUSD/Beyond the Bell All-City Jazz Big Band under the direction of Tony White and J.B. Dyas