The Playboy Jazz Festival is needless to say the best of the best when it comes to style.  I have played this festival several times in my career.  I want to thank all the great musicians that I met all the years I played.  It was absolutely the highlight of my career every time, getting to meet  many legends of Jazz.
’85 Fullerton College - The Fullerton Jazz band won a place to open up the Playboy.  This was a contest or battle of the bands at a festival.  It was overwhelming.  The first time you hit the stage at the bowl it is a mass of people so great that you feel like you are only playing to yourselves.  One look up of the stand and you realize that all eyes are on you.  It’s incredible.  This first experience was great and I looked forward to playing to audiences like this in the future.
’86 CSU Long Beach - This was the second time playing the festival which I thought would maybe never happen for a long time.  Well when I left FJC to attend CSULB we had won the same contest as the year before but with CSULB.  Wow... ok, so there I was again playing again and enjoying the festival like never before.  This band was even better and when we left the stage the next group although pros had to bring it... cuz as Bill Cosby told me as emcee, “College Bands,they play fast and loud...”  It’s true..
’88 CSU Long Beach - Ok third times a charm.. am I dreaming or what.  Well this time we were even better, and we took along our vocal jazz group that won the Berkeley Jazz Festival otherwise known as the Pacific Coast Collegiate Jazz Festival.  Needless to say we opened up with a bang.  
’96 Lalo Schifrin - This was my first debut as a professional at the festival.  I was playing with some of the best players in the world.  The Lalo Schifrin Gillespiana was the featured number.  Lalo had written this for Dizzy years ago and it was featuring John Faddis and Tom Scott.  This was incredible.  An hour long suite displaying the great composing of Lalo and being executed by the orchestra was incredible.  The best part of the performance was when we finished and received a standing ovation.  Then as the group sat,, Lalo started in on the Mission Impossible Theme.  It was the year the Tom Cruise movie debut.  The crowd went absolutely ape... the orchestra could barely hear the tempo of the tune for about 20 seconds.  Thank goodness Lalo vamped until the crowd calmed down.  Then needless to say the orchestra played the @*#&$ out of it.  Then another standing ovation occurred.  Wow! It was incredible.  
 ’01 Femi Kuti - This Nigerian musician came to the Playboy and gave it something never seen before.  I get a call from another friend of mine who got the call to play in place of some of the Nigerian Musicians that did not make it in time through immigration.  We got called that morning for the evening performance.  We met with the band and the other horns to rehearse and write down some of the show.  This was extremely nerve racking because I did not know his music well.  So we showed up at the Bowl and met everyone and dressed in the garb for the show.  Thank goodness the other musicians made it.  So we were saved.  They asked us to join them for the performance.  Needless to say Femi and the dancers and the whole orchestra was amazing.  Bill Cosby was emcee again and I have known him for many years.  As soon as he saw me n the Nigerian garb, he said,  “I’m gonna tell”  Well i guess he wasn’t planning on seeing me like that as he had in the past.  Many of my friends in the audience noticed me too and gave me a hard time.  But they were impressed with the performance so it chilled them out a bit.  Wow.. i would love to do that again.    
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