Monterey Jazz Festival brings together 21 of the most accomplished high school jazz musicians from across the country to form the Next Generation Jazz Orchestra (NGJO) directed by GRAMMY-nominated pianist and composer Gerald Clayton. Established in 1971, the NGJO traditionally members gather for one weekend in the summer to begin rehearsals in preparation for a domestic or international tour. Having received worldwide acclaim, tour performances for the Orchestra have included festivals and venues in the United States, Canada, Japan, Australia, and Europe. Tenure in the NGJO culminates in a main stage performance in September at the Monterey Jazz Festival with the annual Artist-in-Residence. Former members of the NGJO are a formidable list of contemporary stars in the jazz world and include Benny Green, Patrice Rushen, Joshua Redman, Ambrose Akinmusire, and many others.