*Bonelli Park in San Dimas, California provided the perfect setting for the recent (16th annual) Jazz Fest West. The weekend long concert was produced by Omega events, run by Rich Sherman, who has also been associated with Ritz Entertainment, the Newport Beach Jazz Festival, the Inland Empire Jazz & Arts Festival, the Old Pasadena Jazz Fest and more.

In 2007, a new name and destination was born for what is now Jazz Fest West! This year welcomed a versatile line up of Babyface, Frankie Beverly and Maze, Lelah James, Joey Summerville, Jazz In Pink (featuring Gail Johnson, Jeanette Harris & Karen Briggs), Gerald Albright, 480 East, Rick Braun, Peter White, Ledisi, Jeff Golub and Boney James.

Also starring was the velvet voiced tenor Eric Benet, who told EUR’s Lee Bailey about his shock when Stevie Wonder graced the stage for an impromptu performance. Eric also informed fans about his daughter’s music career.

Eric Benet at JFW by EURnews

Mike Phillips also never fails to be a crowd pleaser. As he played with his usual virtuosity he was equally titillated by his fellow Jazz West cohorts, Ledisi, Babyface and Gerald Albright (whom he says is the second coming of Cannonball Adderly). Mike described Jazz West as the monster festival of the west coast with one of the most flexible line ups as far as jazz festivals go.

“This line up is hardcore and impressive.”

Phillips also had this message for the fans.  He’s convinced that JazzFest West has become one of the premier music festivals of the circuit. Check out what he told EUR’s Lee Bailey:

Mike Phillips at JFW by EURnews

Phillips also had this message for the fans regarding his new recording:

“Thank you for your support. ‘MP3’ is in stores now. It features Stevie Wonder, Norman Brown, Natalie Stewart from Floetry and Mr. Marcus Miller on bass. ‘MP3,’ it’s my third album, ‘Mike Phillips 3.'”

Jazz West concert patrons brought food and other donations for the Union Rescue Mission and the internationally acclaimed artist Charles Bibbs (www.theworldart.com) provided the design for the official Jazz West poster. For highlights from this year and a forecast for next year, visit www.omegaevents.com.

Check out photos (by Humberto Suarez) from JazzFest West of Eric Benet, Mike Phillips, Ledisi (with Stevie Wonder), Frankie Beverly & Maze and Cedric the Entertainer (with JazzFest West’s Rich Sherman):

Special thanks to EUR/EURweb associate Theresa Rankin for the great coordination, Humberto Suarez for the great photos and Omega Events’ Lex Davies for the excellent hook up.