The Colburn Jazz Workshop’s Big Band performs at the Monterey Next Generation Jazz Festival (Photo: Dr. Walter Simonsen)
In March, three jazz ensembles took home prizes in the finals of the Monterey Next Generation Jazz Festival. The Thursday Night Band placed first in the Conglomerate Combo Division. The Big Band won second prize in the Conglomerate Big Band Division and the Monday Night Band won third prize in the Conglomerate Combo Division. The yearly festival is one of the most prestigious competitions for young jazz ensembles. This year is the first time that all competing ensembles from the Colburn Jazz Workshop advanced to the finals and won prizes.
Several individual students received additional honors for their performances and achievements:
The Thursday Night Band and the Monday Night Band are directed by Jazz Chair Lee Secard, and the Big Band is led by Mr. Secard and Assistant Director Dr. Walter Simonsen. As the first prizewinners, the Thursday Night Band will make their debut on the mainstage at the Monterey Jazz Festival this fall, which features top jazz artists in the world each year. The 2018 festival marked the fourth year the Big Band has advanced to the finals, the fourth year for the Thursday Night Band, and the eighth time in 11 years the Monday Night Band has advanced. The Colburn Jazz Workshop and SFJAZZ were the only programs to have more than one group place in multiple divisions.
Introduced in 1971 as the California High School Jazz Band Competition by Monterey Jazz Festival Founder Jimmy Lyons, the competition was conceived as a way to bring talented student groups to Monterey and to cultivate musicians for the future. The festival welcomes performances by middle school, high school, and collegiate groups of every kind: big bands, combos, and vocal ensembles, as well as conglomerate bands. Winning ensembles perform at the legendary Monterey Jazz Festival in the fall.
Visit this link to learn more about the Monterey Next Generation Jazz Festival.