Festival Overview

Mission: Our mission is to inspire the discovery and celebration of jazz, anchored by an iconic festival.

Vision: We envision a sustainable organization that sets the standard of excellence for jazz, connects a diverse community, and helps people appreciate and learn about jazz as fans and performers.

We are pleased to present the world's best jazz entertainment in the Monterey Jazz Festival, the longest continously-running jazz festival in the world.

Held every September on the Monterey County 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, the Festival takes place at the Monterey County Fairgrounds, located at 2000 Fairground Road in Monterey, California. Every Festival weekend 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 Fairgrounds.

If you are an artist and are looking for information about performing at the Monterey Jazz Festival, please click here.

If you are a vendor and would like to apply to the 63nd Annual Monterey Jazz Festival, please click here.

If you are a volunteer and would like to apply to the 63nd Annual Monterey Jazz Festival, please click here.

Monterey Jazz Festival is a 501(c)3 educational nonprofit corporation.

We are proud to provide year-round Jazz Education Programs, showcased in our annual Next Generation Jazz Festival. If you are a student performer or band director and would like to find out information about the Next Generation Jazz Festival, please click here.

As seen in Flightnetwork's Article – Monterey Jazz Festival has been featured as one of the Top Festivals in the United States.