Monterey, Newport, Montreal Fests Among Coronavirus Cancellations, Postponements (Updating)


Since the World Health Organization officially declared COVID-19 a pandemic on March 11, numerous festivals and other jazz events worldwide have been canceled or postponed. As of Thursday, May 14, the virus had sickened more than four million people and at least 297,000 people have died, according to The New York Times.

Below is a list festivals and events that have been canceled or postponed. Updates will be made as DownBeat receives additional information. DB

• The Chicago Jazz Festival won’t take place as planned in 2020. Instead, a series of performances will be hosted at area venues with a limited number of attendees and broadcast online, according to the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, which plans the fest each year.

• The 63rd annual Monterey Jazz Festival won’t take place Sept. 25-27 as planned. The festival will return Sept. 24-25, 2021, according to the event’s website.

• According to a press release, Litchfield Jazz Camp will take place virtually in two sessions; one planned July 13-17 and another July 20-24.

• Jazz Aspen Snowmass has been canceled for 2020, according to a press email. Dates for next year’s festival are being planned for Sept. 3-5, 2021, with Stevie Nicks, Eric Church, Kings of Leon and Maren Morris confirmed.

• New Orleans’ French Quarter Festival and Satchmo SummerFest have been canceled, according to an email from French Quarter Festivals, Inc., the organization that oversees both events. Plans for 2021 have begun, as dates for both festivals have been solidified. FQF is set to return April 8-11, 2021, and SSF is planned for July 30-Aug. 1, 2021.• The Freihofer’s Saratoga Jazz Festival has been canceled; planning for the event to return in 2021 has begun.

• After canceling its in-person festival on March 17, The Cheltenham Jazz Festival has announced a one-day streaming event set for May 9. Performances by vocalist Jamie Cullum and trumpeter Laura Jurd are planned as part of the stream.

• Ravinia, a concert series in the Chicago area, has canceled its 2020 season. In a statement on its website, Ravinia Board Chairman Don Civgin wrote that the organization will celebrate the world’s recovery from the pandemic “with music under the stars next summer.”

• The Newport Jazz and Folk festivals have been canceled to protect festgoers’ safety, according to a post on the event’s website. Because of “financial and institutional uncertainties” a variety of refund and donation options are available.

• Heineken Jazzaldia in San Sebastian, Spain, announced it was retooling its 2020 edition, slated to run July 22-26, because of travel and crowd restrictions. A new line-up is being planned, and previously purchased tickets will be refunded in May, according to an email from the festival.

• The Atlanta Jazz Festival has postponed its May 23-24 events, without setting a timeframe for new dates. A 31-day virtual celebration of jazz in May is being organized.

• The Trondheim Jazz Festival has been postponed, according to a post on the event’s website. Fest organizers are working to reschedule performances.

• Spoleto Festival USA, which was set to run May 22–June 7, has been canceled. “2020 promised to be an exceptional year for Spoleto Festival USA,” General Director Nigel Redden said in a press release.

• The Tri-C JazzFest Cleveland, set to run June 25-27, has been canceled. Digital concerts featuring local performers, who would be compensated for playing, is being planned, according to a post on the event’s website.

• “We could see it coming, but now it’s official: no festival this summer,” NN North Sea Jazz Festival director Jan Willem Luyken wrote on the event’s website. The fest is planned to return in July 2021.

• The City of Chicago’s Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events announced in an April 21 press email that three annual music festivals would not take place in 2020: the Chicago House Music Conference & Festival, the Chicago Gospel Music Festival and the Chicago Blues Festival.

• This year’s TD Vancouver International Jazz Festival, which was set to run June 19-28, has been canceled. A post on the event’s website said, “With the support and advice of our board of directors, we have made the hugely disappointing decision to cancel this year’s Festival.”

• International Jazzfestival Saafelden, which was set to run Aug. 20–23, was canceled April 17. The fest plans to run Aug. 19-22, 2021.

• The Montreux Jazz Festival, which was set to run July 3–18, has been canceled, according to a press release. The fest is planning to return July 2–17, 2021.

• The San Jose Jazz Summer Fest 2020 and the affiliated Summer Jazz Camp have been canceled, according to a press email. Next year’s events are being planned for August 2021.

• The 8th edition of the the UK’s Love Supreme Jazz Festival has been postponed until 2021, according to its website. The event’s planned to run July 2-4, 2021 and already has confirmed a number of performers, including TLC, The Isley Brothers, Tom Misch & Yussef Dayes, Sister Sledge, Candi Staton, The Brand New Heavies, Nubya Garcia, Kokoroko, Cory Wong and MF Robots.

• The Burlington Discover Jazz Festival won’t take place this June, according to a post on the event’s Facebook page. The note doesn’t specify if rescheduling this year is an option.

