The Monterey Jazz Festival, one of the longest consecutively running jazz festivals in the world, will take place Sept. 21 – 23. The festival is held annually at the expansive 20-acre Monterey County Fairgrounds, where in 2006 and 2007, a sellout audience of 40,000 attended every concert. The concerts run day and night in these three days, with jazz, Latin, and blues music playing nonstop. The festival offers not only music, but also workshops, clinics, places to meet the musicians, and great food. The festival features world-renowned musicians from all around the world, including Gordon Goodwin’s Big Phat Band, Tony Bennett, and more.
The Jazz Festival itself started all the way back in 1956, when Jimmy Lyons founded it and was general manager for over 35 years.
The festival has housed numerous world-class musicians throughout its history, with people like Dave Brubeck playing an instrumental part in getting the city council’s approval for the festival and artists such as Dizzy Gillespie, Thelonious Monk, Louis Armstrong, and Miles Davis making appearances over the years. This year’s festival marks the 55th year it has been running, and over 500 artists will take the stage over the course of three days.
The festival has received much acclaim throughout the world.
The Jazz Times magazine praised the event, saying, “This is a full-service, style-inclusive festival—still the best in the west and probably the best American festival overall…” The San Jose Mercury News reported the festival to be “…the best outdoor jazz festival in the nation, bar none…it feels like a mini-lifetime crammed into less than three days.”
The festival is open for all ages, from two to ninety-two. Whether you are a casual listener or a hard-core jazz fan, people from all around the world will come and enjoy the music-filled three day weekend at the 55th annual Monterey Jazz Festival.