Next Generation Jazz Festival

Congratulations to all our top groups and soloist award winners!


Read the 2016 Next Generation Jazz Festival Winners' Press Release


Congratulations to the 2016 Finalists!

There’s no greater place to learn than on the bandstand. That’s why 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, as well as conglomerate bands. Over 130 groups apply each year, and from these the very best duke it out for the glory of performing at the Monterey Jazz Festival in September. The 47th Next Generation Jazz Festival takes place March 31-April 2, 2017.

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
  • Receive detailed and thoughtful critique from our experienced adjudicators and the 2016 Monterey Jazz Festival Artist-In-Residence, Terri Lyne Carrington
  • Jam for each other and the locals all over downtown Monterey
  • Share their music with jazz fans from around the world via Web stream
  • Audition for the prestigious Next Generation Jazz Orchestra

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

  • Middle School Big Band
  • 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

Learn more:

Schools, Product Makers and Advertisers:

Information about table rentals and advertising in the Next Generation Jazz Festival Program (all PDF downloads):

Next Generation Jazz Festival / Located at Monterey Conference Center Pavilion
1 Portola Plaza, Monterey, CA 93940

2016 Next Generation Jazz Festival Sponsors

2016 Next Generation Jazz Festival Partners

Dali 17

2016 Next Generation Jazz Festival Supporters

Future Dates for the Next Generation Jazz Festival

47th NGJF: March 31-April 2, 2017
48th NGJF: April 6-8, 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.