America is a country founded on the ideals of inclusion and acceptance. Our forefathers were immigrants and since we first formed our country in 1789, the United States has seen a steady stream of new and wonderful citizens making a home on our shores. As a nation, we have reaped the benefits of a diverse population and today enjoy the cultural offerings of a wide variety of peoples.
But, is there a cultural offering recognized the world over as truly American? You have to look no farther than the musical expressionism of Jazz to answer that question. Born in the South during the late 1800’s and evolving out of the call and response singing of African field workers, Jazz has formed the basis of modern popular music from rock and rap to R&B and Reggae.
One of the greatest things about Jazz is that it not only defines culture, but mirrors it as well. As an art form based upon improvisation, it is constantly redefining itself and nowhere is this more apparent that the 2014 edition of the Monterey Jazz Festival.
To experience the genesis of this cultural phenomenon and its offshoots, check out the festival, at September 19-21, 2014 at the Monterey County Fairgrounds & Event Center. Now in its 57th year and widely regarded as the one of the local region’s best festivals, the Monterey Jazz Festival boasts a history and lineup of artists that cannot easily be found anywhere else. Three days of music, food, education and fun are headlined by the incomparable Herbie Hancock on Friday the 19th. The Festival’s modern genesis continues with Saturday headliner, The Roots, the house band for The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon and one of the best bands in the land, brining a modern twist to the super-soul of Philly and traditional groups of New Orleans.
The Festival is about more than good music and a good time. Proceeds from the event benefit local music education programs and the NextGen Jazz Festival which showcases some of the best Middle School, High School and College bands, combos and choirs in the country. The winners of the Next Gen are invited back to the Festival and have the honor of playing with their heroes to a packed audience.
So don’t miss your chance to see some of the world’s best Jazz musicians celebrate this true piece of American culture at the Monterey Jazz Festival. And a One and a Two…