The Monterey Jazz Festival (MJF) recently completed its 62nd event, with nearly 40,000 visitors enjoying a stellar lineup of 500 artists performing more than 120 shows on eight stages.
Held September 27 through 30, MJF is the longest running annual gathering of jazz enthusiasts. Yamaha has been the longest-term major partner to the festival, providing the pianos and drum sets for all festival stages for more than four decades.
“I have been with the festival for almost 30 years and Yamaha has been with us for every one of them,” said MJF Artistic Director Tim Jackson. “Their pianos and drums are fantastic, and most importantly our artists are happy and love the quality they can count on. In addition, the support coming from Yamaha for our education programs allows our students to experience well-made, professional equipment for a head start on their musical adventures.”
Yamaha Drum Artist Allison Miller appeared as 2019 MJF Artist-in-Residence with bassist Derrick Hodge. She performed throughout the weekend, opening up the Jimmy Lyons Stage Friday evening along with Hodge in “Soul on Soul: A Tribute to Mary Lou Williams,” in honor of the more than 50-year career of the “first lady of the jazz keyboard.” Miller continued Saturday evening with her jazz sextet Boom Tic Boom, and finished with two daytime shows Sunday, first joining the Next Generation Jazz Orchestra and later taking the stage with Parlour Game, the four-piece band she founded with critically acclaimed jazz violinist Jenny Scheinman.
Gerald Clayton, multiple Grammy® Award nominee, 2016 MJF musical director and Yamaha Piano Artist, appeared on the Garden Stage Friday evening to perform with his Gerald Clayton Quartet.
Yamaha Piano Artist and smooth jazz legend Bob James charmed audiences at the Blue Note at Sea Tent Sunday afternoon as he joined his jazz ensemble Double Vision Revisited. The band appeared for a reprise that evening on the Jimmy Lyons Stage to help wrap up the festival.
Yamaha Drum Artist Antonio Sánchez performed with his band Migration at Dizzy’s Den, as well as served as the Downbeat Blindfold Artist, where he was challenged to identify and discuss the music and musicians who perform on selected recordings.
One big attraction for younger attendees in particular was the return of the Yamaha Musical Experience Tent, where visitors had the opportunity to try out a wide array of Yamaha instruments for themselves, including the MODX synthesizer, CP stage piano and STORIA acoustic-electric guitar. Also at the Tent was the Alto Venova, a new, lower-register version of the company’s award-winning casual wind instrument.
“The Monterey Jazz Festival is the pinnacle of what all other jazz festivals aspire to be and has been changing lives through jazz education,” said David Jewell, partnerships and alliances manager, Yamaha Corporation of America. “Yamaha has partnered with The Monterey Jazz Festival because of this mission; this year we celebrate the 43rd year of our partnership and we could not be happier to support such an iconic and important festival.”
Yamaha Corporation of America (YCA) is one of the largest subsidiaries of Yamaha Corporation, Japan and offers a full line of award-winning musical instruments, sound reinforcement, commercial installation and home entertainment products to the U.S. market. Products include: Yamaha acoustic, digital and hybrid pianos, portable keyboards, guitars, acoustic and electronic drums, band and orchestral instruments, marching percussion products, synthesizers, professional digital and analog audio equipment, Steinberg recording products and NEXO commercial audio products, as well as AV receivers, amplifiers, MusicCast wireless multiroom audio systems, Blu-ray/CD players, earphones, headphones, home-theater-in-a-box systems, sound bars and its exclusive line of Digital Sound Projectors. YCA markets innovative, finely crafted technology and entertainment products and musical instruments targeted to the hobbyist, education, worship, music, professional audio installation and consumer markets.