Concert for Kids Kicks Off 55th Monterey Jazz Festival Weekend, Thursday, September 20

“Concert for Kids” Kicks Off 55th Monterey Jazz Festival Weekend with Free Jazz Concert at Monterey County Fairgrounds, September 20, 2012

Next Generation Jazz Orchestra Will Perform for Hundreds of Monterey County Public School Music Students

Drummer Ayinde Webb Named 16th Jimmy Lyons Scholar at Berklee College of Music

September 18, 2012; Monterey, CA; Monterey Jazz Festival kicks off the weekend’s activities this Thursday with another edition of the “Concert for Kids” at the Monterey County Fairgrounds, with Monterey Jazz Festival’s Next Generation Jazz Orchestra performing a free 45-minute set for students enrolled in Monterey County public schools. The concert will start at 11:15 a.m. on Thursday, September 20 at the Garden Stage at the Monterey Fairgrounds.

Major support for the 2012 Next Generation Jazz Orchestra comes from the Surdna Foundation.

The pre-Festival “Concert for Kids” has been a tradition at the Monterey Jazz Festival for over 20 years, inviting children from Monterey County middle and high schools to the free event every year, with an estimated 500 students attending. The concert is part of an outreach effort on the part of the educational programs of Monterey Jazz Festival to bring jazz music, for free, to the students of Monterey County.

Created as a part of Monterey Jazz Festival's continuing commitment to jazz education, members of the Next Generation Jazz Orchestra were selected through an application process during the Next Generation Jazz Festival each spring.

Twenty-one high school musicians from nine states comprise the Next Generation Jazz Orchestra including 10 students from California, three from New Jersey, two from Washington State; and one each from Florida, Iowa, New Hampshire, New York, Oregon, and Pennsylvania.

Returning members of the 2012 Orchestra include saxophonists Jasper Dutz (Los Angeles County High School of the Arts, Los Angeles, CA) and Connor Anderson (FAME Charter School, Newark, CA); bassist Daryl Johns (Dwight-Englewood School, Englewood, NJ); trombonist Joonas Lemetyinen (West Linn High School, West Linn, OR); trumpeter Adam O’Farrill (LaGuardia High School for the Arts, New York, NY); and bass trombonist Chris Palowitch (Amador Valley High School, Pleasanton, CA) who is the band’s only three-year member.

The Orchestra also performs at the 55th Monterey Jazz Festival on Sunday, September 23, on the Jimmy Lyons Stage. Former band alumni and 2012 Artist-In-Residence, Ambrose Akinmusire, will appear with the band.

In the past, the band has been under the leadership of Ladd McIntosh, Don Schamber, Benny Golson, Bill Berry, and many more. Now under the tutelage of Paul Contos, the renowned saxophonist and flutist who serves as the director of the Orchestra, the ensemble is dedicated to the study and performance of the most challenging big band literature available. Former members include pianist Patrice Rushen and Benny Green, bassist Larry Grenadier, drummer Chad Wackerman, trumpeters Ambrose Akinmusire and Dominick Farinacci; saxophonists Eric Marienthal, Donny McCaslin, Joshua Redman, Mark Turner, and Dave Koz; trombonist Andy Martin; and big band leader Gordon Goodwin.

In related news, Berklee College of Music and Monterey Jazz Festival announce that drummer Ayinde Webb of Oakland, California, has been named the 16th recipient of the Jimmy Lyons Scholarship at Berklee, a major music education prize. The full-tuition scholarship is named in honor of the festival’s late founder, James L. (Jimmy) Lyons, who began the Festival 55 years ago with jazz education at its core.

The Lyons Scholarship is awarded each year to one music student from the western United States, in recognition of their outstanding talent. Because it is a full-tuition, renewable award, satisfactory academic and musical progress in each successive year will allow each Lyons Scholar to attend Berklee through graduation, entirely tuition-free.  

Drummer Ayinde Webb, 18, is a graduate of Oakland School for the Arts. Mr. Webb has studied with E.W. Wainwright, Jaz Sawyer, Donald “Duck” Bailey, Sylvester (Sly) Randolph, Juan Medrano “Cotito”, and Airto Moreira; and has been mentored by other musicians such as Mack Rucks, Leon Williams, Khalil Shaheed, Steven Turner, Marcus Shelby, Angela Wellman, and Dan Faiver. Ayinde has served as senior drummer for the Oakland Public Conservatory of Music’s Frederick Douglass Youth Ensemble, and house drummer for Branice McKenzie’s “Not Just for Singers Only” music salon, and the Heart and Soul Center of Light Church of Religious Science. Ayinde was also selected for the Young Musicians Program at the University of California, Berkeley in 2010, studying with percussionist and composer Ndugu Chancler; Geechie Taylor, and multi-GRAMMY® nominee Patrice Rushen. Mr. Webb is also a two-year member of the SFJAZZ High School All Stars Orchestra under the direction of Paul Contos, which placed second in the Conglomerate category at the 2012 Next Generation Jazz Festival. In 2011, Ayinde composed the music and served as Music Director for Georgia Webb’s musical, A Little Piece of God, featuring the renowned gospel singer, Daryl Coley. He has performed at Yoshi’s in Oakland and San Francisco; the Great American Music Hall, Oakland’s Art and Soul Festival and 57th Street Gallery; and the St. John Coltrane Church in San Francisco. 

Webb is the fifth drummer to receive the Lyons Scholarship, and will sit in at the 55th Monterey Jazz Festival with his new classmates in the Berklee-Monterey Sextet, on Friday, September 21, at 8:00 p.m. on the Garden Stage, and again on Saturday, September 22, at 5:00 p.m., in the Coffee House. 

Carsbia Anderson, Vice-president of the Festival’s Board of Directors and chair of the Education Committee will make the award presentation to Mr. Webb at the Festival on Sunday, September 23, at 2:00 p.m., on the Jimmy Lyons Stage.


For more information, high-resolution pictures and interview opportunities please contact:

Timothy Orr, Marketing Associate
Monterey Jazz Festival
Monterey Office: 831.373.3366


Rob Hayes
Asst. VP for Public Information
Berklee College of Music
617.747.2566 (office) or 617.331.4424 (cell)