San Jose Jazz Summer Fest 2021 returns for its 31st festival season

Article Contributed by JP Cutler Media | Published on Sunday, June 20, 2021

Silicon Valley's premier annual music event, San Jose Jazz Summer Fest 2021 returns for its 31st festival season from Friday, August 13 through Sunday, August 15 in and around Plaza de César Chavez Park in downtown San Jose, Calif. From its early days as a one-stage eight-act concert to being among North America's foremost music events, San Jose Jazz returns to the live stage with a Summer Fest artist lineup just as riveting as ever before for one of the summer's first major San Francisco Bay Area outdoor music festivals. Arts and cultural programmers are the heartbeat of renewal and restoration efforts following the COVID-19 pandemic and San Jose Jazz remains a leading Bay Area institution preserving downtown San Jose as an exciting hub for arts and entertainment while adhering to all Santa Clara County COVID-19 protocols.

San Jose Jazz steps forward to help bring the city of San Jose back to life and rebuild its inclusive community through cultural collaborations with many longstanding partners of the festival. For the first time, the Fountain Blues Foundation, in collaboration with Jay Meduri of the legendary South Bay venue Poor House Bistro, will book and host a dedicated stage at SJZ Summer Fest featuring blues and New Orleans acts on the new Fountain Blues Stage located in the South portion of Plaza de César Chavez Park. San Jose Museum of Art Stage puts the spotlight on emerging talent performing throughout the three days of festivities. The historic 1936 venue Montgomery Theater brings its elegant décor and great acoustics to Summer Fest as the premier indoor concert space for national and regional artists. Additional local curatorial and performance partners include St. Joseph's Cathedral, Mosaic America, Bloco do Sol, Jazz Organ Fellowship, and Universal Grammar.

With over 45 acts across five stages, San Jose Jazz Summer Fest 2021 announces today its initial round of confirmed artists including Morris Day and The Time, Pete Escovedo Latin Jazz Orchestra, Superblue: Kurt Elling Featuring Charlie Hunter, Judith Hill, Ozomatli, The Motet, Shamarr Allen, Butcher Brown, 7th Street Big Band, Bloco do Sol, and many more acts to be announced soon. Sobrato Organization Main Stage and Fountain Blues Stage will be located at the epicenter of SJZ Summer Fest 2021 in Plaza de César Chavez Park with additional shows presented on the Montgomery Theater Stage, San Jose Museum of Art Stage, and SJZ Break Room Stage.

"Throughout the pandemic, we initiated programs to help Bay Area artists and local youth such as our Live at Home concert series, the Backstage discussion series, Progressions educational sessions, the SJZ Jazz Aid Fund, and SJZ New Works Fest," says SJZ Executive Director Brendan Rawson. "Now, we are all in on the return of our pride and joy, SJZ Summer Fest. What's so important to us is the genuine value of the communal experience of live music. Not only will Summer Fest provide economic recovery for downtown businesses and workers, it offers much-needed healing for the Bay Area community to come together to dance, laugh, sing, and feel joy again with in-person engagement. We're honored to be among the first festivals bringing people back into parks and downtown venues."

SJZ Artistic and Festival Director Bruce Labadie adds, "Attendees of SJZ Summer Fest can expect the same experience as years past but with a reduced footprint. We're working closely with the city to ensure a safe environment for all while many of the best acts in the business perform on our stages. Live concerts will be centered around Plaza de César Chavez Park with our favorite vendors offering delicious foods and beverages, and creative crafts. We are thrilled to finally get back to in-person concerts, and have the opportunity to present acts for the first time at the Montgomery Theater and our very own SJZ Break Room with a live audience."

San Jose Jazz's state-of-the-art pop-up video recording and performance venue The SJZ Break Room will feature a live audience for the first time. Select concerts will be live streamed for music fans unable to attend this year's festivities. The SJZ Break Room is housed inside San Jose Jazz's downtown office on South 1st Street (at San Carlos) featuring a multi-media digital video wall that projection-maps live performances with Ultra-Short Throw Projectors onto high-end projection fabric mounted on motorized rollers. Sound from outdoor speakers and projections fill a 35 x 14 feet bank of floor-to-ceiling windows, providing a special multi-media concert experience for viewers, both inside the venue and outdoors. Access to the SJZ Break Room is for Priority Access and VIP ticket holders.

San Jose Jazz partners with Team San Jose and hotel concierges to feature sets by live jazz bands in lobbies across downtown from August 13 - 15. A Jazz Mass at Cathedral Basilica of St. Joseph will take place on Saturday, August 14 and Sunday, August 15, 2021.

Additional acts and exciting new programs for SJZ Summer Fest 2021 will be announced soon.

General Admission, Priority Access, and VIP tickets range from $35 - $190/Day; and $105 - $470/3-Day Passes. To purchase tickets, please visit:

Returning sponsors for the SJZ Summer Fest 2021 include The Sobrato Organization, Adobe, Heritage Bank and media partners DownBeat magazine and KCSM Jazz 91.

About San Jose Jazz

Founded in 1986, San Jose Jazz is a public benefit organization celebrating jazz as a dynamic, evolving art form and is producer of the annual San Jose Jazz Summer Fest and Winter Fest. San Jose Jazz innovates trend-setting initiatives to foster artistic ingenuity and preserve the jazz tradition as a forward-thinking movement. Through diverse music and educational programming, San Jose Jazz offers singular content and events by investing in the SF Bay Area ecosystem of exceptional talent for local and national audiences to enjoy.

For more information, please visit