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Monterey Jazz Festival 50th Anniversary Tour

January 18, 8 p.m., $26-48

Royce Hall, 340 Royce Drive, Westwood, 310.825.2101

Since its first installment in 1958 (which featured performances from Dizzy Gillespie, Louis Armstrong, and Billie Holiday), the Monterey Jazz Festival has become a national institution preserving the livelihood of this all-American form of music. These days, the nonprofit organization provides a host of educational opportunities in addition to its revered annual gatherings and, in honor of a half-century of work, the Monterey Jazz Festival is hitting the road. Performing on this tour, which will hit 22 states, is the MJF All-Star Band featuring Terence Blanchard (trumpet), James Moody (tenor saxophone, flute), Benny Green (piano), Derrick Hodge (bass), Kendrick Scott (drums), and Nnenna Freelon (vocals).

Rusty’s Surf Ranch Battle of the Bands

Qualifying Round

January 24, 7:30 p.m., Free

Rusty’s Surf Ranch, 236 Santa Monica Pier, 310.393.pier

Rusty’s Surf Ranch’s sixth annual Battle of the Bands, which began on January 17, continues this Thursday night with performances from three local artists. Featured in this event are Southern rockers Ultra, jazz/funk outfit Soul Minded, and folk group Port. There will be nine qualifying rounds in the competition, which will take place through March 13. Winners be selected based on a combination of the judges’ picks and the bands’ draw. Semi-finalists will go head-to-head throughout the end of March and beginning of April, with the finals taking place on April 25. The grand prize winner will receive $1,000 in cash and prizes, plus a Saturday night gig at Rusty’s.

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