Summer Fest – San Jose Jazz

Summer Fest

1990–Ongoing
30 years strong, the Fest has become an internationally renowned event featuring established stars and buzz-worthy discoveries.

See you August 13-15, 2021 for the next Summer Fest!

We regret that we have been forced to cancel the 2020 Fest, due to the uncertainty and overriding public health concerns brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. Summer Fest is a beloved, 30 years-strong tradition and we are committed to bringing it back next year, stronger than ever.

In the meantime, we urge all of you to stay home, and stay safe. Check out the calendar for our new, online events including “Live From Home.' As soon as public health standards allow, we’ll resume our weekly, co-sponsored Session at Five Points and South First Friday programming.

SUMMER FEST IS NOT JUST ABOUT THE MUSIC; IT'S ABOUT COMMUNITY. WE MAKE OUR COMMUNITY COME ALIVE BY ENSURING INTERACTION, VIBRANCY, AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT. WE ARE COMITTED TO BRINGING IT BACK STRONGER THAN EVER IN 2021.

-Julie Ramirez, President, SJZ Board of Directors

Summer Fest History

San Jose Jazz Summer Fest, formerly known as the San Jose Jazz Festival, is emblematic of the Silicon Valley start-up spirit. The first San Jose Jazz Festival took place in 1990 over two days in August at the Plaza de César Chavez. Its first day focused on fusion and its second day was dedicated to straight-ahead jazz, attracting about 10,000 attendees. This was a true grassroots effort, with the festival organizers cleaning up festival grounds well after the last notes had been played in the park.

Festival Director Bruce Labadie funded the first two festivals out-of-pocket, and luckily the gamble paid off. Ever since, the plaza has remained the festival’s epicenter and is now our Main Stage centerpiece. The festival’s second year featured a stage on Post Street and the event has continued to grow. Through the 90s, the festival’s expansion made it the largest free jazz festival in the United States. The new millennium has seen the event grow to include more than 1,000 musicians on 12 stages in a walkable footprint in the urban core, playing jazz, Latin jazz, blues, R&B, Salsa, New Orleans and more.

Videos

Summer Fest 2019 Recap

Summer Fest History

Boombox Truck/Jazz Beyond Stage

SJZ Education Programs

Supporting Local Artists

Why is Summer Fest Important?

Favorite Summer Fest Memory

What's Your Summer Fest?

Episode 1: A 10-Year Tradition

Episode 2: Dancing in the Streets

Episode 3: The Girl Squad

A Community of Musicians

Sponsored by Urban Community
Sponsored by Gordon Biersch Brewery
Sponsored by City of San Jose Office of Cultural Affairs

Summer Fest 2019 Photo Gallery

30th Anniversary History Project

At the 30th annual Fest in 2019, we presented a look back to the artists and events that defined the event.

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