The West Coast’s largest free jazz festival will fill the streets of San Francisco’s Fillmore District June 30 and July 1 with some of the genre’s biggest names. The two-day, multi-stage Fillmore Jazz Festival will feature headliners like Kim Nalley, Lavay Smith & Her Red Hot Skillet Lickers, Josh Jones Latin All Stars, Alphabet Soup, Mo’Fessionals, and the Contemporary Jazz Orchestra with Kenny Washington. You can see the full festival lineup online.
“Imagine the best of the Bay Area thrown onto one stage,” Festival Artistic Director Jason Olaine says. “You’ve got vocals, killer instrumentalists, great soloing, high energy, socially conscious, intergenerational music.”
This year’s festival theme is “90s Throwback.” Olaine says it’s a tribute to the San Francisco music scene during a particularly influential era in jazz culture.
“There was a period of time in the Bay Area in the early to mid-90s that was just such a melting pot of artists and sounds and different genres that were being jumbled together,” says Olaine. “Some of the most potent bands of that time were in the Bay Area and helped shape music around the world.”
To honor the theme, several popular retired bands, like Alphabet Soup, Jungle Biskit, Dogslyde and the Mo’Fessionals, will be playing special reunion sets this weekend.
In addition to all-day live jams, visitors can stroll along 12 blocks of arts and crafts and enjoy a wide array of culinary delights and beverages from the district’s establishments. In past years, the festival has drawn as many as 100,000 visitors.
“It’s going to be one of the most exciting and jam-packed of the Fillmore jazz festivals in the last years,” Olaine says.
Planning to spend time in San Francisco? Check out more amazing things to do in the City by the Bay.