The Monterey Jazz Festival is the longest-running jazz festival globally; it has been running since 1958. The 2021 festival will be the 64th Monterey Jazz Festival.
The Monterey Jazz Festival goes back to its roots and staging performances on just two stages: the Jimmy Lyons Stage in the Arena and the Courtyard Stage.
Monterey Jazz Festival Origins
In 1955, Jimmy Lyons and Erroll Garner played as part of a Carmel jazz concert. A bootlegged recording of the session was sold as Concert by the Sea and became a best-seller. Jimmy Lyons discussed the idea for a Monterey festival with donors in 1957. The first festival was held in 1958. Louis Armstrong, Billie Holiday, the Modern Jazz Quartet, and Harry James were first performers.
The Monterey Jazz Festival is a non-profit that supports education through local, regional, national, and international programs. The festival spends over $500,000 annually on programs that support student programs. The artist in residence program brings renowned artists to work with young musicians and support their dreams and careers, while the Next Generation Jazz Festival brings student bands together.
Monterey Jazz Festival 2021 Lineup
The 2021 lineup features an impressive array of GRAMMY-Award winners. The current line-up of artists includes the following.
- Christian Sands Group
- Herbie Hancock
- George Benson
- Terri Lyne Carrington
- Kandace Springs
- Miho Hazama and m_unit
- Next Generation Jazz Orchestra, directed by Gerald Clayton
- Mimi Fox Organ Trio
- Next Generation Women in Jazz Combo directed by Katie Thiroux
Health and Safety 2021
The 2021 festival will take place on just two stages, instead of the eight stages used in the past. Seating will be limited to 50 percent capacity. Guests will need to show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test.
Gate and Show Times
On Friday, the gates open at 5:00 pm, and the show runs from 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm. On Saturday, the gates open at 11:30 am, and the show runs from 1:00 pm to 6:45 pm.
Jimmy Lyons Stage
On Friday, September 24th, Pat Metheny Side-Eye will play at 7:00 pm, while Herbie Hancock plays at 8:45 pm.
On Saturday, September 25th, Miho Hazama and m_unit will take the stage at 1:00 pm. Las Cafeteras plays at 2:30 pm. At 4:00 pm, Terri Lyne Carrington + Social Science will take the step. Ledisi is the final act of the night at 5:30 pm.
On Sunday, September 26th, the Next Generation Jazz Orchestra kicks things off at 1:00 pm. Christian Sands Groups plays at 2:30 pm, while Kandace Springs plays at 4:00 pm.
George Benson finishes the night and the festival at 5:30 pm.
Yamaha Courtyard Stage
The Mimi Fox Organ Trio takes the stage Friday night, while the Giveton Gelin Quartet plays Saturday.
The Next Generation Women in Jazz Combo starts the set off on Sunday, and the Immanuel Wilkins Quartet takes the stage the rest of the afternoon.
The Monterey Jazz Festival hosts a variety of food and beverage vendors. Scheid Family Wines is the official wine partner.
Enjoy Fabulous Monterey
The Monterey Jazz Festival is an excellent way to enjoy Monterey's brilliant music and culture scene. Enjoy the delightful cuisine of the area and check out our favorite places for the best breakfast in Monterey.