The Monterey Jazz Festival
launches its fifty-second edition with a variety of legendary performers, American icons, and visionary new artists
in weekend of jazz, blues, folk, and American song that has characterized the world-renowned event since its
inception in 1958.
The festival takes place
Friday through Sunday,
September 18-20, 2009, on the oak-studded expanse of the Monterey Fairgrounds.
out our photos from the 2008
Monterey Jazz Fest!
Main Arena/Jimmy Lyons Stage will be
the focal point of the Festival, with a lineup that
celebrates the past, present, and future of American
music with multiple award-winning artists and special projects, including NEA Jazz Master Hank Jones with Grammy
winning saxophonist Joe Lovano (this year's Showcase Artist); the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, led by
nine-time Grammy-winning trumpeter Wynton Marsalis
(the festival's Artists-In-Residence); and the Monterey Jazz Festival
All-Stars featuring pianist Kenny Barron, violinist Regina Carter, vocalist Kurt Elling, and
guitarist Russell Malone.
on hand are bassist and vocalist Esperanza Spalding; vocalist Dee Dee Bridgewater;
Grammy-winning pianist George Duke; Jason Moran & The Bandwagon
(this year's Commission Artist); and
the highly-anticipated super-trio of 15-time Grammy winner and NEA Jazz Master and pianist Chick Corea with
bassist Stanley Clarke and drummer Lenny White.
the festival's blues-themed Saturday afternoon showcase are roots/blues guitarist and
Tedeschi, folk music pioneer Pete Seeger, and the gospel-soaked baptismal blues of
John Scofield and the Piety Street Band.
50th anniversary celebrations of classic and historic jazz recordings from 1959 will fill the Arena with
Conrad Herwig's Latin Side All-Star Band (with the
five-time Grammy-winning trumpeter Randy Brecker and
saxophonist Joe Lovano), playing the music of Miles Davis and
John Coltrane to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the beloved and influential jazz classics,
"Kind of Blue" and "Giant Steps." NEA Jazz
Master and pianist
Dave Brubeck returns to the stages of Monterey for his 15th
festival appearance to celebrate the 50th anniversary of his best-selling
(and groundbreaking) recording,
Music education will also take center stage in the Arena, with the top high school big band — selected at the Monterey Jazz
Festival's Next Generation Festival (April 3-5, 2009) —
kicking off the Sunday Arena program, followed by
MJF's own Next Generation Jazz Orchestra, featuring
Wynton Marsalis and the top high school musicians in the country.
a day-by-day overview of the 52nd annual Monterey Jazz
Friday, September 18
music in the Main Arena will kick off MJF/52 with an extravaganza of talent, starting off with the MJF debut of up-and-coming bassist and
vocalist Esperanza Spalding, followed by the latest edition of the
Monterey Jazz Festival All-Stars featuring pianist
Kenny Barron, violinist Regina Carter, vocalist
Kurt Elling, guitarist Russell Malone, bassist
Kiyoshi Kitigawa and drummer Johnathan Blake. Closing the
Arena's first evening is Conrad Herwig's explosive
Latin Side All-Star Band featuring Randy Brecker and
Joe Lovano, updating Miles Davis "Kind of Blue" and
John Coltrane's "Giant Steps" in honor of the
50th anniversary of their release.
Friday night on the Grounds,
"New Grooves" comes back to Dizzy's Den for
seventh year, kicking off with the return of vocalist Lizz
Wright, followed by breakout sensation Esperanza Spalding in her second set of the evening. Across the pathway in the Night Club, the
Scott Amendola Trio will get the venue's evening of to a quirky bebop-oriented set, followed by the stellar
John Patitucci Trio, featuring Joe Lovano and
drummer Brian Blade. Closing the Night Club will be
Forro in the Dark, performing the Brazilian-folk dance music.
On the outdoor Garden Stage, the
Roger Eddy Group gets the music started Friday with his West Coast-flavored jazz, followed by the straight-ahead
2009 Berklee-Monterey Quartet, a harbinger of future musical talent.
Global Noize — a mash-up project headed by keyboardist
Jason Miles and DJ Logic — closes out the Garden stage on an inclusive world music note.
