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Performing Arts: Music

 Click here for a list of Musical Events

The Monterey music scene is world-class. Major music festivals throughout the year celebrate jazz, blues, classical and more.

  • In March, the foot stomping tunes of Dixieland fill the air at Dixieland Monterey. Bands converge on Monterey from all over the USA.

  • Monterey sings the blues in June with the Monterey Bay Blues Festival.

  • Bach is king in July and August at the Carmel Bach Festival. The festival features 23 days of music, concerts, recitals, lectures and master classes ending with the Founder's Memorial Concert at the historic Carmel Mission Basilica.

  • The World Music Festival brings together exceptional musicians from all over the world to perform September 14-16, in Monterey's Custom House Plaza, San Carlos Cathedral, and Irvine Auditorium. More details: 800-465-5575.

  • Also in September, the Annual Monterey Bay Reggae Fest brings the Islands to the Bay with music, crafts and food.

  • For years, the giants of jazz have been regulars at the Monterey Jazz Festival held in September. It's one of the premier events in the country. This year's stars at the longest continuous running jazz festival in the world include Wynton Marsalis, Branford Marsalis, McCoy Tyner, Herbie Hancock, Jimmy Smith, and rising young singers like Patricia Barber, Jane Monheit, and Roberta Gamberini.

  • Come the fall/winter season, many classical music series take center stage, including Bravissima! (presented by the Carmel Bach Festival), Chamber Music Monterey Bay, and the Lovejoy Series. Check the events calendar for listings.

  • Sandy Shore Productions present the smoothest sounds for your listening pleasure throughout the year. Jazz on the Wharf, Mother's Day Jazz and Concerts by the Bay are annual events that feature top-notch musicians like Diana Krall. Check out the Sandy Shore web site for listings of local jazz clubs, upcoming concerts, other great smooth jazz info, and even an art gallery.

  • The first Sunday of each month, the Monterey Museum of Art (MMOA) at La Mirada features an afternoon of classical music and art for free. The third Thursday of each month MMOA features local groups and a diverse selection of music during the cocktail hour. Wine tasting is part of this popular event.

  • Coffee houses, bars and restaurants often feature local and regional talent in a relaxed setting over a delicious cup of java or glass of wine. And don't miss the regular jazz performances in the cozy storefront setting of KRML radio, tucked into The Crossroads Shopping Center.

  • Other professional local musical groups include: The Monterey Symphony, the Mozart Society of California, the Monterey Peninsula Choral Society, the Chamber Music Seriesand the Lovejoy Concert Series.

    Getting More Information

    The Cultural Council for Monterey Countyhas information on musical performances throughout the county. Call 831-622-9060.

Musical Events

California Summer Music
236 W. Portal Ave PMB 104
San Francisco, CA 94127
415-753-8920 Fax (415-753-8934

Carmel Bach Festival
PO Box 575
Carmel-by-the-Sea, CA 93921
831-624-2046 Fax 831-624-2788

Monterey Bay Blues Festival
PO Box 1400
Seaside, CA 93955-1400
831-394-2652 Fax 831-649-4124

Monterey Jazz Festival
Monterey, CA 93942
831-373-3366 Fax 831-373-0244

  Sandy Shore Productions
PO Box 982
Pacific Grove, CA 93950
831-649-1223 Fax 831-649-1223

Carmel Music Society
PO Box 1144
Carmel, CA 93921
831-625-9938 Fax 831-659-0353

Chamber Music Monterey Bay
Sunset Center
Carmel, CA 93921

Monterey Symphony
PO Box 3965
Carmel, CA 93921
831-624-8511 Fax 831-624-3837

News & Events
'Make Your Heart Smile'
The Lovejoy Concert Series opens its 2002-2003 concert season with a delightful program of Celtic and Early American music, the Coulter/Phillips Ensemble. For tickets and more information, call 831-625-5633.

New Century Sax Quartet
Chamber Music Monterey Bay opens its concert series with the lively notes of saxophones zipping their way through Bach's Art of the Fugue. For details, call 831-625-2212, or visit
Ethos Percussion Group
Percussion instruments from around the globe make their appearance in performances by Ethos. A special feature of this one-night-only concert: the Missa Luba Mass, sung in Congolese. One of the 35+ events that form the 2002 California Performing Arts Festival (October 16-27), Ethos performs at CalState University Monterey Bay's World Theater. For details, call 831-642-9040, or visit

Did You Know?
The first Monterey Jazz Festival, held in 1958, featured such jazz legends as Dizzy Gillespie, Louis Armstrong and Billie Holiday.

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