Monterey Jazz Festival's 2nd Annual Jazz Legends Gala Honors Gerald Wilson, May 2, 2008


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Monterey Jazz Festival's 2nd Annual Jazz Legends Gala Honors Gerald Wilson, May 2, 2008

Gala Celebration Features Dinner, Live Auction & Entertainment By Bay Area Jazz Vocalist, Kim Nalley

Proceeds Support The Monterey Jazz Festival Education Programs

April 30, 2008; Monterey, California; The Monterey Jazz Festival will honor the legendary artist and composer, Gerald Wilson, with the 2nd MJF Jazz Legends Award on May 2, 2008. This elegant, black-tie gala--co-chaired by Clint & Dina Eastwood--is being held at the exclusive Tehama Golf Club in Carmel. Cocktails begin at 6:00 pm, followed by a sumptuous gourmet dinner, live auction, and special musical performances by the Bay Area jazz vocalist, Kim Nalley, and by student musicians from MJF's Jazz Education Programs. Net proceeds support MJF's Education Programs, which directly impact the music education programs in the schools of Monterey County.

DATE: Friday, May 2, 2008

EVENT: Monterey Jazz Festival's 2nd Annual Jazz Legends Gala, Honoring Gerald Wilson

PLACE: Tehama Golf Club

ADDRESS: 25000 Via Malpaso, Carmel, CA 93923

TIME: 6:00 PM

COST: $250

REGISTRATION: Visit www.montereyjazzfestival.org or call Michelle Skipwith at 415-279-1973, or by email at [email protected]


In a career that spans eight decades, the eighty-nine year old Gerald Wilson has won the DownBeat International Critics Poll both as a composer/arranger and for his big band, the Paul Robeson Award, the NEA Jazz Masters Fellowship, and a pair of American Jazz Awards. He has also been elected to the Mississippi Jazz Hall of Fame, has had his life's work archived by the Library of Congress, and has earned six GRAMMY nominations. It was in 1963 that MJF Founder Jimmy Lyons first brought Gerald Wilson and his Orchestra to Monterey, and he has since become a MJF favorite over the years, on the stage or off. He has performed at Monterey nine times, and has created landmark compositions to celebrate the Festival's 20th Anniversary (1977), the 40th Anniversary (1997), and the 50th Anniversary (2007).


Vocalist Kim Nalley may exude the aura of Billie Holiday, but she packs a three-and-a-half octave range, going from operatic heights to gritty blues on a dime. Reminiscent of former Count Basie icons Helen Humes and Joe Williams, Kim is a lauded Bay Area performer and actress. Kim had a starring role at San Francisco's Teatro Zinzanni and is also the co-owner of the nightclub Jazz at Pearl's. Brought to national attention by the late music critic Phil Elwood and San Francisco Symphony director Michael Tilson Thomas, she has performed at major jazz festivals in the United States, Europe, Japan and Canada. Her collaborations and performances include those with Rhoda Scott, David Fathead Newman, James Williams and Michael Tilson Thomas with the San Francisco Symphony. She appeared at MJF/42 in 1999 with the Johnny Nocturne Band and at MJF's Third Annual Jazz With Steinbeck in 2007.


Now in its second year, the Monterey Jazz Legends Gala honors an artist that has made outstanding and indelible musical contributions to the Monterey Jazz Festival's history, legacy and stature over the years. The Jazz Legends Gala was inaugurated in 2007 for the 50th Festival, honoring one of the “Founding Fathers" of MJF, Dave Brubeck, who has appeared 14 times on the stages of Monterey since 1958. This year, the Festival honors another jazz legend, the indomitable Gerald Wilson, who has performed with his Orchestra at Monterey nine times since 1963; has created three landmark compositions for the Festivals significant anniversaries; and has graced the Fairgrounds with his consistent presence as a fan. The Gala, held at the exclusive Tehama Golf Club in Carmel, is co-chaired by Clint and Dina Eastwood and is attended by friends of the Festival, patrons of the arts, and movers and shakers in the Monterey Bay community. The evening features cocktails, a sumptuous gourmet dinner, live auction, and performances by lauded regional musical artists, and the most talented student musicians in the Festival's Jazz Education Programs, considered to be some of the most highly regarded in the country. Net proceeds support MJF's Education Programs, which directly impact the music education programs in the schools of Monterey County.

This story appears courtesy of Monterey Jazz Festival.
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