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50th Monterey Jazz Festival Lineup Announced

The Monterey Jazz Festival Presented by Verizon celebrates its 50th in grand style as the artists who have shaped both the Festival and the history of jazz reunite with the stages that have made MJF the longest running jazz festival in the world. The world-renowned event takes place September 21-23, 2007 on the familiar oak-studded and beautiful grounds of the Monterey Fairgrounds, the location of the Festival since 1958. Featuring some of the biggest living legends in the jazz world, MJF/50 promises to be the key event of 2007 in the world of live music.

A stellar list of artists will grace the Arena/Lyons Stage including Diana Krall, Sonny Rollins, Ornette Coleman, the Dave Brubeck Quartet featuring the legendary guitarist Jim Hall, John McLaughlin and the 4th Dimension, the Gerald Wilson Orchestra, Los Lobos, bluesmen Otis Taylor and James Hunter, Cuban vocalist Issac Delgado and the supergroup of Dave Holland, Gonzalo Rubalcaba, Chris Potter and Eric Harland.

2007 MJF Artist-In-Residence, trumpeter Terence Blanchard, will appear with the MJF Chamber Orchestra, with his own quintet, with the Next Generation Jazz Orchestra, and also with the MJF 50th Anniversary All-Stars, featuring James Moody, Nnenna Freelon, Benny Green, Kendrick Scott, and Derrick Hodge. MJF/50 Showcase Artist, Jim Hall, will appear with his own quartet, in duo with pianist Geoff Keezer, and with Dave Brubeck's Quartet. And MJF/50 Commission Artist, Gerald Wilson, will premiere Monterey Moods, his third milestone composition for MJF.

Arena artists also appearing on the Grounds include bluesmen Otis Taylor and James Hunter, guitarist Jim Hall, trumpeter Terence Blanchard, Gerald Wilson and his Orchestra, the MJF 50th Anniversary All-Stars, featuring Terence Blanchard, James Moody, Nnenna Freelon, Benny Green, Kendrick Scott, and Derrick Hodge; and bassist Dave Holland, appearing with Gonzalo Rubalcaba, Chris Potter and Eric Harland.

Friday, September 21 will kick off the Festival with the multi-cultural and multi-dimensional talents of Cuban singer Issac Delgado; iconic bassist Dave Holland, appearing with Gonzalo Rubalcaba, Chris Potter and Eric Harland in a special all-star band; and the influential and mesmerizing guitarist John McLaughlin. On the Grounds, the vibe will be no less electric with the New Grooves show in Dizzy's Den being visited by three slices of funk bands from New Orleans, Ivan Neville's Dumpstaphunk, the Brass Funk Rock group Bonerama, and the jazz-inflected Papa Grows Funk.

Also on Friday night, in a meeting of genius minds, Jim Hall and Geoff Keezer will perform as an understated yet intense duo; the freewheeling guitarist Anthony Wilson and his Nonet will perform, and the cutting-edge pianist Craig Taborn and his Trio will forge new sounds. The Grounds will also feature the Terence Blanchard Quintet performing their visionary and rootsy brand of jazz, the straight-ahead groove of Along Came Betty,and the gifted students of the Berklee-Monterey Quartet.

Saturday, September 22 will showcase a world of music from the blues to the symphonic, with the best-of-the-best in between. The Arena/Lyons Stage will rock in the afternoon with the raw blues sounds of artists Otis Taylor and James Hunter, followed by the legendary Los Lobos, featuring their own blend of blues, rockabilly, and Latin jazz, mixed with the music of their Mexican-American heritage. Evening on the Arena/Lyons Stage will turn from the blues to the highly anticipated debut of two large scale pieces--Artist-In-Residence Terence Blanchard's Requiem for Katrina with the MJF Chamber Orchestra, and 2007 Commission Artist Gerald Wilson's Monterey Moods, his third commission for the historic anniversaries of the Festival (25th, 40th, and 50th). The evening will end with the reigning queen of cool, Diana Krall in her third appearance at Monterey, her first MJF visit since 1999.

Saturday, the MJF grounds will witness an international cornucopia of blues, straight-ahead jazz, elegant vocalists, the avant-garde, jazz legends, and rising stars. Appearing will be the quartets of legendary six-stringers Jim Hall (MJF's 2007 Showcase Artist) and Kenny Burrell, plus the electrified bluesy Mimi Fox Trio; rising young trumpeters Sean Jones and Christian Scott; the rollicking pianism of the Cyrus Chestnut Trio and the Shigeru Morishita Quintet; the radiant power of vocalists Ernestine Anderson and Lynne Fiddmont; the trailblazing drummer Rashied Ali and his Quintet; and the down-home traditional and electric-trance blues of James Hunter and Otis Taylor. Also featured will be the blues supergroup, The Honeydripper All-Stars, who are the subject of the John Sayles new film Honeydripper, which will be previewed in the Festival's Jazz Theater. Gerald Wilson and his Orchestra will also perform on the grounds on Saturday, as will bassist Dave Holland, with Gonzalo Rubalcaba, Chris Potter and Eric Harland.

Sunday, September 23 will cap off the 50th celebratory weekend in style, displaying the rich artistry of the living musical legends that have made Monterey the favorite jazz festival in the world (voted best jazz festival in the 2006 and 2007 JazzTimes Readers' Poll), featured with the future stars of jazz. On the Sunday afternoon Arena/Lyons Stage, Los Angeles County High School for the Arts Big Band (winner of the 37th Annual National High School Competition at the Next Generation Festival) and the Next Generation Jazz Orchestra will take the stage along with Terence Blanchard. Ornette Coleman, one of the primary architects of jazz, will close Sunday's show, performing with his Grammy-nominated group.

Sunday night will offer a fitting culmination to the Festival's historic celebration with the premiere of the Monterey Jazz Festival 50th Anniversary All-Stars. Terence Blanchard, vocalist Nnenna Freelon, pianist Benny Green, legendary saxophonist James Moody, drummer Kendrick Scott, and bassist Derrick Hodge will perform; each has a strong connection with the Festival.

Blanchard is the 2007 Artist-In-Residence at Monterey, James Moody has been performing at Monterey since 1963, and Benny Green is a graduate of the Festival's world-renowned Jazz Education Programs, having performed as a high schooler with the Monterey Jazz Festival High School All-Star Big Band in the 1970s. Nnenna Freelon, a regular performer at MJF, also has connections with MJF Jazz Education Programs, having performed at the Festival's annual High School Jazz Competition. Kendrick Scott performed with the Berklee-Monterey Quartet at the Festival in 2000. This special group will tour across 60 cities in the United States, from January through March of 2008.

Sunday night will also witness the return of one of the patriarchs of the Festival, Dave Brubeck. Fans will be treated to a meeting of the minds as the Brubeck Quartet performs with a legendary architect and innovator of modern jazz guitar, Jim Hall, who also performed at the first Monterey Jazz Festival.

The finale on Sunday night will be the appearance of Sonny Rollins, the 6th time the legendary artist has performed at the Festival. The final night of the 50th Monterey Jazz Festival promises to rival the early MJF years, offering one of the most richly intense and memorable lineups in memory.

Sunday Grounds artist lineup will offer a gourmet selection of internationally known masters and young emerging talent. Audiences can enjoy the piano mastery of the Kenny Barron Trio and Jacky Terrasson, the unprecedented talents of Richard Galliano playing bebop accordion, and the jagged new music of the Smith Dobson V Quintet. The historic Monterey Jazz Festival 50th Anniversary All-Stars will also play a set on the Grounds, with additional appearances by MJF stalwart drummer Benny Barth and his Trio, featuring Buddy Montgomery. Also on Sunday will be the groove-oriented audience favorite, the “Hammond B-3 Blowout” featuring a double bill of the Joey DeFrancesco Trio and Atsuko Hashimoto Trio (with Houston Person and Jeff Hamilton).

