News and Updates

Ballard Jazz Festival In The Press

POSTED: MAY 14, 2017

Some previews of the 2017 Ballard Jazz Festival have been appearing in the press.

SEATTLE TIMES: "It's a family" affair at Ballard Jazz Festival

Celebrating its 15th year, Ballard Jazz Festival 2017 (Wednesday-Saturday, May 17-20) will feature a concert from two-time Grammy-nominated saxophonist Chico Freeman, as well as Seattle's jazz heavyweights and new talent.

"The festival is like a family at this point. Some people argue that every year they see Thomas Marriott or Greta Matassa or Gail Pettis, but by the same token — it's our community. It's the Seattle and Northwest regional jazz scene," said Matt Jorgensen, artistic director of Ballard Jazz Festival.

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AXS: Ballard Jazz Fest stacks best local and international talent in one neighborhood

The Ballard Jazz Festival May 17-20 is popular for a reason. Every year, organizers make sure to shine a spotlight on local heroes and give them a chance to roll with the international big guns who visit from time to time.

This year, the four-day festival welcomes two-time Grammy®-nominated, New York City-based tenor saxophonist Chico Freeman (son of legendary Chicago NEA Jazz Master, the late Von Freeman) as a headliner on the Main Stage of the Nordic Heritage Museum in the quaint Seattle community of Ballard at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday (all ages).

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Earshot Jazz: Ballard Jazz Festival Returns for its 15th Year

Friday night brings the beloved Ballard Jazz Walk – the original solo event that the festival ultimately grew out of – starting at 6:30pm. Debuting in 2002 with five bands across five venues, the Ballard Jazz Walk now features live jazz at 10 sites across downtown Ballard, including outdoor venues Peddler Brewing Company and Pono Ranch. The Jazz Walk is always a highlight of the festival, but this year, as the festival turns 15 and Origin Records turns 20, the Walk plays a special role in featuring performances by artists that have been part of the Origin family throughout the last two decades. These include George Colligan, Gary Hobbs, the Origin Uber band, Phil Parisot, Greta Matassa, Gail Pettis, Bill Anschell, Todd Bishop, Clay Giberson, Matt Jorgensen, and John Bishop.

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Chico Freeman headlines the 2017 Ballard Jazz Festival

POSTED: MAY 11, 2017

The 2017 edition of Ballard Jazz Festival welcomes New York City-based saxophonist Chico Freeman to perform at the Mainstage Concert on Saturday, May 20, at the Nordic Heritage Museum. Freeman will be joined by the George Colligan Trio (George Colligan - piano, Evan Flory-Barnes - bass and Matt Jorgensen - drums).

The Northwest-based group Scenes, featuring Rick Mandyck, John Stowell, Jeff Johnson and John Bishop, open the show.

The complete schedule for the Ballard Jazz Festival is now online ... including the ever-popular Ballard Jazz Walk on Friday, May 19.

Tickets are now available for order today for the biggest savings!.

Support the Ballard Jazz Festival on GiveBig Day!

POSTED: MAY 8, 2017

GiveBIG Day is Wednesday, May 10, but you can schedule your donation now by clicking here and pledging support for the Ballard Jazz Festival.

GiveBIG Seattle is a one-day online giving event to raise funds for nonprofit organizations serving Greater Seattle. The Ballard Jazz Festival is proud to be a part of GiveBig Seattle. We have some great perks to thank you for your support.

Donate Now

Look who is performing at the 2017 Ballard Jazz Festival

POSTED: APRIL 29, 2017


Browse our Artist page to see who is performing at the 2017 Ballard Jazz Festival. You can read bios and see what show each artist is performing at.

Just a reminder, discounted tickets are now on sale!

Ballard Jazz Festival Preview: A Seattle Rite Of Spring


From All About Jazz:

Spanning four days in the historic Ballard neighborhood, the festival has maintained its community feel throughout it's history, this year celebrating its 15th edition. Each year, the festival attracts national and international talent surrounded by the best of the Seattle jazz scene. "I want to make sure it's a local festival, so it sounds like Seattle," says festival organizer and Seattle jazz impresario John Bishop, "It will be a celebration of that." Each year, rather than simply bring in marquee talent from around the country, national talent is paired with northwest musicians, creating a great opportunity for musicians and fans alike to mingle. This is rooted in the awareness of what makes a jazz scene vital, whether at the festival, or in clubs throughout the year, that "the hang" is essential, and creates a vibe that is compelling and welcoming. Promoted and staged by Origin Records, the Seattle jazz label operated by drummers Bishop and Matt Jorgensen, this year's event also celebrates the 20th anniversary of the highly regarded label.

