“Monterey Jazz Festival’s Artist-in-Residence works year-round with young musicians in performances and clinics at our Next Generation Jazz Festival, Summer Jazz Camp, and at the Monterey Jazz Festival.
Over the Festival’s history, many artists have had an informal role in the production and artistic selection of musicians for the festival, including John Lewis, Dizzy Gillespie, and many others who acted as guest soloists with the Next Generation Jazz Orchestra during festival weekend. This role was revisited in 1994 when Tim Jackson rebooted the program to highlight specific artists during each festival.
In 2004, the Artist-in-Residence program was revamped to include visits to the Next Generation Jazz Festival and Summer Jazz Camp outside the Festival weekend in September. Starting in 2018, the Artist-in-Residence program added an annual concert at California State University, Monterey Bay, taking place prior to the Next Generation Jazz Festival.”
2020 and 2021: Christian Sands
“Pianist and MJF on Tour Music Director Christian Sands is a five-time Grammy nominee. As a child in New Haven, Connecticut, he began music classes at age four, started playing professionally at the age of 10, and received his bachelor of arts and master’s degrees from the Manhattan School of Music. A protégé of Dr. Billy Taylor, Christian began a six-year association with bassist Christian McBride in 2009, touring jazz festivals and clubs worldwide. Sands has followed in Dr. Taylor’s footsteps by encouraging, inspiring and advocating for the preservation and history of jazz, teaching young people as well as adult audiences. In 2015, he started the Jazz Kids of Montmartre in Copenhagen, Denmark; he also teaches at Jazz in July, where he is an alumnus. His debut for Mack Avenue, Reach, “showcases his significant talents as an imaginative composer, a clever arranger and a skillful technician with a fluid style,” wrote DownBeat. His new Mack Avenue release, Facing Dragons, was released on September 21, 2018 and was reviewed by NPR as a “…crisply assured new album…that expresses new ideas without abandoning the old.” “