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The Monterey Jazz Festival celebrates the legacy of jazz, expands its boundaries, and provides opportunities to experience jazz through the creative production of performances and educational programs.
We are proud to provide year-round Jazz Education Programs. Each spring we invite over 1300 of the nation's top student musicians to play their hearts out at the Next Generation Jazz Festival. One of the most inclusive festivals in the Unites States, the festival welcomes performances by middle, high school and collegiate groups of every kind: big bands, combos, vocal ensembles, vocal soloists, as well as conglomerate bands.
In September we are honored to present the Monterey Jazz Festival at the Monterey County Fairgrounds, where the Festival was first presented in 1958. The Monterey Jazz Festival began as a dream for founder Jimmy Lyons and his co-founder and colleague, Ralph Gleason. They dreamed of a "sylvan setting with the best jazz people in the whole world playing on the same stage, having a whole weekend of jazz." Bringing in artists like Dizzy Gillespie, Louis Armstrong, John Lewis, Shelly Manne, Gerry Mulligan, Art Farmer, Ernestine Anderson, Harry James, Max Roach, and Billie Holiday.
Every year since then, the festival continues to sees the same caliber of talent appear on eight stages on the Monterey Fairgrounds. The Monterey Jazz Festival presents the best jazz performers in the world to the community, and continues providing Jazz Education programs to the youth.