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VENUE UPDATES: Wein's Verizon Festival Expands To Four Cities & Much More!

The 2002 Verizon Music Festival will kick off in New York City in September, bringing diverse music, world-renowned artists and emerging talent to four cities.

Artists will include Tony Bennett, Ray Charles, India, Al Jarreau, Bela Fleck, Fourplay, Joe Sample, Wayne Shorter, Regina Carter and many others. The festival, which includes R & B, Latin, soul, jazz and world music, will run September 17-22 in New York; September 30-October 6 in Los Angeles; November 2-8 in Tampa; and October 20 and November 14-15 in Washington, DC. This marks the first year in the nation's capital.

George Wein, CEO of Festival Productions, Inc, the producer of the 2002 Verizon Music Festival, said,
"When you match great artists with the perfect venue in the right city you always get a winning combination for audiences, For this year's Verizon Music Festival, we've put together an exciting line-up of stellar headliners, while introducing artists we feel are destined for stardom. We believe that music fans in each city will enjoy the diverse selections."

"We eagerly look forward to providing another year of great music and celebrating the rich cultural history and diverse makeup of each of the four cities that will host this year's festival," added Bruce Gordon, president of Verizon Retail Markets.

The Verizon Music Festival will include paid ticketed concerts and free events to be held in a variety of venues ranging from major concert halls, to intimate clubs, to major outdoor sites. Among the performance locations are Carnegie Hall, Beacon Theatre and Battery Park in New York; Royce Hall, Wadsworth Theater, Pasadena Old Central Park and California Plaza in Los Angeles; Tampa Theater, Ruth Eckerd Hall and Coachman Park in Tampa Bay; and Cramton Auditorium and Lisner Auditorium in Washington, DC.

A Cup Of Java Helps New Kimmel Center

Bucks County Coffee Company and The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts have formed a partnership that will
support the activities and operations of Philadelphia's stunning new cultural landmark.

Beginning immediately, a portion of every purchase of Bucks County Coffee's special Kimmel Center Blend will be donated to The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts. One dollar of every pound of Kimmel Center Blend coffee sold and 50-cents of every cup will support the mission to bring the best performing artists from the region and around the world to the stages of The Kimmel Center and The Academy of Music.

"The Kimmel Center will celebrate the first day of summer — and the longest day of the year — by staying open all day and all night and Bucks County Coffee is going to help us do it," said The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts President and CEO Janice Price. "Yes, we will be drinking coffee to stay awake all night! But more importantly, gifts like this allow us to fulfill our mission of making The Kimmel Center open to everyone. Our weekend festivals in July will feature folk, pop, Latin, jazz, classical and gospel music. We have hip hop, flamenco and modern dance performances, plus dance parties under our glass roof every Wednesday night in July and August. We'll be showing silent movies with a live orchestra. There will be free performances in Commonwealth Plaza every weekend in July. And this Friday night, at the Summer Solstice, all the performers we are showcasing are local artists, including many members of our wonderful resident companies."

"The Kimmel Center is such a marvelous and important cultural and civic addition to our region," said Bucks County Coffee Co. President Rodger Owen. "We are pleased to be a part of the excitement and to have the opportunity to spread the word about The Kimmel Center's many performances and activities to all our customers throughout Philadelphia and the entire Mid-Atlantic region. We're looking forward to a long-lasting partnership."

Bucks County Coffee's Kimmel Center Blend is served in all Kimmel Center venues including Cadence restaurant, the K Lounge and PECO Cafe. It will be offered in Bucks County Coffee stores and locations at various times throughout the year.

Headline acts during The Kimmel Center's first summer season include The Neville Brothers, Judy Collins and Harry Belafonte (Americana Fest, July 5-7); Noche Flamenca, Big 3 Palladium Orchestra, Los Hombres Calientes and 40 Years of Bossa Nova, Misia, Los Fakires and Albita (Fiesta Latina, July 12-14); The Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, Buckwheat Zydeco, John McCutcheon, Natalie MacMaster, D/2, Peter Nero and the Philly POPS (Family Fun Fest, July 19-21); and Rennie Harris, Preservation Hall Jazz Band and Count Basie Band, Regina Carter and Philip Bailey, Mavis Staples and Take 6 (Hip Hop, Jazz & Soul, July 26-28). There will also be silent movies of Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton and Harold Lloyd with live music by the Paragon Ragtime Orchestra, plus a return engagement by Jerry Blavat with a lineup of Geator Gold favorites.

