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Sunset Jazz lands in Newport

Lineup of jazz musicians, including Wycliffe Gordon, will play on Wednesday nights during the summer at the N.B. Marriott.

July 16, 2012|By Heather Youmans, Special to the Daily Pilot

The award-winning trombonist Wycliffe Gordon will headline Wednesday night's Sunset Jazz show in Newport Beach with a concert paying tribute to Louis Armstrong.

The third season of the 11-show summertime jazz series at the Newport Beach Marriott Hotel and Spa kicked off on July 11 with an opening concert by the Ernie Andrews Quartet with special guest Ricky Woodard.

Gordon will perform his "Hello Pops!… A Tribute to Louis Armstrong" concert indoors at the Seaview Terrace, a larger venue in the hotel that will accommodate more attendees, Sunset Jazz organizers said.

The set is based off of his "Hello Pops!" album, which encompasses everything from Louis Armstrong's Hot Five throughout the All Stars.

Gordon — a six-time winner of the Jazz Journalists Assn.'s Trombonist of the Year award, including in 2011 — will play select favorites, as well as all 15 songs off of his album, which include the following selections: "Hello Pops," "Up a Lazy River," "I Cover the Waterfront," "Basin Street Blues," "Dream a Little Dream" and "Swing That Music," as well as "Black and Blue" by Fats Waller.

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"Louis Armstrong's music is just a manifestation of the person that he was," Wycliffe Gordon said in a phone interview. "He always believed that all people are pretty much the same, we have the same needs, wants, and desires. And, he expressed that in his music, whether he was saying something about love, joy, sadness, or pain."

"It was something that everybody [relates to], regardless of your race, religion, or creed — it doesn't even matter. Everyone deals with those issues, those emotions and everybody wants to be able to find happiness through the diversity of it all. And, Louis Armstrong was just the epitome of that."

Popular artists from the Newport Beach Jazz Party and The Jazz Cruise will continue playing the Newport Beach Marriott Hotel and Spa every Wednesday evening through Sept. 19.

Each night, two sets will take place outdoors in the Marriott's rose garden, which has an ocean backdrop featuring sunsets and views of Catalina Island.

Producers John McClure and Joe Rothman started the Newport Beach Jazz Party in 2001, and it continues to run every President's Day weekend at the Marriott. Over the years, they have treated Orange County audiences to some of the most respected national and international players in the jazz idiom.

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