May 18, 2022

Charlie Doodle

Unique Art & Entertainment

Monterey Jazz Festival returns in memorable fashion in 2021

3 min read

Rhoda Teplow has been attending Monterey Jazz almost as long as the festival has existed.

“I have been coming ever since I got my driver’s license at 16-years old,” says the Mendocino resident. “Now, I am 76-years old.”

Yet, she wasn’t able to attend in 2020, as organizers cancelled (or, as they put it at the time, “postponed”) last year’s event due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It was the first time that the festival had missed a year since it got its start in 1958 — 63 years ago.

“It was sad,” Teplow reflects back on missing 2020.

But sadness was replaced with joy, frowns with broad smiles, as Teplow and approximately 2,500 other music lovers returned to the Monterey County Fairgrounds on Friday (Sept. 24) for the long-awaited opening night of the 2021 Monterey Jazz Festival.

And what an opening night it was, with Pat Metheny and Herbie Hancock — two living legends of the genre — performing on the festival’s main Jimmy Lyons Stage.

“You can’t do any better than that,” commented Tim Jackson, the festival’s longtime artistic director.

It was the start of three days of music, with Ledisi, Miho Hazama and m_unit, Las Cafeteras, Terri Lyne Carrington + Social Science and others set to take the stage on Saturday. George Benson tops the bill on Sunday, a day that also brings the Next Generation Jazz Orchestra, Christian Sands Group, Kandace Springs and more. For more information, visit

Review: Monterey Jazz Festival returns in memorable fashion in 2021

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