Skip to main content

Monterey Jazz Festival Preview

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 for more information.


Popular posts from this blog

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

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

Essential Tracks: "African Skies", Album: "Tales From The Hudson", Michael Brecker, 1996

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. "African Skies" from the Impulse Record release "Tales from the Hudson", 1996 You'd be hard pressed to find a track from Michael Brecker that wouldn't be considered an essential track. This release came after a year hiatus in recordings from Brecker, and was the beginning of a phenomenal run of outstanding recordings. Already an established, though probably under-appreciated giant of the saxophone, this released caused the jazz world to collectively take notice. Personnel on "African Skies" besides Brecker: Pat Metheny on guitar, Jack DeJohnette on drums, Dave Holland on bass, MyCoy Tyner on piano, and Don Alias on percussion. #Jazz