“Concert on the Lawn” Kicks Off 61st Monterey Jazz Festival Weekend

Free Show for Hundreds of Monterey County School Music Students at Monterey County Fairgrounds, Thursday, September 20

Bassist Ethan Mofitt from Glendale, Calif. Wins Gerald Wilson Award

Katie Webster from Seattle, Wash. Named 22nd Jimmy Lyons Scholar to Berklee College of Music

Monterey, Calif; September 12, 2018; Monterey Jazz Festival kicks off the weekend’s activities on Thursday, September 20 with another edition of the “Concert on the Lawn” at the Monterey County Fairgrounds, with Monterey Jazz Festival’s Next Generation Jazz Orchestra performing a free 45-minute set for 500 students enrolled in Monterey County schools. The concert will start at 11am on Thursday, September 20 at the Garden Stage at the Monterey County Fair & Event Center.

The concert is part of the Monterey Jazz Festival’s commitment to bring jazz music, for free, to the students of Monterey County.

Twenty-one of the nation’s most talented high school musicians from eight states comprise the Next Generation Jazz Orchestra, including California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, New Jersey, New York, Virginia, and Washington State. Read the biographies of the Next Generation Jazz Orchestra members.

Four members of the Orchestra are returning for their second year, including alto saxophonist Willie Bays (Olympia High School, Olympia, Wash.); trombonist Leo Markel (Alexander W. Dreyfoos School of the Arts, West Palm Beach, Fla.); guitarist Jordan Reifkind (Los Angeles County High School for the Arts, Los Angeles, Calif.) and trumpeter Kate Williams (Vanden High School, Fairfield, Calif.)

The 2018 Orchestra recently completed a 20-day tour of California and Japan in July and August, where they appeared in Carmel, Berkeley, Awaji Island, Nanao, Nagoya, Tokyo, and Tomisato.

The Orchestra, in addition to performing the Concert on the Lawn, will appear at a Rotary event and an evening performance at MJF’s Jazz Legends Gala at the Inn at Spanish Bay in Pebble Beach, honoring Dianne Reeves on September 20. The Orchestra will also perform with MJF61 Artists-in-Residence Tia Fuller and Ingrid Jensen on the Arena’s Jimmy Lyons Stage on Sunday, September 23, and throughout the Grounds during the three-day Festival.

Monterey Jazz Festival invests over $900,000 annually in its education programs which includes jazz clinics in schools, Summer Jazz Camp, the Next Generation Jazz Orchestra and more.

Ethan Moffitt Wins 2018 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.

Bassist Ethan Moffitt, 18, from Glendale, Calif. has been named the 2018 Gerald Wilson Award for his composition “Window Wonders” which will be performed by the NGJO on Sunday, September 23 on the Jimmy Lyons Stage. Ethan recently won a soloist award at the 2018 Next Generation Jazz Festival.

He currently studies double bass with David Moore and Composition with Andrew Norman at the University of Southern California. Read Ethan’s full bio and more about the Gerald Wilson Award.

Katie Webster Named 22nd 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.

Saxophonist Katie Webster, 18, is from Seattle and has been named the recipient of the Jimmy Lyons Scholarship to Berklee College of Music, a four-year, full tuition award presented in conjunction with the Monterey Jazz Festival. Recognized for her thoughtful and mature sound on the alto saxophone, she is the first female recipient of the Lyons Award. Katie recently won a soloist award and a scholarship at the 2018 Next Generation Jazz Festival.

Katie perform at the 61st Monterey Jazz Festival, sitting in with Berklee’s Anastassiya Petrova Organ Quartet, at 9:30 pm on Friday the 21st on the Garden Stage. On Saturday the 22nd, she’ll be seen again with the Petrova group, in the Pacific Jazz Café at 6:15 pm. She will begin her studies in Boston this September. Read Katie’s full bio.She will begin her studies in Boston this September. Read Katie’s full bio.

2018 Next Generation Jazz Orchestra
Paul Contos, Director

Ian Muñoz, alto / New World School of the Arts, Miami, Fla.
Willie Bays,** alto / Olympia High School, Olympia, Wash.
Erik Nelson, tenor / Albany High School, Albany, Calif.
Kieran Hitsman, tenor / Dillard High School, Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.
Jason Arkins, baritone / Carmel High School, Carmel Hamlet, N.Y.                                

Jack McDonald / Champaign Central High School, Champaign, Ill.
Jonathan Gittings / Princeton High School, Princeton, N.J.
Ethan Avery / Crossroads School for Arts and Sciences, Santa Monica, Calif.
Kate Williams** / Vanden High School, Fairfield, Calif.
Joey Curreri / Academy of Music and Performing Arts at Hamilton High School, Los Angeles, Calif.

Zachary Niess / Yorktown High School, Arlington, Va.
Leo Markel** / Alexander W. Dreyfoos School of the Arts, West Palm Beach, Fla.
Sam Keedy / Denver School of the Arts, Denver, Colo.
Benjamin Conn / Agoura High School, Agoura Hills, Calif.
Joe Turgeon (bass) / Jesuit High School, Sacramento, Calif.

Zack Shubert, piano / Carlmont High School, Belmont, Calif.
Jordan Reifkind,** guitar / Los Angeles County High School for the Arts, Los Angeles, Calif.
Isaac Coyle, bass / El Cerrito High School, El Cerrito, Calif.
Peter Glynn, drums / Columbia High School, Maplewood, N.J.
Michael Wang, drums / Los Altos High School, Los Altos, Calif.
William Brandt, vocals / Academy of Music and Performing Arts at Hamilton High School, Los Angeles, Calif.

** 2-year NGJO Member

Monterey Jazz Festival is honored to receive support from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, David and Lucile Packard Foundation, Scheid Family Wines,  North Coast Brewing Company, Blue Note at Sea, Yamaha, NEA Artworks, Inns of Monterey, Taylor Farms, Blue Microphones, Macy's, Medcom Solutions, Monterey Bay Aquarium, Montage Health, Naturipe, Larabar, Boulder Canyon Foods, Integris Wealth Management, Alvarez Technology, KSBW/Estrella TV, KAZU, DownBeat, JazzTimes, SmoothJazz.com Global, Monterey Herald, Remo, Mission Linen Supply, and Driscoll's.