The Monterey Jazz Festival’s Next Generation Jazz Orchestra is a proven springboard for a career as a professional musician. | music blog


The Monterey Jazz Festival’s Next Generation Jazz Orchestra, performing this year at 12:30 p.m. on Sunday, September 25 on the Jimmy Lyons Stage, is a home for creativity.

Talented young jazz musicians have a place to play and grow within themselves. Study with professionals, learn the standards, be pushed to play at a higher level, learn to be on time, in tune. These are the basic rewards. The next step: a launching pad for a professional career in jazz. Over the course of the program’s 51 years, many of the approximately 1,000 musicians trained by the program have taken this route.

Below is a list of professional musicians, some of local origin, who were once part of NGJO.


Monterey County:

  • Tanya Darby, trumpet
  • Milton Fletcherpiano
  • Eddie Mendenhall, piano
  • Gavin Salmon, drums
  • Erik Telford, trumpet
  • James Williams, drums

Santa Cruz County:

  • Ben Flocks, saxophone
  • Remy Le Boeuf, saxophone
  • Pascal Le Boeuf, piano
  • Donny McCaslin, saxophone
  • Kenny Wollesen, drums

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Monterey County:

Santa Cruz County:

  • Scott Larson, trombone
  • Jesse Scheinin, saxophone

ALL NGJO GRADUATES WHO ARE NOW PROS (including our local hits)

  • Ambroise Akinmusiretrumpet
  • Joseph Alessi, trombone
  • Tony Austin, drums
  • Edwin Barbash, saxophone
  • Jeff Beal, trumpet
  • Steven Bernstein, trumpet
  • Ron Blake, trumpet
  • Remy Le Boeuf, saxophone
  • Luis Bonilla, trombone
  • Kris Bowers, piano
  • Justin Brown, drums
  • Chad Lefkowitz-Brown, saxophone
  • Jeff Burr, guitar
  • Gilbert Castellanos, trumpet
  • Matt Catingub, saxophone
  • Sarah Cline, trombone
  • Emmet Cohen, piano
  • Matt Cuthbertson, guitar
  • Tanya Darby, trumpet
  • John Daversa, trumpet
  • Dave Ellis, saxophone
  • Dominick Farinacci, trumpet
  • Adam O’Farrill, trumpet
  • Jonathan Finlayson, trumpet
  • Milton Fletcher, piano
  • Ben Flocks, saxophone
  • James Francies, piano
  • Marcus Gilmore, drums
  • Nicole Glover, saxophone
  • Gordon Goodwin, saxophone
  • Benny Green, piano
  • Steve Grenadier, guitar
  • Phil Grenadier, trumpet
  • Larry Grenadier, bass
  • Craig Handy, saxophone
  • Erik Jekabson, trumpet
  • Randy Kerber, piano
  • Dave Koz, saxophone
  • Pascal LeBoeuf, piano
  • Murray Low, piano
  • Larry Lunetta, trumpet
  • Michael Marcus, bass
  • Eric Marienthal, saxophone
  • Andy Martin, trombone
  • Donny McCaslin, saxophone
  • Eddie Mendenhall, piano
  • Sam Miller, drums
  • Hafez Modirzadeh, saxophone
  • Ted Nash, saxophone
  • Elena Pinderhughes, flute
  • Mike Plumleigh, trumpet
  • Joshua Redman, saxophone
  • Stacy Rowles, trumpet
  • Patrice Rushen, piano
  • Darian Sahanaja, atmosphere
  • Jaz Sawyer, drums
  • Dayna Stephens, saxophone
  • Erik Telford, trumpet
  • Katie Thiroux, bass
  • Mark Turner, saxophone
  • Carlos Vega, drums
  • Chad Wackerman, drums
  • Emmanuel Wilkins, saxophone
  • Kenny Wollesen, drums

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Henry R. Wright