Terminal Degree Helps Out At the Monterey Jazz Fest

The weekend was surreal. We had about 11 people volunteer this year to help out with the press office. Almost our whole band was there all weekend and it was unbelievable. Ben, Yu, and I were the only members who’d done this before. We got to interact with the artists and managers, we got backstage access, the best seats in the house, free admittance to anywhere, golf cart privileges, and the opportunity to chat with the musicians that we admire most. Everyone had such a look of awe on their faces as we watched these unbelievable artists do what they do best. We all want to see more Jazz and make this amazing artform more accessible to other people– What better place to start that at the press office of one of the biggest Jazz venues in the world? I’ll mention some of our highlights.


  • Wes got to hang out with Hiromi back stage at both the stages she played at
  • Wes got to sit in on an interview with John Pizzarelli
  • Raj got to talk with Robert Glasper, one of his favorite musicians
  • We got to say hi to Clint Eastwood


  • One of our pianist friends got to play on one of the stages at the fest
  • We got to see Herbie Hancock front row 🙂
  • We got a bunch of free Korean Broadcasting System swag as gifts
  • Yu worked his butt off with a Japanese news crew and used his language skills
  • Raj, Jensen, and some others jammed out in one of the practice rooms


  • A producer from the KBS gave Ben and Raj a free bottle of wine
  • Wes proposed to a girl
  • Raj became friends with India Arie’s manager
  • India left Raj a note at her hotel lobby
  • I connected with Sonny Rollins’ manager
  • We kicked it with Sonny Rollins and my friend got a kiss on each cheek
  • We went to the after-party at the Hyatt, where all the headlining musicians had just finished jamming, for Raj’s note left by India Arie.

Next year is gonne be exciting! Terminal Degree is going places! This weekend was unbelievable!