Monterey Jazz Festival brings together 20 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. Tenure in the NGJO culminates in a main stage performance in September at the Monterey Jazz Festival with the 2023 Artist-in-Residence, Lakecia Benjamin. Established in 1971, 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.



  • The 2023 NGJO musicians will get together for two virtual rehearsals before September.
  • The NGJO members will be invited to the 66th Monterey Jazz Festival in September for rehearsals, performances, master classes, and workshops.
  • The orchestra will appear on the Jimmy Lyons Stage in the Arena to perform with the 2023 MJF Artist-in-Residence.

Application process opens Wednesday, February 15, 2023 at 10am (PST) and closes April 3, 2023 at 5pm (PST).

Application form link:

Before filling out your application form, please check out the audition requirements first:
Please contact Claire Kim-Shin, Education Specialist at / 831.373.8842 for any questions.



Congratulations to the 2022 Next Generation Jazz Orchestra!

NGJO  2022

William Schwartzman, piano / CA
Læsio Littlejohn, bass / TX
Beckett Miles, drums / FL
Blake Slaughter, guitar / SC
Ava Ramsey, vocal / SC

Alex Hong, lead / CA
Skylar Tang / CA
Jonah Hieb / WA
Levi Rozek / IN
Giovanni Martinez / FL

Andre Perlman / FL
Luciano Soriano / CA
Miles Cole / MO
Luke Ramee / NC
Zach Andrews, bass / MO

Cosmo Lieberman, alto / CA
Henry Berberi, alto / MN
Nick Caldwell, tenor / CA
Gael Saldaña, tenor / CA
Noa Zebley, baritone / CA