Indie rockers and electropop hipsters may be looking to the far future of late October for the Life Is Beautiful Festival, but those whose musical tastes run more to R&B, soul and urban-contemporary styles can catch their fill this weekend.
The Las Vegas Jazz Festival is a three-day blowout starting Friday. Although it certainly includes jazz performers, vocal and instrumental, the focus actually seems to be more on R&B. On Friday, Charlie Wilson is the featured performer.
Wilson, dubbed "Uncle Charlie" by his friend Snoop Dog, started with soul and funk superstars the Gap Band out of Tulsa, Oka. in the 1970s. In the last two decades as a solo artist, Wilson's lent his distinctive vocal skills to collaborations with a virtual "Who's Who" of R&B and American pop: R. Kelly, Snoop Dog, Justin Timberlake, Quincy Jones, Kanye West and many others.
Wilson's album, Uncle Charlie, topped the Billboard R&B charts in 2009. His album Love Charlie hit the same mark this year.
On Saturday, vocalist and multi-instrumentalist India.Arie is a featured artist. Arie has won four Grammy Awards, including best R&B album for her 2003 effort, Voyage to India.
Other scheduled performers include Grammy winner Anthony Hamilton on Sunday.
The festival is to be outside at the JW Marriott Las Vegas Resort at 221 N. Rampart Blvd. Three-day and single day tickets are available. A complete list of performers and more information is available at www.lvjazzfestival.com.