For Immediate Release

Contact: Stephanie Janes PR, (617) 419-0445, 

Celebrity Series of Boston
Gary Dunning, President and Executive Director

Monterey Jazz Festival on Tour, featuring 
Cécile McLorin Salvant & Christian Sands, music director

music director, Christian Sands 
saxophonist, Melissa Aldana
trumpeter, Bria Skonberg
bassist, Yasushi Nakamura
drummer, Jamison Ross
vocalist, Cécile McLorin Salvant

Sunday, March 17, 2019, 7pm — Berklee Performance Center 

Cécile McLorin Salvant high-res photo | Cécile McLorin Salvant video preview 
Celebrity Series Press Room

(Boston) Celebrity Series of Boston will present the Monterey Jazz Festival on Tour, featuring Cécile McLorin Salvant and music director Christian Sands on Sunday, March 17, 2019, at 7pm at the Berklee Performance Center, 136 Massachusetts Avenue, Boston, MA. The Jazz Series is sponsored in part by Donna and Michael Egan. Media partner is 89.7 WGBH.

Tickets start at $45 and are available online at, by calling (617) 482-6661 Monday-Friday 10:00 a.m.- 4:00 p.m., or at the Berklee Performance Center Box Office, 136 Massachusetts Avenue, Boston, MA.

The Monterey Jazz Festival holds the distinction of being the longest consecutively running jazz festival in the world. The Monterey Jazz Festival on Tour features a top roster of diverse and international millennial talent and the leaders of jazz’s future, including Cécile McLorin Salvant, vocals; Bria Skonberg, trumpet, vocals; Melissa Aldana, tenor saxophone; Christian Sands, piano and musical director; Yasushi Nakamura, bass, and Jamison Ross, drums, vocals.

In addition to having an equal balance of men and women, the show will feature renditions of classic jazz standards, along with originals penned by the members. Each musician is an outstanding representative of the next generation of jazz artists and educators, each with a close relationship with Monterey that represent both its musical excellence and jazz education activities—core components of Monterey Jazz Festival’s mission statement and expanding on its tradition of presenting the best in jazz, and of jazz’s younger, international and diverse future in 2019.

To celebrate the Festival’s 60th Anniversary of its inception in 2018, Artistic Director Tim Jackson put together an all-star band that represented the future of jazz in a nationwide tour. Previous incarnations include a 50th anniversary tour in 2008, and additional national tours in 2010, 2013, and 2016, with a collective 163 performances to over 115,000 fans across the country. “This will be the 10-year anniversary of MJF on Tour and it is also one of our most exciting,” said Tim Jackson, MJF Artistic Director. “With a strong female presence on the front line with Cécile, Melissa, and Bria, and the mastery of Christian Sands as our pianist and musical director, we are looking forward to spreading the joy of jazz, which is the essence of the Monterey Jazz Festival, to rest of the country.”

One of the most acclaimed vocalists of her generation, Cécile McLorin Salvant is the winner of the 2010 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition. Other honors include selection for Jazz Album of the Year by the DownBeat International Critics Poll and NPR, as well as Up-and-Coming Jazz Artist of the Year and Top Female Vocalist from the Jazz Journalists Association. Cécile grew up in a bilingual household in Miami, and traveled to Aix-en-Provence to pursue a degree in French law while training as a classical and baroque singer before switching to jazz. “If anyone can extend the lineage of the Big Three—Billie Holiday, Sarah Vaughan and Ella Fitzgerald—it is [her],” wrote the New York Times. Her last two Mack Avenue releases, For One to Love and Dreams and Daggers, each won Grammy Awards for Best Jazz Vocal Album. Her newest Mack Avenue release, The Window, an album of duets with the pianist Sullivan Fortner, was released on September 28, 2018. Rolling Stone describes Cécile as “ of the greatest jazz singers of her generation, but that label sells her short.”

Canadian singer, trumpeter and songwriter Bria Skonberg has been described as one of the “most versatile and imposing musicians of her generation” by the Wall Street Journal, recognized as one of 25 for the Future by DownBeat Magazine, and cited as a millennial “shaking up the jazz world” by Vanity Fair. Signed to Sony Music Masterworks’ OKeh Records, Bria released her eponymous major label debut in 2016, winning a Canadian JUNO award and making the Top 5 on Billboard jazz charts. Her many accolades include Best Vocal and Best Trumpet awards from Hot House Jazz Magazine, Outstanding Jazz Artist at the New York Bistro Awards, and DownBeat’s Rising Star award. In addition to performing at jazz festivals around the world, Bria is an avid educator and supporter of public school opportunities, giving numerous workshops and concerts for students of all ages. Bria debuted at the Monterey Jazz Festival in 2016.

