Monterey Jazz Festival Presents Virtual 2020 Festival September 25-27, Featuring Historic Archival and Exclusive New Content

The Monterey Jazz Festival announced today that it will present a virtual version of its 63rd festival, September 25-27, 2020. Musical content from the Festival’s archives will be featured over three days, including legendary contemporary and historic performances. The Virtual Festival’s content will be streamed online each day beginning at 5PM Pacific Time on the Monterey Jazz Festival’s YouTube channel. Featured artists and performances will be announced beginning July 21, 2020.

Monterey Jazz Festival has always been on the leading edge with a finger on the pulse of the jazz world. In the late 50s, then musical director John Lewis said “We wanted the Festival to reflect what had happened to jazz throughout the year. We wanted the festival to be a newsletter for the music in the United States of America.” This year, MJF recognizes the need to shine a spotlight not only on what has been happening with the music, but even more importantly with the Black community which is so integral to jazz and the Festival. One hundred percent of online contributions from each day of the Virtual Festival will be donated to the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund and to jazz artists featured at the Virtual Festival.

The Festival Board of Directors and Colleen Bailey, MJF’s Executive Director said in a statement “We inspire the discovery and celebration of jazz through an iconic festival. We recognize that jazz comes from the heart of Black culture, and during these volatile times where America is facing its legacy of racial injustice, we asked ourselves what the Monterey Jazz Festival could do to support the Black community. Our historical legacy has always been to serve as a platform for artists to share social justice messages, and now we can be a platform for artists as well as the organizations that are on the front line of this important work.”

“We are grateful to the Monterey Jazz Festival for their support and generosity,” said Harry L. Williams, President and CEO of Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF). “The financial support will allow us to continue the important work of helping students attend and graduate from college.”

Donations to support MJF’s 2020 Virtual Festival, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, and the Thurgood Marshall College Fund can be made during the three day event on

About the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund and the Thurgood Marshall College Fund

The Thurgood Marshall College Fund is an American non-profit organization that supports and represents nearly 300,000 students attending its 47 member-schools that include public historically black colleges and universities, medical schools, and law schools. TMCU is dedicated to transforming the lives of students at Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Predominantly Black Institutions. Talented students from diverse backgrounds gain access to lifelong rewards. 

Founded in 1940 by Thurgood Marshall, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. is America’s premier legal organization fighting for racial justice. Through litigation, advocacy, and public education, LDF seeks structural changes to expand democracy, eliminate disparities, and achieve racial justice in a society that fulfills the promise of equality for all Americans. The new political landscape and a retrenchment in key areas of civil rights poses unprecedented threats to the hard-won gains of the last half century. From new assaults on voting rights, to a renewed push to undermine equal access to quality education, to the need to reimagine public safety in America, LDF faces significant challenges in every area of its work.


For interview opportunities, high-resolution photographs and other MJF information, please contact:

Elizabeth Welden-Smith, Deputy Director, Monterey Jazz Festival
Direct Line: 831.233.3711