Ray Charles, Teddy Pendergrass, Bela Fleck, Al Jarreau and Julieta Venegas to Headline 2002 Verizon Music Festival in Los Angeles This Fall

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LOS ANGELES -- The sounds of dynamic R&B, Latin, soul, jazz and world music will be heard across Los Angeles during the second annual Verizon Musical Festival, Sept. 30-Oct. 6. Featuring Teddy Pendergrass, Bela Fleck, Ozomatli, Al Jarreau, Julieta Venegas and Ray Charles, the seven-day festival will also showcase performances by newcomers Lea DeLaria, Toshi Reagon, Chris Botti, Quetzal, Gerald Clayton and others.

Concerts, including several free events, are scheduled at Royce Hall, Center Theater in Long Beach, Wadsworth Theater, California Plaza, Old Pasadena/Central Park, the Conga Room, Temple Bar, The Jazz Bakery and World Stage. Los Angeles is the second of four cities hosting this year's festival.

"Thousands of music fans enjoyed the great entertainers and fantastic concerts at the first Verizon Music Festival last year," said Tim McCallion, president, Verizon Pacific Region. "This year, we have even more exciting concerts in store for people throughout the greater Los Angeles area, and we hope that music fans will sample our diverse line-up of performances."

George Wein, CEO of Festival Productions, Inc. and producer of the Verizon Music Festival, said, "Not often does a producer have the challenge as well as the opportunity to present one festival in four cities. While concerts are tailored to appeal to each city's own diverse culture and interests, the Verizon Music Festival is one national celebration of music."

The Los Angeles edition of the Verizon Music Festival will begin Sept. 30 at 8 p.m. at UCLA's Royce Hall with the remarkable master of love songs, Teddy Pendergrass. The Billy Mitchell Trio will open the evening.

On Oct. 1, the Verizon Music Festival will present an evening with vocalist Lea DeLaria plus the Jazz Classics, featuring Patrice Rushen, Ndugu Chancler and some of Southern California's best emerging talent at the Center Theater in Long Beach at 8 p.m.

Pioneering banjo player Bela Fleck, who virtually reinvented the image and sound of the banjo, takes the stage with the Flecktones at Royce Hall stage Oct. 2 at 8 p.m.

Singing and dancing salsa to a hip-hop samba, the multi-cultural group Ozomatli and Toshi Reagon, a shining star of retro funk, urban blues and folk, will perform at the Verizon Music Festival in a free concert at California Plaza Oct. 3 at 6 p.m.

Five-time Grammy Award winner Al Jarreau, whose unique vocal style and innovative musical expressions have made him one of the world's most exciting performers, will headline a concert at the Wadsworth Theater Oct. 4 at 8 p.m. Newcomer smooth jazz trumpeter Chris Botti will join Jarreau at the concert.

In another free concert, Julieta Venegas and Quetzal will perform at California Plaza Oct. 5 at 7 p.m. Later that evening enjoy the rhythmic sounds of Eddie Palmieri y La Perfecta II at the Conga Room at 9 p.m. Tickets are available at the Conga Room for this performance only, 323-938-1696.

On Oct. 6, the legendary Ray Charles will headline a free outdoor concert at Old Pasadena/ Central Park at noon. Joining the award-winning maestro of R&B will be some of tomorrow's shining stars, including Soulive, Gerald Clayton, Kátia Moraes & Samba Guru, Eugene Maslov and others to be announced. There will be continuous music on two stages.

The Los Angeles festival also will include a seven-night series at the Temple Bar, The Jazz Bakery and World Stage.

The Verizon Music Festival moves to Tampa Nov. 2-8 with performances by Clint Black, Wayne Shorter, Al Jarreau and others. In Washington, D.C., the Verizon Music Festival kicks off with a free show on Oct. 20 at Freedom Plaza and ticketed performances at the Lisner Auditorium on Nov. 14 and Cramton Auditorium on Nov. 15. Full lineups for Tampa and Washington, D.C. will be announced in the coming weeks. The four-city festival kicks off in New York Sept. 17-22.

All tickets for the Verizon Music Festival in Los Angeles are available through Ticketmaster outlets, including Tower Records, Robinson-May, Wherehouse Music (select locations), Tu Musica and Ritmo Latino by calling 213-365-3500 and online at ticketmaster.com. Service charges apply on all phone, outlet and online sales. For full Verizon Music Festival information, call 212-501-1390. In Southern California, call 310-450-1173, or visit the festival Web site at www.verizon.com/musicfestival.

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 133.8 million access line equivalents and approximately 29.6 million wireless customers. Verizon is also the largest directory publisher in the world. With more than $67 billion in annual revenues and nearly 248,000 employees, Verizon's global presence extends to more than 40 countries in the Americas, Europe, Asia and the Pacific. For more information on Verizon, visit www.verizon.com.


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