The Monterey Jazz Festival has been swinging within barking distance of sun-baked sea lions for 50 years. Co-founded by perennial hipster Ralph Gleason, the festival has hosted almost every notable American jazz musician, serving as a sort of West Coast response to the Newport Jazz Festival, but with better weather. To celebrate its golden anniversary, the festival has sent out an impeccable band of ambassadors that includes vocalist Nnenna Freelon and 82-year-old saxophonist James Moody, as well as young lions Terence Blanchard and pianist Benny Green, official inheritor of the Oscar Peterson crown. The band will be playing an astounding 54 dates in less than three months. Catch them early in the run, while they are all still talking to one another.
Thu., Jan. 17, 8 p.m., 2008