About Hampton Jazz Festival

Hampton Jazz Festival has brought the best of jazz, pop, blues, soul, and R&B for more than five decades, with each year more exciting than the last.

The first Hampton Jazz Festival was held at Hampton University’s Armstrong Stadium in 1968 to celebrate HU’s 100th Anniversary. The best in jazz showed up to play including Cannonball Adderley, Count Basie, Dizzy Gillespie Quintet, Herbie Mann Quintet, Thelonius Monk Quintet, Dionne Warwick, and Muddy Waters and his Blues Band.

The popular event was held again the following year, but moved to the newly-built Hampton Coliseum in 1970 where it has since become an annual tradition every last weekend in June. With the exception of 1975 through 1985 when the festival was renamed the Hampton Kool Jazz Festival because of its sponsorship from the Newport cigarette company, the Festival has remained virtually unchanged.

HJF has traditionally featured major R&B, gospel, jazz, pop, blues and crossover stars. The lineup infuses a mix of talent, with local musicians from the Hampton Roads area acting as openers to nationally recognized headliners. Music icons such as B.B. King, Aretha Franklin, Duke Ellington, and Ray Charles have graced the stage while newer artists like Kenny G, David Sanborn, and Dave Koz follow closely in their footsteps.

Thousands of guests travel from across the nation to celebrate an annual reunion of family members, friends, and Hampton University alumni. The City of Hampton boasts a great economic impact throughout the weekend as out-of-towners enjoy the city’s hotels, local restaurants, nearby attractions, and other small businesses.

The Jazz Festival commemorated its 50th anniversary in 2017 with a special performance from jazz pianist Ramsey Lewis who performed in the inaugural lineup. Also worth celebrating is Maze featuring Frankie Beverly who holds the record for most Hampton Jazz Festival performances with 17 appearances.

The three-day festival is co-produced by Hampton University, the City of Hampton, and the Santangelo Group, Inc.

View Artists from past Jazz Festivals

1968 Artists

  • The Original Tuxedo Jazz Band
  • Cannonball Adderley
  • Count Basie
  • Gary Burton
  • Dizzy Gillespie
  • Dizzy Gillespie Quintet
  • Earl "Fatha" Hines
  • Skip James
  • Ramsey Lewis
  • Herbie Mann Quintet
  • Thelonius Monk Quartet
  • Wes Montgomery
  • Archie Shepp Quintet
  • Nina Simone Trio
  • Willie Smith
  • Jimmie Smith
  • Dionne Warwick
  • Muddy Waters and his Blues Band

1969 Artists

  • United House of Prayer Choir
  • Young-Holt Unlimited
  • Booker T & the MGs
  • George Benson Quartet
  • Dave Brubeck Trio with Gerry Mulligan
  • Ray Charles
  • Miles Davis
  • Gary Davis
  • Duke Ellington Orchestra
  • Herbie Hancock
  • Roland Kirk Sextet
  • Nina Simone and Quartet
  • Sly and the Family Stone
  • Marian Williams
  • Sun Ra and Solar Arkestra
  • Cannonball Adderley

1970 Artists

  • Gene Ammons and Sonny Stitt
  • Kenny Burrell
  • Miles Davis
  • Roberta Flack
  • Eddie Harris
  • Herbie Mann
  • Les McCann
  • Mongo Santamaria
  • Jimmy Smith
  • Sarah Vaughan

1971 Artists

  • Cannonball Adderley
  • Dave Brubeck
  • Billy Eckstine
  • Roberta Flack
  • Errol Garner
  • B. B. King
  • Rahsaan Roland Kirk
  • Hubert Laws
  • Herbie Mann
  • Jerry Mulligan
  • Buddy Rich
  • Leon Thomas
  • Dizzy Gillespie

