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Johnathan Butler Today at The Long Beach Jazz Festival, They Celebrate 25 Years Of Great Music

Some of today’s most celebrated Jazz and R&B artists will perform at the 25th Long Beach Jazz Festival, August 10-12, 2012.  This year’s incredible performance line-up includes The Dream Tour featuring David Sanborn and Brian Culbertson, Jonathan Butler, Poncho Sanchez, Rick Braun, Dianne Reeves, Ronald Isley & The Isley Brothers, Keith Sweat, Kirk Whalum, Larry Graham and Graham Central Station, Chrisette Michele, Leela James, The Blackbyrds, Al Williams and Friends and more. The three-day anniversary musical celebration will take place at the Rainbow Lagoon Park in Long Beach, California.

This year’s milestone event is presented by US Bank, celebrating the theme “Jazz and Beyond!” and features performances by iconic Jazz artists and chart-topping R&B and Neo-Soul singers. The event includes VIP seating in a cool outdoor setting with an array of cuisine options, art and much more.  A second stage of great music will be located in the pavilion area of the Park.

Ronald Isley & The Isley Brothers are Friday night’s headliner and first time festival performers.   The Isley Brothers have continued to enjoy one of the longest, most influential and diverse careers in the pantheon of popular music. Grammy Award winning Latin Jazz bandleader Poncho Sanchez, known beyond his vocal and conga skills, will hit the stage Saturday with his renowned band. Soul of Summer featuring, Contemporary Jazz, Urban Music musicians and vocalists Jonathan Butler, Warren Hill & Maysa are scheduled to close out the festival Saturday night. The Dream Tour featuring legendary saxophonist David Sanborn and Jazz favorite Brian Culbertson will round out the final night of the 25th Long Beach Jazz Festival. 

Poncho Sanchez performed at the inaugural Long Beach Jazz Festival in 1987 and has continued to be a part of the festival’s line up year after year. Says Sanchez, “I am looking forward to performing once again and to be part of The 25th Long Beach Jazz Festival with my band Poncho Sanchez Latin Jazz Band…this is one of my favorite all time festivals.”

For the last 24 years, the Long Beach Jazz Festival has been attended by more than hundreds of thousands of music lovers from all around the word and is one of the longest running Jazz festivals in the western United States.  “In 1978 while sitting with some friends at my club (Jazz Safari), we started talking about putting together a show that would feature several Jazz artists like the one in Rhode Island. That idea birthed the first Southern California Jazz fest. The name at that time was the Queen Mary Jazz Festival; It was done on the Queen Mary. We produced it for several years before losing our lease. At that time, we moved to Rainbow Lagoon Park. I never envisioned the success lasting this long. It seems at times, as if the festival is entering its fifth year not the 25th year. This year promises to be a great one, with some surprise guests, as well as, an incredible line-up, ”says Al Williams,  Long Beach Jazz Festival Founder and legendary Jazz drummer.

About Long Beach Jazz Festival

In 1978, Al Williams co-founded the Queen Mary Jazz Festival aboard the Queen Mary. In 1987, he founded the Long Beach Jazz Festival and established the festival site at beautiful Rainbow Lagoon Park. The festival has since become one of the top three annual events in Long Beach, attracting jazz and soul music aficionados from all over the United States and abroad and a favorite of those on the Jazz Festival circuit.

The festival through the years, has also been responsible for breaking new talent, as well as, exposing concert attendees to the fresh musical sounds of today’s top jazz recording artists such as, Gerald Albright, Kirk Whalum, KEM, Poncho Sanchez (a festival favorite), Diane Reeves, Al Jarreau, Rochelle Ferrell, Keiko Matusi, Bobby Caldwell, Norman Brown and so many more. 

About Rainbow Promotions

Rainbow Promotions is the producer of the Long Beach Jazz Festival and various concerts throughout the year. For more than 19 years, Rainbow Promotions has presented the Long Beach Jazz Festival, the city’s third largest event, with an average of 30,000 attendees over the course of the three-day event. For more information regarding the Long Beach Jazz Festival, go to or

25th Long Beach Jazz Festival Schedule:

FRIDAY, AUGUST 10, 2012 (Gates open at 5:00 p.m. and show begins at 7:00 p.m.)
The Blackbyrds
Ronald Isley & The Isley Brothers
Eric Darius

SATURDAY, AUGUST 11, 2012 (Gates open at 11:00 a.m. and the show begins at 12:00 p.m.)
Soul of Summer featuring, Jonathan Butler, Warren Hill & Maysa
Poncho Sanchez
Kirk Whalum
Diane Reeves
Leela James

SUNDAY, AUGUST 12, 2012 (Gates open at 11:00 a.m. and the show begins at 12:00 p.m.)
The Dream Tour featuring David Sanborn and Brian Culbertson
Keith Sweat
Larry Graham & Graham Central Station
Rick Braun & Richard Elliot
Chrisette Michele
Al Williams & Friends
Jazz Search Winner

US Bank presents the 25th Annual Long Beach Jazz Festival and sponsors include: Budweiser, Charter Communications, Time Warner Cable, Long Beach Press Telegram, Long Beach Hilton, 94.7 The Wave, KJAZZ 88.1, and KJLH 102.3. The Long Beach Jazz Festival is produced by Rainbow Promotions, LLC, for ticket and event details visit

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