Local jazz legend Al Williams has been setting the mood for about a decade in Long Beach for February's annual day devoted to love.
Williams' Rainbow Promotions again will be presenting its annual Valentine's Day Concert at the Terrace Theater in the Long Beach Performing Arts Center this Saturday. The familiar event has become a staple for many residents to help celebrate the holiday, Williams said.
"The ambiance equals the music," he said. "The stage is decorated very nicely in Valentine's colors. We will have hearts and balloons on the mezzanine and the main floor. Once you step inside and hear the wonderful music - it creates such a wonderful backdrop. Most of these people - once they come once, they come every year. It's quite an experience."
The concert will open with female jazz and R&B singer Radio, then Gerald Albright and Norman Brown will play and Boney James will finish the evening's performances.
"They're good friends of mine," Williams said of the lineup. "I'm a jazz artist myself, so it's nice to see everyone growing up and playing so well. When I started with them, they weren't even married - now they have kids in college."
Williams said Radio played a great set during the last Long Beach Jazz Festival event (produced by Williams as well) on a secondary stage, and he wanted to give Radio and her band a bigger venue and a larger audience this year.
Gerald Albright plays bass guitar and saxophone. He has had several Grammy nominations and has sold more than 1 million albums in the U.S. Guitarist Norman Brown won a Grammy and has had a career spanning two decades. The two will team up to perform during the concert.
"Gerald and Norman play great romantic types of tunes," Williams said. "I thought they would provide a great blend of music for the audience. I think all of these performers will be very electrifying as far as sound is concerned. You will hear smooth jazz, R&B and even some funk."
Boney Jones also plays saxophone. He has had four gold albums, nine No. 1 contemporary jazz albums, three Grammy nominations, a Soul Train award and an NAACP award nomination.
With such résumés for each performer, Williams said jazz enthusiasts will be pleased and should expect very professional and intricate music.
"A jazz audience is going to be a jazz audience no matter how popular it is (at a mainstream level)," he said. "This is real music and employs different and complex chord changes. You'll definitely find a more educated people listen to jazz."
The event also offers a special $125 VIP ticket that includes a dinner before the concert begins - crusted halibut and chicken Florentine are the main dishes.
For tickets, call Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000, visit www.ticketmaster.com, or contact the Long Beach Convention Center box at 436-3636.
WHAT: Valentine's Day Concert
WHEN: 7 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 11
WHERE: Terrace Theater