Frequently Asked Questions

The Next Generation Jazz Festival (March 9-11, 2018) is open to performing groups in the following categories:

  • Middle School Big Band
  • High School Vocal Soloist
  • High School Big Band, Combo, Vocal Jazz Ensemble and Big Band Composer
  • Conglomerate High School Big Band and Combo
  • College Big Band, Combo or Vocal Jazz Ensemble

APPLICATION FEE:  Just $40 for ensembles, $27 for the composition competition to upload your application via Acceptd.

APPLICATION DEADLINE for Performing Ensembles and Soloists: Sunday, January 14, 2018

APPLICATION DEADLINE for the Composition Competition: Wednesday, March 25, 2018


 

Q: IS MY GROUP QUALIFIED TO APPLY?
A: To be eligible, all groups should have received a superior or first division rating at a festival within the last 12 months. All high school ensemble members must be full-time registered students in the schools/programs they represent. College students must be enrolled ¾ time (or nine credit hours) at the college they represent.

Q: HOW DO I APPLY?
A: Complete our online application where you will be invited to submit 2-3 recordings of your choice. You will also need to submit a copy of a qualifying festival adjudication sheet OR a statement from the director indicating superior or first division ratings. The application deadline is January 14, 2018.

Q: WHAT IS THE AUDITION CRITERA FOR THE HIGH SCHOOL VOCAL SOLOIST DIVISION?
A:   1. As a prepared selection, sing one chorus on your choice of one of the following: “Autumn Leaves,” “East of the Sun,” or “Our Love is Here to Stay” in a medium or up-tempo swinging style. You may sing a cappella or use live or recorded accompaniment.
       2. Sing 1 chorus on one of the following ballad choices: “Blame it on My Youth,” “Nearness of You,” or “When I Fall in Love.” Again, this may be sung a cappella or you may use live or recorded accompaniment.
       3. Improvisation (scat singing): Using rhythm section accompaniment (live or recorded), choose one of the following Charlie Parker tunes. First sing the melody (using scat syllables) then improvise to “Billie’s Bounce” (2 choruses), “Ornithology” (1 full chorus), or “Donna Lee” (1 full chorus).

Q. HOW DO I SUBMIT THE RECORDINGS?
A. We are accepting digital files only, which can be uploaded to our partner site at Acceptd. Recordings should be approximately 10 minutes total and include 2 to 3 charts that best showcase your group. Song titles and timing of selections should be included. Your group/school name should NOT be identified on your recording. The students represented on your recording should be the same students performing at the Next Generation Jazz Festival. The recording should represent your current 2017-2018 ensemble.

Q: DO I HAVE TO HAVE TO PAY MORE THAN ONE APPLICATION FEE IF I APPLY IN MULTIPLE CATEGORIES?
A. No. The application fee is only required for the first category in which you apply. If you wish to apply for multiple categories, please enter the following "coupon code" on the payment screen of any subsequent submission: 02ngjf03. Note that your first application must be paid before the coupon code will work.

Q: HOW DO YOU DECIDE ON THE FINALISTS?
A: Auditions are adjudicated through a blind review process by a panel of nationally renowned jazz educators.

Q: WHAT ARE THE JUDGES LISTENING FOR?
A: Our judging panel is listening for ensemble cohesiveness, an understanding of the arrangement and its style, swing, balance between the rhythm section and horns/vocalists, cohesive solos, intonation, phrasing, articulation, clarity of form and structure, and overall passion.

Q: WHAT ELSE SHOULD I KNOW ABOUT THE QUALITY OF OUR RECORDINGS?
A:  We want to hear your band in its unadulterated best. That means no overdubs of parts/solos or overuse of studio effects like reverb, delays, pitch correction, overuse of compression, etc. The panel prefers live recordings. As a reminder, students represented on your recording should be the same students performing at the Next Generation Jazz Festival. Your recording should represent your current 2017-2018 ensemble.

Q: WHEN WILL I FIND OUT IF MY BAND IS A FINALIST?
A: We will notify selected bands by email and post them on www.montereyjazzfestival.org  by January 21, 2018.

Q: HOW MANY FINALISTS ARE SELECTED?
A: Out of the groups that apply, we select the following to perform at the festival:

Middle School Big Bands: 6
High School Vocal Soloist: 6
High School Big Bands: 12
High School Combos: 6
High School Vocal Ensembles: 8
High School Big Band Composer: 1
Conglomerate High School Bands: 6
Conglomerate High School Combos: 6
College Big Bands: 6
College Combos: 6
College Vocal Ensembles: 6

Q: WHO WILL BE ADJUDICATING AT THE FESTIVAL?
A: NGJF adjudicators and clinicians are world-class artists and educators. They have included: Ambrose Akinmusire, Shelly Berg, Luis Bonilla, Terri Lyne Carrington, Ray Drummond, George Duke, Madeline Eastman, Joel Frahm, Nnenna Freelon, Jeff Hamilton, Billy Harper, Antonio Hart, Sherman Irby, Jeff Jarvis, Sean Jones, Dave Loeb, Russell Malone, Patrice Rushen, Gary Smulyan, Terrell Stafford, Matt Wilson, and many more. 

Q: WHAT DO THE WINNERS OF THE COMPETITION RECEIVE?
A: The top ensembles in each category** receive an invitation to perform at the 61st annual Monterey Jazz Festival, September 21-23, 2018. Individual scholarships and trophies will be awarded to outstanding instrumentalists and vocalists. All participating finalists receive a certificate award. The winner of the high school big band composition competition will have their piece performed by the Next Generation Jazz Orchestra at the Monterey Jazz Festival.

**Middle School Big Bands receive awards for sections and soloists and adjudicator comments but are NOT invited to perform at the Monterey Jazz Festival.

Q: WHAT HAPPENS IF MY GROUP IS NOT SELECTED AS A FINALIST?
A: Even if your band is not selected as a finalist, you may have the opportunity to attend the NGJF and perform in a non-competitive showcase as a special guest. Call us at 831.373.8843 to learn about more non-competitive opportunities or email renae@montereyjazzfestival.org.

Q: CAN I VOLUNTEER FOR THE NEXT GENERATION JAZZ FESTIVAL?
A: Yes! Please see this form to fill out.