This year’s Berklee Monterey Quintet is playing three times on the Monterey Jazz Festival. The first gig is performing for 600 wiggly, middle school music students, at lunchtime, on the day before the festival begins. The show takes place on the Garden Stage, where the group performs again, complete with fifth member Billy Buss, on Friday night.
It’s already been a heady summer for these guys. Performing as the Roy Guzman Quintet, they ably represented Berklee at the Kennedy Center, Duke Ellington Jazz Festival, and the venerable Newport Jazz Festival, where they were recorded for NPRMusic. They also performed an in-studio concert broadcast for Sirius XM Radio.
The Festival has one the finest jazz education programs of any festival on the planet, and the Monterey Herald came by to do a story on this schoolkids concert, and the festival’s year-round jazz ed. effort. Neat story — yours truly rates a quote! — and you can read it here.
In Monterey, the show is well received, and it’s just hard not be happy and receptive to music on a 75 degree, azure sky day on the coast of No. California. The organizers hit on a great spot 52 years ago to hold this gathering of the jazz tribes — it feels totally perfect.