The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts owns, manages, supports and maintains The Kimmel Center, manages The Academy of Music, and serves as home to nine Resident Companies. These companies include Kimmel Center Presents, a program that offers a rich diversity of choices to complement presentations by the other companies. Activities of the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts also include arts-in-education programming provided by the Merck Arts Education Center and free entertainment throughout the year featuring a wide range of local and regional artists.

Robin Williams Returns To Broadway For HBO Special

Robin Williams returns to Broadway performing for three nights at the Broadway Theatre July 11, 13-14, with the final concert airing live on HBO. Williams played four concerts over four nights at four different New York venues in early April that were promoted by Radio City Entertainment and Clear Channel Entertainment.

The Broadway Theatre concerts are promoted by The Comedy Garden and Metropolitan Entertainment. (The Comedy Garden is Radio City Entertainment's new comedy division.) So how did Metropolitan Entertainment get this prestigious booking? "Mitch Slater, the new owner of Metropolitan, has become very aggressive," an insider advised CelebrityAccess.

Latin-Themed Festival May Replace Orange Bowl Parade

It's never too early to start thinking about New Year's Eve and Miami leaders are
doing just that. With the cancellation of the traditional Orange Bowl parade, one
alternative they're thinking about is a mega concert with a major headliner and
several support acts along with a street festival geared toward the Hispanic community.

Miami Mayor Manny Diaz recently hosted a presentation for concert promoters at
city hall. The event would be staged in Bayfront Park and last past midnight.

"The idea would be to compete with Times Square but with a theme of
the Americas," Diaz said, reports the Miami Herald. "We want to capitalize on the
notion that we
are the international gateway to the Americas and bring acts from all over
the Caribbean and Latin America for a real big party.''

Diaz said he hopes to get Telemundo or Univision on board as event sponsors
and broadcast it live internationally.

In March, the Orange Bowl committee voted to cancel the parade because of
financial losses and deteriorating quality.

City In The Park Cancelled

The fifth edition of City In The Park pop festival in Nottingham, England, has been
scrapped, with promoters citing technical difficulties, reports the Evening Standard.
Jamiroquai and Fun Lovin' Criminals were booked to play at the July 21

Event promoters promised the 15,000 people who had already bought tickets
would receive full refunds.

Gordon Boreland, spokesman for event promoters Daybrook House Promotions,
said the festival was cancelled due to the size of the Jamiroquai production.

"The stage set they use is colossal," he said. "In the past, we have used a standard
festival-size stage for artists like Bryan Adams, Ronan Keating and The Corrs. But
Jamiroquai use a much larger set with ramps, walkways and stairways.
It was simply too big.

"We could not have anticipated this," he continued. "We have
successfully staged four City In the Park events and there was no
reason for us to think that there would be a problem."

Boreland said a smaller stage for Jamiroquai was not an option.
"That's not what he does. It would be like asking David Beckham to play for
Forest. The group want to give fans the best show possible."

Fun Lovin' Criminals will now play at Rock City the same night.

"They were still keen to play to their Nottingham fans, so we did
what we
could to accommodate them," said Boreland.

Bela Fleck & the Flecktones Headline Walther's Grassroots Music & Arts Festival

Walther's Grassroots Music & Arts Festival, now in its third year, has
gathered many respected acts on the grassroots touring circuit to provide 10
hours of music August 10 at Oregon Ridge Park in Cockeysville, MD.

Fleck and the Flecktones, a featured act at the inaugural festival in 2000,
returns for an encore to headline the celebration of music, food, microbrews,
arts and crafts. Joining Fleck are Karl Denson's Tiny Universe, Keller
Williams, John Scofield, Charlie Hunter, Virginia Coalition and Mofro.
Walther Productions has expanded the lineup for the second consecutive year by
adding one more act from the previous year.

"Walther's Grassroots Music & Arts Festival has become our traditional way of
celebrating with the fans who've supported us," says promoter Tim Walther.
"We've kept our annual promise to deliver the boldest collection of
grassroots performers they'll see on one stage all summer. Every act on the
bill is at the top of their game, and together, it creates a whole new level
of magic that we intend to continue for many years to come.''