Jazz keyboardist to play at festival
George Duke would be right at home on either day of this weekend’s 15th annual Las Vegas City of Lights Jazz and Rhythm & Blues Festival.
The acclaimed jazz keyboardist has performed both styles and has produced a number of artists in both genres, including Natalie Cole, Chante Moore, Jeffrey Osborne, Al Jarreau and Anita Baker.
But he’ll be headlining the R&B portion of the festival tonight at Hills Park in Summerlin, 9002 Hillpointe Road.
The show starts at 5 p.m. and runs until 10 p.m. Also on the program are the Barkays and Dazz Band.
Tickets are $65 and are available at the gate, which opens at 4 p.m.
On Saturday, the jazz show will take place from 1 to 10 p.m. and will include Richard Elliot, Rick Braun, Jonathan Butler, Peter White, Hiroshima, Nick Colionne, Philippe Saisse and the Urban Jazz Coalition. Gates open at 10 a.m.
Tickets are $78 in advance, available at Mr. Bill’s Pipe & Tobacco stores and the UNLV box office (895-2787). Tickets are $85 at the gate.
Duke spends a lot of time in the studio — he was just finishing up a track with Chante Moore when reached for a recent phone interview — but says “in the end, there’s nothing like playing live and getting a response from the audience. That’s the litmus test.”
Duke says some songs from his latest album, “In a Mellow Tone,” will be on the set list today, along with other selections from his extensive discography.
“When I play live, I look at it totally differently than when I’m playing in the studio,” he says, because onstage with the band “we can let it stretch out and go deeper into my library. In the studio I’m probably more disciplined, unless I’m playing on my own records.”