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Monterey Jazz Festival

Sept. 18-20, 2009; Monterey County Fairgrounds; Monterey, Calif.

Vijay Iyer
Jason Moran
John Scofield

Aside from its ever-deepening historical significance as the world’s oldest continuous jazz festival, and the health and breadth of its programming, the Monterey Jazz Festival’s hosting Monterey County Fairgrounds boast a unique cultural microclimate. Repeat festivalgoers witness the gradual stylistic evolution of premier jazz artists, most of whom have come across the continent from NYC for this early fall tradition.

At this year’s MJF, for instance, the most daring piece heard was Jason Moran’s festival-commissioned piece, “Feedback,” a prime example of this artist’s conceptual range and taste for invention. A few years ago, Moran’s trio, Bandwagon, played a few sets in the small Coffee House Gallery-one of now seven different stages around the fairground property. This time, Moran, an increasingly respected and commanding figure on the current jazz-piano scene, migrated 100 yards to the vastly larger Arena stage.

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