Coffee House Gallery, fans will be treated to three sets from pianist
Jonathan Batiste, the next generation of a New Orleans musical dynasty. In Lyons
Lounge, DJ Vinnie Esparza will shake things up with an extended set of Salsa, Afro-Latin and Brazilian music.
Saturday, September 19
in the Arena features an afternoon of radically different guitar styles:
John Scofield and the Piety Street Band opens the day with a
sanctified set of New Orleans and Gospel-inflected blues, followed by American icon and visionary acoustic folk pioneer
Pete Seeger in a very special and historic MJF debut.
Blues guitarist Susan Tedeschi also debuts on Saturday to close the afternoon
(her husband, guitarist Derek Trucks, performed at
the 2008 festival).
night's Arena program returns with three classic jazz acts.
Starting the evening is the Joe Lovano/Hank Jones
Quartet, featuring John Patitucci and Brian
Blade, followed by vocalist, jazz ambassador, radio personality, and actress
Dee Dee Bridgewater. Closing the evening is the Jazz at
Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis, the Artists-In-Residence of
the festival grounds, Saturday will get off to a rousing start with a wide variety of performers and styles on the Garden Stage, including a tribute to
Charles Brown from pianist Martin Headman; the Texas blues of guitarist, vocalist and songsmith
Ruthie Foster; the raucous and funky New Orleans All-Stars featuring
Henry Butler and Cyrile Neville; the soul-pop of guitarist and vocalist
Raul Midón; and the Afro-Brazilian funk of Wayne Wallace and Rhythm &
Dizzy's Den will open on a
"Blue Note" with an historical conversation with Blue Note label
president Bruce Lundvall and Mosaic Records founder and
three-time Grammy-winning producer Michael Cuscuna. Journalist
Dan Ouellette returns with his longtime MJF favorite, the
"DownBeat Blindfold Test," with legendary pianist
Saturday night, the Monterey Jazz Festival All-Stars will put on their
second show of the weekend, followed by the groove-oriented
Soulive featuring John Scofield. Closing out
Dizzy's Den on Saturday night is Dee Dee Bridgewater,
in her second appearance of the weekend. Meanwhile,
visitors to the intimate and dynamic Coffee House Gallery will be treated to three sets each of classic and progressive
jazz from Weber Iago's Dhanyavad Project and the Peter Erskine/Alan Pasqua
In the Night Club,
Saturday gets off to a youthful start with the top college vocal group from
MJF's Next Generation Festival, followed by the Monterey Bay
Jazz Orchestra. The evening's shows will simmer with the Cuban and Latin jazz of the
Rodriguez Brothers, the post-bop trumpet of Ambrose Akinmusire
(a former MJF Next Generation Jazz Orchestra member) and regale in a special tribute from
Conrad Herwig's Latin Side All-Star Band, playing the music of
Herbie Hancock and Wayne Shorter.
On the other end of the grounds, in Lyons Lounge, DJ
Vinnie Esparza will pump out a second extended set of
soul-jazz, Afro-Latin and Brazilian music in what has become an ongoing tradition (now in
it's third year at MJF).
afternoons in the Main Arena reflects MJF's 52-year support of jazz education with the top high school big band from the Next Generation Festival,
followed by followed by MJF's own Next Generation Jazz
Orchestra, featuring Wynton Marsalis and the top high school musicians in the country. The
Grammy-winning George Duke closes the Sunday afternoon set.
Sunday night celebrates
"Three Generations of Pianists," with the premiere of the MJF/52 Commission piece,
"Feedback" and more from Jason Moran & The
Bandwagon, followed by the incomparable Dave Brubeck Quartet as they celebrate the 50th
anniversary of Brubeck's groundbreaking recording "Time Out."
Capping off the
Arena's Sunday program is the highly-anticipated super-trio
Corea, Clark & White. Featuring former Return
to Forever members (who all reunited, along with
guitarist Al DiMeola, for a 2008 tour) Chick Corea,
Stanley Clarke, and Lenny White, the MJF/52 Arena program will end
Sunday night on a highly eclectic and electric note.