1972 Artists

  • Art Blakey
  • Dave Brubeck Trio
  • Kenny Burrell
  • Ray Charles
  • Paul Desmond
  • Dizzy Gillespie
  • Roy Haynes
  • Illinois Jacquet
  • B. B. King
  • Herbie Mann
  • Al McKibbon
  • Thelonious Monk
  • Gerry Mulligan
  • Joe Newman
  • Nina Simone
  • Zoot Sims
  • Jimmy Smith
  • Sonny Stitt
  • Clark Terry
  • The Giants of Jazz
  • Kai Winding
  • Cannonball Adderley

1973 Artists

  • Duke Ellington & His Orchestra
  • Donny Hathaway
  • Freddie Hubbard
  • B. B. King
  • Rahsaan Roland Kirk
  • Charles Mingus
  • The Staple Singers
  • War
  • Jimmy Witherspoon
  • Stevie Wonder

1974 Artists

  • Donald Byrd
  • Aretha Franklin
  • Stan Getz
  • Elvin Jones
  • B.B. King
  • Gladys Knight & the Pips
  • The Crusaders
  • The Spinners
  • Sarah Vaughan

1975 Artists

  • Bobby Bland
  • Donald Byrd & the Blackbirds
  • Bobby Humphrey
  • B.B. King
  • Ramsey Lewis
  • Herbie Mann
  • Jack McDuff
  • New Birth
  • Staples Singers
  • The Isley Brothers
  • The Stylistics
  • Stanley Turrentine
  • McCoy Tyner

1976 Artists

  • Count Basie & Orchestra
  • Archie Bell & the Drells
  • Brecker Brothers
  • Sons of Champlin
  • George Duke
  • Marvin Gaye
  • Bill Cobham/George Duke Band
  • Dizzy Gillespie
  • Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes
  • Theodore Pendergrass
  • The Crusaders
  • Joe Williams
  • Nancy Wilson

1977 Artists

  • Roy Ayers
  • Gato Barberie
  • Natalie Cole
  • Thad Jones-Mel Lewis
  • Gladys Knight & the Pips
  • Chuck Mangione
  • Lou Rawls
  • Tavares
  • Stanley Turrentine
  • Jimmie Walker

1978 Artists

  • Ashford & Simpson
  • Brick
  • George Duke & the Duke Ellington Orchestra
  • Al Jarreau
  • B.B. King
  • Gladys Knight & the Pips
  • Yusef Lateef
  • LTD
  • Noel Pointer
  • Flora Purim with Airto
  • Grover Washington, Jr.
  • Locksmith

1979 Artists

  • 24th Street Band
  • Ashford & Simpson
  • George Benson
  • Peabo Bryson
  • Chic
  • A Tribute to Ella Fitzgerald
  • Ella Fitzgerald
  • Dexter Gordon
  • Spyro Gyra
  • Etta James
  • Joe Jones
  • Ronnie Laws
  • Ramsey Lewis
  • The Crusaders
  • Grover Washington, Jr.

1980 Artists

  • Bobby “Blue” Bland
  • Angela Bofill
  • Chic
  • Lou Donaldson
  • Herbie Hancock
  • Phyllis Hyman
  • Kool and the Gang
  • Ronnie Laws
  • Peaches & Herb
  • Sam and Dave
  • The Brothers Johnson
  • Dionne Warwick

1981 Artists

  • Jerry Butler
  • Hank Crawford
  • Spyro Gyra
  • Herbie Hancock Quartet
  • B.B. King
  • Gerry Mulligan
  • Smokey Robinson
  • The Crusaders
  • The O’Jays
  • Mel Torme
  • McCoy Tyner
  • Nancy Wilson

1982 Artists

  • Count Basie
  • George Benson
  • Frankie Beverly & Maze
  • Angela Bofill
  • Heath Brothers
  • Ron Carter
  • Betty Carter
  • George Duke
  • Herbie Hancock
  • Dr. John with Hank Crawford
  • Joe Henderson
  • Millie Jackson
  • Hubert Laws
  • Herbie Mann
  • Wynton Marsalis
  • Bobby McFerrin
  • Carmen McRae
  • Dave “Fathead” Newman
  • Oscar Peterson
  • Pieces of a Dream
  • Jean-Luc Ponty
  • Patrice Rushen
  • Woody Shaw
  • Sarah Vaughan
  • Junior Walker & the All-Stars
  • Tony Williams

