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UCSB Arts & Lectures Presents Monterey Jazz Festival on Tour

Gerald Clayton is the Monterey Jazz Festival on Tour’s 2016 music director.
Gerald Clayton is the Monterey Jazz Festival on Tour’s 2016 music director. (UCSB Ars & Lectures photo)

UCSB Arts & Lectures presents the Monterey Jazz Festival on Tour, celebrating the distinguished Festival’s legacy of expanding the boundaries of live jazz performance.

With critically-acclaimed, Grammy Award-winning artists, the Monterey Jazz Festival on Tour kicks off in Santa Barbara Thursday, Jan. 14, 2016, at 8 p.m. at UCSB Campbell Hall.

The longest consecutively running jazz festival in the world, the Monterey Jazz Festival first took place in 1958 with an astounding roster of artists, including Dizzy Gillespie, Louis Armstrong, Max Roach and Billie Holiday.

Hitting the road with an all-star tour band, this year’s lineup features Raul Midón on guitar and vocals, Ravi Coltrane on tenor and soprano saxophones, Nicholas Payton on trumpet, MJF on Tour 2016 musical director Gerald Clayton on piano, Joe Sanders on bass and Gregory Hutchinson on drums.

With this array of talent, the 2016 tour reflects the traditional-untraditionalist attitude, jazz-with-a-purpose exuberance and joyful fun that continues to be the hallmark of the festival to this day.

Singer-songwriter and guitarist Raul Midón, “a one‐man band who turns a guitar into an orchestra and his voice into a chorus (The New York Times),” is renowned for his distinctive and searching voice.

In addition to releasing eight albums under his name, Midón has collaborated with such heroes as Herbie Hancock and Stevie Wonder and is featured on recordings by artists as varied as Diane Reeves and Snoop Dogg. He has also contributed to the soundtrack of several films, including Spike Lee’s She Hate Me.

Blind since birth, Midón has lived a life devoted to shattering stereotypes. With his questing musicality, he is, as the Huffington Post puts it, “a free man beyond category.”

Ravi Coltrane is a Grammy Award-nominated saxophonist, bandleader and composer praised for his music’s “elusive beauty” (DownBeat) and his “style informed by tradition but not encumbered by it” (Philadelphia City Paper).

The son of Alice and John Coltrane and named after sitar legend Ravi Shankar, he first appeared at MJF in 2001, nearly 41 years to the day after his father made his own debut at Monterey in 1960. 

In the course of his 20 year career, Coltrane has recorded noteworthy albums for himself and others and founded the prominent independent record label RKM. His latest of six albums, Spirit Fiction, marks his Blue Note Records debut.

New Orleans brass wizard Nicholas Payton is considered one of the greatest artists of our time, whose “clarion trumpet, as well as his genre‐defying solos... [are] as brashly original as they [are] technically imposing” (The Chicago Tribune).

An esteemed virtuoso by the time he was out of high school, Payton’s unbridled talent has earned him praise and accolades, as well as insured his place in history.
Pianist Gerald Clayton, the MJF on Tour 2016 music director, has established himself as a leading figure in the up-and-coming generation of jazz artists.

Fluent in the range of styles that make up today’s jazz lexicon, Clayton has been hailed by The New York Times for his “huge, authoritative presence” and is well on his way toward etching his own enduring mark in the long and rich tradition of jazz.

Rising star Joe Sanders has made a name for himself as a bassist through his versatility, dedication and steady pulse. He currently leads his own band, Joe Sanders’ Infinity, in jazz clubs throughout New York City and tours extensively in Europe and the US with the Gerald Clayton Trio.

Sanders has played, recorded and toured with many great musicians, including Ravi Coltrane, Herbie Hancock and Dave Brubeck, among others.

Drummer Gregory Hutchinson’s mastery of timing and expression of rhythms are at the core of his personal style.

He has been dubbed “the drummer of his generation” (Jazz Magazine) and has worked with the who’s who of the jazz world: Dianne Reeves describes him as “Pure Genius”; Gary Giddins calls his drum work “Elegant… Like dancing”; and Joshua Redman lauds him as “Inspired.”

Soundly rooted in the jazz tradition, Hutchinson approaches music with supreme accuracy and imagination, decorating compositions with his natural feel and innovation.

Monterey Jazz Festival on Tour is presented by UCSB Arts & Lectures.

Tickets are $25-40 for the general public and $10 for UCSB students with a current UCSB student I.D.

For tickets and more information, call UCSB Arts & Lectures at 805.893.3535 or purchase online at

Media Sponsors include KCBX 89.5 FM Santa Barbara and KCSB 91.9 FM.

UCSB Arts & Lectures gratefully acknowledges the generous support of SAGE for its major corporate support of the 2015-16 season.

Caitlin O'Hara is a senior writer and publicist for UCSB Arts & Lectures.


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