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Monterey Jazz Festival Celebrates 50th Anniversary with Book, CDs

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Monterey Jazz Festival is taking the occasion of its 50th anniversary this September to release both a book and six CDs, detailing the history and commemorating the artists who have played in Monterey over the years.

The book, The Art of Jazz: Monterey Jazz Festival/ 50 Years, written by N. Y. Times authors Keith and Kent Zimmerman, features MJF posters, program covers, photographs, artist listings and includes a decade-by-decade look at the world and the festival as it related to the social climate of the times.

Concord Records, in collaboration with the festival, have released six CDs drawn from over 2,000 hours of archival tape from performances on the Arena Stage. The first, Louis Arsmstong, 1958, was recorded during the festival’s first night.

Others include Mile Davis, 1963 which introduced to the West Coast his classic ‘60s quintet; Thelonious Monk, 1964, augmented by an expanded five-piece festival workshop group; Dizzy Gillespie, 1965, featuring James Moody and Kenny Barron; and Sarah Vaughn, 1971, on which she performs with the Jazz at the Philharmonic All-Stars.

A special Live at the Monterey Jazz Festival sampler features standout performances over the decades.

Capping a 10-year restoration initiative started by Tim Jackson, MJF general manager, the festival audio archives have been transferred from the original analog tapes to digital files to prevent deterioration. Re-mastered for the best possible sound quality, the performances were analyzed and edited for historic and artistic value. The first CDs are the initial results of this multi-year project. Additional recordings will be released beginning next year.

The book is available at major book stores or go to and click on the store section. The records are available online through or Also check with local outlets.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Newly Released and On Sale
  • Subtitle: History Detailed, Music Commemorated in New Releases
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