Steinbeck Concert Kicks Off Performance Tour of Japan,
July 24 - August 6, 2007
All-Star Band Also Performs in Los Gatos at Jazz on the Plazz, August 15
On Sunday, July 22, the Monterey Jazz Festival’s Monterey County High School All-Star Band performed at the National Steinbeck Center in a special concert kicking off their annual performance tour of Japan.
The MJF County High School All-Star Band will also perform at Jazz on the Plazz in Los Gatos on Wednesday, August 15 from 6:30 to 8:30 pm. The concert is free, and will take place at the Los Gatos Town Plaza, at the intersection of West Main Street and Santa Cruz Avenue in downtown Los Gatos. For more information, please visit www.jazzontheplazz.com.
The MJF County High School All-Star Band, directed by renowned saxophonist and flautist Mr. Paul Contos, includes the best and brightest student musicians from the Festival's home county. The 21-member band features the finest young jazz musicians throughout Monterey County, including students from the Monterey, Carmel, Pacific Grove, Salinas, Palma, Stevenson, and York High Schools. Members of the All-Star Band are selected by the Festival’s “Traveling Clinicians” who visit Monterey schools once a month during the school year for one-on-one instruction in jazz. The July 22 National Steinbeck Center performance marked the send off for the MJF County High School All-Star Band’s tour of Japan, which will take place from July 24 - August 6, 2007.
On the band's Japan performance tour, the students will participate in the Festival’s unique and exciting educational opportunities. In 2007, the band will join in various cultural exchange programs with Japanese students in Nanao (Monterey’s sister city) at Nanao High School on July 26 and 27, culminating in a concert at the Monterey Jazz Festival in Noto on Saturday, July 28. The group then heads to Tokyo where they will perform at the B-Flat Club on August 1, with additional cultural exchange programs and clinics with students from Tomisato High School on August 3. A special joint concert with Tomisato High School and the MJF All-Star Band rounds out the trip on August 4 in Tomisato.
"This tour is an amazing experience for the students of Monterey County to participate in a unique cross-cultural program," said Dr. Rob Klevan, Education Director for the Monterey Jazz Festival. "The exchange of knowledge and the experience of the tour will have a life-long impact on the students, not only broadening their musical horizons, but also expanding their affinity and understanding of different cultures. Music is a universal language, and the tour will stay with the kids forever."
The MJF Monterey County High School All-Star Band and their international tours are supported by the Pebble Beach Company Foundation, and by the many individual contributors to the MJF Bob Phillips Monterey County High School All-Star Band Endowment Fund.
The Monterey Jazz Festival and the National Steinbeck Center have become formidable presenting partners in the Monterey Bay Area. The two organizations have joined forces in recent years to produce concerts in the summer and fall seasons, including the Summer Jazz Series and the “Jazz with Steinbeck” concert prior to the Monterey Jazz Festival each year. This year, the “Jazz with Steinbeck” concert will take place on September 19, 2007 and features the vocal talents of Kim Nalley, Ed Reed and the Jazz Birds.
About the Steinbeck Center
The National Steinbeck Center museum in Salinas, California offers three distinct visitor experiences exploring literature and history, agriculture and art. In the John Steinbeck Exhibition Hall, explore the life of John Steinbeck, his writings and characters through engaging exhibits, one of a kind artifacts, and films. The Rabobank Agriculture Museum shares the stories of the Salinas Valley “from field to fork.” The Gabilan and Pearl Galleries offer changing art and cultural exhibits.
About Jazz on the Plazz
Now in its 5th season, Jazz on the Plazz is a free summer jazz concert series showcasing world class jazz artists. Founded by the Los Gatos Morning Rotary Club and held in the outdoor plaza in downtown Los Gatos, proceeds from the Club’s events go into their charitable foundation for use in the local community. In 2006, the Club Foundation gave scholarships to students interested in studying art, architecture and drama, funded a local high school jazz band to travel to a national competition and sponsored a Shakespeare Camp for young adults.
About the Monterey Jazz Festival
Starting with a modest $35,000 scholarship fund in 1970, the Monterey Jazz Festival now invests over $700,000 annually in jazz education through a variety of different programs which are a model of arts education for the entire nation. These hands-on, cutting-edge educational components include the Traveling Clinician and Latin Jazz Programs, with professional musicians visiting Monterey County schools to teach students how to play and improvise in jazz and Latin styles; the Artist-In-Residence Program, which brings a leading jazz performer to work with students throughout the year; the MJF Summer Jazz Camp, the MJF Instrument and Sheet Music Library, the MJF Digital Music Education Project, the Next Generation Festival, the Monterey County High School All-Star Band, the MJF Middle School Honor Band and MJF Vocal Jazz Ensemble, and the Next Generation Jazz Orchestra.
2007 Monterey Jazz Festival Monterey County High School All-Star Band
Director- Mr. Paul Contos
Corey Watkins - alto, Monterey High School
Nathan Tucker - alto, York School
Kevin Call - tenor, Carmel High School
Taylor Herhusky - tenor, Stevenson School
John Neff - baritone, Palma High School
Steve Flournoy, Seaside High School
Davis Giedt, York School
Zachary McDaniel, Salinas High School
James Olwell, Palma High School
Justin Widmar (bass), Carmel High School
Daniel Bean, York School
Lia Donovan, Monterey High School
Conor Jones, Carmel High School
Drew Kowalski, Palma High School
Andrew Shepherd, Salinas High School
Andre Cardoso - piano, Pacific Grove High School
Ryan Grech - bass, Monterey High School
Alex Govan - guitar, Carmel High School
Dylan Aiello - drums, Carmel High School
Tyler Tolles - drums, Monterey High School
Simone van Seenus - vocalist, Carmel High School