Some longtime locals might argue that summer starts 'round these parts with the opening night of the Hollywood Bowl.
We would agree that the Bowl's splashy, starry opener does play the role of summer starter, especially since it typically lands a few days after the official first day of the season. But another Hollywood Bowl-based event is the true indicator that warm-weather and good, music-listening times have arrived.
It's the Playboy Jazz Festival, which is at the Bowl (though, as always, not of the Bowl's official calendar). The 2012 dates are Saturday, June 16 and Sunday, June 17 and, once again, the master of ceremonies is Mr. Bill Cosby.
Mr. Cosby and the fest go way back, as do the fans; we're pretty sure there are some people who have been to all 34 years of the jazzy extravaganza. And here is what those longtime fans, and the first-timers, can look forward to this year: LA's own house band Ozomatli. The brassy big sounds of the Preservation Hall Jazz Band. The wicked-fine accordion and percussive stylings of Chico Trujillo. And the always splendid Sheila E. and her celebrated, powerhouse drum kit.
The names are all big and/or notable on this one, but one piece of advice: If there is someone you definitely have to catch, but can only do one day, be sure to check out the schedule to make sure you're at the Bowl at the right time.