The Monterey Jazz Festival, founded by author and critic Ralph Gleason and jazz DJ Jimmy Lyons in 1958 and held each year since at California’s Monterey County Fairgrounds in September, has featured a host of the jazz world’s greatest names in its long history — Louis Armstrong, Thelonious Monk, Dizzy Gillespie, Dave Brubeck, and Woody Herman, among them. To mark this anniversary, the festival has put together the Monterey Jazz Festival on Tour 55th Anniversary Celebration, a group of distinguished jazz musicians exporting the festival’s spirit and music to some 40 cities across North America. The band, consisting of bassist and musical director Christian McBride, vocalist Dee Dee Bridgewater, pianist Benny Green, drummer Lewis Nash, trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire, and saxophonist Chris Potter, takes the stage at the Lensic Performing Arts Center on Thursday, April 25. All are stars in their own right, and all have made multiple appearances at the fest. The group reflects a great touring tradition in the spirit of Norman Granz’s Jazz at the Philharmonic, bringing together musicians of various ages and styles and sending them across the country and the globe. Its success underscores what happens when skilled performers, no matter their individual direction, join together in the common language of jazz. The event is sponsored by the New Mexico Jazz Festival, which holds its summer events — this year featuring trumpeter Terence Blanchard, bassist Stanley Clarke, and pianist Eddie Palmieri, among others — in Santa Fe and in Albuquerque in July. Visit www.newmexicojazzfestival.org.
▼ Monterey Jazz Festival on Tour 55th Anniversary Celebration
▼ 7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 25
▼ Lensic Performing Arts Center, 211 W. San Francisco St.
▼ $25-$55 (discounts available); 988-1234, www.ticketssantafe.org