The Monterey Jazz Festival, a leader in jazz education since its inception in 1958, is pleased to announce the 7th Annual Next Generation Jazz Festival, featuring the nation's most talented middle school, high school, conglomerate, and college jazz musicians and vocalists. The Next Generation Jazz Festival will take place in historic downtown Monterey from April 1 - 3, 2011.
Now in its seventh successful year in downtown Monterey, the Next Generation Jazz Festival evolved from MJF's "California High School Jazz Competition" which started in 1971 and was presented at the Monterey County Fairgrounds for 35 of its 41-year run. Now named the Next Generation Jazz Festival, the weekend salute to the future of jazz has expanded to include middle school, conglomerate bands, and college level musicians and vocalists.
The Next Generation Jazz Festival Jazz Competition is now accepting applications from middle school, high school, and college big bands; from high school, college level, and conglomerate bands; from high school, college, and conglomerate combos, and from high school and college level vocal jazz ensembles through January 21, 2011. Application forms may be downloaded at the Monterey Jazz Festival's website, www.montereyjazzfestival.org. The application process is free of charge, as is participation in the prestigious event.
Next Generation Jazz Festival Application Process
Next Generation Jazz Festival finalists are selected through recorded auditions reviewed and ranked by faculty from the Berklee College of Music. The High School Division will include twelve big bands, six combos, and eight vocal ensembles. The College Division will include six college-level big bands and six college vocal ensembles. In the Conglomerate Division, six conglomerate big bands will be selected, and in the Middle School Division, six middle school big bands will be selected. Returning in 2011 is the Open Combo Division for college and conglomerate high school ensembles. Six finalist combos will be selected to participate in this newest division. In addition, specially-invited groups will also perform. In 2010, over sixty groups from across the United States attended the Next Generation Festival.
The high school, conglomerate, and college divisions of the Next Generation Jazz Festival Jazz Competition are open to superior rated big bands, combos, and vocal ensembles. The top big bands, combos, and vocal ensembles will win cash awards and be invited to perform at the 54th Annual Monterey Jazz Festival, September 16 - 18, 2011.
Auditions will also be held for chairs in the Monterey Jazz Festival's Next Generation Jazz Orchestra, which is slated to tour Japan in the summer of 2011, as well as being featured on the Monterey Jazz Festival's Sunday afternoon Arena/Lyons Stage.
The event also includes a big band composition competition, open to high school composers. Judged by college faculty from leading music schools across the country, the winning composer will receive the Gerald Wilson Award and a cash prize, with the winning composition to be performed by the Next Generation Jazz Orchestra at the 54th Annual Monterey Jazz Festival, on September 18, 2011, on the Jimmy Lyons Stage in the Arena before a crowd of thousands.
Next Generation Jazz Festival Activities and Performers
All Next Generation Jazz Festival events and activities -- from Friday night's Kick-Off Concert through Saturday and Sunday's Next Generation Jazz Festival Jazz Competition -- are open to the public, free of charge. The Festival will also conduct clinics, workshops, jam sessions, and auditions in the heart of historic Monterey, with music to be performed at the Monterey Conference Center, the host Portola Plaza Hotel, Fisherman's Wharf, Cannery Row, and a downtown jazz club.
"The first weekend of April, 2011 marks our 7th annual Next Generation Jazz Festival, an event that has truly transformed into a celebration of this great American art form and the youth it inspires," said Dr. Rob Klevan, Education Director for the Monterey Jazz Festival. "I know those who come to the NGJF both as participants and patrons will enjoy the "festive" atmosphere and are sure to witness extraordinary performances not only by some of the greatest pros in the business, but by the next generation of rising jazz stars. I'm truly looking forward to another incredible weekend of jazz in Monterey next April 1 - 3."
Featured during the weekend of music will be the award-winning saxophonist, Joshua Redman, who has been selected as the MJF's Artist-In-Residence for 2011. As the MJF/54 Artist-In-Residence, Redman will work year-round with young student musicians in performances, clinics, and one-on-one sessions at the Next Generation Jazz Festival and the MJF Summer Jazz Camp, in addition to performing at the 54th Annual Monterey Jazz Festival and at other MJF concerts and events throughout the year. Also slated to appear at the Next Generation Jazz Festival as performers and judges of the bands and vocal ensembles are internationally-renowned jazz artists, including pianist and composer Alan Pasqua, drummer and composer Peter Erskine; guitarist Corey Christiansen; saxophonist Mary Fettig; trombonist Andy Martin; clinician, conductor and composer Matt Harris; vocalists Michele Weir and Jennifer Barnes; and bassist Ray Drummond. Additional performers and judges will be announced in early 2011.
Interested schools and students should visit www.montereyjazzfestival.org for instructions on how to apply to the Next Generation Festival. Applications materials should be mailed to: Next Generation Jazz Festival, c/o Dr. Rob Klevan, Jazz Education Director, 9699 Blue Larkspur Lane, Suite 204, Monterey, CA, 93940.Dr. Klevan will be representing the Monterey Jazz Festival's Next Generation Jazz Festival while attending the 64th Annual Midwest Clinic in Chicago, Illinois, on December 15 - 18, 2010 at booth 966; and at the 2nd Annual Jazz Educators Network Conference in New Orleans, Louisiana from January 6 - 8, 2011 at booth 616. Interested parties are encouraged to visit with Dr. Klevan at these events for more information.
Financial support for the Next Generation Jazz Festival comes from the AT&T Foundation, the D'Addario Music Foundation, the Joseph Drown Foundation, the Clarence Heller Foundation, and generous individuals. In addition, we are pleased to acknowledge the Surdna Foundation for their past generous support over the last three years of the Next Generation Jazz Festival and the Next Generation Jazz Orchestra.