The USA Will Be Okay So Let’s Create a PNN (Positive News Network)


YoungPeople2In spite of what we see on the local and national news, if the maxim that our future is  our next generations holds true, I’ve seen some great evidence that the USA will be okay in the coming years. First time I mentioned this was a month ago. Having experienced the Next Generation Jazz Festival presented by Monterey Jazz Festival for nearly 50 hours from Friday through Sunday, I was introduced to a fresh-faced, polite, passionate group of young musicians. This experience was enough to bolster my beliefs in the future of our country. Now, it’s time to sound the trumpet once again. For the past several weeks, our television station and internet sites have been abuzz about an event taking place today, May 5th. It’s a benefit for the Salvation Army, and includes a lineup of 3 local bands whose members are in their teens, several still in high school. They’re performing simply for their love of music and to make a difference in the lives of those less fortunate. The organizer of this wonderful event is Aaron Dally, a talented young musician. The benefit is Aaron’s Eagle Scout project. His father, Dave Dally is one of the foremost musical forces of the Central Coast. Along with being a virtuoso on violin, Dave conducts the MPC Orchestra, several strings groups, and plays in a multiplicity of bands including Monterey International and the  Monterey String Quartet. Like the Next Generation musicians, Aaron is passionate, ambitious and also polite. He refers to me as “Mr. Ellzey”. Since my own son started calling me Steve when he was 12 years old, having a young person refer to me as “Mr. Ellzey” really sets them apart from the crowd.

So if you’d like to hear some great music, dance a little, and make a difference in the lives of those less fortunate, come to the Carmel Youth Center today, May 5th from 2:30p to 5p. Please bring clothes or food as a donation. And get ready to experience some talented, passionate, young musicians, who will make you realize the USA’s going to be in good hands when we pass on the baton. And I include my own son in that group. He completed his Eagle Scout project last year and is one of the talented young  musicians donating his time today for the cause. For this I say, the USA will be okay, despite the gnarly headlines and if-it-bleeds-it-leads stories on our local news. Maybe it’s time to create PNN….Positive News Network, where we hear all about the Aaron Dally’s of the world…..what do you think….are we ready for that?

amp Streams Next Generation Jazz Festival to 64 Countries

The 2013 Next Generation Jazz Festival presented by Monterey Jazz Festival gave amp Community Television a larger role in this year’s event: Record, broadcast, and stream every performance from Friday night through Sunday at 5pm. The little station that could stepped up to the task logging over 162 hours of staff and volunteer time operating 2 High Definition switchers and 6 High Definition cameras, in the Serra Ballroom and Steinbeck Forum.


The end result was pretty big for an Access Community Television station in market 126. While cable numbers are not audited by the Nielsen Company, internet streams are very accountable and amp’s numbers were nothing less than stellar. Jazz fans in 64 countries gobbled up over 760 Gigabytes of bandwidth with 8300+ total streams. In total, the amp crew recorded 56 performances which will be separated and edited in post production. The performances will be uploaded to ampmediatv YouTube and broadcast on amp2 (Comcast 27 and AT&T 99) and simultaneously streamed at throughout the coming year. “We’re very excited about the numbers,” remarked amp Executive Director Paul Congo, “we doubled last year’s streams and tripled the number of countries participating.”


“The Next Generation Jazz Festival is truly an amazing event,” added Executive Producer, Stephen Ellzey, “Friday night featured an Adjudicators and Educators performance by so many Jazz greats, there wasn’t enough room on stage”. That particular performance is an event favorite and this year was awe-inspiring: A rousing set by Berklee College of Music’s Edmar Colon Quartet was followed by 90 minutes of pure jazz heaven with Jazz Artist Ray Drummond on Bass, Joel Frahm on tenor sax, Jeff Hamilton on drums, Antonio Hart on alto saxophone, Russell Malone on guitar, pianist Patrice Rushen, trumpet master Bobby Shew, bari saxophonist Gary Smulyan, vocalist extraordinaire, Kenny Washington, and the Monterey Jazz Festival’s own Paul Contos on flute. This awesome ensemble brought the crowd to their feet on multiple occasions and would easily have been worth a $1000 ticket to experience . However, like the rest of the Festival, it was Free. That says a lot about the Next Generation Jazz Festival, Monterey Jazz Festival, and Monterey. There are very few festivals that could assemble a group of jazz masters like the aforementioned, no other that would offer free seats, and no other City in the world where one could walk in off the street in shorts and flip flops and grab a seat for what was a jazz experience to remember for all time. No wonder it’s so easy to walk around here with a big smile!