Monterey Jazz Festival Celebrating 60 Years

By Cameron Pridmore

The time is almost among us again, the Monterey Jazz Festival is set to take place September 15th – 17th in Monterey, California. The Jazz Festival in Monterey is a little different this year as it is celebrating its sixtieth birthday. It is amazing that in today’s era of music, there is such anticipation for a Jazz Festival. Jazz music is still a very big part of Monterey culture, which is an area that is right near one of California’s most beautiful beaches. The festival which has been held at the Monterey County Fairgrounds has been held at the same location for sixty years.

The Jazz festival is more than just a musical gathering though; there are also different food vendors who specifically come to the festival once a year. You can taste a variety of different local seafood from the San Francisco Bay Area, urban cuisine, Italian cuisine, and even street food like some of the best local hot dogs that you will ever taste. For the 2017 even there are a couple of new artists who are set to perform, GoGo Penguin is a group who is based out of Britain who specializes in a unique acoustic sound. This is a wonderfully unique smooth jazz sound, and a group who definitely deserves more recognition in the states.

There is also going to be a Jazz Legends Gala at this year’s event, this is an instrumental moment in jazz history as there is a new inductee this year. Herbie Hancock who is a well-known pianist will be receiving the Jazz Legend Award at this year’s event. Regina Carter will also be partaking in this event; she will be performing her new single “Simply Ella” as part of the 2017 MJF Showcase. Mr. Sipp will be performing his well-known single “The Mississippi Blues Child” on Saturday Afternoon.

There is also going to be a tribute concert to Sonny Rollins, who was instrumental in being one of the original Monterey Jazz Festival artists. The event will also feature many different acts performing in the afternoon and the evening. This is a very family friendly event, and a great opportunity to teach children the importance of Jazz music, especially nowadays where most pop music is generated on a computer using beat creation software. There is still a festival going in this country where you can hear real instruments playing for an entire weekend, and that is the Monterey Jazz Festival.