September 17th, the world’s longest running jazz festival returns to the Monterey Peninsula. The 53rd Annual Monterey Jazz Festival presented by Verizon once again features a stellar lineup of musicians. These artists run the gamut from world-wide superstars and true legends to the brightest of new, young talent and local favorites.
Three days of jazz at its finest await festival goers, beginning Friday evening at 6:30pm on the Garden Stage with Ben Flocks Quartet, and the Roy Hargrove Big Band on the Jimmy Lyons Stage in the arena at 8:30pm. By the time Ahmad Jamal closes the festival Sunday evening on the Jimmy Lyons Stage, over 500 artists will have appeared on the festival’s 8 stages. Those artists include Chic Corea, Les Nubians, Harry Connick Jr., Chris Potter, Dr. Lonnie Smith, Billy Childs, festival showcase artist Roy Haynes, and this year’s Artist-in-residence Dianne Reeves.
The Mission of the Monterey Jazz Festival is to perpetuating the uniquely American form of music known as jazz by producing performances that celebrate the legacy and expand the boundaries of jazz. They do this by presenting year-round local, regional, national, and international jazz education programs. A principal focus is on young artists in school systems across the country. The year-round programs are the breeding ground for the jazz stars of the future. The products of these programs are proudly displayed each year as an integral part of the weekend’s performance showcase.
The festival makes it easy for the entire family to enjoy a weekend of great music. There are Family Discount packages, discounted Youth Grounds Stage passes, and free admission for toddlers under 2. The very popular “Family Day” returns to the festival on Sunday. Included with your Sunday Arena or Grounds Stage ticket purchase are the popular Percussion Playshop, a hands-on Instrument Petting Zoo, a Jazzy Jumper for the younger set, and the world’s greatest young jazz musicians and vocalists from the Next Generation Festival.
Tickets for this year’s festival are still available in all categories. Single-day and weekend pass Grounds tickets, single-day Arena tickets, and for the first time in many, many years, full Arena subscription packages. Contact the festival at www.montereyjazzfestival.com for more information.