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Live Reviews

45th Monterey Jazz Festival

By Published: March 13, 2004
The atmosphere heated up tremendously for "The Tribute To Bay Area Percussionists." After a brief but informative discussion about the past and future of Latin jazz, John Santos, Orestes Vilato, and Michael Spiro were presented with the inaugural "Latin Jazz Lifetime Achievement Award." Each percussionist was featured with their respective band for a set of rumba, songo, plena, musica jibara, and Afro-Cuban folkloric beats.

Sunday, the future of jazz was firmly represented by all of the high school and university bands that showcased their talents for the afternoon portion of the jazz festival. Pianist Ramsey Lewis and vocalist Nancy Wilson delighted the crowd while performing as a duet and while performing solo.

The 45th Annual Monterey Jazz Festival culminated with an outstanding performance by Dave Brubeck with special guest Roy Hargrove, Christian McBride, Byron Stripling, and Lizz Wright, as well as a wonderful set provided by Randy Weston with special guest Billy Harper. For those without tickets to the main events on the Jimmy Lyons stage, or bent on watching television, there was a simulcast of those concerts set up in the jazz theater and in the Turf Club.

The 45th Annual Monterey Jazz Festival, without a doubt, is the best jazz festival in the world. It's a little bit of heaven for jazz patrons who have been attending the Monterey Jazz Festival from the very beginning and probably will to the very end.

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