Monterey Jazz Festival and CSUMB showcase top jazz students in concert

Next Generation Jazz Festival

2021 Next Generation Jazz Orchestra at 64th annual Monterey Jazz Festival | Photo by Randy Tunnell

September 13, 2022

By Walter Ryce

NOTE: This concert is SOLD OUT

The Monterey Jazz Festival and CSU Monterey Bay are partnering to shine a light on some of the best jazz students from across the country. The 2022 Education Showcase is a free evening concert of six young ensembles, happening Sept. 22 at CSUMB’s World Theater. 

Performers include the MJF’s heralded Next Generation Jazz Orchestra, a juried supergroup of top high school jazz musicians from across the country; the Next Generation Women in Jazz Combo featuring the top young women high school musicians; and instrumental ensembles and choirs from two HBCUs (Historically Black College and University) — Morgan State University and Texas Southern University.

“This is such a unique experience for community members and the performers,” said Claire Kim-Shin, MJF’s education specialist. “It’s six groups, coming all the way here, to perform and celebrate the festival and HBCU Week. It’s like a dream come true.”

In addition to showcasing amazing music, marking the 65th year of the Monterey Jazz Festival (happening Sept. 23-25), and recognizing National HBCU Week, it also honors the memory of Robert “Bob” Danziger, who (along with his wife Martha Drexler Lynn) was a big supporter of both MJF and CSUMB’s College of Art, Humanities, and Social Sciences (CAHSS). 

Jeff Jones is the chair of CAHSS’s Music and Performing Arts department. 

“In MPA we’re building the program through mutually beneficial partnerships with like-minded organizations like the Monterey Jazz Festival,” Jones said. “That increases excellence and distinctiveness, and every year we do a little bit more and it gets a little bit better —  this year it’s exponential.” 

He said such partnerships are part of the university’s Founding Vision of adding richness to the region and stewarding its intangible cultural heritage. 

He calls the talent that’s coming to CAHSS’s World Theater stage a “concentrated dose” of the  “best and brightest.” 

That musical virtuosity on the stage is the latest example of the growing partnership and collaboration between MJF and CSUMB, which began in 2018 and extends into the classroom in research, music, and film projects, and to invitations for students to access the MJF historical archives as well as attend the festival — CSUMB will occupy a booth at this year's festival for people to learn more about the university’s Music and Performing Arts program. 

Juanita Cole, dean of the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences, said another partnership that benefits students is a resume and internship workshop with Google, happening before the concert and open to CSUMB students as well as the students performing.  

"This seamlessly integrates our career development initiative into education activities so that the academic journey is intentional and prepares students for life after graduation," Cole said. "I am especially thrilled that the event amplifies the talent of HBCU ensembles and leverages the combined power of inclusive excellence, education, and the performing arts."

Focusing on the music, she said:  "The communion between these young artists and the audience will be amazing to observe."

Jones adds, “One of the exciting things about a project like this is that it takes a big team to make it happen. Dean Cole has been very supportive and has helped us coordinate with partners from all over campus. It’s really humbling and gratifying to see the way everyone has come together to serve our students and local community through this event.” 

But the main aim of the concert will be that it entertains and delights audiences who want to hear top flight jazz music, made by some of the most talented young musicians in the country. 

The 2022 Education Showcase is sponsored by McDonald’s, and is happening 6 - 8:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 22, at CSUMB’s CAHSS World Theater. It’s free for all, however the concert is sold out of seats; those interested in future events from the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences can join the mailing list. For ticketholders, parking information is available on the parking webpage, and CSUMB has transitioned to a mask-friendly campus