Blog

Katie Thiroux
By timOTHY ORR
December 11, 2017 • Rising star Katie Thiroux is a bassist, vocalist and composer. Coming from a musical family in Los Angeles, Katie began her career in music at age four on violin, and switched to bass at eight. By age 10, she was performing in principal vocal roles in the LA Opera and Opera Pacifica. She began studying privately with jazz vocalist Tierney Sutton...
Mundell Lowe and Putte Wickman at MJF35, 1982(c)MJF Archives/Bruce Talamon
By timOTHY ORR
December 04, 2017 • ABOVE: Mundell Lowe and Putte Wickman at MJF25, 1982 ©MJF Archives/Bruce Talamon The great guitarist Mundell Lowe passed away on December 2, 2017 at age 95. Aside from being a consummate player—one of the first generation of guitarists who ‘cracked’ the bebop code—he was a NBC staff musician beginning in 1950; wrote music for TV and films; and ...
Jon Hendricks, MJF46, 2003 ©Walter Wagner
By timOTHY ORR
November 27, 2017 • ABOVE: Jon Hendricks at MJF46 in 2003. ©Walter Wagner We learned on November 22 that the great lyricist and vocal pioneer Jon Hendricks passed away at age 96 in Manhattan. As a founding member of Lambert, Hendricks & Ross, one of the great vocal groups in jazz, Hendricks was a master practitioner of vocalese, the art of recreating...
2017-2018 Traveling Clinicians
By timOTHY ORR
November 03, 2017 • Since 1983, Monterey Jazz Festival has sent professional musicians into the local school systems in Monterey County as a way to nurture young musicians. not only creating artists for the future, but fans as well. This easily scalable program has been a model for arts education organizations around the world to teach students the art of jazz, human...
Tia Fuller and Ingrid Jensen at MJF60, 2017 (c)Monterey Jazz Festival/Jim Stone
By timOTHY ORR
October 25, 2017 • ABOVE: Tia Fuller and Ingrid Jensen at MJF60, 2017 ©Monterey Jazz Festival / Jim Stone The “off season” for Monterey Jazz Festival is filled with preparations for the future – including the 2018 Next Generation Jazz Festival and Next Generation Jazz Orchestra, Summer Jazz Camp, Monterey County Honor Bands, and much more, all of which have one...
Dizzy Gillespie, Jimmy Lyons at MJF32, 1989 (c)MJF Archives / Bruce Talamon
By timOTHY ORR
October 21, 2017 • ABOVE: Dizzy Gillespie and Jimmy Lyons at the 32nd Monterey Jazz Festival in 1989.  ©Monterey Jazz Festival Archives/Bruce Talamon Among the jazz galaxy that has played the Monterey stages, Dizzy Gillespie is of Mount Rushmore status. —Willard Jenkins October 21 marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of jazz giant Dizzy Gillespie. We wrote...
2017 60th Family Reunion(c)Jesse Burgess
By timOTHY ORR
October 18, 2017 • We haven’t posted in a while, but another Monterey Jazz Festival has come and gone in a whirlwind of activity. It’s a year’s worth of planning that culminates in a weekend that is exhilarating, exhausting, overwhelming…there are not enough words to describe how the process works to bring each festival to the public each year. But when we see...
Clayton_Hamilton_NGJF_2017
By timOTHY ORR
August 26, 2017 • ABOVE: Gerald Clayton, Jeff Hamilton and John Clayton at the 47th Next Generation Jazz Festival on April 1, 2017. ©MJF/Nic Coury. There’s family that you are born into, and then there’s your "chosen" family – an aligning of core values, principals and camaraderie that every person will seemingly gravitate towards during the course of their lives....
Sonny Rollins ©Cole Thompson
By timOTHY ORR
August 18, 2017 • Above: Sonny Rollins and Clifton Anderson at the 50th Monterey Jazz Festival in 2007. In celebration of MJF’s 60th Anniversary, we are proud to present an exclusive concert in tribute to the Colossus, tenor saxophonist Sonny Rollins. Now retired, Sonny is one of the last surviving "alumni" of the 1958 Festival, and has performed at MJF seven times...
By timOTHY ORR
June 27, 2017 • Above: Next Generation Jazz Orchestra at Dizzy's Club-Coca-Cola at Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York City, June 25. ©Andrew Lepley Below: Tenor saxophonist Solomon Alber solos on Herbie Hancock's "Riot" at JALC. The 2017 Next Generation Jazz Orchestra is now on tour from June 24-29! Twenty of the best high school student musicians in the United...
2007 Next Generation Jazz Orchestra at Jazz at Lincoln Center. (c)R. Andrew Lepley
By timOTHY ORR
May 31, 2017 • ABOVE: 2007 Next Generation Jazz Orchestra at Jazz at Lincoln Center. ©R. Andrew Lepley The Next Generation Jazz Orchestra is one of the premier student jazz bands in the United States. Originating in 1971 at the Monterey Jazz Festival, the band began as the California High School All-Star Band, and over the years, it was expanded from a...
2017 Monterey County High School All-Star Band
By timOTHY ORR
April 26, 2017 • ABOVE: This year's Monterey County High School All-Star Band at the Next Generation Jazz Festival at the Golden State Theatre in Monterey on April 1, 2017. On Thursday, May 4, the Corral de Tierra Rotary Club in Salinas will host the 24th Annual Rotary Benefit Concert at the Church of the Good Shepard for the Monterey Jazz Festival’s High School...
