Fillmore Jazz Festival
Next Show Dates: July 5 – 16, 2008
The best talent the Bay has to offer is showcased on our stages, from up-and-coming jazz fusion and latin-flavored acts to seasoned crooners belting out jazz standards. Groove to your old favorites or tune in to new sounds – our performance schedule will help you get the most out of the Fillmore Jazz Festival.
Blending art and soul in one of the countryís most unique neighborhoods, the Fillmore Jazz Festival is the largest free Jazz festival on the West Coast, drawing over 90,000 visitors over the Independence Day weekend. From sunup to sundown, visitors can groove to the sounds of live music from multiple stages, browse the offerings of over 8 blocks of fine art and crafts and enjoy gourmet food and beverages. Asian to Cajun, paintings to pottery, old favorites and new directions, the Fillmore Jazz Festival is not to be missed.
The Histroy of the Fillmore Jazz Festival
Against the backdrop of World War II, dozens of Fillmore Street Jazz clubs hosted the eraís major musical talents, including Ella Fitzgerald, Duke Ellington, Count Basie, and Billie Holliday. Stars such as Joe Louis, Marilyn Monroe, Clint Eastwood and Sammy Davis, Jr. sparkled in the audience. At the legendary Jimboís, Louis Armstrong went to check out Charlie Parker (the only known time they were under the same roof). Chet Baker snuck out of the Fort Mason barracks to jam all night, and John Handy played Bop City with John Coltrane.
In the 60s, Jazz historian David Rosenbaum ran the Melrose Record shop on Fillmore Street, employing high school student Maya Angelou. Zen Buddhism was first introduced to the West in the Fillmore, which became a creative home to artists including Isaac Stern, The Grateful Dead, Janis Joplin, Mel Blanc and Alan Ginsberg.
Although much changed following the areaís redevelopment in the 1970ís, the jazz spirit proved tenacious.
In the 1980ís, a renaissance gave rise to the next generation of the Fillmore District. Merchant associations helped launch the first Fillmore Jazz Festival in 1985, giving new expression to the storied neighborhood. In 1999, the festival came home to the newly revitalized Jazz Preservation District.
Performers who have graced Fillmore Street stages include Dr. Lonnie Smith, Denise Perrier, Lady Memphis, Kim Nalley, Pete Escovedo, Jules Broussard, Big Belly Blues Band, Brenda Boykin and Paula West.
Today, Fillmore Street once again hops with an acknowledging nod to the spirit that once filled the street. Boasting an eclectic mix of over 200 businesses: music clubs, shops and restaurants, it continues to echo the music of its birth, transcending boundaries, embracing diversity, and celebrating personal style.
Fillmore between Jackson & Eddy Streets; San Francisco, CA