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Monterey Festival Features Top Jazz Musicians - 2003-09-19

Some of today's top jazz musicians will be appearing this weekend, at the Monterey Jazz Festival in Monterey, California. Now in its 46th year, Monterey is the longest continuing jazz festival in the world. In keeping with tradition, audiences will see and hear the premier of a commissioned jazz piece, delve into blues, soul, Zydeco and world music, and cheer on the country's best high school and college jazz bands.

Guitarist Ralph Towner will premier this year's new work commissioned by the Monterey Jazz Festival. He'll be accompanied by Grammy Award-winning vibraphonist Gary Burton who is the festival's "Showcase Monterey" Artist.

More than 500 artists will perform on seven different stages at the Monterey Fairgrounds. The Jimmy Lyons Arena Stage, named after the festival's founder, will showcase the weekend's biggest names, including guitarist John McLaughlin, the Michel CamiloTrio and Eddie Palmieri on a night called "Global Perspectives;" the Berkeley High School Jazz Ensemble, the Monterey Jazz Festival High School All Star Band, and The Crusaders' reunion for "Masters Meet The Future;" The Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Buckwheat Zydeco, and The Neville Brothers as part of "New Orleans in Monterey;" and the "Swingin' Finale," featuring the Herbie Hancock Quartet, trumpeter Dave Douglas, and vocalist Nnenna Freelon.

But that's not all. Other stages throughout the fairgrounds feature singer Kurt Elling, who also performs on the Arena stage with fellow Four Brothers vocalists Jon Hendricks, Mark Murphy and Kevin Mahogany; jazz funk groups Soulive and Metalwood; fusion pioneers Oregon; pianist Jacky Terrasson; and rising star Peter Cincotti.

In addition, the 46th Annual Monterey Jazz Festival will feature panel discussions, jazz clinics, photo exhibits, and a sneak preview of the upcoming film documentary by Martin Scorsese The Blues.