By Jane Cohen and Bob Grossweiner

The esteemed Monterey Jazz Festival is celebrating its 50th anniversary next year with a 10-week, 54-date, 22-state tour of the Monterey Jazz Festival 50th Anniversary Band, Jan. 8-March. 16.

The specially assembled anniversary band features three generations of jazz masters from the past, present and future with trumpeter Terence Blanchard, saxophonist James Moody, musical director/pianist Benny Green, bassist Derrick Hodge, drummer Kendrick Scott, and vocalist Nnenna Freelon.

Each member of the 50th Anniversary Band has a special relationship with the festival: Moody first appeared at the festival in the early 60’s with Dizzy Gillespie; Green participated in the festival’s educational programs as a teenager in the 70’s; and Blanchard was an artist-in-residence in 2007. Freelon has been performing at the festival since the mid-90’s; Scott was a three-time member of the Berklee-Monterey Quartet from 1999-2002; and Hodge has been a member of Blanchard’s bands that have performed at fest.

TFL and ATBS for ticketing professionals

“We wanted to create a lasting legacy for our 50th anniversary,” said Monterey Jazz Festival General Manager Tim Jackson in a statement. “To kick it off, we’ve assembled some of the masters of jazz who have a close relationship with the Festival to carry the MJF name across America. All the members represent the spirit and educational enthusiasm of the Monterey Jazz Festival that we’d like to present to the country.”

Jackson noted that while they have had all-star groups who have performed at Monterey in the past, they have never gone out on a multiple-week tour in the U.S. “This is an historic occasion for us,” he added.

Monterey Jazz Festival 50th Anniversary Band tour dates:

January
8 – WA Bellingham – Mount Baker Theatre
9 – WA Olympia – Washington Center
11 – CA Santa Cruz – Rio Theatre
12 – CA Berkeley – Zellerbach Hall @ UC Berkeley
14 – CA Santa Barbara – Campbell Hall
15 – CA Modesto – Gallo Center for the Arts
16 – CA San Luis Obispo – Cal Poly Performing Arts Center
17 – CA Irvine – Barclay Theatre
18 – CA Los Angeles – Royce Hall @ UCLA
19 – CA Glendora – Citrus College
20 – NV Las Vegas – UNLV Performing Arts Center
22 – CA Lancaster – Lancaster Performing Arts Center
23 – CA Thousand Oaks – California Lutheran University
24 – CAEscondido – California Center for the Arts
25 – AZ Chandler – Chandler Center
26 – AZ Tucson – Centennial Hall @ University of Arizona
27 – NM Albuquerque – Popejoy Hall @ University of New Mexico
31 – TX Nacogdoches – Stephen F. Austin State

February
1 – TX Dallas – McFarlin Auditorium
3 – MS Meridian – Mississippi State University
4 – GA Thomasville – Thomasville Cultural Center
5 – SC Charleston – Gaillard Municipal Auditorium
6 – NC Greenville – East Carolina University
7 – NC Boone – Appalachian State University
8 – GA Atlanta – Atlanta Symphony Hall
10 – FL Vero Beach – Riverside Theatre
11 – FL Sarasota – Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall
12 – FL West Palm Beach- Kravis Center for the Performing Arts
14 – FL Gainesville – Phillips Center @ University of Florida
16 – VA Newport News – Ferguson Center
17 – VA Richmond – University of Richmond
19 – MD N. Bethesda – The Music Center at Strathmore
20 – DE Wilmington – Grand Opera House
21 – NJ Morristown – Community Theatre
22 – NJ Princeton – McCarter Theater Center
23 – NY Schenectady – The Mainstage at Proctor’s
24 – PA Bethlehem – Baker Hall @ Lehigh University
26 – MA Worcester – Mechanics Hall
27 – MA Pittsfield – Colonial Theatre
28 -NH Portsmouth – The Music Hall
29 – CT Storrs – Jorgensen Auditorium

March
1 – CT Storrs – Jorgensen Auditorium
2 – MA New Bedford – Zeiterion Theatre
4 – MA Amherst – Fine Arts Center
5 – NH Keene – Colonial Theatre
6 – NY Purchase – Purchase College
7 – NY Brookfield – North Fork Hall
8 – PA Hershey – Hershey Theater
9 – VA Fairfax – George Mason University
11 – NY Buffalo – University at Buffalo Center for the Arts
13 – IN Indianapolis – Madame Walker Theatre
14-15 – MI Detroit – Music Hall Center for Performing Arts
16 – MI Grand Rapids – Forest Hills Fine Arts Center

Learn more about the Insomniac web browser, designed for ticket resale professionals