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The Monterey Jazz Festival Collection Archive of the world's longest running jazz festival

Commissioned Works


Artistic Director, John Lewis, initiated a program to commission new jazz compositions specifically for the festival beginning in 1959, and these new works were generally premiered on the Sunday or Saturday matinees through the end of the 1960s. In 1994, the new General Manager, Tim Jackson, reinstituted the commissioning program with at least one new commission annually. In addition to compositions written by jazz performers, composers of concert music, such as Gunther Schuller and Lalo Schifrin, wrote new works for the festival, but most of the new works were composed by eminent jazz musicians and arrangers as the examples here demonstrate.

To play one of the audio clips above, double-click on the title.