49th Annual Next Generation Jazz Festival
3 Days, 7 Venues | April 5-7, 2019

The 49th Annual Next Generation Jazz Festival (NGJF) will be held April 5-7, 2019. This free, three-day festival showcases over 1,300 of the nation’s top student musicians from middle, high school and collegiate groups of every kind: big bands, combos, vocal ensembles, vocal soloists, and conglomerate bands. The winning ensembles from the competitive divisions are invited back to perform at the annual Monterey Jazz Festival in September. The 160 live events of the Next Generation Jazz Festival are free and open to the public. Don’t miss this incredible opportunity to hear the next up-and-coming future jazz stars!

APRIL 5 - 7, 2019

FRIDAY - Judges Concert 7:00pm
Monterey Conference Center, Serra Ballroom
  • FREE event, presented by the California Jazz Conservatory.
  • Judges Concert VIP tickets available which include premium seating and post-concert reception.
  • Open to both students and the public.
  • Featuring Artists-in-Residence Allison Miller and Derrick Hodge.
    Other performers include Patrick Bartley, Tanya Darby, Justin Kauflin, Adam Larson, Russell Malone, Michael Mayo, Lauren Sevian, and Steve Wiest.
  • Read the bios of the judges by clicking here.

All competitions take place in the Monterey Conference Center’s Serra or Steinbeck Ballrooms and the Portola Jazz Club in the Portola Hotel lobby.

  • Competition: High School Big Bands, High School Combos, High School Vocal Ensembles, College Combos.
  • MJF Women in Jazz Combo
    Saturday, 10:30am, DeAnza I Ballroom
  • Showcase Concert 8:30-10:00pm
    2019 Next Generation Jazz Festival High School Showcase Concert featuring the top three Big Bands, first and second place Vocal Jazz Ensembles, and the top Combo.
  • Awards Ceremony 10:00pm
    Announcement of winning high school Big Bands and College Combo awards.


SUNDAY - 9:00am-6:00pm

All competitions take place in the Monterey Conference Center’s Serra or Steinbeck Ballrooms and the Portola Jazz Club in the Portola Hotel lobby.

  • Competition: Conglomerate Big Bands, Middle School Big Bands, High School Vocal Soloists, Conglomerate High School Combos, College Big Bands, College Vocal Ensembles.
  • Awards Ceremony 12:20pm
    Announcement of Middle School awards.
  • Awards Ceremony 12:45pm
    Announcement of Conglomerate Big Band Division awards.
  • Awards Ceremony 5:15pm
    Announcement of College Big Band, College Vocal Ensemble, and High School Conglomerate Combo awards.


Monterey Conference Center
In addition to our competition stages located at the Monterey Conference Center, the Next Generation Jazz Festival also provides four performance venues or “Spotlight Stages” giving non-competing travel groups and local Monterey County groups opportunities to perform.

Portola Hotel
If you are looking for vocal jazz ensembles, visit the Portola Jazz Club in the lobby of the Portola Hotel.

Dali Expo / Portola Hotel
For big bands and large ensembles check out the Dali Expo at the Custom House Plaza adjacent to the Portola Hotel or the DeAnza I Ballroom in the Portola Hotel.

Turn 12 Bar & Grill
Combo performances can be heard at Turn 12 Bar & Grill, located in downtown Monterey, where you can enjoy music while supporting local businesses.



Inns of Monterey
Official Partner of MJF! Click here for special rates for Next Generation Jazz Festival guests.

Portola Hotel and Spa
2 Portola Plaza, Monterey, CA 93940

Monterey Marriott - Special rates still available!
350 Calle Principal, Monterey, CA 93940






Who is Performing?

  • Over 100 finalist and special guest groups
  • 3 countries
  • 10 states
  • 13 California counties
  • 7 local Monterey County schools
  • Monterey County High School All-Star Big Band
  • Monterey County High School Vocal Ensemble
  • Monterey County Middle School All-Star Big Band
  • MJF Women in Jazz Combo


Becoming a PARTNER with the Next Generation Jazz Festival means you believe in jazz education and supporting the students that perform the music they love. Being a partner helps the Monterey Jazz Festival continue to provide the Next Generation Jazz Festival free-of-charge to the community. We hope you will consider joining us.

If you are interested in becoming a partner, please contact:

Colleen Bailey
Executive Director

Thank You To Our 2019 Partners

Future Dates for the Next Generation Jazz Festival
50th NGJF: April 3-5, 2020
51st NGJF: March 19-21, 2021
52nd NGJF: April 1-3, 2022


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.