Tenor saxophonist Melissa Aldana was born in Santiago, Chile, and in 2013, she became the first female instrumentalist and the first South American ever to win the Thelonious Monk Competition. Aldana attended the Berklee College of Music, studying with George Garzone, Danilo Pérez and Patricia Zarate, while hitting the clubs with Greg Osby and George Coleman, among others. She is also a recipient of the Martin E. Segal Award from Jazz at Lincoln Center and a double recipient of the Altazor Award, Chile’s highly prestigious national arts prize. She has released four albums as a leader, including her latest, Back Home, on Concord. Melissa “…balances technical bravura with musical depth, a hallmark of her playing,” writes the Chicago Tribune. Melissa made her MJF debut in 2014.

Pianist and MJF on Tour Music Director Christian Sands is a five-time Grammy nominee. As a child in New Haven, Connecticut, he began music classes at age four, started playing professionally at the age of 10, and received his bachelor of arts and master’s degrees from the Manhattan School of Music. A protégé of Dr. Billy Taylor, Christian began a six-year association with bassist Christian McBride in 2009, touring jazz festivals and clubs worldwide. Sands has followed in Dr. Taylor’s footsteps by encouraging, inspiring and advocating for the preservation and history of jazz, teaching young people as well as adult audiences. In 2015, he started the Jazz Kids of Montmartre in Copenhagen, Denmark; he also teaches at Jazz in July, where he is an alumnus. His debut for Mack Avenue, Reach, “showcases his significant talents as an imaginative composer, a clever arranger and a skillful technician with a fluid style,” wrote DownBeat. His new Mack Avenue release, Facing Dragons, was released on September 21, 2018 and was reviewed by NPR as a “...crisply assured new album...that expresses new ideas without abandoning the old.” 

Bassist Yasushi Nakamura is one of the most commanding voices on bass today. Born in Tokyo, Nakamura moved to Seattle, Washington, eventually receiving his bachelor’s in jazz performance from Berklee College of Music, and an artist diploma from the Juilliard School. He has recorded or performed around the world with Wynton Marsalis, Wycliffe Gordon, Toshiko Akiyoshi, Hank Jones, Dave Douglas, and many others. As an educator, Nakamura has led master classes and summer intensive courses at Juilliard, The New School, Koyo Conservatory, Osaka Geidai, and Savannah Swing Central. Nakamura made his highly-anticipated album debut as leader in late 2016 with A Lifetime Treasure, followed by Hometown in 2017. Nakamura first appeared at MJF in 2004.

Grammy-nominated drummer and vocalist Jamison Ross won the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition in 2012. A Jacksonville, Florida native, Jamison received his B.A. in Jazz Studies from Florida State University and his master’s from the University of New Orleans. He has toured internationally and recorded with a variety of esteemed jazz artists including Cécile McLorin Salvant, Jonathan Batiste, Dr. John, Jon Cleary, Christian McBride, and Carmen Lundy. His debut album, Jamison, was released on Concord Records and was nominated as for a Best Jazz Vocal Album Grammy in 2015. He released his latest album, All for One, in January 2018. Jamison’s “roots in jazz and gospel give him thrilling chops and unfailing feel,” writes NPR. Jamison made his MJF debut in 2016.

Program to be announced from the stage.

About Celebrity Series of Boston  

Celebrity Series of Boston was founded in 1938 by pianist and impresario Aaron Richmond. Over the course of its 80-year history, Celebrity Series has presented an array of the world’s greatest performing artists, including including Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Marian Anderson, Emanuel Ax, Ballet Russe De Monte Carlo, Béla Bartók, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Kirsten Flagstad, Renée Fleming, Dizzy Gillespie, Glenn Gould, Martha Graham, Herbie Hancock, Vladimir Horowitz, Diana Krall, Fritz Kreisler, Yo-Yo Ma, Wynton Marsalis, Ignace Paderewski, Luciano Pavarotti, Itzhak Perlman, Leontyne Price, Sergei Rachmaninoff, Mstislav Rostropovich, Artur Rubenstein, Andrés Segovia, Igor Stravinsky, Arturo Toscanini, and many more.

Now presenting orchestras and chamber ensembles, vocal and piano music, contemporary dance, jazz, spoken word, and more, Celebrity Series believes in the power of excellence and innovation in the performing arts to enrich life experiences, transform lives and build better communities. Through its Arts for All! community programs, Celebrity Series seeks to build a community of Greater Boston where the performing arts are a valued, lifelong, shared experience – on stages, on streets, in neighborhoods – everywhere.