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Monterey Jazz Festival’s Next Generation Festival Now Accepting Applications From Student Big Bands, Combos, Vocal Ensembles, Composers, Individual Musicians

United States
Next Generation Festival Jazz Competition Open To Middle School, High School, Conglomerate School, And College Level Musicians And Vocalists

Country’s Top Young Players Compete For Performance Opportunities At 53rd Annual Monterey Jazz Festival, September 17 - 19, 2010

Next Generation Festival Includes Free Concerts, Clinics, Workshops, And Jazz Competition, April 9 - 11, 2010 In Historic Downtown Monterey

Four-Time Grammy Winning Vocalist, Dianne Reeves, Named Monterey Jazz Festival’s 2010 Artist-In-Residence

October 26, 2009; Monterey, CA — The Monterey Jazz Festival, a leader in jazz education since its inception in 1958, is pleased to announce the 6th Annual Next Generation Festival, featuring the nation’s most talented middle school, high school, conglomerate school, and college jazz musicians and vocalists. The Next Generation Festival will take place in historic downtown Monterey from April 9 - 11, 2010.

Now in its 6th successful year in downtown Monterey, the Next Generation Festival evolved from MJF’s “California High School Jazz Competition” which started in 1971 and was presented at the Monterey County Fairgrounds for 35 of its 40-year run. Now named the Next Generation Festival, the weekend salute to the future of jazz has expanded to include middle school, conglomerate school, and college level musicians and vocalists.

The Next Generation Festival Jazz Competition is now accepting applications from middle school, high school, and college big bands; from high school and college level conglomerate bands; and from high school combos and vocal jazz ensembles through January 22, 2010. Application forms may be downloaded at the Monterey Jazz Festival’s website, www.montereyjazzfestival.org. The application process is free of charge, as is participation in the prestigious event.

A three-year grant from the Surdna Foundation supports the Next Generation Festival and the Next Generation Jazz Orchestra’s international tours. The Surdna Foundation’s Arts Program is national in scope and supports the artistic advancement of teens, ages 12 - 18.

Next Generation Festival finalists are selected through recorded auditions reviewed and ranked by faculty from the Berklee College of Music, and will include twelve big bands, six combos, and eight vocal ensembles in the High School Division. Six college-level big bands and six college vocal ensembles will also be selected, in addition to six conglomerate and six middle school big bands.

New for 2010 is the Open Combo Division for college and conglomerate high school ensembles. Six finalist combos will be selected to participate in this newest division. In addition, specially-invited groups will also perform. In 2009, over fifty groups from across the United States as well as international groups from the U.K. and Japan attended the Next Generation Festival.

The high school, conglomerate school, and college divisions of the Next Generation Festival Jazz Competition are open to superior rated big bands, combos, and vocal ensembles. The top big bands, combo, and vocal ensemble will win cash awards and be invited to perform at the 53rd Annual Monterey Jazz Festival, September 17 - 19, 2010.

Auditions will also be held for chairs in the Monterey Jazz Festival’s Next Generation Jazz Orchestra, which is slated to tour at jazz venues and festivals throughout North America, as well as being featured on the Monterey Jazz Festival’s Sunday afternoon Arena/Lyons Stage.

The event also includes a big band composition competition, open to high school composers, with the winning piece to be debuted at the 53rd Annual Monterey Jazz Festival by the Next Generation Jazz Orchestra. Judged by college faculty from leading music schools across the country, the winning composer will receive the Gerald Wilson Award and a cash prize, with the winning composition to be performed by the Next Generation Jazz Orchestra at the 53rd Annual Monterey Jazz Festival, September 19, 2010, on the Jimmy Lyons Stage in the Arena before a crowd of thousands.

“Plans are well underway for making our 6th annual Next Generation Festival another exciting MJF event,” said Dr. Rob Klevan, Education Director for the Monterey Jazz Festival. “April 9 - 11, 2010, is a special weekend as it marks the 40th anniversary for the Monterey Jazz Festival’s High School Competition, but for anyone who has ever attended the Next Generation Festival, it’s clear that our emphasis is on presenting a ‘festival’ as the very best of the next generation of jazz musicians, from middle school to college, gather in Monterey to perform, listen, learn, and enjoy this great American music, jazz. For students, teachers, and jazz fans alike, the celebratory atmosphere and festive vibe at the Next Generation Festival is what makes this event so fun and special.”

