Monday, May 16, 2011

Monterey Jazz Festival Announces Members of 2011 Next Generation Jazz Orchestra

The Monterey Jazz Festival just announced the members of the 2011 Next Generation Jazz Orchestra, the Festival's internationally-renowned high school all-star big band. Celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2011, the Next Generation Jazz Orchestra features the best and brightest high school jazz musicians in the country.

Created in 1971 as a part of the Monterey Jazz Festival's continuing commitment to jazz education and selected through an application process during MJF’s Next Generation Jazz Festival each spring, former members of the Orchestra include pianists Benny Green and Patrice Rushen, bassist Larry Grenadier, drummer Chad Wackerman, saxophonists Joshua Redman, Donny McCaslin, Eric Marienthal, Dave Koz, trombonist Andy Martin, trumpeters Gilbert Castellanos, Ambrose Akinmusire, and big band leader Gordon Goodwin to name a few.

In the past, the band has been under the leadership of Ladd McIntosh, Don Schamber, Benny Golson, Bill Berry, and many more. Now under the tutelage of Paul Contos, the renowned saxophonist and flautist who serves as the director of the Orchestra, the ensemble is dedicated to the study and performance of the most challenging big band literature available.

Twenty-one high school musicians from six states and Canada comprise the 2011 Next Generation Jazz Orchestra including eight students from California, four from Florida, three from Oregon, two each from New York and New Jersey, and one from Pennsylvania and Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

In 2011, there are three returning members to the Next Generation Jazz Orchestra, including trombonists Kyle Molitor (Tigard High School, Tigard, Oregon) and Chris Palowitch (Amador Valley High School, Pleasanton, California); and trumpeter Tree Palmedo (Oregon Episcopal School, Portland, Oregon).

“I’m looking forward to the gathering of this year’s band and the opportunity to spend time with such gifted young musicians,” says Dr. Rob Klevan, Education Director of the Monterey Jazz Festival. “Although our planned tour to Japan was postponed until 2012 due to the recent unfortunate circumstances taking place there, I think our “West Coast” tour is going to be extremely exciting. It offers the Monterey Jazz Festival an opportunity to display the incredible talents of our Next Generation Jazz Orchestra to our friends in this region of the country. Equally exciting is the fact that this year marks the 40th anniversary of the ensemble and that we will have several ‘special guest’ artists performing with the band. It is going to be a smokin’ hot summer tour!”

Members will gather in Monterey in late July to prepare for the 11-day West Coast tour, beginning with a performance at the Carmel Bach Festival -- a historic first collaboration between the Bach Festival and the Monterey Jazz Festival in Carmel (July 24), where they will appear with tenor saxophonist Joe Lovano. The group will then perform in San Francisco (Yoshi’s, July 25); Seattle (Jazz Alley, July 26-27), Port Townsend, Washington (Centrum Jazz Festival, July 29-30); Portland, Oregon (TBD, July 31); San Diego (UCSD’s Athenaeum Music & Arts Library with special guest trumpeter Gilbert Castellanos, August 1); and Los Angeles (Vitello’s Jazz Club, August 2).

The Next Generation Jazz Orchestra will also make their traditional Sunday appearance at the 54th Monterey Jazz Festival on September 18, 2011, with former band alumni Joshua Redman (MJF Artist-In-Residence); Benny Green and Donny McCaslin sitting as special guests.

Tickets for the 54th Annual Monterey Jazz Festival September 16 - 18 in Monterey, California are available by phone at 925.275-9255 and online at

Director- Mr. Paul Contos

Patrick Bartley, alto / Dillard High School of the Arts, Ft. Lauderdale, FL
Julian Lee, alto / Montclair High School, Montclair, NJ
Rane Roatta, tenor / New World School of the Arts, Miami, FL
Robert Sheppard, tenor/ Amador Valley High School, Pleasanton, CA
Connor Anderson, baritone / FAME Charter School, Concord, CA

Kyle Molitor *** / Tigard High School, Tigard, OR
St. Clair Simmons, III / Dover Area High School, Dover, PA
Joonas Lemetyinen / West Linn High School, West Linn, OR
Calvin Barthel / Albany High School, Albany, CA
Chris Palowitch (bass) ** / Amador Valley High School, Pleasanton, CA

Christian Marrero / A.W. Dreyfoos School of the Arts, West Palm Beach, FL
Enrique Sanchez / Osceola County School of the Arts, Kissimmee, FL
Adam O’Farrill / LaGuardia High School for Music and Art, New York, NY
Josh Shpak / Northgate High School, Walnut Creek, CA
Tree Palmedo ** / Oregon Episcopal School, Portland, OR

Chase Morrin, piano / Canyon Crest Academy, San Diego, CA
Daryl Johns, bass / Dwight-Englewood School, Englewood, NJ
Kai Devitt-Lee, guitar / Healdsburg High School, Healdsburg, CA
Anthony Fung, drums / St. Michael’s College School, Toronto, ON, Canada
Kevin Mixon, Jr, drums / West Genesee High School, Camillus, NY
Hope Flores, vocals / Los Angeles County High School for the Arts, Los Angeles, CA

** 2-time member of NGJO
*** 3-time member of NGJO
2011 Next Generation Jazz Orchestra West Coast Tour Dates:
July 23: Monterey, CA / The Preserve (private party)
July 24: Carmel, CA / Carmel Bach Festival at the Sunset Center with special guest, Joe Lovano
July 25: San Francisco, CA / Yoshi’s
July 26: Seattle, WA / Jazz Alley
July 27: Seattle, WA / Jazz Alley
July 29: Pt. Townsend, WA / Centrum Jazz Festival
July 30: Pt. Townsend, WA / Centrum Jazz Festival
July 31: Portland, OR / location TBD
August 1: San Diego, CA / UCSD / Athenaeum Music & Arts Library with special guest Gilbert Castellanos
August 2: Los Angeles, CA / Vitello’s Jazz Club
September 18: 54th Monterey Jazz Festival, Jimmy Lyons Stage, 1:00pm

The Monterey Jazz Festival is dedicated to perpetuating the uniquely American form of music known as jazz by producing performances that celebrate the legacy and expand the boundaries of jazz; and by presenting year-round local, regional, national, and international jazz education programs. The Monterey Jazz Festival is a nonprofit organization and has donated its proceeds to musical education since its inception in 1958.

No comments: