Monterey Jazz Festival Launches 50th Grounds Entertainment

Dr. Lonnie Smith

September 7, 2007
Media Contact: Timothy Orr
Direct Line: 510-652-1122
MJF Phone: 831-373-3366 X252
Monterey Jazz Festival Launches 50th Grounds Entertainment With 500 Artists On 8 Stages For Nonstop Celebration Of Milestone Event
Hip New DJ Dance Club ” Lyons Lounge” Debuts, New ” Lyons Lane ” Showcases MJF History, “New Grooves in New Orleans ” on Friday, Sunday Salutes “Family Day”
Gerald Wilson Orchestra, Terence Blanchard, Ernestine Anderson, Jim Hall, Dave Holland, Gonzalo Rubalcaba, Chris Potter, Eric Harland, Kenny Burrell, Otis Taylor, Nnenna Freelon, Benny Green, James Moody, Mort Sahl, John Sayles, Clint Eastwood, And More Slated For The Jazz Party Of The Century, September 21-23 On Monterey Fairgrounds
September 7, 2007; Monterey, California; The 50th Annual Monterey Jazz Festival Presented by Verizon is going to offer jazz fans both an historic and groundbreaking weekend, September 21-23, 2007. The most anticipated jazz event of the year, MJF/50 will feature over 500 artists on 8 stages of Grounds entertainment, along with 3 venues simulcasting the MJF Arena’s 5 concerts. With prices starting at just $35 for Friday, MJF/50 Grounds Tickets are the answer to a jazz fan’s dreams and a bargain to boot.
Grounds Artists will include the Gerald Wilson Orchestra, Terence Blanchard, Ernestine Anderson, Jim Hall, Dave Holland, Gonzalo Rubalcaba, Chris Potter, Eric Harland, Kenny Burrell, Otis Taylor, Nnenna Freelon, Benny Green, James Moody, Rashied Ali, and many more over three nights and two days of music.
In honor of this historic occasion, the Festival has opened a new area, Lyons Lane (named in honor of MJF founder Jimmy Lyons), with a call to fans to “celebrate our past and sample the future.” The Festival’s history-laden past will be showcased by “Monterey through the Eyes of the Media,” a display of previews, reviews, and articles about MJF from 1958 through 2007. Featuring autograph sessions, free samples of cool products, a new E-Mail Station, and a chance for fans to share their MJF memories, Lyons Lane will be open during all Festival hours.
At the end of Lyons Lane , fans will discover Lyons Lounge, the Festival’s first new venue in years and the Festival’s first ever dance venue. DJ Logic and Vinnie Esparza will be remixing hip-hop, jazz and dance tracks from 8:00 pm nightly, with the Lounge opening at 7:00 pm on every Festival evening.
The 50th Annual Monterey Jazz Festival presented by Verizon offers fans three nights and two days of legendary music, international food, shopping, and entertainment for families and fans of all ages, in one of the world’s most beautiful settings.

Grounds tickets are selling at a record pace. Fans are strongly urged to buy tickets now to avoid disappointment and increased prices on day of show. Bought in advance, a three-day Grounds Pass costs $110 and is the most cost-effective way to see hundreds of outstanding jazz artists on the 8 stages on the Monterey Fairgrounds. Tickets are now on sale from the Ticket Office (925-275-9255) and online at Grounds Tickets are priced at $35 for Friday, $45 for Saturday or Sunday and $110 for all three days. Tickets bought at the door will increase by $5 per ticket during the Festival. Grounds Tickets include daily access to all Grounds concerts, events and activities on 8 stages spread throughout the Monterey Fairgrounds, and includes simulcasts of all Arena concerts in The Jazz Theater, The Bose Performance at Home Pavilion and the Festival’s Champagne Bar, Klub Korbel, featuring audio by Bose.
If you’re looking to see jazz legends up close and hear gritty New Orleans street funk, classic combos, elegant duos, hard-driving big bands, world class blues artists, greasy soul-jazz organ trios, cutting-edge DJs or esteemed vocalists–or are just looking to soak up the legendary aura and excitement of the communal feeling on the Monterey Fairgrounds, surrounded by world-class vendors, renowned food and outdoor family fun in beautiful weather–the Monterey Jazz Festival’s Grounds Tickets are the way to spend a day or a weekend at the must-see jazz event of the year.
Many of the Lyons Stage headlining artists are appearing in Grounds venues, including the supergroup of Dave Holland, Gonzalo Rubalcaba, Chris Potter and Eric Harland, the unstoppable Gerald Wilson Orchestra, MJF’s Artist-In-Residence, the virtuoso trumpeter Terence Blanchard, the legendary and influential guitarists Jim Hall and Kenny Burrell. A special treat awaits Grounds attendees with the 50th Annual Monterey Jazz Festival All-Stars featuring Terence Blanchard, Nnenna Freelon, James Moody, Benny Green, Kendrick Scott and Derrick Hodge, and the exuberant soul of James Hunter and the trance blues of Otis Taylor.
Friday night’s entertainment will highlight “New Grooves in New Orleans” across the Festival Fairgrounds. Dizzy’s Den will get funky with the rarified groove of Ian Neville’s Dumpstaphunk and the thunderous Bonerama, while the Garden Stage will shake with the jazz-inflected Mardi Gras sounds of Papa Grows Funk after the straight-ahead classic jazz combos of Along Came Betty and the exceptionally gifted students in the Berklee-Monterey Quartet kick off the festival.
Elsewhere on the Fairgrounds, Friday Grounds concertgoers can enjoy the cool sounds of the Anthony Wilson Nonet in the Night Club, followed by the intimate duo of guitarist Jim Hall and pianist Geoff Keezer. Capping the Night Club in style will be the Terence Blanchard Quintet, performing their visionary blend of straight-ahead and forward-looking jazz. Patrons of the intimate Coffee House Gallery will be treated to three sets from the Brooklyn
pianist Craig Taborn Trio, taking listeners in to the unknown. The newly christened Lyon ’s Lounge will also reverberate as the newest addition to the Grounds, with undeniably cutting-edge sets from turntablists DJ Logic and Vinnie Esparza.
Saturday’s Grounds entertainment features an extraordinary and eclectic mix of jazz, blues, top-shelf instrumental artists and award-winning vocal talent. Saturday Grounds Artists include renowned vocalists Ernestine Anderson and Lynne Fiddmont, contemporary guitarist Mimi Fox and her Trio, the trailblazing drummer Rashied Ali and his Quintet, emerging new trumpet phenoms Sean Jones and Christian Scott, the Brazilian sounds of Sambada, the classic piano trio of Cyrus Chestnut, the legendary Kenny Burrell Quintet, the cinematic blues of the Honeydripper All Stars, Japanese piano star Shigeru Morishita and his Quintet and the laser-precision of the Cal State Long Beach Concert Jazz Orchestra.
Sunday marks “Family Day” at the Monterey Jazz Festival, with activities and more for the whole family to enjoy, sponsored by Macy’s. Patrons will be treated to a variety of music perfect for families and fans of all ages—including the Banana Slug String Band, Sambada and the Hot Club of San Francisco. Family activities on the Grounds also include a Percussion Playshop for kids of all ages, and a “Jazzy Jumper” for the young ones, providing terrific entertainment for families while enjoying the festivities of the Fairgrounds’ grassy picnic areas, international food, shopping, and more.
Highlighting up-and-coming youth in jazz, Family Day Grounds Artists will feature the winners from MJF’s 37th annual National High School Jazz Competition – part of the Next Generation Festival – including the Hamilton High School and Los Angeles County High School for the Arts Vocal Jazz Ensembles, the Buchanan and Folsom High School ‘A’ Jazz Bands, and the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts Combo ‘G’, along with the MJF Monterey County High School All-Star Band and the 2007 Clifford Brown-Stan Getz Fellows.
Other artists for Sunday’s line-up includes the ultra-funky “Hammond B3 Blowout” with organists Joey DeFrancesco and his trio and the Atsuko Hashimoto Trio, featuring Houston Person and Jeff Hamilton; the incomparable Kenny Barron Trio, and the solo piano of Jack Terrasson. MJF will “give the drummer some” by featuring the Santa Cruz-based Smith Dobson V, MJF veterans Benny Barth and Buddy Montgomery, and the Monterey All-Stars Presented by Andy Weis in a tip of the hat to local and regional performers that have given the Monterey Peninsula the reputation of being home to some of the top talent in the nation.
Also included in the weekend are freewheeling discussions on topics in jazz and beyond, and include Saturday afternoon’s Blindfold Test with Gerald Wilson, presented by DownBeat, and a conversation with comedy legend and host of the MJF/1, Mort Sahl. Sunday afternoon’s panels will focus on “Music & Movies” with a conversation with film icons Clint Eastwood and John Sayles, moderated by Paul DeBarros. A panel discussion about MJF’s co-founder, Ralph Gleason, hosted by Dan Ouellette and presented by the Jazz Journalists Association, will include expert industry journalists, historians and close associates Darlene Chan, Paul DeBarros, Toby Gleason, Ashley Kahn, Orrin Keepnews, and Bill Minor. Also featured during the weekend will be a sneak preview of John Sayles’ new film, Honeydripper, and a historic re-showing of Ralph Gleason’s 1968 film celebrating MJF’s 10th anniversary.
In addition, “Behind the Lens / 50 Years of MJF Photos,” a special exhibit of photographic images of Monterey artists from the last 50 years will be on display throughout the weekend in the Coffee House Gallery. The show features images captured through the lenses of Ray Avery, Michael Piazza and Ron Hudson, all photographers who have indelibly shaped the public image of artists who have appeared onstage at Monterey . In addition, the Coffee House Gallery will feature a special show, “Beware of Propellers / The Last Brecker Sessions” of the last photos taken of Michael Brecker by Michael Piazza.
Also included for the 50th will be the arrival of the first six Monterey Jazz Festival Records releases, which includes historic live performances from such legends such as Miles Davis, Thelonious Monk, Dizzy Gillespie, Louis Armstrong, Sarah Vaughan, and a special MJF Records Sampler. The live sets have been in the MJF Archives for 50 years, and will be some of the most anticipated CDs of the year. In addition, the Festival’s new publication, The Art of Jazz: Monterey Jazz Festival / 50 Years will be available, recounting the history, photographic images and artwork of the Festival since 1958.
A weekend spent in Monterey will be a weekend spent in a historic place during historic times. Fans are encouraged to buy their tickets early, as Weekend Grounds Passes are selling faster than anticipated. The 50th Monterey Jazz Festival will be the hottest ticket of 2007. For a list of hotels, motels, inns, and bed & breakfasts offering you quality accommodations at a reasonable cost, please visit for more information or contact the Monterey County Convention & Visitors Bureau at
The Monterey Jazz Festival is proud to have committed and supportive sponsors for the mission and educational goals of the Festival. MJF is proud to welcome back for the 23rd year our Presenting Partner Verizon, donating a staggering $2,850,000 to date to MJF’s Jazz Education Programs. MJF’s other essential partners (including Yamaha, Bose, Apple iTunes, Jekel and Five River Vineyards, Korbel Champagne, North Coast Brewing Company, KKSF, Borders, Macy’s, San Jose Mercury News, JazzTimes Magazine, DownBeat Magazine, Starbucks, JetBlue, Monterra/Tehama Realty, My Jazz Network, Geico, the California Department of Conservation, and ZonePerfect Nutrition Bars) provide a multitude of essential and needed items and services for the Festival that add to the enjoyment of all who attend as artists, fans, and staff.
The Monterey Jazz Festival is also made possible with generous support from our grantors, The James Irvine Foundation, The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, The National Endowment for the Arts, and The Community Foundation for Monterey County/Communities Advancing the Arts.
For tickets, please call the Ticket Office (925-275-9255) and for a detailed schedule of times, artist appearances and locations, please visit
For more information, please contact:
Timothy Orr, Marketing Associate
Direct Line:510-652-1122
MJF Phone: 831-373-3366 X252
Photo of organ great Dr. Lonnie Smith by James Knox. All rights reserved.

One Response to “Monterey Jazz Festival Launches 50th Grounds Entertainment”

  1. What a great festival! I understand the festivals across the country are geared to support the local school systems in their communities. And with a schedule of artists and stars that bring in the gate, I think there was a major lack of attention in one area of the festival this past September. Brian Stock’s Uncle played in the first festival 50 years ago. And Brian played the first act with “Along Comes Betty.” How apropriate! A man named Andy Weis produced a program that ended the festival on The Garden Stage with Brian Stock also in that group playing the ending of the festival. No one in the media, or in the MJF organization picked up on that to promote it as a part of history for the festival.
    Also, that last act was made up of “Andy Weis and The Local Monterey Jazz Allstars.”
    From I am told, these cats, and catettes were all local talent making a living in and around the Monterey area supporting the local music community and had an opportunity to be gathered in one group of seventeen of the finest working musicians from the area. And hardly a mention? This was inappropriate. I thought it was a brilliant idea for whomever thought to have local talent close the show in The Garden. Most of those players have literally played all over the planet. And virtually no mention or promoting them? The seventeen on the Garden Stage deserved a little more attention than they received. Bobby Philips playing keybord and no promotion? Local music teacher Paul Contos sax extrodinaire? and on and on…
    Yes, I’ll participate next year and buy a ticket, and yes I will donate my $50.00 also. But I hope the festival understands the “Missed Opportunity” in marketing this act, “Andy Weis and Friends” because of each of the seventeen musicians notariety individually and collectively on one stage? Anniversary the event, promote it, and you will have additional revenue for the schools, I guarantee it!

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