The Fillmore hosted its first jazz festival in 1985. The music festival harkened back to the outdoor festivals that graced the streets of the Fillmore and surrounding neighborhoods in the 1960’s. But The Fillmore’s musical history comes long before the advent of the counterculture. Jazz clubs began popping up around the neighborhood and these clubs brought major acts to The ‘Moe-Billie Holliday, Count Basie, Louis Armstrong, and Ella Fitzgerald all frequented these clubs. As jazz changed, younger players blew about these clubs-notably, John Coltrane, Charlie Parker, and Chet Baker.
In 1999, a strip of Fillmore Street was designated a “Jazz Preservation District” to further solidify its importance in the San Francisco cultural scene. Since 1985, The Fillmore Jazz Festival has brought Dr. Lonnie Smith, Pete Escovedo, Jules Broussard, and others to the stage, celebrating the cultural importance of these streets. It’s completely free and takes place each year over Independence Day weekend. Enjoy music from many stages and twelve blocks of great food and drink from local vendors. See you on Fillmore!