Meet the Musicians of Monterey Jazz Festival

Monterey Jazz Festival on Tour 2016_Group_(c)R.R. Jones

World-renowned for its artistic excellence, sophisticated informality, and longstanding mission to create and support year-round jazz education and performance programs in local, regional, national, and international venues, Monterey Jazz Festival has stayed true to expanding live performances of jazz around the country since 2008 by presenting national tours that have reached over 100,000 fans in 135 shows across the United States and Canada. Click here for tickets or more information on the show.

Raul Midon | Ravi Coltrane | Nicholas Payton | Gerald Clayton | Joe Sanders | Kendrick Scott

RaulMidon(social media)RaviColtrane2 Raul Midón (guitar and vocals)
Raul Midón has appeared at Monterey three times, in 2009, 2011 and 2015. A singer-songwriter and guitarist, he has earned renown as one of music’s most distinctive and searching voices. He is “a one-man band who turns a guitar into an orchestra and his voice into a chorus,” according to The New York Times. Midón has collaborated with such heroes as Herbie Hancock and Stevie Wonder, along with contributing to recordings by Jason Mraz, Queen Latifah and Snoop Dogg and the soundtrack to Spike Lee‘s She Hate Me. The New Mexico native, blind since birth, has released seven albums since 1999, including the hit studio productions State of Mind (Manhattan/EMI, 2005), A World Within a World (Manhattan/EMI, 2007) and Synthesis (Decca/Universal, 2009). Midón’s most recent release is the captivating CD/DVD Invisible Chains – Live from NYC. Attuned listeners can hear the inspirations of Donny Hathaway and Richie Havens in his work, as well as Sting and Paul Simon. But Midón’s questing musicality makes him, as the Huffington Post put it, “a free man beyond category.”
RaviColtrane(social media)RaviColtrane2 Ravi Coltrane (tenor and soprano saxophone)
Ravi Coltrane first appeared at Monterey in 2001, nearly 41 years to the day after his own father, John Coltrane, made his debut at Monterey in 1960. Ravi also appeared at the Festival in 2013 and 2015. A critically acclaimed Grammy™ nominated saxophonist, bandleader, and composer, in the course of a twenty plus year career Mr. Coltrane has worked as a sideman to many recorded, noteworthy albums for himself, and others. His latest, Spirit Fiction, was released in June of 2012 for the Blue Note label. Additional credits include performances as well as recordings with Elvin Jones, Terence Blanchard, Kenny Baron, Steve Coleman, McCoy Tyner, Jack DeJohnette, Matt Garrison, Jeff ‘Tain’ Watts, Geri Allen, Joanne Brackeem, The Blue Note 7, among others. He is a co-leader of the Saxophone Summit with Joe Lovano and Dave Liebman. He has also founded a prominent independent record label, RKM.
NicholasPayton(social media)NicholasPayton2 Nicholas Payton (trumpet)
Nicholas Payton was the Festival’s Artist-In-Residence in 2000, and appeared again in 2015. After touring with Marcus Roberts and Elvin Jones in the early ’90s, Payton signed a recording contract with Verve; his first album, From This Moment, appeared in 1994. In 1996 he performed on the soundtrack of the movie Kansas City, and in 1997 received a Grammy™ Award (Best Instrumental Solo) for his playing on the album Doc Cheatham & Nicholas Payton. Besides his recordings under his own name, other significant collaborations include Trey Anastasio, Ray Brown, Ray Charles, Daniel Lanois, Dr. John, Stanley Jordan, Herbie Hancock, Roy Haynes, Zigaboo Modeliste and more. Hailed as a virtuoso before he was even out of high school, his unbridled talent has earned him praise and accolades, as well as insured his place in history. “Payton’s clarion trumpet, as well as his genre-defying solos, stood at the center of the music making… Payton bent notes beyond recognition… No descriptive label or category could be affixed to Payton’s solos, which were as brashly original as they were technically imposing.” — Howard Reich, Chicago Tribune, Dec. 1, 2012.
GeraldClayton(social media)Gerald_Clayton Gerald Clayton (piano)
Over the course of eight years, with three albums as a leader, several studio projects as a sideman, and countless worldwide performances, pianist and composer Gerald Clayton has established himself as a leading figure in the up-and-coming generation of jazz artists who are fluent in the range of styles that make up today´s jazz lexicon. Hailed by The New York Times for his “huge, authoritative presence,” Clayton is well on his way toward etching his own enduring mark in the long and rich tradition of jazz. Never has this been more apparent than in Life Forum, his latest recording on Concord Jazz and his most ambitious project to date. In 2009, he released Two Shade, his debut album as a leader, with bassist Joe Sanders and drummer Justin Brown. Sanders and Brown have remained with him for his two subsequent records. It was from this recording that Gerald received a 2010 Grammy™ nomination in the category of ´Best Improvised Jazz Solo´ for his rendition of Cole Porter´s “All of You.” In 2011, Gerald received a second Grammy™ nomination, this time for ´Best Jazz Instrumental Composition´, for his piece “Battle Circle” featured on the Clayton Brothers recording, The New Song and Dance.
JoeSanders(social media)JoeSanders2 Joe Sanders (bass)
Joe Sanders has made a name for himself through his versatility, dedication, and steady pulse. He is without doubt, one of the most sought-after young bass players of his generation. He has played, recorded, and toured with many great musicians, including but not limited to: Herbie Hancock, Jimmy Heath, Wayne Shorter, Dave Brubeck, Mulgrew Miller, Geri Allen, Jeff “Tain” Watts, Karriem Riggins, Roy Hargrove, Geoffery Kezzer, Lionel Loueke, Aaron Parks, Chris Potter, Ambrose Akinmusire, Christian Scott, and Taylor Eigsti. Upon graduation from the Thelonious Monk Institute Sanders returned to New York City. Recently, he placed 2nd in the finals of both the International Society of Bassists Jazz Bass Competition and the Thelonious Monk Institute’s International Jazz Bass Competition. Currently he leads his own band Joe Sanders’ Infinity in jazz clubs throughout New York City, and tours extensively in Europe and the States with Gerald Clayton Trio. “Joe Sanders is a fluent and adept soloist, as well as an attentive and inventive accompanist who doesn’t get pushed aside……” – Dave Wayne, JazzReview.com
KendrickScottKendrickScott2 Kendrick Scott (drums)
Since graduating from Berklee in 2002, Scott has performed with a variety of name artists including the Jazz Crusaders, guitarist Pat Metheny, saxophonists Joe Lovano and Kenny Garrett, vocalists Dianne Reeves, Lizz Wright, and trumpeter Terence Blanchard, to name a few. He also was a member of the Berklee-Monterey Quartet, performing at the legendary Monterey Jazz Festival in 1999-2000, 2002 and 2007. Scott’s debut recording with his group Oracle recorded The Source in 2006, including pianists Aaron Parks and Robert Glasper, guitarist Lionel Loueke, vocalist Gretchen Parlato, and others. Scott also performed with the Terence Blanchard Quintet on the album A Tale of God’s Will (A Requiem for Katrina) (2007), which was nominated for two Grammy™ Awards for 2008. Kendrick was a member of the band that accompanied Terence Blanchard to the Monterey Jazz Festival’s 50th anniversary in 2007, and Scott embarked on the 22-state tour, starting in January 2008 with the 50th Anniversary MJF All-Star Band features the leaders of the past, present and future.

Click here for tickets or more information on the show.