Next Generation Jazz Festival Celebrates 40th Anniversary

America’s Top Young Jazz Musicians from 10 States Compete for Spot on Monterey Jazz Festival Stages

Monterey Jazz Festival Artist-In-Residence and Two-Time Grammy-Nominee Joshua Redman to Participate

March 2, 2011; Monterey, CA; The Monterey Jazz Festival, a nonprofit leader in jazz education since its inception in 1958 and JazzTimes Readers’ Poll multi-year winner for Best Jazz Festival, is proud to announce its annual Next Generation Jazz Festival, April 1 - 3, 2011 in downtown Monterey. The weekend-long event, devoted to the future of jazz, includes the Next Generation Jazz Festival Jazz Competition with Big Bands, Combos, Vocal Ensembles, and individual musicians vying for a spot on the stages of the 54th Annual Monterey Jazz Festival. The event will be open to the public, free of charge.

With over 1200 students participating in the Next Generation Jazz Festival, Monterey Peninsula residents are in a unique position to enjoy the largest gathering of young jazz talent in the region, outside of the Monterey Jazz Festival itself. Sixty-four groups from ten states will participate in the 2011 event, which marks the Festival’s 40th anniversary of the birth of its Annual Jazz Competition.

Introduced in 1971 as the California High School Jazz Band Competition by Monterey Jazz Festival Founder Jimmy Lyons, the competition was conceived as a way of as a way of bringing talented student musicians and groups to Monterey, and cultivating musicians for the future. Notable participants of the Jazz Competition and Next Generation Jazz Orchestra members (formally the California High School All-Star Band) include saxophonists Joshua Redman, Dave Koz and Dave Ellis, pianists Benny Green and Patrice Rushen, multi-instrumentalist Peter Apfelbaum, bassist Larry Grenadier, and many more. 2011 Next Generation Jazz Festival judges trombonist Andy Martin, saxophonists Mary Fettig and Joshua Redman, and trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire are alumni of the Festival’s education programs, coming through the California High School All-Star Band in the 1970s, 80s and 90s.

California, one of the strongholds of music education, has schools from 15 counties represented in the 2011 festivalincluding Alameda, Contra Costa, Fresno, Los Angeles, Marin, Riverside, Sacramento, San Diego, San Francisco, San Luis Obispo, San Mateo, Santa Barbara, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, and Yolo Counties.

In addition, the Next Generation Jazz Festival will present special guest groups from Alaska, California, Oklahoma, Oregon, Nebraska, New York, Pennsylvania, and Japan throughout the weekend.

“Despite all the news being trumpeted about music programs being cut in the public schools, jazz is alive and well at the Next Generation Jazz Festival,” said Dr. Rob Klevan, Education Director of the Monterey Jazz Festival. “Sixty-four of the “Best of the Best” from around America descend upon Monterey April 1 - 3 to share in the joy of performing this great music. The Next Generation Jazz Festival will have a bit of an international flavor as well, with the Tomisato High School Jazz Band from Tomisato, Japan joining us for the festivities. It is going to be another exceptional jazz education event.”

The Next Generation Jazz Festival officially starts with the annual Opening Night Concert at 8 p.m. on Friday, April 1, at the Monterey Conference Center. The opening night's activities will feature the Festival's annual Salute to Jazz Education hosted by local radio personality, Barry Brown of KWAV-FM, along with performances by the internationally-renowned competition judges, including pianist Alan Pasqua, drummer Peter Erskine, saxophonists Antonio Hart, Paul Contos, Mary Fettig, and Aaron Lington; trumpeters Ambrose Akinmusire and Sal Cracchiolo; bassist Ray Drummond, and vocalists Jennifer Barnes and Michele Weir. Also featured during the evening concert will be the 2011 Monterey Jazz Festival Artist-In-Residence, two-time Grammy nominee, saxophonist Joshua Redman.

New for 2011 is the opportunity to purchase optional VIP Gold Circle tickets for the Opening Night Concert, on Friday, April 1, for $50. VIP tickets assures seating in the front rows as well as an invitation to the post-concert “meet and greet” wine and cheese reception with the judges and Artist-In-Residence, Joshua Redman.

The Festival will conduct clinics, workshops, jam sessions, and auditions in the heart of historic Monterey, with music to be performed at the Monterey Conference Center, the host Portola Plaza Hotel, Gilbert’s Restaurant on Fishermans Wharf, and the Monterey History and Maritime Museum. The Next Generation Jazz Festival is also continuing its College Fair, allowing students an opportunity to visit with several colleges offering jazz and other music programs.

All Next Generation Jazz Festival competition events -- from the exuberant and electric Big Band, Vocal Ensemble and Combo Competition on Saturday, April 2 and the College Big Band Vocal Jazz Ensemble competition on Sunday, April 3 -- are open to the public, free of charge.

For a complete schedule of activities and competition times, visit

The Next Generation Jazz Festival Jazz Competition begins at 9 a.m. on Saturday, April 2 in the Conference Center. Throughout the day, the high school groups will perform, with several educational clinics featuring the 2011 Monterey Jazz Festival Artist-In-Residence, Joshua Redman and the Alan Benzie Quartet from the Berklee College of Music.

The top Vocal, Combo, and Big Band divisions will be announced at 6:15 p.m. Saturday evening from the Serra Ballroom stage. At 8:30 p.m., the top finalists will perform a Showcase Concert -- a preview of the groups performing at 54th Annual Monterey Jazz Festival. The final rankings will be announced at the end of the evening.

The Next Generation Jazz Festival continues through Sunday, April 3 with Middle School, College, Conglomerate Big Band, Open Combo, and College Vocal Ensemble Divisions performing in the Serra Ballroom and Steinbeck Forum. The top college big band, college vocal ensemble, and conglomerate big band (to be announced during the day) will also earn a performance slot at the 54th Monterey Jazz Festival. Auditions will also be held for the Next Generation Jazz Orchestra, the Festival’s national all-star high school band.

A one-year grant from the AT&T Foundation supports the Next Generation Jazz Festival and the Next Generation Jazz Orchestra performance tours. AT&T invests significant resources to advance education, strengthen communities and improve lives.

Next Generation Jazz Festival partners and supporters include longtime Monterey Jazz Festival partner Yamaha, providing instruments for Next Generation Jazz Festival stages. Additional support for the Next Generation Jazz Festival comes from generous individuals and organizations such as AT&T Foundation, the Clarence E. Heller Charitable Foundation, the Joseph Drown Foundation, Evans Drumheads, Remo Drumheads, Zildjian Cymbals, Planet Waves Accessories, and Rico Reeds.

More information on all Next Generation Jazz Festival activities and events is available on the Monterey Jazz Festival Web site, and by phone at 831-373-3366.