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Monterey Jazz Festival Announces New Staff Changes
(Published: January 12, 2009)

Monterey Jazz Festival Announces New Staff Changes

Longtime Production Manager David Murray To Assume Artist Liaison Role

Bill Wagner Named As Production Manager For Festival

January 12, 2009; Monterey, CA; The Monterey Jazz Festival has announced that David Murray, the Festival's longtime Production Manager, will assume the new role of Artist Liaison. Bill Wagner, the Festival's Artist Transportation Manager, has been named Mr. Murray's replacement as Production Manager. Both of these changes are effective immediately.

"David Murray has encapsulated the spirit of the Monterey Jazz Festival since the beginning," said Tim Jackson, General Manager for MJF. "He has worked tirelessly with nearly every artist we've presented, and his reputation is synonymous with the Festival. I am frequently asked by artists ‘How's David?' even before we get down to business. He's a real legend with everyone who has passed through the gates of the Fairgrounds, and he'll continue to strengthen those relationships as Artist Liaison, even though he has only ‘semi-retired' at age 72. I can only think of a few people who have continuously been involved at Monterey longer than David."

"Bill Wagner is a natural for his new position," continued Jackson. "His expertise in production will ensure that MJF will have a smooth transition period--he already knows the job. We all look forward to the next festival under his production command."

David Murray has a 48-year long history with MJF. Born in Ft. Collins, Colorado, he came to San Francisco in 1949, from Arizona. In 1954, he began working both as a volunteer and paid employee at the legendary San Francisco nightclub, the Blackhawk. While in San Francisco in 1950s and 60s, Mr. Murray held a variety of jobs, including those at a Photostat company, the Southern Pacific Railroad; the now-defunct San Francisco Call-Bulletin; at Consolidated Electrical Distributors; the Hatfield Wire and Cable Company; and as a cab driver. He also spent three years in the U.S. Army, from 1956-59 and was stationed in Japan. After his stint in the Army and back in San Francisco at the Blackhawk, Mr. Murray met the founder of the Monterey Jazz Festival, Jimmy Lyons, and began working for the Festival starting in 1961 as a driver and stage hand each subsequent year. After moving to the Monterey Peninsula in 1971, Mr. Murray worked as a bartender at the Hyatt Regency Resort and has acted in a variety of positions for the Festival, with Production Coordinator being his main area in the last 20 years. He also has worked on many televised music award programs for the American Federation of Musicians. "I have been honored and blessed to be a part of the Monterey Jazz Festival for most of my adult life," said Mr. Murray. "I love the music, and especially the many friends, both locally and internationally, that I have come to know and treasure over these years." As Artist Liaison, Mr. Murray will maintain the point of contact for the personal needs of musicians at the Festival.

Moving into the position of Production Manager will be Bill Wagner, already a 10-year veteran of the Festival. Mr. Wagner started working with the Monterey Jazz Festival in 1999 after meeting David Murray at the San Jose Jazz Festival. Starting as an artist driver for MJF, Mr. Wagner became the Artist Transportation Manager in 2003. As Production Manager, Mr. Wagner will oversee all aspects of coordinating the technical, transportation and hospitality needs of the 500-plus artists of the Monterey Jazz Festival.

Born in Atherton, California and raised on the San Francisco Peninsula, Mr. Wagner is a graduate of the College of San Mateo with a degree in Electronics. He has been actively involved in music performance since an early age, and has studied several instruments and voice, with additional experience in Community Theater, lighting, sound, staging, and special effects. He has also worked at the San Jose and San Francisco jazz festivals in various positions and has acted as production manager for numerous California venues, including the Fox Theatre in Redwood City, the Montalvo Arts Center in Saratoga, and Ironstone Vineyards in Murphys. As an entrepreneur, he is also the owner of Menlo Park's Menlo Vacuum & Fix-it, where he has worked since 1972. In 2005, he became a partner for the World Projects Corporation, producing and organizing national and international performance tours for student music programs, school bands, orchestras and choirs. Mr. Wagner lives with his fiancé in Carmel Valley, California. "I feel all of my past experiences have prepared me for this exciting new position, and I am honored to be associated with such a prestigious organization," stated Mr. Wagner.


For more information, please contact:

Timothy Orr, Marketing Associate

Monterey Jazz Festival

Direct Line: 510-652-1122

MJF Phone: 831-373-3366 X252



More Information: http://www.montereyjazzfestival.org

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