Ella Fitzgerald at Pacific Grove High School, 1956
By timOTHY ORR
April 14, 2017 • ABOVE: Jimmy Lyons and Ella Fitzgerald at Sunset School Auditorium in Carmel, January 9, 1956. Ella Fitzgerald, the “First Lady of Song,” never played the Monterey Jazz Festival, but she did have a role in creating a roadmap and appetite for a jazz festival on the Monterey Peninsula. As a vocalist, there were very few who could compete with Ella’s...
By timOTHY ORR
April 07, 2017 • Another great weekend with the current students of the future of jazz wrapped up in Monterey with the 47th Annual Next Generation Jazz Festival, March 31-April 2, 2017. Our congratulations to all the participating groups, who made it our largest festival ever, with 150 performances from 93 groups. Read the press release or see the top groups and...
Joel Frahm at the 2016 Next Generation Jazz Festival ©Richard Green
By timOTHY ORR
March 31, 2017 • ABOVE: Joel Frahm at the 2016 Next Generation Jazz Festival. ©Richard Green We recently saw this on YouTube: Tenor saxophonist Joel Frahm soloing through Rhythm Changes chords at a lightning pace. Joel will be one of the featured soloists at our 2017 Opening Night Judges Concert presented by the California Jazz Conservatory at the Golden State...
Will Wallace ©Cole Thompson
By timOTHY ORR
March 28, 2017 • ABOVE: Will Wallace at the 53rd Monterey Jazz Festival in 2010. ©Cole Thompson The Monterey community recently lost one of its own friends and comrades, photographer Will Wallace, who passed away unexpectedly on Saturday, March 25. Will had been taking pictures at the Monterey Jazz Festival and other local events since he came to the Peninsula in...
By timOTHY ORR
March 24, 2017 • ABOVE: The 2016 Opening Night Judges Concert. The Next Generation Jazz Festival Friday Night Judges Concert has been one of the highlights of this long-running student event. Taking place at the Golden State Theatre on March 31, 2017 and sponsored by the California Jazz Conservatory, this year’s performers will be our Artists-in-Residence Gerald...
Herbie Hancock ©Cole Thompson
By timOTHY ORR
March 20, 2017 • ABOVE: Herbie Hancock at MJF54 in 2011. ©Cole Thompson If jazz is a music that reflects the times, then Herbie Hancock is the consummate jazz icon of our era. The Monterey Jazz Festival is proud to have the eternal master back for our 60th anniversary, September 15-17, which Herbie Hancock bookending the Festival on Friday Night, September 15 with...
The USC Thornton School of Music Big Band
By timOTHY ORR
March 13, 2017 • ABOVE: The USC Thornton School of Music Big Band at the 2016 Next Generation Jazz Festival, directed by Bob Mintzer. ©Cole Thompson As a nonprofit, Monterey Jazz Festival is devoted to education by presenting year-round local, regional, national, and international programs. One of its flagships is the Next Generation Jazz Festival (NGJF), one of...
Gerald Clayton Trio at the 53rd Monterey Jazz Festival in 2010
By timOTHY ORR
March 09, 2017 • ABOVE: Gerald Clayton Trio at the 53rd Monterey Jazz Festival in 2010. This was the first of several of Gerald's trio appearances at MJF. ©Cole Thompson Our 2017 Artist-in-Residence, Gerald Clayton, has a long history with the Monterey Jazz Festival. In high school, Gerald attended the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts, and the LACHSA...
Gerald Clayton at the 2014 Monterey Jazz Festival
By timOTHY ORR
March 06, 2017 • ABOVE: Gerald Clayton at the 2014 Monterey Jazz Festival, performing with Charles Lloyd. ©2014 MJF/Craig Lovell Pianist and composer Gerald Clayton is a leading figure in the up-and-coming generation of jazz artists. Along with his father (bassist and composer John Clayton) and drummer Jeff Hamilton, Gerald will share the triple-bill as Monterey...
Regina Carter
By timOTHY ORR
February 28, 2017 • The leading violinist of her generation and MacArthur Fellowship recipient Regina Carter will act as the Showcase Artist for the 60th Monterey Jazz Festival in 2017, and will bring three different projects to the stages of Monterey: Simply Ella, in honor of the 100th birthday of the iconic singer Ella Fitzgerald; Southern Comfort, an examination...
Dizzy Gillespie and Louis Armstrong at MJF1, 1958
By timOTHY ORR
February 16, 2017 • ABOVE: Dizzy Gillespie and Louis Armstrong at MJF1 in 1958. From the first Monterey Jazz Festival in 1958 through its 34th year in 1991, Dizzy Gillespie was nearly synonymous with the festival. General Manager Jimmy Lyons had booked Diz at least 18 times officially (for at least 31 known performances). Some years, Dizzy would just show up. Lyons...
Robbie Stange conducts a band at the 2017 Graded Jazz Festival
By timOTHY ORR
February 06, 2017 • ABOVE: Robbie Stange conducts a band at the 2017 Graded Jazz Festival. When jazz educator Robbie Stange arrived at Monterey High School as a music teacher in 1982, he faced a daunting challenge—the school had gone through four band directors in three years, and it was Stange’s mission to turn the music department around. Eventually, he built a...
John Clayton
By timOTHY ORR
January 25, 2017 • ABOVE: Bassist and composer John Clayton will write the 2017 Monterey Jazz Festival Commission.  On January 23, 2017, we sent out a national press release announcing a $30,000 Arts Work grant the Monterey Jazz Festival had received from the National Endowment for the Arts to support the yearly Commission Artist program. In 2017, the piece will be...