Next Generation Jazz Orchestra

Being a part of NGJO was pretty much a life changer for me…The individual band members were by far the best musicians I have ever had the honor of playing within my generation [and] the chance to see and experience another country like Japan is something that I will never forget…Nothing I have done so far in my journey in this music has impacted me more than my time with Next Gen. –Chris Fishman, pianist, 2014 NGJO

About the Next Generation Jazz Orchestra

Each year since 1971, Monterey Jazz Festival brings together 21 of the brightest high school jazz musicians from across the country to form an all-star touring orchestra. The band meets each summer to rehearse with Education Director Paul Contos before taking off on a two-week domestic or international tour, most recently to Japan. The program culminates in a main stage performance at the Monterey Jazz Festival with our annual Artist-In-Residence. 

Next Generation Jazz Orchestra (NGJO) members:

  • Play, listen and learn with peers who challenge them
  • Perform at major festivals and clubs in the U.S. and abroad
  • Experience the wider world up close through sightseeing opportunities, workshops and family home stays.
  • Learn what it takes to be cultural ambassadors
  • Hear and play with some of the best jazz musicians in the world at
    the Monterey Jazz Festival.

Apply now online for this once-in-a-lifetime experience; video auditions are due by Saturday, February 28, 2015.

Or audition in person at the Next Generation Jazz Festival on Sunday, March 29, 2015 from 9AM-12PM. CD accompaniment is provided at the live audition. Click here to view detailed audition requirements for each instrument.


Here’s what our 2014 band members had to say:

I don't plan to pursue a career in music, but being with these amazing musicians has inspired me to keep playing and improving. Being connected in this web of super talented musicians is an honor and has changed my life for the better. –Andy Arditi, tenor saxophone

Thank you so much for a wonderful experience in the NGJO. The tour was the best experience I’ve had, and I had a blast in Monterey! At school, Chris, Max and I still talk about stories from Japan! I hope to be in the band again next year! –Nick Lee, trombone

Next Gen has had a huge impact on my life. The opportunities and networking it has given me has been unbelievable. –Henry Solomon, baritone saxophone

My host family was amazing and so welcoming to me. And the cultural exchanges when we gave master classes were great. Really special. –Anonymous student

The karaoke! The food! The hot springs! –Michael Gutierrez, trumpet

To learn more about the Next Generation Orchestra, its history or to apply, please use the links on the left.

In 2010, the Next Generation Jazz Orchestra was profiled on Better TV. Have a look!

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