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Monterey Jazz Festival’s Next Generation Festival Accepting Applications For National High School Jazz Competition

The Monterey Jazz Festival has announced its fourth annual Next Generation Festival, featuring middle school, high school and college jazz musicians and vocalists. The festival, which includes MJF’s 38th annual National High School Jazz Competition, will take place in 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, 2008. The Next Generation Festival is also accepting submissions from conglomerate bands. Application forms may be downloaded at the Monterey Jazz Festival’s website, 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. 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, which is open to all conglomerate big bands consisting of members who are enrolled in high school grades 9-12 or younger.

Next Generation finalists are selected through recorded auditions by faculty from the Berklee College of Music, and will include 12 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 50 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, which will take place 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 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 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.

Originally Published