Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Monterey Jazz Festival awarded

Monterey Jazz Festival Wins "World's Best Jazz Festival" Award In 2008 JazzTimes Readers' Poll For Third Consecutive Year
Monterey Jazz Festival 50th Anniversary All-Stars Receive Two Grammy Nominations For Live At The 2007 Monterey Jazz Festival

MJF Veterans Terence Blanchard And James Moody Nominated For “Best Jazz Instrumental Solo” Grammys
Grammy Nominations Are Historic First For Monterey Jazz Festival Records

MJF Commissioned Work, Appearing Nightly At The Black Orchid By Carla Bley Also Nominated For Grammy

The Monterey Jazz Festival, a leader in jazz education and presentation since 1958, is proud to announce that the 2008 JazzTimes Readers’ Poll has named the Monterey Jazz Festival as the top jazz festival in the world for the third consecutive year.

The JazzTimes Readers' Poll win reflects MJF’s commitment to presenting the best cross section of creative artists in the jazz world, showcasing the genre's most promising emerging talents, and presenting the country’s top student jazz bands. Highlights of the 51st Festival, held September 19 - 21, 2008, included stellar debuts from Cassandra Wilson, the Derek Trucks Band and Jamie Cullum, with highly anticipated returns of jazz legends and NEA Jazz Masters Nancy Wilson, Herbie Hancock, and Wayne Shorter.

MJF/51 Artist-In-Residence, bassist Christian McBride was in full form with a number of his ongoing electric and newly-minted acoustic endeavors, and the Monterey fans were treated to several special projects that were crowd-pleasers: Willow Lake from the Maria Schneider Orchestra (her second commissioned composition for the Festival); the polished Tribute to Cannonball Adderley with Tom Scott, Terence Blanchard and Nancy Wilson; the Kurt Elling Johnny Hartman/John Coltrane homage, Dedicated to You; and Cuban Lullabies from Maraca. In 2008, 43,000 people attended MJF/51.

The Festival is also proud to announce that NEA Jazz Master and longtime MJF veteran, saxophonist James Moody, and 2007 MJF Artist-In-Residence, trumpeter Terence Blanchard, have both been nominated for Grammy Awards in the “Best Jazz Instrumental Solo” category for their improvisations from the Dizzy Gillespie-penned classic song, “Be-Bop” off the Live at the 2007 Monterey Jazz Festival recording on Monterey Jazz Festival Records.

Collectively known as the “Monterey Jazz Festival 50th Anniversary All-Stars,” this stellar group of three generations of jazz masters included James Moody on saxophone; Terence Blanchard on trumpet; Benny Green on piano; Nnenna Freelon on vocals; Derrick Hodge on bass; and Kendrick Scott on drums. The band made two appearances at MJF/50 in 2007 and appeared in a nationwide, 52-date tour across twenty-two states in the first quarter of 2008, performing for over 43,000 fans. The Monterey Jazz Festival Records Grammy nomination will be Mr. Moody’s fourth; Mr. Blanchard has been nominated for eleven Grammys and has won the award three times.

Since the label was launched in 2007, the not-for profit Monterey Jazz Festival Records (an imprint of Concord Records) has released thirteen historic records, including never-before-released live sets from Art Blakey and the Giants of Jazz, Dave Brubeck, Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie, Shirley Horn (her "Live at the 1994 Monterey Jazz Festival" was recently named by the web magazine Slate as the #2 jazz album of 2008), Thelonious Monk, Tito Puente, Cal Tjader, Jimmy Witherspoon, and Sarah Vaughan. The 50th Anniversary All-Stars’ Live at the 2007 Monterey Jazz Festival represents the label’s first non-archival recording, and is the first of the ongoing series to be nominated for Grammys. The Grammy winners will be announced on February 9, 2009 on CBS.

In a related development, the Festival is also proud to announce that the Carla Bley Big Band recording for the WATT/ECM label, "Appearing Nightly," has been nominated for a Grammy in the “Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album” category. The title track, “Appearing Nightly at the Black Orchid” was commissioned by the Monterey Jazz Festival and made its premiere at MJF/48 on September 17, 2005 on the Jimmy Lyons Stage in the Arena. In addition, the web magazine Slate has named Appearing Nightly as the #5 jazz album of 2008.

The 52nd Monterey Jazz Festival will take place September 18 - 20, 2009 and will feature a roster of jazz legends and talented newcomers alike. For MJF/52, the Festival has named as Artists-In-Residence the New Orleans-born trumpeter and multiple Grammy Award-winning and Pulitzer Prize recipient, Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra. The full roster for the 52nd Monterey Jazz Festival will be announced on March 30, 2009; tickets will go on sale the same day. Updates can be found on the web at

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