The Monterey Jazz Festival is the longest continuously-running jazz festival in the world.
Co-founded by Jimmy Lyons and Ralph J. Gleason in 1958, the nonprofit Monterey Jazz Festival has presented nearly every major artist in the world - from Louis Armstrong, Billie Holiday, Dave Brubeck, Tony Bennett, and Miles Davis, to contemporary masters Diana Krall, Wynton Marsalis, Trombone Shorty, Esperanza Spalding, and Terence Blanchard.
It is held annually during the third full weekend in September on the 20-acre, oak-studded Monterey Fairgrounds, located at 2000 Fairground Road in Monterey, California. This has been the site of the Festival since its inception in 1958. The Arena (seen above) was also the site of the fabled 1967 Monterey Pop Festival, which was inspired by their organizers visiting the jazz festival in 1966. The Monterey Jazz Festival is an international icon and model for subsequent music festivals, including the Monterey Pop Festival, Woodstock, and many other multi-stage and nonprofit festivals across the world.
More than 500 top jazz artists perform throughout the weekend on 8 stages spread throughout the grounds. Nearly every major artist has appeared at Monterey, with many memorable performances.
Outdoor venues include the Arena (Jimmy Lyons Stage), the Garden Stage, the Jazz Education Pavilion on the West Lawn, and the Courtyard Stage. Indoor venues include the Night Club (Bill Berry Stage), Dizzy's Den, the Jazz Theater, and the Coffee House Gallery.
The Arena features 5 concerts throughout the Festival weekend, each concert is approximately 4 hours long. All Arena Seating is reserved seating. Arena Packages and Tickets also allow access to 7 additional Grounds stages and all Grounds activities at no extra cost.
Grounds Stages include simulcasts of Arena concerts in the Jazz Theater, and access to 7 additional stages and activities. Grounds Stages are General seating.
Gates open at 6:00 pm on Friday night, 11:30 am on Saturday, and 11:00 am on Sunday. Nonstop, live jazz entertainment continues until approximately midnight on Friday and Saturday; 11:30 pm on Sunday.