Sunday will be no less eclectic on the
festival fairgrounds. The Night Club will host the top eight student groups from
MJF's Next Generation Festival, with the evening's concerts featuring the pianist and NEA Jazz Master
Toshiko Akiyoshi/Lew Tabackin Quartet, followed by
Jason Moran & The Bandwagon.
Dizzy's Den will feature an afternoon of jazz education and music,
including a conversation with NEA Jazz Master Toshiko Akiyoshi hosted by journalist
Yoshi Kato, followed by a Jazz Journalists Association panel entitled
"Jazz… and the DJs Who Played the Records."
Dizzy's Den will enjoy an evening of jazz stardom with shows from
Joe Lovano leading US5 with bassist Esperanza
Spalding, pianist James Weidman, and drummers Francisco Mela and
Otis Brown Jr. The closing show in Dizzy's Den will feature the
Jazz at Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra with Wynton
The outdoor Garden Stage will have the top college big band from the Next Generation Festival, followed by master
trumpeter Scotty Barnhart. Cuban pianist Alfredo Rodriguez will close out the
afternoon's Garden Stage.
The evening shows will subvert the norm with the debut of
Buffalo Collision, a collective-improv supergroup featuring pianist
Ethan Iverson and drummer Dave King of the
Bad Plus, with two New York downtown improvising legends, saxophonist
Tim Berne and cellist Hank Roberts. The Shotgun Wedding Quintet will bring their own contemporary take on the acoustic tradition with a blend of hip-hop and
jazz to end the evening.
DJ Logic will take a turn in Lyons Lounge with an extended evening set, and the Coffee House Gallery will host the
Terrence Brewer Trio for two sets of guitar-jazz; a clinic with the
2009 Berklee-Monterey Quartet, followed by two sets from the visionary pianist, the
Vijay Iyer Trio.
Wait... There's More at MJF/52
All weekend long, Lyons Lounge
(at the end of Lyons Lane, nera the Main Arena) will pulse with Samba, Afro-Cuban, funk and
soul-jazz sounds of Vinnie Esparza (Friday and
Saturday nights) and DJ Logic (Sunday night); both DJs are returning for encore performances.
The Lounge will once again offer fans a hip jazz club
setting to chill out on the north end of the Grounds.
around the festival grounds, an exhibit in the Coffee House Gallery celebrates the 70th anniversary of Blue Note Records, entitled
"Somethin' Else: The Art of Blue Note Records," which showcases the iconic photography of
Francis Wolff with classic Blue Note record designs by
Reid Miles. The art of over 30 classic albums will be displayed in a visual feast of landmark graphic design from the
world's most celebrated jazz label.
in what has become a signature MJF welcome, Sue Downs will be performing on the Yamaha Disklavier on the Courtyard Stage, at
the entrance of the Festival grounds.
The Jazz Theater will show simulcasts of the Arena shows all weekend long in the 900-seat venue. In addition, there will also be special
Saturday film screenings of the Ralph J. Gleason presentation,
"The Anatomy of Vince Guaraldi," an official documentary authorized by the Guaraldi family about the influential and
popular West Coast pianist, hosted by Toby Gleason.
On Sunday, the theater will present "Music Is My Life, Politics My Mistress: The Story of
Oscar Brown Jr.," a documentary about the American
singer, songwriter, playwright, poet, and civil rights activist, presented by director and
producer donnie l. betts.
Tickets are on sale now by phone at
925.275.9255, and on the Monterey Jazz
Festival website. Full Weekend Arena Packages are available from $225;
daily Grounds Tickets are from $35; full Weekend Grounds Tickets are $110.00.
MJF's new "Family Discount Pack" is $80 for two Adult and
two Youth tickets.
The Festival encourages jazz fans to purchase tickets early for the 52nd Annual Monterey Jazz Festival,
presented by Verizon. Arena packages traditionally sell out quickly and are available only on a first-come, first-serve basis. Grounds
tickets will increase by $5 per day Tuesday through Sunday
of Festival week (September 15-20), so fans are advised to act quickly and save on the low price of Grounds
tickets before they're gone.