Sunday marks the return of Family Day sponsored by Macy's, reprising the concept launched at the 2006 MJF. Family Day features activities and fun for fans and families of all ages, including a Percussion Playshop where kids can have a hands-on experience with percussion instruments, the “Jazzy Jumper” where kids can bounce the day away, musical entertainment by the Banana Slug String Band, Sambada, and the country's best high school bands appearing in nearby Dizzy's Den.

In a move to mark the Festival's 50th Anniversary and leave a legacy for future fans, MJF will open a brand new area and a brand new venue on the grounds of MJF/50.

Lyons Lane, named in honor of MJF founder Jimmy Lyons, will be an expansion of the grounds located adjacent to the Arena entrance on the Festival midway. As patrons stroll down the lane, they will relive the history, images, and music of the Monterey Jazz Festival in special MJF history displays. Partners-including Starbucks Coffee and ZonePerfect Nutrition Bars-will be distributing complimentary coffee and samples on the Lane, while partners from Borders will be hosting autograph sessions with MJF artists at a Borders Store on Lyons Lane.

At the end of Lyons Lane, fans will discover a brand new MJF venue called Lyons Lounge. Lyons Lounge was established in honor of MJF's historic milestone and is dedicated to the future. The Lounge will offer fans a hip jazz club, with DJ Logic and San Francisco DJ Vinnie Esparza remixing jazz, hip-hop, and dance music all weekend in a setting that promises to be the place to be at MJF/50.

The Festival is celebrating its 50th year with a range of activities and offerings. The milestone year will kick-off with a Golden Gala Celebration on April 7, 2007 at Tehama Golf Club. The evening will feature cocktails, dinner, entertainment, and the premiere presentation of the MJF Legends Award to Dave Brubeck. Space is still available as of this date.

Other pre-Festival events include an evening celebration of art and jazz at the Monterey Museum of Art on June 26, 2007. The event will include a preview and private viewing of the museum's “Henr Matisse: Jazz” exhibition and a concert with special guest Terence Blanchard. Reservations and information are available from the museum at (831) 372-5477 extension 20, or from www.montereyart.org. 50 years of MJF images and memorabilia are also scheduled to be on display at Monterey Peninsula Airport this fall.

Art and jazz feature prominently in the Festival's new publication “The Art of Jazz: Monterey Jazz Festival / 50 Years” telling the story of the Festival through its graphic imagery and photographic moments, capturing the MJF experience through posters, program covers, and exclusive photographs dating back to 1958. “The Art of Jazz” also includes a list of artists who have performed at MJF, along with a decade-by-decade look at the world and the Festival. “The Art of Jazz” will be available for purchase online at www.montereyjazzfestival.org.

Another aspect of the festival will be seen--and heard--with the formation of Monterey Jazz Festival Records, in conjunction with the Concord Music Group. Since 1958, the Festival has recorded nearly all of its Arena shows, leaving us a true legacy, a living history of jazz. MJF is issuing these rare and rarefied recordings, along with recordings of new groups performing at the Festival, through Monterey Jazz Festival Records. Fans may sign up for the MJF e-mail list at www.montereyjazzfestival.org for more details and a release schedule.

MJF's Front Box Auction presents another opportunity for jazz fans to enjoy the Monterey Jazz Festival while supporting Jazz Education. From March 30 until June 1, patrons can bid to sit at the front of the Arena with three of their closest friends in a Front Box for the 50th Anniversary. For more information, please visit www.montereyjazzfestival.org.

During the Festival, fans are also encouraged to visit the MJF Booth in the center of the midway to participate in the MJF Silent Auction featuring unique jazz memorabilia and collector's items, with all auction proceeds benefiting MJF Jazz Education Programs.

The Festival's 9th Annual Golf 'n' Jazz Tournament is a rare opportunity to play Pasadera, an outstanding Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course. This exclusive event includes a buffet lunch, jazzy gift bag, and golf with cart, plus an evening to remember at elegant Pasadera Country Club following the Tournament. The evening will feature cocktails, hors d'oeuvres, a sumptuous buffet dinner, a jazz concert and live auction, plus the golf awards ceremony. The Tournament takes place on Thursday, September 20, 2007.

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