Paul Vieregge Production Internship

Paul Vieregge and Jimmy Lyons

Paul Vieregge, the Monterey Jazz Festival Stage Manager Emeritus, passed away on March 30, 2009 after a battle with cancer. The Paul Vieregge Production Internship consists of a position and stipend given to a deserving student who will assist the staff of Monterey Jazz Festival during the summer months and through the Festival. Encapsulating the spirit of mentorship and on-the-job education, the Paul Vieregge Production Intern will be educated -- in real-time -- in the needs, process, and technical aspects of live music presentation and behind-the-scenes action on some of the most legendary stages in the jazz world.

“Paul Vieregge was the heart and soul of the Monterey Jazz Festival,” says Tim Jackson, Artistic Director. “His ability to ‘set the stage’ for the artist to have a meaningful relationship with our audience is one of the main reasons that Monterey has become legendary as one of the world's great jazz happenings. We will continue to keep the artistic vision of Paul Vieregge alive as a cornerstone of our organizational philosophy.”

Mr. Vieregge was born in Vallejo, California in 1922, and graduated from the College of the Pacific in Stockton in 1950 after serving in the Navy during World War II. He became involved behind-the-scenes and with the technical side of college theater productions, and after graduation, he worked at NBC’s KRON-TV in San Francisco before moving to ABC’s KGO-TV, where he handled stage design, lighting, and management for the locally-produced shows. It was at KGO in 1952 where he met Jimmy Lyons, the future founder and General Manager of the Monterey Jazz Festival, who had a live TV program that introduced the then-fledgling audiences of television to jazz musicians through performance and interviews. Already living in Big Sur, when Lyons and co-founder, San Francisco Chronicle jazz critic Ralph Gleason staged the first Festival in 1958, Vieregge was recruited to do the stage lighting. Almost immediately, Vieregge replaced the Stage Manager, coordinating and executing the technical aspects of the Arena Stage. He remained in that position for the next 35 years, until he retired in 1992.

Vieregge continued to attend the festival and offered his guidance and knowledge to the younger staff and crew. Mr. Vieregge also founded and acted as General Manger of the annual Big Sur Jazz Festival in 1995, presenting a three-day festival in the mold of the Monterey Jazz Festival each year during the spring, until he retired in 1999 at age 76. When he passed away in March of 2009, Paul Vieregge had been involved with Monterey Jazz Festival for 51 years. The backstage production area and access road beside the Arena was named Paul Vieregge Way in his honor.

Paul Vieregge Production Internship Recipients

2019: Carly Sabicer, USC Thornton School of Music
2018: Adam Band, University of the Pacific 
2017: Connor Godfrey, Berklee College of Music
2016: Ben Bransford and Eric Dubbury, USC Thornton School of Music
2015: Trevor McCracken, USC Thornton School of Music
2014: Jane Davidson, USC Thornton School of Music
2013: Blade Thornton, USC Thornton School of Music
2012: Alyssa Siegel, USC Thornton School of Music
2011: Sue Buzzard, Berklee College of Music
2010: Kalie Martin, Berklee College of Music
2009: Andrew Devine, Berklee College of Music
2008: Paris Strother, Berklee College of Music
2007: Natalia Bernal, Berklee College of Music
2006: Josh Inouye, Berklee College of Music
2005: Samantha Laird, Berklee College of Music
2004: Samantha Laird, Berklee College of Music