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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 two large indoor venues. To offset the loss of those two spaces, the West End stage was added, providing a space similar to the very popular Garden Stage, with a more spacious seating area. Performance schedules for both the Garden and West End Stages have been expanded making music on the grounds virtually nonstop all day. The one significant change in the Arena is the removal of the bleacher seats at the back of the venue. That section has been
Terri Lynne Carrington

replace with a General Admission priced lawn seating area, which has proven to be a very popular addition.

The lineup for the Monterey Jazz Festival always boasts an array of artists that cover a side spectrum of this ever-expanding genre. This year is no exception. It is the last for Artistic Director Tim Jackson who announced his decision to step down this past January, after 25 years of leadership. This year’s star studded headliner list includes legends Herbie Hancock, John Scofield, Charles Lloyd, Diane Reeves, former “Young Lyons” Terrance Blanchard, Christian BcBride, and Terri Lynne Carrington, current young lions Lakecia Benjamin, Samara Joy, Gerald Clayton, Ambrose Akinmusire, and Connie Han, current stars Jamie Callum, Snarky Puppy, Thundercat, Taylor Eigsti, Elena Pinderhughes, local jazz heroes Ray Obiedo, John Santos, Tony Lindsay, the Next Generation Jazz Orchestra, and that’s just a sampling of the overall lineup.

Samara Joy
There’s a lot more information to be found on the Festival’s website
(, including ticket information . There are seats available for both single and three day admission to both Grounds and the Arena. More details on the festival in part 2 of this feature here on Jazz Currents, later in the week.


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