1983 Artists

  • James Brown
  • Ron Carter
  • Dazz Band
  • Roberta Flack
  • Herbie Hancock & VSOP II
  • Eddie Harris Quartet
  • Phyllis Hyman
  • Etta Jones
  • Kool & the Gang
  • Wynton Marsalis
  • Branford Marsalis
  • Houston Person
  • Lou Rawls
  • The O’Jays
  • Luther Vandross
  • Rudy West & The Keys
  • Tony Williams

1984 Artists

  • Bob James
  • Al Jarreau
  • B.B. King
  • Gladys Knight & the Pips
  • Patti LaBelle
  • Tania Marie
  • Les McCann
  • Pieces of a Dream
  • Pointer Sisters
  • David Sanborn
  • Shirley Scott
  • Jae Sinnett
  • Stanley Turrentine

1985 Artists

  • Roy Ayres
  • Andrae Crouch
  • Jeff Lorber
  • Fusion
  • Spyro Gyra
  • Patti LaBelle
  • Jimmy McGriff
  • Melba Moore
  • Jeffrey Osborne
  • Nina Simone
  • The Clark Sisters
  • The Commodores
  • The Manhattans
  • Stevie Ray Vaughan

1986 Artists

  • Anita Baker
  • Natalie Cole
  • The Four Tops
  • George Howard
  • B.B. King
  • Midnight Star
  • Stephanie Mills
  • O.T.B.
  • Rene and Angela
  • Starpoint
  • The Dells
  • The Temptations

1987 Artists

  • Larry Carlton
  • Ray Charles
  • Roberta Flack
  • Stan Getz
  • Phyllis Hyman
  • Freddie Jackson
  • Stanley Jordan
  • Gladys Knight & the Pips
  • Wynton Marsalis
  • Neville Brothers
  • The Crusaders
  • Grover Washington, Jr.

1988 Artists

  • Gerald Albright
  • George Benson
  • Miles Davis
  • Miki Howard
  • Al Jarreau
  • Kenny G
  • B. B. King
  • Dianne Reeves
  • Jae Sinnett
  • Super Jazz Band
  • Dionne Warwick

1989 Artists

  • Larry Carlton
  • Ray Charles
  • Hank Crawford
  • Lou Donaldson
  • Spyro Gyra
  • Jimmy McGriff
  • David (Fathead) Newman
  • Arthur Prysock
  • Dianne Reeves
  • David Sanborn
  • Diane Schuur & the Count Basie Orchestra
  • Take Six
  • The O’Jays
  • Sarah Vaughan
  • Grover Washington, Jr.
  • Be Be & Ce Ce Winans

1990 Artists

  • New York Voices
  • Patti Austin
  • Regina Belle
  • George Benson
  • Roberta Flack
  • Dizzy Gillespie UN Orchestra
  • GRP All-Stars
  • Hiroshima
  • Marlon Jordan
  • Patti LaBelle
  • Pieces of a Dream
  • Lee Ritenour
  • The Four Tops
  • McCoy Tyner

1991 Artists

  • Regina Belle
  • Frankie Beverly & Maze
  • Ruth Brown
  • George Duke
  • Al Green
  • Gladys Knight
  • Mighty Clouds of Joy
  • Najee
  • Neville Brothers
  • Jeffrey Osborne
  • Plunky & Oneness
  • Diane Reeves
  • David Sanborn
  • Dionne Warwick

1992 Artists

  • Gerald Albright
  • Count Basie Orchestra
  • Frankie Beverly with Maze
  • Ray Charles
  • Ella Fitzgerald
  • Aretha Franklin
  • Manhattan Transfer
  • O’Jays & Whispers
  • Grover Washington, Jr.

