2018 Next Generation Jazz Festival

Due to the overwhelming response in applications and submissions to the Next Generation Jazz Festival, announcement of selected groups will be on Monday, Jan. 22. Thank you for your patience!

Apply to the 2018 Next Generation Jazz Festival

Due to a date shift from the newly-renovated Monterey Conference Center, we have been obliged to move the date for the 2018 Next Generation Festival from April 6-8 to March 9-11. We are absolutely aware that plans for your music program, especially out-of-town events, are made many months beforehand. We very much hope you may be able to look at March 9-11, 2018 as a viable opportunity for your ensemble joining us for the Next Generation Jazz Festival.

Each spring we invite over 1300 of the nation’s top student musicians to play their hearts out at the Next Generation Jazz Festival (NGJF). One of the most inclusive festivals in the United States, the festival welcomes performances by middle, high school and collegiate groups of every kind: big bands, combos, vocal ensembles, vocal soloists, as well as conglomerate bands. The 48th Next Generation Jazz Festival takes place March 9-11, 2018.

Next Generation Jazz Festival Audition Submission Deadline: January 14, 2018
NOTE: Only the Next Generation Jazz Orchestra and High School Composition Competition categories are still open. Deadline: March 25, 2018

Over the course of three days, students:

  • Hear and play with some of the best student performers in the country
  • Learn tips and techniques in workshops led by the pros
  • Get their minds blown by our star-studded judges band at the Friday Night Judges Concert, Presented by the California Jazz Conservatory
  • Receive detailed and thoughtful critique from our experienced adjudicators
    and the 2018 Monterey Jazz Festival Artists-In-Residence, Tia Fuller and Ingrid Jensen
  • Jam for each other and the locals all over downtown Monterey

The Next Generation Jazz Festival is open to performing groups in the following categories:

Learn more:

Schools, Product Makers and Advertisers:

Information about table rentals and advertising in the 2018 Next Generation Jazz Festival Program (PDF downloads) will be coming soon.

Next Generation Jazz Festival
Located at the Portola Hotel and other locations in downtown Monterey
2 Portola Plaza, Monterey, CA 93940

Congratulations to the 2017 NGJF Top Groups!

2017 NGJF Finalists & Special Guests!

Thanks to Our 2017 Sponsors and Partners:

City of Monterey




Inns of Monterey


California Jazz Conservatory


Monterey Bay Aquarium





Dali 17


Future Dates for the Next Generation Jazz Festival

48th NGJF: March 9-11, 2018
49th NGJF: April 5-7, 2019

Experience Past Next Generation Jazz Festivals

You can see hundreds of pictures from past Next Generation Jazz Festivals by going to the Monterey Jazz Festival's Facebook page.

Listen to an interview previewing the 2014 Next Generation Jazz Festival with Paul Contos on KUSP 88.9FM. Originally broadcast  March 24, 2014.