All forms of jazz — including smooth, Latin percussion and tunes that are more on the R&B tip — will be celebrated this weekend at the 32nd annual Long Beach Jazz Festival.
Rainbow Lagoon will host the three-day celebration that includes more than a dozen acts, including headliners such as famed percussionist Poncho Sanchez, R&B and neo soul singer/songwriter Eric Benét, smooth jazz guitarist and singer Norman Brown and trumpet legend Arturo Sandoval.
Also on hand will be jazz trumpeter Willie Bradley, who is traveling from North Carolina to perform for the first time at the festival.
And it may be his time to shine on a stage full of stars, including one of his idols.
“I’m really so excited about playing here. I’m ready to deliver a great performance for the audience,” Bradley said.
Bradley, who has performed locally before at the Catalina Jazztrax Festival and the Newport Beach Jazz Festival, is currently working on his third album titled “It’s My Time,” so he’s excited about showing off some of his new music at the festival, plus some cover tunes.
“My music is uptempo, real funky with groovy vibes,” he said. “So I’m definitely bringing high energy dance music.”
Besides being on stage, he’s also going to be enjoying the show as a fan since some of his favorites are performing.
“Arturo Sandoval is one of my idols. When I was in college, I got an opportunity to meet him so it’ll be a great opportunity to see him again,” he said.
Bradley is also a member of the RJ & The Original James Brown Band, but he was asked to join after the death of James Brown, so he’s the only member who never got to play with the musical legend.
And if you can’t catch him at the Long Beach Jazz Festival you may see him at a few sports events.
The musician is set to play the National Anthem for the L.A. Clippers sometime this upcoming season.
The Jazz Festival runs from 6 to 10 p.m. Friday, Aug. 9, then 1-10 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 10-11. Tickets range from $60 to $225, with paid parking available near Rainbow Lagoon Park. For tickets and more information, go to longbeachjazzfestival.com.