Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Announcing the 54th Annual Monterey Jazz Festival, September 16-18, 2011

(Sonny Rollins)

The 54th Monterey Jazz Festival, three-time winner of the JazzTimes Readers poll for “World’s Best Jazz Festival” takes place September 16 – 18 at the Monterey Fairgrounds, home to the Festival for 54 consecutive years. Described as “a cultural colossus” by the San Jose Mercury News and “a mecca for true jazz fans” by the San Francisco Chronicle, the Festival features 500 artists, 90 performances, 8 stages and more than 30 hours of live music over 2 days and 3 nights, accompanied by an array of international cuisine, shopping, arts exhibits, educational events, seminars and conversations with iconic and emerging jazz artists.

2011’s GRAMMY® Award-winning line up includes headliners Sonny Rollins, Herbie Hancock, Huey Lewis & The News, Poncho Sanchez & His Latin Jazz Band featuring Terence Blanchard; James Farm featuring Joshua Redman; India.Arie & Idan Raichel; John Pizzarelli Quartet, An Afternoon in Treme with Dumpstaphunk, Soul Rebels, Kermit Ruffins & Glen David Andrews; Hiromi: The Trio Project featuring Anthony Jackson & Steve Smith; Miles Davis/Gil Evans: Still Ahead Orchestra directed by Vince Mendoza featuring Terence Blanchard, Peter Erskine & Miles Evans, celebrating music from Miles Ahead, Porgy & Bess and Sketches of Spain; and more.

Two-time GRAMMY-nominee, saxophonist Joshua Redman serves as the Festival’s Artist-In-Residence, and will be performing with his band James Farm, featuring Aaron Parks, Matt Penman & Eric Harland. Mr. Redman will also appear as a soloist with the Festival’s All-Star student band, the Next Generation Jazz OrchestraSM, of which he was a member in the 1980s. The cutting-edge pianist, Robert Glasper, serves as the 2011 Showcase Artist, and will perform all weekend on the Grounds with his trio, and twice with the Robert Glasper Experiment (with guitarist Lionel Loueke and singer/percussionist Stokley Williams). The visionary pianist, Geri Allen, acts as the 2011 Monterey Jazz Festival Commission Artist, and will perform “The Dazzler,” a Jazz Tap Tribute to Sammy Davis Jr. on the Arena Stage with her band Timeline.


Virtuoso pianist Hiromi and The Trio Project featuring Anthony Jackson & Steve Smith open the Festival on Friday with an Arena performance that promises to be a fusion extravaganza; followed by the debonair debut of the John Pizzarelli Quartet with special guests Jessica Molaskey & Bucky Pizzarelli. Closing Friday night’s Arena show is Poncho Sanchez & His Latin Jazz Band featuring Terence Blanchard, recreating the groundbreaking 1947 Latin-jazz concert by Dizzy Gillespie and Chano Pozo, entitled Cubano Be! Cubano Bop!

Saturday in the Arena marks the raucous return of the Crescent City to Monterey with An Afternoon in Treme: The Musical Majesty of New Orleans -- an all-star bill with Ivan Neville’s Dumpstaphunk; Soul Rebels Brass Band, trumpeter Kermit Ruffins and trombonist Glen David Andrews, hosted by actor Wendell Pierce of HBO’s Treme. The 1960s Soul music of Memphis’s Stax Records will be highlighted by Huey Lewis & The News, as they make their Monterey Jazz Festival debut with Soulsville. Saturday night, Geri Allen and Timeline presents the 2011 Monterey Jazz Festival Commission, “The Dazzler,” a Jazz Tap Tribute to Sammy Davis Jr., followed by Artist-In-Residence, Joshua Redman with James Farm featuring Aaron Parks, Matt Penman & Eric Harland. Closing Saturday’s Arena performances will be NEA Jazz Master, Herbie Hancock, with his latest Imagine project.

Sunday’s Arena showcase includes the cross-genre Open Door project, featuring the GRAMMY-winning, multi-platinum singer/songwriter, India.Arie with Israeli keyboardist and composer Idan Raichel; the Festival’s own all-star student band, the Next Generation Jazz Orchestra (featuring appearances by alumni Joshua Redman, Benny Green and Donny McCaslin); and the top big band from the Next Generation Jazz FestivalSM, the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts. Celebrating the timeless music of Miles Davis and Gil Evans, the Still Ahead Orchestra (directed by Vince Mendoza, featuring Terence Blanchard, Peter Erskine & Miles Evans) performs selections from the classic recordings Miles Ahead, Porgy & Bess, and Sketches of Spain. NEA Jazz Master and legendary saxophonist Sonny Rollins closes the Festival on the 18th.


Friday Grounds performers include Richard Bona & Raul Midón, a duo of bass, guitar and vocals; a set from Hiromi: The Trio Project with Anthony Jackson & Steve Smith; showcase artist Robert Glasper and his Trio; traditional Cuban sounds of Johnny’s Dream Club with Juan-Carlos Formell; straight-ahead piano of the Helen Sung Trio; the Cape Verdean jazz of singer/guitarist Carmen Souza; Latin-jazz from John Santos Sextet; contemporary trumpet from the Erik Telford Collective; and the Berklee-Monterey Quintet 2011.