• The Healdsburg Jazz Festival, slated to run May 20–June 7, won’t take place in 2020. A statement on the fest’s website said the festival board is “looking forward to planning 2021.”

• Summer NAMM, which was set to run July 9–11 in Nashville, has been canceled, according to a post on the organization’s website.

• Festival International de Jazz de Montréal, which was set to begin June 25, has been canceled, according to a press release.

• CGI Rochester International Jazz Festival will not run June 19–27. Rescheduling options are being examined.

• Festival International de Musique Actuelle de Victoriaville is canceling its 36th edition, which was set to run May 14–17 in Victoriaville, Canada, according to a press release. The festival does plan to feature the film and visual arts component of its programming, though details weren’t included in the email.

• Through May 16, Jazz at Lincoln Center is suspending programing, including lectures in the Rose Theater, the Appel Room and the Ertegun Atrium; evening performances at Dizzy’s Club; WeBop and Swing University classes; and middle school and high school Jazz Academy classes.

• International Jazz Day, which was set for April 30 in South Africa, ostensibly is now an online event, according to post on the IJD website: “To allow our amazing community of jazz lovers, students and local International Jazz Day leaders a special opportunity to connect with each other, on April 30, the Institute and its partners will be organizing a virtual forum featuring acclaimed artists and webcasts of exclusive content, offered free of charge. Further details will be announced in the coming weeks.”

• DC JazzFest is being rescheduled, according to an email from the event: “The 2020 DC JazzFest will take place in the Fall. We will announce more updates on rescheduled dates in the coming weeks.”

• jazzahead!, the German jazz festival and conference that was set to run in April, is canceled, according to a post on its website. Dates for 2021 are April 29–May 2.

• Screenings of the documentary film Ella Fitzgerald: Just One Of Those Things have been postponed.

• Jazz at Lincoln Center has postponed the 25th annual Essentially Ellington High School Jazz Band Competition and Festival, which was set to run May 7–9, according to an email from the nonprofit. New dates have not been planned. Wynton Marsalis, though, is set to host an online Q&A with finalists from this year. More details are to come.

• New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, which was set to run in April and May, will be rescheduled. No dates were specified. But a post on the festival’s website said, “Jazz Fest 2020 will now take place in the fall. We will announce exact dates and additional details soon. All purchases for the original dates will be honored for the fall dates.”

• The Kennedy Center has canceled all shows through May 10, according to a post to its website.

• The Jazz Education Network has extended “the deadline for members to submit performance and presentation applications for the 2021 conference.” The new deadline is 11:59 p.m. PST on April 30.

• The Saint Lucia Jazz Festival, a collaborative effort with Jazz at Lincoln Center planned to run May 7–9, has been canceled by the St. Lucia Tourism Authority, according to a JALC email.

• The Monterey Jazz Festival has “decided to make the Next Generation Jazz Festival a virtual event for 2020,” according to an Instagram post.

• The Cape Town International Jazz Festival, which was set to run March 22–30 in Cape Town, South Africa, has been postponed. Dates were not specified.

• The Princeton University Jazz Festival, set for April 18, has been canceled, according to an email and a post to the Department of Music at Princeton website.

• Living Jazz, which hosts a variety of educational programs, canceled its Jazz Search West events on March 12 and 20.

• Winters Jazz Club in Chicago plans to close beginning March 14 until further notice, according to an email from the club. All March shows after that date are canceled.

• The National Endowment for the Arts has postponed its Jazz Masters events at SFJAZZ; rescheduling is being planned. SFJAZZ also is postponing all performances and educational events through April 15.

• The Big Ears Festival, which was set to run March 26–29 in Knoxville, Tennessee, has been canceled; rescheduling the performances remains a possibility, according to a post on the festival’s website.

• The University of Nevada also has canceled the 2020 Reno Jazz Festival, which was set to run April 23–25.

Vossa Jazz has been canceled as well; 2021 dates for the event are set for March 26–28.

• A bit outside the jazz world, both the Coachella and Stagecoach festivals—each held in Indio, California—have been rescheduled for late October.

• For the first time in 34 years, SXSW, an annual music showcase and tech conference, will not take place, after the city of Austin, Texas, canceled the event.

• The Jazz Foundation of America program “A Great Night In Harlem,” which was set for April 14 at at the Apollo Theater, is postponed, according to an email from the organization. A new date is being considered.

• Jazz at Lincoln Center has postponed a planned memorial for the late saxophonist Jimmy Heath. The JALC annual spring gala, set for April 15, only will be broadcast online as “Concert for Our Culture.”

• The Art Blakey Centennial Celebration set for March 19 at the Missouri Theatre in Colombia, Missouri, did not take place.

Updated May 14

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