The 65th Monterey Jazz Festival: Cultural Infusion

In partnership with the San Francisco Examiner

The 65th Monterey Jazz Festival happens September 23-25, 2022. Located on the 20-acre, oak-studded Monterey County Fairgrounds in Monterey, CA, the Monterey Jazz Festival is the longest continuously-running jazz festival in the world.

With over 300 artists across the outdoor Arena and Grounds stages over the 3-Day festival, MJF65 will pay homage to jazz greats and welcome new and diverse sounds including jazz icon Gregory Porter. The lineup also includes The Cookers featuring sounds from veteran musicians including Eddie Henderson, David Weiss and Billy Harper, and two-time Grammy Award-nominated drummer, composer, and producer Nate Smith.

Dee Dee Bridgewater | Photo: Mark Higashino

Another highlight is a Moodswing Reunion with four of the original members: pianist Brad Mehldau, saxophonist Joshua Redman, bassist Christian McBride, and drummer Brian Blade. Nicholas Payton is also set to honor the legacy of Black American Music with unrestrained raw style.

Jazz fans can look forward to the debut of the Monterey Jazz Festival on Tour ensemble starring vocalists Dee Dee Bridgewater and Kurt Elling, saxophonist Lakecia Benjamin, pianist Christian Sands, bassist Yasushi Nakamura and drummer Clarence Penn.

This year’s festival will be a cultural infusion. Cuban pianist and bandleader, Chucho Valdés, will open the festival Friday with a rare performance of his magnum opus “La Creación” with the Yoruband Orchestra. MJF has always looked to give young jazz artists representation like Northern UK supernova Emma-Jean Thackray, a singer, bandleader, beat-maker, radio host, DJ, and label head.

Redman-Mehldau-McBride-Blade: A Moodswing Reunion | Photo: Michael Wilson

More international flair includes the NYC-based all-female mariachi ensemble, Flor de Toloache, and the irrepressible Chicanos, Las Cafeteras, whose music straddles musical genres and physical borders to inspire social change and dancing. Finally, Akira Tana’s Otonowa is influenced by Japanese jazz.

Incorporated in 1958 as a nonprofit organization, the Monterey Jazz Festival has been a leader in music education.  Festival attendees will be introduced to the rising stars of tomorrow through performances by the celebrated Next Generation Jazz Orchestra directed by Gerald Clayton, and the Next Generation Women in Jazz Combo directed by Katie Thiroux. 

For the full lineup, click here and stay tuned for more artist additions in the next month.

A feast for the senses, attendees can also look forward to a newly launched food and beverage program. Curated by California chefs, brewers and vintners, the food and drink options reflect the state’s world-renowned culinary scene. Other new additions this year include a Wine Garden, Sunday Gospel Performance, revamped VIP experience called the Premier Club and additional events in the works to be announced over the summer. To be the first to learn about all the exciting additions, sign up for the newsletter here.

Next Generation Jazz Orchestra at MJF64 | Photo: Randy Tunnell

Ticketing options include choice of Arena or Grounds packages. The 3-Day Arena package includes: full access to all Grounds stages and performances, choice of available seating inside the Arena for all performances on the Lyons Stage (seating and lawn options available), access to the food and drink options for purchase in the grounds and arena area.

MJF is bringing back the GA Lawn within the Jimmy Lyons Arena. Bring a blanket or low back lawn chair to enjoy the jazz legends of the main stage while relaxing and making the experience your own.

The 3-Day Grounds package includes: full access to all Grounds stages and performances, and access to the food and drink options for purchase in the grounds area. It does not include access to the Arena and Jimmy Lyons State performances.

Add-ons include VIP Premier Club, parking options and RV spots.

All tickets are available for purchase online at

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