Bill Cunliffe

*Grammy winning pianist Bill Cunliffe and his Septet will bring his innovative, swinging sound to Beverly Hills and vocalist and bandleader Johnny Crawford and His Orchestra will evoke the romance of another era when they perform in a free concert sponsored by the Playboy Jazz Festival, Sunday, May 2nd.

The event will be held from 3:00p.m. to 5:00p.m. at the Beverly Hills Civic Center Plaza, located at 450 North Rexford Drive, between Santa Monica Boulevard and Burton Way.

The concert is the first in the Festival’s acclaimed series of free community events held in conjunction with the upcoming Playboy Jazz Festival set for Saturday, June 12th and Sunday, June 13th at the world famous Hollywood Bowl.

Cunliffe, who will open the show, continues to attract nationwide attention for his lyrical style and groundbreaking compositions, has toured and played with many jazz greats, including Frank Sinatra, The Buddy Rich Big Band, Joe Henderson, Joshua Redman, James Moody, and many others. Together, Cunliffe and his Septet will echo the sounds of big band with a celebration of saxophonist Oliver Nelson: The Blues and the Abstract Truth. Cunliffe’s latest CD, Imaginacion, spent a month in the #2 position in the JazzWeek radio polls.

Johnny Crawford

Johnny Crawford and His Orchestra will recall the musical elegance of another time, with their authentic arrangements of popular songs and music from the ’20’s and ’30’s.

An actor and former child star, (who rose to fame in the ’50’s as Lucas McCain’s son on the popular TV western “The Rifleman”) Crawford has appeared in over 200 television shows, 15 movies, and 13 plays. Also an accomplished musician from a show business family,n Crawford now performs with his own vintage dance band featuring genuine orchestrations from the first half of the 20th century. He has garnered an enthusiastic following in Southern
California for concerts, dances, private parties and provides authentic period music for film and special events. A teen idol during the ’60s, he had five Top 40 hits. His latest CD is Sweepin’ the Clouds Away. Currently his band is #7 on the My Space jazz chart.

“Our Beverly Hills concert has become a popular kick-off for the annual Playboy Jazz Festival season, and this year’s roster of talent promises a lively afternoon of upbeat jazz entertainment at the Civic Center’s attractive outdoor performing arts venue in celebration of our 32nd Annual Festival,” stated Richard Rosenzweig, Playboy Jazz Festival President
Food and refreshments will be available for purchase to the public. Glass containers, alcoholic beverages and audio/video recorders are not permitted. Two free hours of parking are available at the Civic Center parking structure, adjacent to the Beverly Hills Public Library.

For more information regarding the community concert series or the Playboy Jazz Festival, call the hotline at 310-450-1173 or visit

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Nina Gordan
Nina Gordon Public Relations
[email protected]