Costello to perform with New Orleans icon Toussaint.
Bill Cosby returns as host of the 28th annual Playboy Jazz Festival, taking place June 17 and 18 at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles.
Marking his 24th season as master of ceremonies, Cosby will also perform with his group, Cos of Good Music, featuring drummer Ndugu Chancler, pianist Gerald Clayton, "Tonight Show" musical director/guitarist Kevin Eubanks, saxophonist Walter Blanding Jr., bassist Dwayne Burno and trombonist Steve Turre. Among those making their Playboy debuts will be jazz singer Jamie Cullum, trumpeter Chuck Mangione and Elvis Costello and the Imposters together with New Orleans icon Allen Toussaint.
Costello and Toussaint will be making their only Southern California appearance as part of their 2006 River in Reverse tour. Additional festival performers announced during a Feb. 22 press conference at the Playboy Mansion included Ozomatli, the Stanley Clarke/George Duke Project, the Branford Marsalis Quartet and the Groovin' for Grover [Washington Jr.] group, featuring keyboardist Jeff Lorber and saxophonists Gerald Albright and Kirk Whalum.
Playboy founder Hugh Hefner returns as executive producer of the Playboy Jazz Festival. Festival producer George Wein is also behind the upcoming New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, slated for April 28-May 7. Promising that both festivals will be bigger and better than ever this year, Wein said, "We've got to keep jazz alive."