Saturday on the Grounds brings James Farm with Joshua Redman, Aaron Parks, Matt Penman & Eric Harland; the Donny McCaslin Group; Pamela Rose, presenting Wild Women of Song; the Scott Colley Trio with Chris Potter & Antonio Sanchez; the Bill Carrothers Trio; the Sarah Wilson Quintet; Elio Villafranca & the Jass Syncopaters; Mitch Woods & His Rocket 88’s; the US Air Force Jazz Commanders, Chika Singer; the John Brothers Piano Company; Richard Bona & Raul Midón; Robert Glasper (appearing with his eponymously-named Experiment with special guest Lionel Loueke); the John Pizzarelli Quartet with guests Jessica Molaskey & Bucky Pizzarelli; Ivan Neville's Dumpstaphunk with guest Greg Errico; the Soul Rebels Brass Band and festival favorite, the DownBeat Annual Blindfold Test, featuring Donny McCaslin.(Poncho Sanchez)

Sunday’s eclectic mix of Grounds artists includes the Robert Glasper Experiment with Stokley Williams; the Benny Green Trio with guest Donald Harrison performing the music of Thelonious Monk; Steve Coleman & Five Elements; saxophonist Tia Fuller; the dynamic solo piano of Eldar; the John Donaldson Quintet playing the music of Bheki Mseleku; jazz-Americana of Cow Bop; the Hammond B3 Blowout of the Joey DeFrancesco Trio with NEA Jazz Master Bobby Hutcherson and the Wil Blades Trio. Making their traditional appearance are the Country’s best high school & college groups, selected at the Next Generation Jazz Festival -- including big bands from Marin School for the Arts and Rio Americano High School; vocal ensembles from Los Angeles County High School for the Arts, Folsom High School and California State University, Long Beach; the Hamilton Academy of Music combo and the Chase Morrin Group; and the University of Southern California Thornton School of Music Jazz Orchestra. In addition, there will be a conversation with NEA Jazz Master Orrin Keepnews and a presentation with author Ashley Kahn on The Art of Impulse!, celebrating the 50th anniversary of Impulse! Records.

Additional highlights of the 2011 Festival include special presentations of jazz films "More To Live For" featuring Michael Brecker on Saturday; and "Dave Brubeck: In His Own Sweet Way" on Sunday. Returning to the Courtyard Stage is Judy Roberts on the Yamaha AvantGrand with Greg Fishman on saxophone.

Making their first appearances at the Festival are John Pizzarelli, India.Arie and Idan Raichel; Huey Lewis & The News; Soul Rebels, Kermit Ruffins, and Glen David Andrews; Geri Allen, Tia Fuller, Wil Blades, and Steve Coleman & Five Elements.

Arena Package Tickets are on sale now at montereyjazzfestival.org or call (925) 275-9255. Full Weekend Arena Packages are available for $225; offering a reserved seat to each of 5 concerts on the Arena/Jimmy Lyons Stage (renewable annually), access to 7 Grounds Stages and all Festival activities. Or, bring family and friends and experience the festival atmosphere with a Full Weekend Grounds Ticket starting at $125 or Daily Grounds Ticket for as low as $40; including access to 7 Grounds stages and activities, plus simulcasts of all Arena concerts.

Returning for 2011 are Arena Single Day Tickets, the Premier Access Pass, the Festival’s 6th Annual Family Day, MJF’s Front Box Auction, the Family Discount Package, Youth Tickets and the Local’s Package for Monterey County residents.

New for 2011: Stay on the Fairgrounds in a RV for the weekend! Contact the Ticket Office at (925) 275-9255 or ticketoffice@montereyjazzfestival.org to request additional information.

The 2011 Jazz Legends Gala will take place at the Hyatt Regency Monterey on Thursday, September 15. This exclusive event honors the contributions and lasting legacies of jazz pioneers. Proceeds from the Gala benefit Monterey Jazz Festival Jazz Education Programs. Contact (831) 373-3366 or development@montereyjazzfestival.org for more information.

Coming soon…the iPhone and Android MJF/54 App will allow you to plan your entire Festival experience. Major advancements to this project funded by the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation through the generous support of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.

MONTEREY JAZZ FESTIVAL’S PARTNERS IN JAZZ: Verizon, Yamaha Instruments, Remo, Gallien-Krueger, Inns of Monterey, Carmel Road Winery, North Coast Brewing Company, DownBeat Magazine, KGO Newstalk 810 AM and San Jose Mercury News play an important role in helping Monterey Jazz Festival fund the Festival and Jazz Education Programs.

Monterey Jazz Festival also receives support for the Festival and Jazz Education Programs from the Hearst Foundations, National Endowment for the Arts, Verizon, AT&T, William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, David & Lucile Packard Foundation, Quest Foundation, Joseph Drown Foundation, Harden Foundation, William McCaskey Chapman & Adaline Dinsmore Chapman Foundation, Dunspaugh-Dalton Foundation, Inc., Monterey Peninsula Foundation, Pebble Beach Company Foundation, Rotary International, Nancy Buck Ransom Foundation and generous individual contributors.(Vince Mendoza)

For a complete event details including the full list of performers at the 2011 Monterey Jazz Festival please visit montereyjazzfestival.org. Artists subject to change.

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