1993 Artists

  • Regina Belle
  • Peabo Bryson
  • Jazz Explosion Super Band
  • Kenny G
  • Patti LaBelle
  • Stephanie Mills
  • Smokey Robinson & The Yellowjackets

1994 Artists

  • Gerald Albright
  • Count Basie Orchestra
  • George Duke & The Jazz Explosion
  • Four Tops
  • Lalah Hathaway
  • B.B. King
  • Earl Klugh
  • Gladys Knight
  • Patti LaBelle
  • Ramsey Lewis
  • Little Richard
  • Connie Parker Trio

1995 Artists

  • Cleo Lane & John Dankworth
  • Gerald Albright
  • Patti Austin
  • Anita Baker
  • George Benson
  • Frankie Beverly & Maze
  • Ray Charles
  • Earth, Wind & Fire
  • Duke Ellington Orchestra
  • Al Jarreau
  • Jazz Explosion
  • Gladys Knight
  • Stanley Turrentine
  • Grover Washington, Jr.

1996 Artists

  • Jonathan Butler
  • Joe De Francesco
  • Rachelle Ferrell
  • Herbie Hancock
  • Isaac Hayes
  • Isley Brothers
  • Millie Jackson
  • Ahmad Jamal
  • Chaka Khan
  • Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes
  • Chick Corea’s Salute to Bud Powell
  • David Sanborn
  • Luther Vandross
  • Grover Washington, Jr.
  • Barry White

1997 Artists

  • Regina Belle
  • George Benson
  • Frankie Beverly & Maze
  • Peabo Bryson
  • Robert Cray and the Memphis Horns
  • Tower of Power
  • Will Downing
  • Kirk Franklin & the Family
  • Kenny G
  • B.B. King
  • Gladys Knight
  • Patti LaBelle
  • Pieces of a Dream
  • Dianne Reeves
  • Solo

1998 Artists

  • Mary J. Blige
  • Fourplay
  • Aretha Franklin
  • Boney James
  • Jazz Crusaders All-Stars
  • LSG
  • Brian McKnight
  • The Whispers
  • Grover Washington, Jr.

1999 Artists

  • Gerald Alston/w Manhattans
  • Average White Band
  • George Benson
  • George Duke/Sounds of Soul
  • Kevin Eubanks
  • Faith Evans
  • Rachelle Ferrell/Sounds of Soul
  • Boney James
  • Chaka Khan
  • Patti LaBelle
  • Kenny Lattimore/Sounds of Soul
  • Blue Lovett /w Manhattans
  • Ohio Players
  • Grover Washington, Jr.

2000 Artists

  • Roy Ayers
  • Erykah Badu
  • Regina Belle
  • Kirk Franklin & Nu Nation
  • Roy Hargrove Quintet
  • Gladys Knight
  • Ellis Marsalis Quartet
  • Jeffrey Osborne
  • Sinbad
  • The O’Jays
  • Stanley Turrentine
  • Kirk Whalum

2001 Artists

  • George Benson
  • Frankie Beverly w/ Maze
  • Norman Brown
  • Brian Culbertson
  • Miki Howard
  • Boney James
  • Dave Koz
  • Brian McKnight
  • Stephanie Mills
  • Najee
  • Connie Parker
  • Jill Scott
  • The Temptations
  • The Whispers

2002 Artists

  • The Stylistics
  • The Chi-Lites
  • Harold Melvin’s Blue Notes
  • Dave Koz
  • Norman Brown
  • Brian Culbertson
  • James Ingram
  • Patti LaBelle
  • Oleta Adams
  • Fourplay
  • Stephanie Mills
  • O’Jays
  • Maze featuring Frankie Beverly
  • Teena Marie
  • The Gap Band

2003 Artists

  • Anita Baker
  • Earth, Wind & Fire
  • India.Arie
  • Gladys Knight
  • Maze featuring Frankie Beverly
  • George Benson
  • Michael McDonald
  • The Isley Brothers featuring Ronald Isley
  • The Crusaders featuring special guest Randy Crawford
  • Rick Braun
  • Kirk Whalum
  • Norman Brown
  • David Sanborn
  • The Jeff Golub Band
  • The Dramatics
  • Ray, Goodman & Brown
  • The Manhattans
  • The Harold Blanchard Trio

