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Next Generation Jazz Festival Presented by Monterey Jazz Festival Hosts America’s Top Young Jazz Musicians

Jazzed Magazine • News • March 6, 2015

montereyPresented by Monterey Jazz Festival takes place March 27-29, 2015, at the Monterey Conference Center. The weekend-long event includes Big Bands, Combos, Vocal Ensembles, and individual musicians vying for a spot on the stages of the 58th Annual Monterey Jazz Festival. The event will be open to the public, free of charge.

With more than 1200 students participating in the Next Generation Jazz Festival, the public can enjoy the largest gathering of young jazz talent in Northern California, outside of the Monterey Jazz Festival itself. In 2015, 62 groups from seven states and British Columbia are finalists in the adjudicated categories. 

Finalists from California are represented by 42 ensembles from 12 counties—including Alameda, Contra Costa, Fresno, Los Angeles, Marin, Orange, Sacramento, San Bernardino, San Francisco, San Joaquin, Santa Clara, and Yolo counties.

Other areas of North America for the finalists include Arizona, British Columbia, Canada; Florida, Massachusetts, Nevada, Oregon, Texas, and Washington State.

In addition, 26 special guest groups from six states shall perform, including student ensembles from California, Colorado, Massachusetts, Nevada, New York, and Washington State.

Altogether, 88 bands from 11 states will perform at the Next Generation Jazz Festival. “2015 is the largest gathering of student groups ever at the Next Generation Jazz Festival,” said Paul Contos, Monterey Jazz Festival education director. “We are excited to present such an array of talent, from middle school through college-level ensembles.”

The Next Generation Jazz Festival officially starts with the annual Opening Night Concert at 8 p.m. on Friday, March 27, at the Monterey Conference Center’s Serra Ballroom. This year the concert, entitled Remembering Clark Terry: A Swingin’ Celebration will be dedicated to the memory of the legendary trumpeter and jazz educator Clark Terry, who performed at Monterey Jazz Festival at least 19 times from 1965-1999, and whose impact on the Monterey Jazz Festival’s education programs continues to be felt. The show features performances by the Festival’s team of internationally-renowned artists and competition judges: trumpeter Terell Stafford; saxophonists Mary Fettig and Joel Frahm; trombonist Luis Bonilla; pianists Helen Sung and Reggie Thomas; guitarist Bruce Forman; bassist Ray Drummond; drummer Matt Wilson; and vocalist Mardra Thomas. Opening the concert at 7:30 p.m. is the Marika Galea Quartet from Berklee College of Music.

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