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MONTEREY JAZZ FESTIVAL BRINGS ITS 50th ANNIVERSARY TOUR TO GEORGE MASON UNIVERSITY

January 22, 2008
Contact: Press & Media Relations Coordinator (703-993-8794)

For general information about tickets, seating, parking, etc., for performances and events happening at the Center for the Arts, please contact the ticket office directly at 703-993-2787.

GEORGE MASON UNIVERSITY CENTER FOR THE ARTS
PRESENTS
MONTEREY JAZZ FESTIVAL
50TH ANNIVERSARY TOUR
Sunday, March 9, 2008 at 7 p.m.

Featuring Terence Blanchard, trumpet; James Moody, saxophone;
Benny Green, piano; Nnenna Freelon, vocals;
Derrick Hodges, bass; Kendrick Scott, drums

 

FAIRFAX, Va., Jan. 22, 2008 – For lovers of great jazz, the Monterey Jazz Festival has always been the ultimate jazz experience. This season marks its 50th anniversary, and to commemorate this milestone, the festival has organized a national tour. The Monterey Jazz Festival comes to the Center for the Arts on Sunday, March 9 at 7 p.m. for a night of extraordinary jazz music.

The Monterey Jazz Festival began as a dream for founder Jimmy Lyons and his co-founder and colleague Ralph Gleason. Lyons and Gleason dreamt of a "sylvan setting with the best jazz people in the whole world playing on the same stage, having a whole weekend of jazz." That dream became reality in 1958 with the first Monterey Jazz Festival bringing in artists like Dizzy Gillespie, Louis Armstrong, John Lewis, Shelly Manne, Gerry Mulligan, Art Farmer, Ernestine Anderson, Harry James, Max Roach and Billie Holiday. Every year since then, jazz artists and enthusiasts have gathered together at the Monterey Fairgrounds in Monterey, Calif. during the third weekend in September for a three-day celebration of extraordinary jazz music with workshops, discussions, exhibitions and clinics dedicated to jazz education. Since its inception, the festival has donated its proceeds to music education programs.

True to its tradition, this year’s festival brings together old favorites and new talents, each of whom have strong connections to the festival. Terence Blanchard (trumpet) is a 2007 artist-in-residence at Monterey; James Moody (saxophone) has been performing at Monterey since 1963; Benny Green (piano) was part of the Monterey Jazz Festival high school All-Star Big Band; Nnenna Freelon (guest vocalist) has regularly performed at the Monterey Jazz Festival; and Kendrick Scott (drums) performed with the Berklee Monterey Quartet.

The 50th anniversary festival, held on Sept.21-23, 2007 drew rave reviews from critics and jazz enthusiasts alike. The San Jose Mercury News said that Grammy Award-winning trumpeter Terence Blanchard “could straighten your spine with a single note,” and that drummer Kendrick Scott has “an arsenal of percussion effects unlike anything you’ve ever heard”; while jazzpolice.com described guest vocalist Nnenna Freelon’s voice as “warm, pure and bright—soaring over the crowd.”

 

PNC is the 2007-08 Season Sponsor for Great Performances at Mason.

Tickets for MONTEREY JAZZ FESTIVAL are $42, $34, $21. FAMILY FRIENDLY: Children 12 and under half price! Charge by phone at 888-945-2468 or visit www.tickets.com. The Center for the Arts complex is located on the Fairfax campus of George Mason University at the intersection of Braddock Road and Route 123. Paid parking is located in the deck adjacent to the mainstage Concert Hall and FREE parking is located in university lot K. Visit www.gmu.edu/cfa

GREAT PERFORMANCES AT MASON is a program of George Mason University’s Center for the Arts, the professional presenting arm of the College of Visual and Performing Arts. The College of Visual and Performing Arts exists to create an academic environment in which the arts may be considered both as individual disciplines and as interdisciplinary forms that strengthen each other. Believing that an education in the arts is deepened by regular contact with the work of distinguished visiting artists, the College draws on a variety of professional presenting and producing units where artists from across the country and around the world regularly perform, give master classes, work with students during extended residencies and interact with the community in a variety of other ways. These programs at the Center for the Arts Concert Hall, TheaterSpace, Galleries, Harris Theater and other venues, provide a diverse selection of challenging and entertaining cultural experiences for the University community, as well as Northern Virginia and the greater Washington, D.C. area. The College houses four academic departments: Art and Visual Technology, Dance, Music and Theater.

About George Mason University

George Mason University, located in the heart of Northern Virginia’s technology corridor near Washington, D.C., is an innovative, entrepreneurial institution with national distinction in a range of academic fields. With strong undergraduate and graduate degree programs in engineering, information technology, biotechnology and health care, Mason prepares its students to succeed in the work force and meet the needs of the region and the world. Mason professors conduct groundbreaking research in areas such as cancer, climate change, information technology and the biosciences, and Mason’s Center for the Arts brings world-renowned artists, musicians and actors to its stage. Its School of Law is recognized by U.S. News & World Report as one of the top 35 law schools in the United States.