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Monterey Jazz Festival's Next Generation Festival Now Accepting Applications For 38th Annual National High School Jazz Competition, April 3 - 6, 2008
(Published: November 02, 2007)

Monterey Jazz Festival's Next Generation Festival Now Accepting Applications For 38th Annual National High School Jazz Competition, April 3 - 6, 2008

Middle School, High School, College, Conglomerate Bands, And Individual Musicians Compete For Performance Opportunities At 51st Annual Monterey Jazz Festival, September 19 - 21, 2008

Next Generation Festival Includes Free Concerts, Clinics, Workshops, And MJF's National High School Jazz Competition, April 3 - 6 In Historic Downtown Monterey

Monterey Jazz Festival Announces Internationally Renowned Bassist And Composer Christian McBride As Artist-In-Residence For 2008

November 2, 2007; Monterey, California; The Monterey Jazz Festival, a leader in jazz education since its inception in 1958, is pleased to announce the 4th Annual Next Generation Festival, featuring the nation's most talented middle school, high school and college jazz musicians and vocalists. The Next Generation Festival, which includes MJF's 38th Annual National High School Jazz Competition, will take place in historic downtown Monterey from April 3-6, 2008.

The Competition is accepting applications from middle school, high school and college big bands; and from high school combos and vocal jazz ensembles through January 25, 2007. The Next Generation Festival is also accepting submission from conglomerate bands for 2008, a new development that will add to the already high level of musicianship. Application forms may be downloaded at the Monterey Jazz Festival's website, www.montereyjazzfestival.org. The application process is free.

The four-day event will include performances and competitions, with awards going to the best groups for College, Conglomerate, High School and Middle School Big Band divisions and for High School Combos and Vocal Ensembles. The event also includes a Composition Competition open to high school composers, with the winning piece to be debuted at the 51st Annual Monterey Jazz Festival. Auditions will also be held for chairs in the Monterey Jazz Festival's Next Generation Jazz Orchestra, which tours internationally and is a featured ensemble on the Festival's Sunday afternoon Arena/Lyons Stage.

The Next Generation Festival encompasses Monterey Jazz Festival's Annual National High School Jazz Competition, now in its 38th year. The High School Jazz Competition is open to superior rated big bands, combos, and vocal ensembles. The non-competitive middle school category is open to superior rated big bands. New for 2008 will be a Conglomerate Division, and is open to all conglomerate big bands consisting of members who are enrolled in high school grades 9-12 or younger.

"Continuing in our mission to perpetuate this great American art form, the Next Generation Festival provides the perfect opportunity for music teachers, fans of jazz, and some of the nation's top jazz students to gather and share the joy of playing and listening to jazz," said Dr. Rob Klevan, Education Director for the Monterey Jazz Festival. "The event has grown over the past four years, but the 'festival' aspect has remained and all who attend the Next Generation Festival truly gain from the experience. New this year is the Conglomerate Division for high school students and younger," added Dr. Klevan. "The NGF seeks to attract the very best young jazz musicians from around the globe, and so this new division opens the door for more outstanding talent to come to Monterey next April and participate in this incredible event."

Next Generation finalists are selected through recorded audition by faculty from the Berklee College of Music, and will include twelve big bands, six combos, and six vocal ensembles in the high school division. Six middle school big bands and six college level big bands will also be selected. In addition, special invited groups will also perform; close to fifty groups from across the United States are expected to attend the Next Generation Festival. The top big bands, combo and vocal ensemble will win cash awards and be invited to perform at the 51st Annual Monterey Jazz Festival, September 19-21, 2008.

In addition, The Big Band Composition Competition is open to high school student composers. Judged by college faculty from leading music schools across the country, the winning composer will receive a cash award, and the honor of premiering the composition with the Next Generation Jazz Orchestra on the Lyons Stage in the Arena before a crowd of 7000 fans.

All Next Generation Festival events - from the star studded Opening Night Judges Concert to the hotly contested Big Band Finals on Saturday night - will be open to the public, free of charge. The Festival will also conduct clinics, workshops, jam sessions and auditions in the heart of the historic Monterey, with music to be performed at the Monterey Conference Center, the host Portola Plaza Hotel, the recently renovated historic Golden State Theatre, at Fisherman's Wharf, and at Monterey Live.

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 internationally renowned bassist and composer Christian McBride, who has been selected as the MJF's Artist-In-Residence for 2008.

The Grammy Award winning bassist has been at the forefront of jazz since he emerged as part of the talented generation of players that took the genre by storm in the early 1990s. Born in 1972 in Philadelphia, began his professional career at the top, performing with the most legendary, up-and-coming and influential jazz artists in the world.

Since 1990, Christian has recorded some 200 albums as a sideman for some of the biggest artists in music: Joe Henderson, Betty Carter, Roy Haynes, Benny Green, Kathleen Battle, Diana Krall, Dave Brubeck, Jimmy Smith, Joe Lovano, McCoy Tyner, George Duke, Sting, Chick Corea, Chris Botti, John Scofield, Jim Hall and dozens more, as well as appearing onscreen in Robert Altman's 1940s period film, Kansas City. He has also released six records as a leader, including Live at Tonic with the Christian McBride Band.

Recent activities and accolades include a 2004 Grammy Award for his participation on McCoy Tyner's Illuminations, and a Musical Directorship for Carly Simon's Christmas show. In 2006, McBride performed with the Godfather of Soul, James Brown and in 2007, he recorded with and acted as Musical Director for Queen Latifah, presented Charles Mingus' "Epitaph" around the Unites States, and performed with Sonny Rollins and Roy Haynes at a 50th Anniversary concert at Carnegie Hall.

Christian is also a devoted jazz educator and mentor. He is currently the Artistic Director at the Jazz Aspen Snowmass summer program, the Co-Director of The Jazz Museum in Harlem, and is Creative Chair for the Los Angeles Philharmonic. He has also received commissions from such entities as Jazz at Lincoln Center and the National Endowment for the Arts.

As MJF's Artist-In-Residence, McBride 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 and Terence Blanchard to the Monterey Bay; their involvement and interaction with students provides a unique educational opportunity through mentorship that will last a lifetime.

About The Next Generation Festival and MJF Jazz Education Programs

The genesis of the Next Generation Festival started in 1971 when Jimmy Lyons, founder and General Manager of the Monterey Jazz Festival, began presenting the winners of the California High School Jazz Band Competition at MJF. Over the years, some of the young musicians who have participated in what tenor saxophonist Joshua Redman describes as "the Superbowl of California high school jazz competitions" have gone on to become stars of their generation their own right: saxophonists Joshua Redman, Dave Koz and Dave Ellis, pianists Benny Green and Patrice Rushen, multi-instrumentalist Peter Apfelbaum, bassist Larry Grenadier and many more. In 2005, the competition was expanded to add more educational components and renamed the Next Generation Festival, and the High School All-Star Band morphed into the Next Generation Orchestra. Now in its fourth year, the NGF draws upon 38 years of educational experience, history and innovation to its expanding lineup and scope.

Starting with a modest $35,000 scholarship fund in 1970, the Monterey Jazz Festival now invests over $750,000 annually in jazz education through a variety of different programs which are a model of arts education for the entire nation. 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 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.

More Information: http://www.montereyjazzfestival.org/NGF/index.htm

Submitted By: Timothy Orr

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