Three Longstanding Education Traditions Heralding the Eve of the Monterey Jazz Festival

September 17, 2019
BY timOTHY ORR
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ABOVE: The Next Generation Jazz Orchestra performing at the Concert on the Lawn in 2014. ©Edie Ellis 

You know that the Monterey Jazz Festival is close when the Concert on the Lawn takes place on the Thursday before the gates open. Inaugurated in 1990 and called the “Brown Bag Lunch Concert,” it's now called the “Concert on the Lawn.” Created for Monterey County students as an outreach effort by Monterey Jazz Festival to to inspire the discovery and celebration of jazz, it has become a staple event over the last 29 years.

Performing in 2019 is the Next Generation Jazz Orchestra, some of the most talented student musicians in the country.  In addition to performing the Concert on the Lawn, the NGJO will appear at a Rotary Club of Monterey event and an evening performance at MJF’s Jazz Legends Gala at the Tehama Golf Club in Carmel, honoring Kenny Barron and Dave Holland on September 26. The NGJO also performs with MJF62 Artists-in-Residence Allison Miler and Derrick Hodge on the Arena’s Jimmy Lyons Stage on Sunday, September 29, and throughout the Grounds during the three-day Festival.

The Concert on the Lawn begins at 11am on Thursday September 26 at the Garden Stage on the Monterey County Fairgrounds and is free for everyone. We hope to see you there!

Bryce Hayashi Wins 2019 Gerald Wilson Award

Established in 2005, Monterey Jazz Festival’s the Big Band Composition Competition has honored high school composers with the Gerald Wilson Award, named in honor of the late legendary composer, arranger and trumpeter who was a friend of Monterey Jazz Festival for many years. Compositions are judged by college-level music faculty, and the winning piece is performed at the Monterey Jazz Festival by the Next Generation Jazz Orchestra.


Gerald Wilson at the 1997 Monterey Jazz Festival. ©Cole Thompson

Trumpeter Bryce Hayashi, 16, is a student at Northgate High School in Walnut Creek, California. He is a member of the award-winning Northgate Jazz Band and the highly-acclaimed SFJAZZ High School All-Stars Big Band. In 2018, Bryce played lead trumpet with the California All-State High School Honor Jazz Band, and in 2017 he held the lead trumpet chair in the California All-State Middle School Honor Jazz Band. His winning piece“The Place I Call Home” will be performed by the 2019 Next Generation Jazz Orchestra on the Jimmy Lyons Stage on Sunday, September 29.

Nick Isherwood Named as the 2019 Jimmy Lyons Scholar to Berklee College of Music

Established in 1995, the Lyons Scholarship is named in honor of Monterey Jazz Festival's late founder, James L. (Jimmy) Lyons, who started the Monterey Jazz Festival in 1958. Upon satisfactory academic and musical progress in each successive year, the Lyons Scholars can attend Berklee entirely tuition-free. Read more about Berklee and Monterey.


Nick Isherwood. ©EmilyAnne Nicklay

The 2019 Jimmy Lyons Scholar, Nick Isherwood, is a jazz bassist from Medical Lake, Washington, a small town just outside of Spokane. His private teachers include Kim Plewniak and Scott Steed. Isherwood was selected as the top bassist out of six competing states to perform with the National Association for Music Education All Northwest Jazz Band in 2016. After high school, Isherwood received a scholarship to attend the University of Northern Colorado as a jazz studies major, where he studied with Erik Applegate and Nicholas Recuber. Nick begins his studies at Berklee in September 2019 and will attend the 62nd Monterey Jazz Festival for the Jimmy Lyons Scholarship presentation on Sunday September 29 at 1:30pm on the Jimmy Lyons Stage in the Arena, and to sit in with the Berklee Global Jazz Ambassadors, led this year by saxophonist Prof. George Garzone. Read more here.