Berklee Assistant Vice President for Public Information, Rob Hayes, writes from the Next Generation Festival in Monterey, CA, where the Nadia Washington Quartet will perform this weekend. For more information, check out the official press release on

Each spring, the Monterey Jazz Festival produces a three-day wonderland for high school jazz musicians – the Next Generation Festival.  Competitions for spots in the Monterey Jazz Festival in the fall, Berklee auditions for the full-tuition Jimmy Lyons Scholarship, and performances and clinics by major figures make this one of the best places to be if you are in love with your instrument.

Nadia Washington, a jazz vocalist, Berklee senior, and recipient of the Bill Cosby Presidential Scholarship, is leading her Berklee quartet in a series of clinics, performances, and hosting the student jam session, here this weekend.  Josh Hari (bass), from nearby Oakland, CA; Jiri Nedoma, (piano), from not-so-nearby Prague, Czech Republic; and Jonathan Pinson (drums), from the megalopolis to the south, Los Angeles, are her co-conspirators.

Nadia, Josh, and Jonathan, all have history with the Next Gen Festival.  Nadia won the top vocalist award here in 2006.  Jonathan?  He won the Jimmy Lyons Scholarship here in 2007.  And Josh, who’s played Next Gen when the festival was up at the fairgrounds, hijacked a golf cart for a late night joyride on the adjoining golf course.  The year, and his accomplice, must go unnamed.

-Rob Hayes