The Monterey Jazz Festival celebrates the legacy of jazz and expands the boundaries of and opportunities to experience jazz through the creative production of performances and educational programs.
The Monterey Jazz Festival is the longest running jazz festival in the world. It is held annually on the 20-acre, oak-studded Monterey County Fairgrounds, located at 2000 Fairground Road in Monterey, California. This has been the site of the Festival since its inception in 1958.
More than 500 top jazz artists perform throughout the weekend on 8 stages spread throughout the grounds.
About the Monterey Jazz Festival:
Held every September on the Monterey Fairgrounds site where the Festival was first presented in 1958, the Monterey Jazz Festival began as a dream for founder Jimmy Lyons and his co-founder and colleague, Ralph Gleason. It was a dream of a "sylvan setting with the best jazz people in the whole world playing on the same stage, having a whole weekend of jazz." That dream became reality in 1958, with the first Monterey Jazz Festival bringing in artists like Dizzy Gillespie, Louis Armstrong, John Lewis, Shelly Manne, Gerry Mulligan, Art Farmer, Ernestine Anderson, Harry James, Max Roach, and Billie Holiday.
Every year since then, every third full weekend in September sees the same caliber of talent grace the now eight stages on the Monterey Fairgrounds, as the Monterey Jazz Festival presents the best jazz performers in the world for a three-day celebration of the best in jazz. In addition, the Monterey Jazz Festival features jazz conversations, panel discussions, workshops, exhibitions, clinics, and an international array of food, shopping, and festivities spread throughout the 20-acre Monterey Fairgrounds.