55 YEARS: In the great pantheon of music festivals, the Monterey Jazz Festival stands alone. Well, perhaps not exactly alone; rather, it stands as an example of one of those events that can be described, in large part, but saying who is expected to show. Because when you start listing the most award-winning and famous names of your genre, the event itself, and the roll it plays on the greater music world stage, comes into focus. And, year in and year out, for a half a century plus a half a decade, the annual jazz party just off the Monterey Bay boasts the starriest collection of performers. This year? Well, settle in for a long and lauded roster: Tony Bennett, Bill Frisell, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Pat Metheny, Esperanza Spalding, Trombone Shorty, Melody Gardot, Eddie Palmieri and many more. And that isn't an empty, paragraph-ending "and many more," either; over 500 artists will be on the two Monterey Jazz stages over three days.
DATES AND DETAILS: The festival is set to flow on the perfectly perfect dates of Friday, Sept. 21 through Sunday, Sept. 23 (we say "perfectly perfect" because a major jazz happening is an excellent way to greet mellow, beautiful fall by the bay). If you can't do all three days, there are single arena day tickets; they're $132 on Saturday or Sunday, and less on Friday. Happy good music loving, good music lover.