Click here to read the entire article

Welcome back to our Jazz Walk Title Sponsor!


Verity Credit Union continues their support of the Ballard Jazz Festival as our presenting sponsor for the Ballard Jazz Walk on Friday, May 19.

Verity Credit Union is about serving the communities their members live, work and play in. They also have strong ties to the Seattle music community so we are looking forward to working with them to make the 2017 Ballard Jazz Walk our biggest and best yet!

Visit the Ballard branch of Verity Credit Union at 5711 24th Ave NW or call (206) 641-2877

Check back for more sponsor profiles in the coming weeks!

Welcome a new sponsor: UW Medicine



The Ballard Jazz Festival is pleased to announce UW Medicine as a new Jazz Walk Venue sponsor.

UW Medicine in Ballard provides patient and family-centered sports medicine, physical therapy, women's health, primary care, urgent care, cardiology and hip and knee services -- delivered by expert physicians -- in a newly renovated 30,000-square-foot facility. Multiple clinics in one convenient location.

Dates set for 2017!


Dates have been set for the 2017 Ballard Jazz Festival. Join us in historic Downtown Ballard May 17-20 for four days of jazz!

Watch this website for more details. For all the latest announcements, please join our mailing list!

Photos from the 2016 Ballard Jazz Festival

POSTED: SEPT 20, 2016

Thank you for a great festival!

POSTED: MAY 20, 2016

Thanks to all you musicians / volunteers / staff / venues / sponsors / supporters and ticket buyers(!) for another great week of music and hanging!! That everyone keeps with us and the spirit of the festival through thick & thin throughout the years is indescribably gratifying and inspiring.


Forecast: warm weather, sizzling sounds at Ballard Jazz Festival

POSTED: MAY 10, 2016

From the Seattle Times:

It must be spring, because the Ballard Jazz Festival is upon us. What better way to celebrate these warm, sunny days — hopefully, more are on the way — than by taking the Ballard Jazz Walk next Friday, May 13?

With a French Quarter New Orleans vibe, the Jazz Walk offers 23 Northwest jazz acts in 10 venues, all in one night, attracting enthusiastic fans who crowd the sidewalks, trading tips and on-the-spot reviews.

Click here to read the entire article


POSTED: MAY 10, 2016

Since the very first Ballard Jazz Festival, HomeStreet Bank has been with us! We do our banking there and you should too!

Thank you to HomeStreet Bank for their ongoing support and we encourage you to visit their new branch on 24th Ave NW in Ballard.


POSTED: APRIL 27, 2016

Jan Molendijk (how has traveled from The Netherlands to Seattle to attend the festival three times!) has created his annual Ballard Jazz Festival Spotify Playlist:


POSTED: APRIL 25, 2016




Back in 2003, as we were getting ready to present the very first Ballard Jazz Festival, our first committed sponsor was the real estate team of Chuck Cady and Ann Nordling. They have been with us every year since and have helped co-Artistic Director Matt Jorgensen buy a home twice. As a jazz baritone saxophonist herself, Ann Nordling is committed to the Seattle jazz community.

Chuck Cady and Ann Nordling and have now merged with Deborah Arends & Associates. The combined companies will conduct business together under the name of the TRI STAR Team. Check them out for all of your real estate needs!

Want to know what a Jazz Walk is? Check out this video from 2009:

Ballard Jazz Festival Bags!

New for 2012 ... we've reused old Ballard Jazz Walk banners to create one-of-a-kind bike messenger bags and totes. Products will be available at the festival merchandise table as well as Sonic Boom Records.

View Photos

Take a look back at previous festival on our Photo Gallery page.

Thank You To Our Sponsors

The Ballard Jazz Festival could not present the great music it does without the incredible support of our local sponsors. Please take a moment to view our sponsors and send some business their way.



Ballard Jazz Festival Program Download the 2017 Ballard Jazz Festival Program
(PDF File)

Included are artist biographies, schedule information, the latest in Seattle jazz news and more!


2017 Jazz Walk Map Plan your Ballard Jazz Walk evening with our 2017 Jazz Walk Map.

Click here to download a Jazz Walk Map and Schedule Grid (PDF file)




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2140 N. Northgate Way
Seattle, WA, 98133
Reservations: 206-365-0700
800-435-0754 (Toll Free)

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The Ballard Jazz Festival is fiscally sponsored by
Shunpike is the 501(c)(3) non-profit agency that provides independent arts groups in Washington State with the services, resources, and opportunities they need to forge their own paths to sustainable success.

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