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Festivals & Events

News & Events

The 2006-07 season of the Monterey Symphony opens on October 14 (at Sherwood Hall, Salinas) and October 15-16 (at Sunset Center, Carmel) with a Monterey Symphony premier of Gordon Getty's Overture to PlumpJack.

Musical Director Max Bragado-Darman conducts at both venues. Also on the program are Shostakovich's Symphony No. 5 and Chopin's Piano Concerto No. 1, with Dubravka Tomsic on piano.

For tickets and information about the rest of the season, call 831-624-8511 or explore the website at

Did You Know?

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

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. One of the world's great blues and r&b festivals, it has featured B.B. King, Ashford & Simpson, Etta James, and dozens of performers both famous and up-and-coming.

  • 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.

  • Around Labor Day weekend, 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. Stars at the longest continuous running jazz festival in the world have included Wynton Marsalis, Branford Marsalis, McCoy Tyner, Herbie Hancock, Bobby McFerrin, 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 Mozart Society Concerts, Chamber Music Monterey Bay, and the Lovejoy Series. Check the events calendar for listings.

  • Local venues present the jazz and pop music throughout the year. Check out our website while planning your trip, then pick up a copy of Go, produced by the Monterey County Herald newspaper, when you arrive.

  • 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 tuning into great jazz on KRML radio, tucked into a glass-fronted studio overlooking The Hog's Breath Inn in Carmel.

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

    Getting More Information

    The Cultural Council for Monterey County has 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

  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