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MSU Choir Arts & Culture

Morgan State University Choir and Jazz Band Ensemble Set to Perform at the Legendary Monterey Jazz Festival

by Morgan State U
September 13, 2022

Contributions from Alaska Airlines and Morgan Alumnus, Philanthropist Calvin Tyler
Help Pave the Way for Students to Travel to California

BALTIMORE—Morgan State University (MSU) talent will be on full display at the 65th annual Monterey Jazz Festival (MJF), the longest continuously-running jazz festival in the world. A collective of student performers will travel to the 20-acre, oak-studded Monterey County Fairgrounds in Monterey, Calif. to participate in one of the most prestigious jazz festivals drawing international audiences. The MSU Choir and the MSU Jazz Band Ensemble are scheduled to perform and engage with award-winning artists in exclusive workshops during the 3-day festival taking place September 23–25.

“The Monterey Jazz Festival has long represented the pinnacle of the jazz genre for its celebration and preservation of a quintessential American art form, and so, we are absolutely thrilled to afford our student performers from the MSU Choir and Jazz Band the opportunity to showcase their talents on this unmatched stage,” said David K. Wilson, president of Morgan State University. “The Morgan community thanks the Monterey Jazz Festival, Alaska Airlines and Mr. Calvin Tyler for making this happen. Their generosity and support of the arts opens the door of opportunity for our Morgan students to have what will undoubtedly be a transformative experience in Monterey.”

jazz band musicians

In its continued commitment to fostering education and outreach programs to expand the legacy and popularity of jazz among diverse, younger audiences, MJF extended an invitation to Morgan students providing vocalists and musicians the occasion to take the stage alongside peers and award-winning artists, and to perform before jazz enthusiasts from across the globe. In addition to on-stage performances, the itineraries for the students will include exclusive Master class sessions with prominent, critically acclaimed artists, including MSU alum and Grammy-nominated vocalist Maysa Leak, Emmy award-winning composer and pianist, Kris Bowers, multiple Grammy-nominated pianist Gerald Clayton and celebrated bassist and vocalist Katie Thiroux. Capping off the MJF experience, executives from Google will host the Morgan contingency at a private lunch in their honor.

“The Monterey Jazz Festival is committed to ensuring that all students have access to high quality jazz music education and are given the opportunity that music provides for self-expression. It has been a privilege to work with MSU and we look forward to building on the strong foundation we have established together,” said Colleen Bailey, the festival’s executive director.

Garden StageMorgan’s Jazz Band Ensemble will be among the featured opening day performances of the festival performing a variety of selections on the Garden Stage. On Sunday, the final day of the festival, the MSU Choir will take the stage for the festival’s inaugural gospel showcase. Performing with a full accompaniment of jazz musicians and other vocalists led by jazz pianist Tammy L. Hall, the MSU Choir will bring a joyful noise to Sunday Morning Gospel with We’ve Come This Far.

“We are extremely grateful to be invited to perform at this year’s Monterey Jazz Festival. Both of our performing ensembles have been laser focused on rehearsing our selections and look forward to delivering the caliber of performances the MSU Choir and Jazz Band have been celebrated and known for,” said Eric Conway, D.M.A., chair of the University’s Department of Fine and Performing Arts. “We have had the pleasure of taking the stage before audiences and at venues all over the world, but very few match the artistic and cultural relevance of the Monterey Jazz Festival. We are honored to represent Morgan and cannot wait to showcase our artistry.”

Supporting the invitation extended to Morgan State and to make this dream opportunity a reality, MJF organizers partnered with Alaska Airlines to fly MSU students and their chaperones from Washington, D.C. to San Francisco.

“When Alaska Airlines learned how much it would cost to fly students to the Monterey Jazz Festival, there was no doubt in our minds that we wanted to ensure there were no barriers to attending one of the best music festivals on the West Coast,” said David Tucker, managing director California Public Affairs for Alaska Airlines. “We’re proud that our partnership will bring the world of music to the doorsteps of MSU students. For some of them, this may be their first time on a plane, their first time out of the state and their first glimpse of a future that awaits them. We want this experience to be the beginning of many firsts; with stories that will be shared for years to come.”

Additional support for the ensemble of vocalists and jazz musicians came by way of the generosity of a long-time Morgan supporter, MSU alumnus and philanthropist, Calvin Tyler. The retired UPS executive, who, along with his wife, Tina, have established a $20-million scholarship endowment at Morgan, graciously offset expenses related student accommodations during the 3-day festival.

Morgan State University at the Monterey Jazz Festival

MSU Jazz Band Ensemble
Garden Stage Performance
Friday, September 23, 2022
3:30 p.m. PST

MSU Choir
Sunday Morning Gospel with We’ve Come This Far with Tammy L. Hall, featuring Brown, Sturgis & Brown, Valerie Joi Fiddmont and Leberta Lorál
Garden Stage Performance
Sunday, September 25
11:00 a.m. PST


About Morgan

Morgan State University, founded in 1867, is a Carnegie-classified high research (R2) institution offering more than 140 academic programs leading to degrees from the baccalaureate to the doctorate. As Maryland’s Preeminent Public Urban Research University, and the only university to have its entire campus designated as a National Treasure by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Morgan serves a multiethnic and multiracial student body and seeks to ensure that the doors of higher education are opened as wide as possible to as many as possible. For more information about Morgan State University, visit

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Media Contacts:
Larry Jones or Dell Jackson, for University PR