Friday, March 14, 2008

Monterey Jazz Festival's Next Generation Festival

Monterey Jazz Festival's Next Generation Festival
Hosts Country's Top Young Jazz Musicians & Vocalists
April 3 – 6, 2008 In Downtown Monterey

Big Bands, Combos & Vocal Ensembles
From Nine States Compete For Spot On MJF Stages

Individual Musicians From Seventeen States, Bermuda & Canada Audition For Chairs In The Next Generation Jazz Orchestra

NGF Goes International With Special Appearances By Groups
From Japan, Australia & The Czech Republic

All Competition Events & Activities Open To The Public, Free Of Charge

A Christian McBride Situation Performs Special Pre-Festival Concert, April 3,
At Historic Golden State Theatre In Downtown Monterey

The Monterey Jazz Festival, a leader in jazz education since its inception in 1958 and JazzTimes Readers’ Poll winner for Best Festival for the last three years, is proud to announce the 4th Annual Next Generation Festival, April 3 - 6, 2008 in downtown Monterey. The weekend event, devoted to the future of jazz, includes the Festival's 38th Annual National High School Jazz Competition, with Big Bands, Combos, Vocal Ensembles, and Individual Musicians vying for a spot on the stages of the 51st Annual Monterey Jazz Festival presented by Verizon.

All Next Generation Festival competition events - from the Kick-Off Concert on Friday, April 4 to the exuberant and electric Big Band Finals on Saturday, April 5 and the College Big Band finals on Sunday, April 6 - will be open to the public, free of charge. The Festival will also conduct clinics, workshops, jam sessions, and auditions in the heart of the historic Monterey, with music to be performed at the Monterey Conference Center, the host Portola Plaza Hotel, in the recently renovated historic Golden State Theatre, at Fisherman’s Wharf, and at Monterey Live.

For a complete schedule of activities and competition times, visit A list of the participating schools can be found at the bottom of this press release.

Attracting musicians from some of the most prestigious educational programs in the country, MJF's Next Generation Festival represents the largest gathering of young jazz talent on the Monterey Peninsula, outside of the Monterey Jazz Festival itself. Over fifty groups from nine states, from Alaska to Florida, will participate in the prestigious event. In addition, for the first time in its history, The Next Generation Festival will present special guest groups from Australia, Japan, and the Czech Republic throughout the weekend.

A special pre-festival Opening Concert with A Christian McBride Situation will be presented on Thursday, April 3 at 8 p.m. also in the Golden State Theatre. Tickets for the April 3rd Situation are on sale now by phone (925-275-9255) and at Christian McBride, the internationally-renowned bassist, will be the 2008 Monterey Jazz Festival Artist-In-Residence.

The Next Generation Festival will officially start with the annual Kick-Off Concert at 7 p.m. on Friday, April 4 at the Golden State Theatre. The opening night's activities will feature the Festival's annual Salute to Jazz Education, along with performances by the competition judges, Christian McBride, the MJF County All-Star High School Band, the MJF Middle School Honor Band, and the MJF Honor Vocal Jazz Ensemble. Some of the performing judges will include pianist George Duke, drummer Terri Lyne Carrington, trombonist Ron Westray, saxophonists Billy Harper, Lauren Sevian and Paul Contos, trumpeter Sal Cracciolo, and bassist Dave Carpenter. The Kick-Off concert is free of charge.

Continuing the evening’s Kick-Off celebration, the Berklee College Latin Jazz All-Stars will perform starting at 10 p.m. at Monterey Live, across the street from the Golden State Theatre in a free performance.

MJF's 38th Annual National High School Jazz Competition starts at 9 a.m. on Saturday, April 5 in downtown Monterey's Conference Center, with high-energy big bands, combos and vocal ensembles creating an atmosphere of anticipation and excitement.

Throughout the day, participants in the High School Big Band, Vocal, and Combo divisions will put on their best performances before the judges who will determine winners and finalists. The winners of the Vocal and Combo divisions and the finalists for the Big Band division will be announced early Saturday evening from the Conference Center's Serra Ballroom stage. At 8 p.m. Saturday night, the three Big Band finalists will take the stage, competing for the top prize -- a spot on the Arena/Lyons Stage at MJF/51 in September. The top award winners will be announced at 9:45 p.m.

The Next Generation Festival will also host a variety of educational clinics on Saturday, April 5, including sessions with Christian McBride, vocalist Rosana Eckert, and drummer Terri Lyne Carrington.

The Next Generation Festival continues through Sunday, April 6 with the country's top middle school, college, and conglomerate big bands performing in the Conference Center's Steinbeck Forum. The winning college big band and conglomerate big band (to be announced during the day) will also earn a performance slot at MJF/51.

New for 2008 will be the Conglomerate Division, open to all conglomerate big bands consisting of members who are enrolled in high school grades 9-12 or younger. Based on the talent these schools attract, the new Conglomerate category will up the ante for high school performances, an exciting development for the Next Generation Festival.

Auditions will also be held throughout the Next Generation Festival weekend for the Jimmy Lyons Scholarships to Berklee College of Music, and for the Next Generation Jazz Orchestra, MJF’s national all-star high school band, which now includes a vocalist spot. To date, over sixty individual musicians from seventeen states, Bermuda and Canada have applied for a chair position in the Festival’s international touring band.

All Next Generation Festival competition activities from April 4 - 6 are open to the public, free of charge. More information on all Next Generation Festival activities and events is available on the MJF website, and by phone at 831-373-3366.

Borders will be front and center in the Conference Center lobby, the hub of NGF activities. Like the Monterey Jazz Festival, Borders is dedicated to enriching lives through knowledge and entertainment. Participants and attendees are invited to visit Borders at the Next Generation Festival to learn more about Borders Educator Savings Week program, and for a special coupon for Next Generation Festival attendees only, redeemable at all Borders locations.

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