Commissioned Works

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Dave Brubeck, 2007
Dave Brubeck at rehearsal for Cannery Row Suite, 2006

Artistic Director, John Lewis, initiated a program to commission new jazz compositions specifically for the festival beginning in 1959, and these new works were generally premiered on the Sunday or Saturday matinees through the end of the 1960s. In 1994, the new General Manager, Tim Jackson, reinstituted the commissioning program with at least one new commission annually. In addition to compositions written by jazz performers, composers of concert music, such as Gunther Schuller and Lalo Schifrin, wrote new works for the festival, but most of the new works were composed by eminent jazz musicians and arrangers as the examples here demonstrate.