Stellar Lineup Announced For 2003 Verizon Music Festival in Los Angeles

LOS ANGELES -- The Verizon Music Festival returns here this summer with an exciting new lineup including the legendary Smokey Robinson in a rare, free concert performance, Aimee Mann, Common, Charlie Zaa, Christian McBride, Rufus Wainwright, Pablo Montero, and Floetry.

The four-day festival will take place July 24-27 and will feature a dynamic mix of performers of various genres of music, from the U.S. and abroad, performing at several venues across the city.

"The line-up of star talent in the third visit of the Verizon Music Festival to the Los Angeles market reflects the impact that music has on our great region," said Tim McCallion, president of Verizon's Pacific Region. "Newcomers, award-winners, old favorites -- the Los Angeles festival has them all. The festival represents Verizon's opportunity to provide diverse and quality entertainment to our customers and communities."

Said George Wein, founder and CEO of Festival Productions Inc., "We are bringing together a wide variety of artists -- each with their own unique style -- which gives this festival an unprecedented amount of depth. I'm proud to be a partner with Verizon in bringing the music fans of Los Angeles such a comprehensive line-up of talent."

The festival kicks off July 24 with an evening of singer-songwriters at UCLA's Royce Hall, featuring Rufus Wainwright and Aimee Mann. Both have won praise from critics and fans for their strong, independent and accomplished musical abilities. Known for her seductively melodic and confessional folk rock, Mann is an artist who holds professional musicianship above all else. Wainwright has been praised by The New York Times as "one of the most whimsical and original young singer-songwriters to come around in years."

The following evening, July 25, Common, with special guest Floetry, will appear at the Wadsworth Theatre. Originally from London, Floetry, the duo of singer-poet Marsha Ambrosius and Natalie Stewart, blends poetry with soulfully sung R & B. After releasing five albums, rapper Common has established himself as hip-hop royalty. Common's music incorporates jazz, soul and rock 'n' roll into his always-inventive lyrical style.

On July 26, The Wiltern will host an evening of Latin music. The show will feature Columbian artist Charlie Zaa, who has won a number of awards, including a Latin Billboard award for "Best New Artist," and has worked with some of the biggest names in Latin music. Zaa will appear with Pablo Montero, the Mexican artist who has changed the face Mariachi by bringing to a younger audience the musical form typically associated with older generations. Los Angeles favorite Los Pinguos will open the concert for Zaa and Montero.

The 2003 Verizon Music Festival in Los Angeles will conclude on July 27 with a free concert presented on two stages at Central Park in Old Pasadena. This event will feature an all- star lineup of artists including the legendary Smokey Robinson, the Christian McBride Band, Joyce Cooling, the Phil Ranelin Jazz Ensemble, the Mike Melvoin Trio, the Rudy Regalado Orchestra Chevere, and Incendio.

Tickets for the 2003 Verizon Music Festival in Los Angeles concerts go on sale June 1, and are available at the following outlets:

  • Royce Hall UCLA - Tickets available at Ticketmaster 213-365-3500, Ticketmaster.com and UCLA Central Ticket Office, 310-825-2101. Tickets prices: $35, $25, student tickets $15 with ID.

  • Wadsworth Theatre - Tickets available at Ticketmaster 213-365-3500 or Ticketmaster.com. Tickets prices: $35, $25.

  • The Wiltern - Tickets available through The Wiltern Box Office; open Saturdays 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. and 3 hours before the show, 3790 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 213-380-5005, Ticketmaster 213-365-3500 or Ticketmaster.com. Tickets are $30 for reserved seats.

  • Central Park, Old Pasadena - FREE CONCERT

A Fortune 10 company, Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) is one of the world's leading providers of communications services. Verizon companies are the largest providers of wireline and wireless communications in the United States, with 136.6 million access line equivalents and
33.3 million Verizon Wireless customers. Verizon is the third-largest long-distance carrier for U.S. consumers, with 13.2 million long-distance lines, and the company is also the largest directory publisher in the world, as measured by directory titles and circulation. With approximately $67 billion in annual revenues and 227,000 employees, Verizon's global presence extends to the Americas, Europe, Asia and the Pacific. For more information on Verizon, visit www.verizon.com.