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A performer at the Monterey Jazz Fest
Courtesy of Monterey Jazz Festival


Monterey Jazz Festival

Enjoy three days of world-class jazz at the lauded Monterey Jazz Festival, which has been called 'the grandaddy of jazz events' (the Wall Street Journal ) and 'an all-American and global treasure' (JazzTimes magazine). Each year, the September festival features a line-up of top names, newcomers and favourites—some 500 artists in all—playing on eight stages at the Monterey County Fairgrounds, about 70 miles south of San Jose.

A few of the headliners do more than play just one show. Each year, the festival’s Showcase Artist performs several times at the festival, each time showcasing different styles. The festival’s annual Artists-In-Residence, meanwhile, actually work year-round, helping to pick artists for the festival and participating in affiliated jazz-student clinics and festivals (such as the Next Generation Jazz Festival). Past artists-in-residence have included Dizzy Gillespie, Joshua Redman, Branford Marsalis and Christian McBride, to name a few.

Round out your experience by attending a wide range of seminars, panel discussions, and intimate conversations. If you play jazz, don't miss the clinics and workshops, as well as art exhibitions and seminars. There are children's events too, and plenty of good food to keep them energised.

There are a few different ways to attend the festival beyond single-day passes. Get a general admission pass for the seven Grounds, which are spread out over the Monterey County Fairgrounds. Or, buy a Full Weekend Arena package and you’ll have the same reserved Arena seat for the weekend’s five shows on the main stage, as well as access to all seven Grounds Stages. For a VIP experience add the Premier Club pass to any ticket, and you’ll get access to a special air-conditioned lounge, closed-circuit Arena simulcasts, delicious menu options and a top-class bar.

Before going, make sure you download the free Monterey Jazz Festival app (search MJF62) for a customisable schedule of performances, artist bios, a map of the fairgrounds and more.