All Next Generation Festival events and activities -- from Friday night’s Kick-Off Concert through Saturday and Sunday’s Next Generation Festival Jazz Competition -- are open to the public, free of charge. The Festival will also conduct clinics, workshops, jam sessions, and auditions in the heart of historic Monterey, with music to be performed at the Monterey Conference Center, the host Portola Plaza Hotel, Fisherman’s Wharf, Cannery Row, and a downtown jazz club.

Interested schools and students should visit www.montereyjazzfestival.org for instructions on how to apply to the Next Generation Festival. Applications with an audition tape/CD should be mailed to: Next Generation Festival, c/o Dr. Rob Klevan, Jazz Education Director, 9699 Blue Larkspur Lane, Suite 204, Monterey, CA, 93940.

Featured during the weekend of music will be the four-time Grammy-winning vocalist, Dianne Reeves, who has been selected as the MJF’s Artist-In-Residence for 2010. As MJF’s Artist-In-Residence, Reeves will work year-round with young student musicians in performances, clinics and one-on-one sessions at the Next Generation Festival and the MJF Summer Jazz Camp, in addition to performing at the Monterey Jazz Festival and at other MJF concerts and events throughout the year. Started in 2004, the MJF Artist-In-Residence program has brought Regina Carter, Branford Marsalis, Kurt Elling, Terence Blanchard, Christian McBride, and members of the Jazz at Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra to the Monterey Bay; their involvement and interaction with students provides a unique educational opportunity through mentorship that will last a lifetime.

About Dianne Reeves

A Blue Note recording artist since 1987, Dianne Reeves is the pre-eminent jazz vocalist in the world today. As a result of her virtuosity, improvisational prowess and unique jazz and R&B stylings, Reeves was awarded the Grammy for “Best Jazz Vocal Performance” for three consecutive recordings (In The Moment: Live in Concert (2000); The Calling (2001) and A Little Moonlight in 2003) -- a Grammy first in any vocal category. She has recorded eighteen albums as a leader, and has appeared on dozens of others with such artists ranging from Stanley Turrentine, Steps Ahead, Lou Rawls, McCoy Tyner, George Duke, T.S. Monk, Lenny White, Christian McBride, Nicholas Payton, Terence Blanchard, and many more.

Born in Detroit and raised in Denver, Colorado, Reeves has additionally recorded and performed extensively with Wynton Marsalis and the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra; recorded with Chicago Symphony Orchestra (conducted by Daniel Barenboim); and was a featured soloist with Sir Simon Rattle and the Berlin Philharmonic. In 2002, Reeves performed at the closing ceremonies of the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, Utah, and also made an appearance and performance on the season finale of HBO’s Sex and the City. In 2003, Reeves was appointed to be first Creative Chair for Jazz for the Los Angeles Philharmonic and became the first singer to ever perform at the famed Walt Disney Concert Hall.

Continuing to blend screen and song, in 2005, Reeves appeared and performed in George Clooney’s Good Night, and Good Luck, the Academy Award-nominated film that chronicles Edward R. Murrow’s confrontation with Senator Joseph McCarthy. The soundtrack recording of Good Night, and Good Luck provided Reeves her fourth Best Jazz Vocal Grammy in 2006.

In 2007, Reeves was featured in Robert Levi’s Emmy, Peabody and Writers Guild Award-winning documentary, Billy Strayhorn: Lush Life. After several years of extensive touring, Dianne took a break back in Denver, and in 2008, she released her first Blue Note album of new material in five years, When You Know. MJF/53 in 2009 will be her ninth performance at the Monterey Jazz Festival -- she has previously appeared in 1984, 1986, 1988, 1990, 1993, 1996, 2000, and 2006.

About the Monterey Jazz Festival

The Monterey Jazz Festival, founded in 1958, is a nonprofit organization and 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. 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.
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