Free Jazz - Monterey Jazz Festival's Next Generation Festival
About 14 year(s) ago by The Inns of Monterey
Attracting musicians from some of the most prestigious educational programs in the country, MJF's Next Generation Festival represents the largest gathering of young jazz talent on the Monterey Peninsula, outside of the Monterey Jazz Festival itself. Fifty-seven bands from six states, from Alaska to Texas, will participate in the prestigious event. California, one of the strongholds of music education, has schools from fourteen counties represented in the festival – including Alameda, Contra Costa, Los Angeles, Madera, Monterey, Orange, Sacramento, San Diego, San Francisco, San Joaquin, San Luis Obispo, San Mateo, Santa Barbara, and Santa Clara Counties. In addition, the Next Generation Festival will present special guest groups from England and Japan throughout the weekend. The Next Generation Festival will officially start with the annual Kick-Off Concert at 8 p.m. on Friday, April 3 at the Monterey Conference Center. The opening night's activities will feature the Festival's annual Salute to Jazz Education, along with performances by the competition judges, including pianist George Duke, drummer Terri Lyne Carrington, trombonist Ron Westray, saxophonists Billy Harper and Paul Contos, bassist Ray Drummond, and vocalists Matt Falker, Jennifer Barnes, and Michele Weir. Entry to the Salute to Jazz Education and Kick-Off Concert is open to the public, free of charge. Also featured during the evening concert will be the Monterey Jazz Festival Artists-In-Residence, members of the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra saxophonist Sherman Irby and trumpeter Sean Jones. MJF's Next Generation Festival Jazz Competition starts at 9 a.m. on Saturday, April 4 in downtown Monterey's Conference Center, with high-energy big bands, combos, and vocal ensembles creating an atmosphere of anticipation and excitement. Throughout the day, participants in the High School Big Band, Vocal, and Combo divisions will put on their best performances before the judges, who will determine the top groups and outstanding soloists. The top groups of the day in the High School Vocal, Combo, and Big Band divisions will be announced at 6:15 p.m. Saturday evening from the Conference Center's Serra Ballroom stage. At 8 p.m. Saturday night, the top vocal ensembles, combo, and Big Band finalists will take the stage in the Next Generation Festival's Showcase Concert -- a preview of the bands to perform at MJF/52, a departure from the big band “play-off” in past years.