The third weekend in September is always blocked on our calendar. That's when we make the second of our two annual Jazz pilgrimages. This one is to the longest continuously running jazz festival in the world, the Monterey Jazz Festival, Presented by Verizon. This is truly a destination for serious jazz fans. As Branford Marsalis put it, "this is one of the few festivals left in this country where there is more real jazz, than non-jazz".
As I frequently do throughout the year, I perform double-duty as photographer and writer, as I cover the festival for Cityflight.com. This is my 14th year as a jazz photojournalist, and the 12th time I've covered the festival. Cassandra and I are devoted fans of this music, and being able to cover it in this fashion is a dream assignment. Cassandra gets to enjoy the music in the main arena, while I juggle a stiff shooting schedule that has me trying to cover the 6 main venues on the fairgrounds. It takes a little planning, but more than that, it takes discipline to not stay too long enjoying one artist, while another one is starting to hit on another stage. Yes, I do get to enjoy the music, and over the years, we've heard some truly remarkable performances, and I've gotten some tremendous shots. If you've wandered through the gallery, you may have seen some of them. If not, please take a look in the Live Performance section.
This year, I plan to update my Jazzology blog daily from the festival. The main piece at Cifyflight will be there a week or two after I get back. You notice I said plan. With nonstop shooting days that run from 4:30pm - midnight on Friday, and 11:00am until midnight Saturday and Sunday, that's gonna be a stretch. Let's see how I do.