The Monterey Jazz Festival is marking its 55th anniversary by sending an all-star lineup of musicians on a nationwide tour, including a stop at the Mondavi Center’s Jackson Hall at 8 p.m. Friday, Jan. 18.
Members of the 55thAnniversary on Tour Band have deep relationships with Monterey Jazz Festival and have a commitment to the cultivation of jazz audiences worldwide:
* Vocalist Dee Dee Bridgewater made her first appearance at the Monterey Jazz in Festival in 1973 with the Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Orchestra;
* Bassist Christian McBride has appeared at the festival eight times since 1994, including acting as the festival’s artist-in-residence in 2008;
* Pianist Benny Green made the first of his eight performances at the festival (as a 15-year-old in 1978) as the pianist in the Next Generation Jazz Orchestra;
* Drummer Lewis Nash has appeared at the festival twice since 2001;
* Saxophonist Chris Potter made the first of his eight festival appearances in 1997 and was a featured member of Dave Holland’s “Monterey Quartet,” which performed and recorded at the Monterey Jazz Festival’s 50th anniversary in 2007; and
* Trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire, a two-time member of the Next Generation Jazz Orchestra, has made four appearances at the festival since the 1990s, including acting as Monterey’s artist-in-residence in 2012.
The show will feature an assortment of classic jazz repertoire and original compositions by band members.
The Mondavi Center has enjoyed a decade-long association with artists affiliated with the Monterey Jazz Festival. McBride presented Mondavi’s first jazz concert when the center was dedicated in 2002, and returned again in 2012 for the 10th anniversary. Bridgewater also has performed at Mondavi.
And other connections between Davis and the festival exist as well; the Davis High School Jazz Band has been invited to perform at the Monterey Jazz Festival’s Next Generation series several times over the years.
Founded in 1958 by San Francisco jazz radio broadcaster Jimmy Lyons, the first Monterey Jazz Festival featured artists like Dizzy Gillespie, Louis Armstrong, Sonny Rollins and Billie Holiday. Held every September at the Monterey County Fairgrounds, the Monterey Jazz Festival is now the longest running jazz festival in the world.
Tickets to Friday’s concert at the Mondavi Center are $25-$49 general, $12.50-$24.50 for students, available at www.mondaviarts.org or 530-754-2787.
In addition to the Mondavi Center concert, highlights of the nine-week tour will include a six-night run at the Blue Note in New York City, the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.; the Epcor Centre in Calgary, Alberta, Canada; the Chicago Symphony Center in Chicago; and Benaroya Hall in Seattle.
— Reach Jeff Hudson at email@example.com or 530-747-8055.