Skip to main content


66th Monterey Jazz Festival - Part 2, New Discoveries

Festivals offer the opportunity to see a variety of artists, within a short period of time, and frequently at the same venue. The Monterey Jazz Festival is one of that presents a well crafted mix ranging from established legends of the music to local fan favorites. Each year I especially look forward to hearing emerging artists that have either been part of groups or recordings from headliners and legends, composing and producing for other artists, part of a collective of artists involved with a variety of collaborations, or, stepping out on their own as a leader. The artist list for the 66th Monterey Jazz Festival is filled with artists I'm very familiar with and plan to hear their latest work. It also contains quite a few I've either heard on other artist's recordings, read about a number of times, heard their current recordings, or are just plain curious about. I know the pattern well. These artists that are less familiar to the festival audience at large frequently find
Recent posts

66th Monterey Jazz Festival - The Tradition Continues - Part 1

Closing Out The Summer, and Festival Season Opening Friday, September 22nd, the Monterey Jazz Festival continues its run Herbie Hancock as the longest continuously-running jazz festival in the world. After two years of adjustments coming out of the pandemic, the three-day festival has hit its stride without having to make many major adjustments. The richness of the performance schedule and variety of artist is unchanged, and unparalleled. The tradition of presenting the established and recognized legends, the up and coming rising stars, and the stars to be, remains a key focus.   As to be expected, over the lifespan of a legacy as great as Monterey, evolution is inevitable and necessary to remain viable.  Festival organizers world wide have had to make adjustments in this post-pandemic era. The Monterey Jazz Festival organizers are no exception. Safety concerns for the attendees following the reopening of live venues made it necessary to close down the Night Club and Dizzy’s Den, the

We've been away too long...

Jazz Currents returns 8/21/2023   We stepped away, unintentionally, 5 years ago. We're coming back, quite intentionally, on August 21st. Watch this space. 

Jazz 500 - An Overdue Personal Project

Hello again. First, I must apologize for being away for so long. I wish I had more of an excuse to give you, but the fact is, sometimes life just gets in the way. In any case, I’m back just in time for the heart of the festival season. Next up for me is the Monterey Jazz Festival in September. We have our tickets in hand, and can’t wait for this, the 61st edition, of the longest continuously running jazz festival in the world. In the meantime, if you’ve followed my Instagram feed in the past, you may have noticed quite a bit more activity than normal. I usually post images live from the festival, and hope to be doing that again this year. In addition, I’ve started a series I’m referring to as Jazz 500 (#jazz500). My Jazz Photojournalism adventure began in 1995. A year later, I covered my first Monterey Jazz Festival. Since then, I’ve covered it every year except 1997 and 1998. As you can imagine, after 20 years of photographing some of the greatest legends of the musi

Faces of Jazz: Charnett Moffett - 2013 Monterey Jazz Festival

Charnett Moffett has had a connection to the elite artists in jazz for a very long time. His father, Charles, was a drummer for Ornette Coleman in the 1960s, so he's more than accustomed to being around the legends of jazz. This year, Saturday evening's performances on the Garden Stage featured the artists of the  Moté ma  Records label. Moffett's fourth CD on Moté ma , Spirit of Sound, was released on July 9th. Together with label founder Jana Herzen, Moffett hosted a showcase of  Moté ma artists, and anchored many of the ensembles on bass.

Faces of Jazz: Saturday Afternoon on the Grounds at the Monterey Jazz Festival

You don't have to have a ticket for the shows in the Arena to have a great time at the Monterey Jazz Festival. Of course you have the many artisan vendors and the great food booths. There are also seven other performance venues. Six of them feature live performances from a large variety of artists. The seventh, the Jazz Theater, shows simulcasts from the main Arena performances.  Several of the artists make an encore performance in one of the grounds venues. Both the festival's artist-in-residence and showcase artists perform in multiple ensemble formats, most of which are in the grounds venues. Big Sam's Funky Nation on the Garden Stage

Essential Tracks: "Phase Dance", Album: "Pat Metheny Group" - Pat Metheny

Essential tracks highlights tracks that arguably should be found somewhere in any serious jazz collector's library. This segment is also meant to inspire readers to seek out foundational tracks from the various sub-genres of this great music. "Phase Dance", ECM Records release "Pat Metheny Group", 1978 This track quietly catapulted Pat Metheny from a relative unknown to a profound presence on the jazz scene. Forget about "rising star"; he pretty much bypassed that whole period. At the time of a lot of emerging rock-flavored jazz releases, Metheny's new band split right between straight-ahead and fusion. This was a completely new and distinctive sound. First of all, it's a seven minute track. It starts out gently, quickly comes to a simmer, and before you know it, they're cooking at a rapid boil pace. I remember first hearing it in a Berkeley, CA record (yes, record) store. It crept up on me and a dozen other people in the store at th