Wednesday, February 29, 2012

2012 Monterey Jazz Festival Line-up Preview

It's more than six months away, but it's never too early to start thinking about the Monterey Jazz Festival. This year will mark the 55th annual and the early announcements on the key artists promises a very exciting three days on the peninsula. Dates for this year's festival are September 21-23, at the Monterey County Fairgrounds. Look for tickets to go on sale to the general public on April 4th.

Details for some of the major performances are yer to come but here's what has been announced so far. This year's Commission Artist is guitarist Bill Frissell. In a career spanning more than 25 years and over 200 recordings, including 25 albums of his own, guitarist, composer, and bandleader Frissell will present the 2012 festival commissioned composition.

The Showcase Artist is none other than the legendary Jack DeJohnette. On January 10, 2012 Jack was honored as a recipient of a 2012 NEA Jazz Master Award for his lifetime achievement.At the festival, Jack will be featured in a variety of ensembles, providing festival patrons ample opportunities to hear this phenomenal artist.

The role of Artist-In-Residence is filled by the Bay Area's own Ambrose Akinmusire. As the Festival’s Artist-In-Residence for 2012, Ambrose Akinmusire will act as a clinician, performer, and competition judge during the Next Generation Jazz Festival, March 30 - April 1; and as a mentor and clinician at the Festival’s Summer Jazz Camp, June 11-22. He also will be a guest soloist with his former band (now called the Next Generation Jazz Orchestra) on Sunday, September 23, 2012.

Headlining on the arena stage as well will be Esperanza Spalding, Trombone Shorty, and Pat Metheny. Both Esperanza and Trombone Shorty lit up the main stage in recent years. Metheny is a long-time festival favorite. You can also look forward to seeing Christian McBride, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Chris Potter, Benny Green, Lewis Nash, and many more.

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