The Monterey Jazz Festival is pleased to present The A&M Years, an exclusive all-star tribute to Quincy Jones on Friday evening, September 16, with five-time GRAMMY®-winning bassist Christian McBride acting as musical director, and GRAMMY-winning John Clayton conducting the Monterey Jazz Festival Orchestra. Mr. Jones will be an honored guest at the Jimmy Lyons Stage in the Arena.
This concert is the highlight of the first night of the 59th Monterey Jazz Festival, which features over 110 performances over the weekend of September 16-18. The 27-time GRAMMY-winning Quincy Jones—composer, arranger and conductor; record, TV and film producer; artist, instrumentalist, record company executive, magazine founder, multi-media entrepreneur, NEA Jazz Master and humanitarian—is of the most influential people of the 20th century, with a career that spans the post-swing era and continues through today's high-technology, and international multi-media hybrids.
The A&M Years tribute to Quincy Jones has been several years in the making. Tim Jackson, artistic director of Monterey Jazz Festival said, “I knew that Christian McBride would probably know these albums inside-and-out to be the musical director,” says Jackson, “And I was right. I also wanted to a try to get as many available artists who had played on those original albums to be part of the project.”
Jones’ signing to the A&M label in 1969 and his subsequent groundbreaking recordings Walking in Space, Gula Matari, and Smackwater Jack would pair him with producers Creed Taylor and Phil Ramone, and cemented Jones’ reputation for the ability to pull together disparate elements of the pop world. Walking in Space and Smackwater Jack won Mr. Jones his second and third GRAMMY Awards.
The Monterey Jazz Festival performance will include original record participants—including pianist Dave Grusin, flutist Hubert Laws, and vocalist Valerie Simpson, with contemporary masters as featured guests—including trumpeter Sean Jones, harmonica player Grégoire Maret, saxophonist James Carter, drummer Lewis Nash, guitarist Paul Jackson Jr., with special appearances by bassist and vocalist Richard Bona and pianist Alfredo Rodriguez; as well as the Monterey Jazz Festival Orchestra, directed by John Clayton.
The Monterey Jazz Festival will also honor Quincy Jones at its 10th Annual Jazz Legends Gala on Thursday, September 15 at The Inn at Spanish Bay in Pebble Beach. The Monterey Jazz Festival Jazz Legends Award is presented to a leading contributor to the world of jazz on the eve of the Monterey Jazz Festival each September, and will be hosted by Clint Eastwood, with music by the Joey Alexander Trio and the MJF’s high school all-star band, the Next Generation Jazz Orchestra.
Quincy Jones, now 83, first performed at the Monterey Jazz Festival 54 years ago in 1962. He appeared again in 1972, when he conducted his Big Band as they backed up Roberta Flack. This year’s production is presented exclusively by the Monterey Jazz Festival.