Scholarships Next generation opportunities for students


Monterey Jazz Festival (MJF) believes all students, regardless of their age, gender, or socioeconomic background should receive equal opportunities to participate in music education and develop musical skills. MJF is committed to making music education accessible and affordable to any students who wish to participate. To support this vision, our Financial Assistance Program provides need-based financial assistance. MJF grants financial assistance based on family annual income, monthly expenses, and the student’s commitment to MJF’s education programs. The level of financial assistance may vary from family to family and may require the Parent/Guardian and/or Student to provide MJF with volunteer services.


Each year, Berklee College of Music and Monterey Jazz Festival seek applicants for the prestigious James L. Lyons Scholarship at Berklee. Established in honor of Monterey Jazz Festival's late founder, James L. (Jimmy) Lyons in 1996, every year since a full-tuition scholarship to Berklee is awarded to one outstanding student musician from the West Coast. Satisfactory academic and musical progress in each successive year will allow the Lyons Scholars to attend Berklee through graduation, entirely tuition-free. All West Coast music students are encouraged to apply.

Berklee faculty members fly to Monterey each year, expressly to audition students during Monterey Jazz Festival’s Next Generation Jazz Festival. Twenty-five students are chosen from the anticipated hundreds of Lyons Scholarship applications Berklee receives. While there is only one Lyons Scholarship awarded yearly, other sizable Berklee scholarships have been awarded to other members from this audition group in the past.

thanks to our EDUCATION partners

Bill Graham Memorial Foundation / Stevenson School / North Coast Brewing Co. / Dennis Murphy School of Music / Enterprise Holdings Foundation / William H. Donner Foundation, Inc. / Monterey County Gives / Monterey Peninsula Volunteer Services / Nancy Buck Ransom Foundation / The National Endowment for the Arts / Sally Hughes Church Foundation / Rotary Club of Cannery Row / Wilhelm Family Foundation / California Arts Council / Dunspaugh-Dalton Foundation / Arts Council of Monterey Country / Pebble Beach Company / Community Foundation for Monterey Country / Harden Foundation / Quest Foundation / Monterey Peninsula Foundation / The David & Lucile Packard Foundation / William and Flora Hewlett Foundation / Denny's