Monterey Jazz Festival Announces 2018 Next Generation Jazz Orchestra Members and 20-Day Summer Tour in California and Japan

NGJO Performs with Tia Fuller and Ingrid Jensen at the 61st Annual Monterey Jazz Festival, September 23, 2018

Monterey, Calif; July 2, 2018; Monterey Jazz Festival is proud to announce the 2018 members of its Next Generation Jazz Orchestra, the Festival's internationally-renowned high school all-star big band, featuring the best high school jazz musicians in the country.

Twenty-one of the nation’s most talented high school musicians from eight states comprise the Next Generation Jazz Orchestra, including California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, New Jersey, New York, Virginia, and Washington State. Read the biographies of the Next Generation Jazz Orchestra members.

California musicians include students from Alameda, Contra Costa, Los Angeles, Sacramento, San Mateo, Santa Clara, and Solano counties.

Four members of the orchestra are returning for their second year, including alto saxophonist Willie Bays (Olympia High School, Olympia, Wash.); trombonist Leo Markel (Alexander W. Dreyfoos School of the Arts, West Palm Beach, Fla.); guitarist Jordan Reifkind (Los Angeles County High School for the Arts, Los Angeles, Calif.) and trumpeter Kate Williams (Vanden High School, Fairfield, Calif.)

The 2018 orchestra will travel to Monterey and the San Francisco Bay Area for rehearsals and to perform at the Coventry Grove Amphitheatre in Berkeley on Saturday, July 21. The Orchestra will travel to Japan on July 22 for a tour, which will include performances at the Monterey Jazz Festival in Noto (July 28); and the Tokyo TUC jazz club (August 1), as well as cultural exchanges, workshops and performances with local schools and bands.

In September, the orchestra will return to Monterey to perform the annual free “Concert on the Lawn” for Monterey County students on the Monterey County Fairgrounds (Sept. 20) with an evening performance at MJF’s Jazz Legends Gala honoring Dianne Reeves at the Inn at Spanish Bay in Pebble Beach. The Orchestra will perform throughout the Festival including a special performance with MJF61 Artists-in-Residence Tia Fuller and Ingrid Jensen on the Arena’s Jimmy Lyons Stage on Sunday, September 23.

Created in 1971 as a part of Monterey Jazz Festival's continuing commitment to jazz education, former members of the orchestra include professional musicians pianists Benny Green and Patrice Rushen; bassist Larry Grenadier; drummer Chad Wackerman; saxophonists Joshua Redman, Donny McCaslin, Eric Marienthal, Ted Nash, Mark Turner, and Dave Koz; flutist Elena Ayodele Pinderhughes; trombonist Andy Martin; trumpeters Gilbert Castellanos and Ambrose Akinmusire; and big band leader Gordon Goodwin to name a few. Read full history of the Next Generation Jazz Orchestra.

About Monterey Jazz Festival
The Monterey Jazz Festival celebrates the legacy of jazz, expands its boundaries, and provides opportunities to experience jazz through the creative production of performances and educational programs.

2018 Next Generation Jazz Orchestra
Paul Contos, Director

Ian Muñoz
, alto / New World School of the Arts, Miami, Fla.
Willie Bays,** alto / Olympia High School, Olympia, Wash.
Erik Nelson, tenor / Albany High School, Albany, Calif.
Kieran Hitsman, tenor / Dillard High School, Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.
Jason Arkins, baritone / Carmel High School, Carmel Hamlet, N.Y.

Jack McDonald
/ Champaign Central High School, Champaign, Ill.
Jonathan Gittings / Princeton High School, Princeton, N.J.
Ethan Avery / Crossroads School for Arts and Sciences, Santa Monica, Calif.
Kate Williams** / Vanden High School, Fairfield, Calif.
Joey Curreri / Academy of Music and Performing Arts at Hamilton High School, Los Angeles, Calif.

Zachary Niess
/ Yorktown High School, Arlington, Va.
Leo Markel** / Alexander W. Dreyfoos School of the Arts, West Palm Beach, Fla.
Sam Keedy / Denver School of the Arts, Denver, Colo.
Benjamin Conn / Agoura High School, Agoura Hills, Calif.
Joe Turgeon (bass) / Jesuit High School, Sacramento, Calif.

Zack Shubert
, piano / Carlmont High School, Belmont, Calif.
Jordan Reifkind,** guitar / Los Angeles County High School for the Arts, Los Angeles, Calif.
Isaac Coyle, bass / El Cerrito High School, El Cerrito, Calif.
Peter Glynn, drums / Columbia High School, Maplewood, N.J.
Michael Wang, drums / Los Altos High School, Los Altos, Calif.
William Brandt, vocals / Academy of Music and Performing Arts at Hamilton High School, Los Angeles, Calif.

** 2-year NGJO Member

2018 Tour Dates
July 21: Coventry Grove Amphitheatre, Berkeley, Calif.
July 23-26: Performance and exchange activities, Awaji Island
July 26: Performance in Awaji Gakuen
July 26-30: Performances in city of Nanao
July 28: Monterey Jazz Festival in Noto, Nanao
July 30-Aug. 1: Performance and exchange, Free Hills Jazz Program, Nagoya
July 31: Free Hills Jazz, Nagoya
Aug. 1: Tokyo TUC jazz club, Tokyo
Aug. 2-6: Performances, workshops, exchanges with the Tomisato Mad Hatters
August 4: Tomisato Jazz Festival
September 20: Concert on the Lawn, Garden Stage, Monterey County Fairgrounds, Monterey, Calif.
September 20: Jazz Legends Gala, The Inn at Spanish Bay, Pebble Beach, Calif.
September 23: 61st Monterey Jazz Festival, Jimmy Lyons Stage, Monterey, Calif.


For more information, bios, interview opportunities, and high-resolution pictures, please contact:

Timothy Orr
Marketing Associate
Monterey Jazz Festival
9699 Blue Larkspur Lane, Suite 204
Monterey, Calif. 93940
Direct Line: 831.646.8670
MJF Phone: 831.373.3366