2004 Artists

  • Gladys Knight
  • Patti LaBelle
  • Stephanie Mills
  • The Gap Band
  • Dave Koz and Friends featuring Rick Braun
  • Jonathan Butler and Wayman Tisdale
  • Gerald Levert
  • The East Coast All-Stars featuring Chuck Loeb
  • Alex Bugnon
  • Bill Evans
  • Will Lee and Omar Hakim
  • Dells
  • Chilites
  • The Intruders
  • Kool and the Gang
  • Kem
  • Floetry

2005 Artists

  • Hot Summer Nights featuring Al Jarreau
  • Boney James & Yolanda Adams
  • Al Green
  • Maze featuring Frankie Beverly
  • Ruben Studdard
  • Guitars & Saxes featuring Mindi Abair
  • Warren Hill
  • Jeff Golub & Wayman Tisdale
  • Angie Stone
  • Earl Klugh
  • Ashford & Simpson
  • Jazz Attack featuring Rick Braun
  • Jonathan Butler
  • Richard Elliot & Peter White
  • Chris Botti

2006 Artists

  • Maze featuring Frankie Beverly
  • B.B. King
  • Toni Braxton
  • The Original Superstars Of Jazz Fusion featuring Roy Ayers
  • Jean Carne
  • Wayne Henderson
  • Bobbi Humphrey
  • Ronnie Laws
  • Jon Lucien & Lonnie Liston Smith
  • Charlie Wilson
  • Will Downing
  • Kem
  • Boney James
  • Groovin’ For Grover featuring Kirk Whalum
  • Gerald Albright & Jeff Lorber
  • Kindred: The Family Soul

2007 Artists

  • Patti LaBelle
  • Jill Scott
  • Maze featuring Frankie Beverly
  • George Benson
  • David Sanborn
  • Tower of Power
  • Norman Brown’s Summer Storm featuring Peabo Bryson
  • Jeff Lorber & Marion Meadows
  • The Dizzy Gillespie All-Star Big Band featuring Slide Hampton
  • Roberta Gambarini
  • James Moody
  • Jimmy Heath
  • Roy Hargrove
  • Claudio Roditi and Antonio Hart
  • Stephanie Mills
  • Ramsey Lewis Trio

2008 Artists

  • Gladys Knight
  • Jill Scott
  • Maze featuring Frankie Beverly
  • Boney James & Jonathan Butler
  • Raheem DeVaughn
  • Chrisette Michele
  • Kenny G
  • KEM
  • Joss Stone
  • Dave Koz & Friends featuring Peabo Bryson

2009 Artists

  • Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds
  • The O’Jays
  • Patti LaBelle
  • George Benson
  • Ledisi
  • Jazz Attack featuring Jonathan Butler
  • Richard Elliot and Rick Braun
  • Michael McDonald
  • Fantasia
  • Forte Jazz Band featuring Brian Pinner
  • Robin Thicke
  • Chuck Brown
  • Keiko Matsui

2010 Artists

  • Gladys Knight
  • Charlie Wilson
  • Maze featuring Frankie Beverly
  • Keith Sweat
  • Dave Koz & Jonathan Butler with special guest Sheila E.
  • Melanie Fiona
  • Teena Marie
  • Joe
  • Down to the Bone
  • En Vogue
  • SAX for STAX featuring Gerald Albright & Kirk Whalum
  • The Fuzz Band

2011 Artists

  • Anthony Hamilton
  • Charlie Wilson
  • Maze featuring Frankie Beverly
  • Chaka Khan
  • Boyz II Men
  • Boney James
  • KEM
  • Chrisette Michele
  • Soul of Summer featuring Jonathan Butler
  • Eric Darius & Maysa
  • Stephanie Mills
  • David Sanborn
  • George Duke & Marcus Miller
  • Laura Izibor

2012 Artists

  • Charlie Wilson
  • Natalie Cole
  • Norman Brown & Gerald Albright
  • Alex Boyd
  • Kenny G
  • Monica
  • Ledisi
  • Will Downing
  • Jill Scott
  • KEM
  • Dave Koz & BeBee Winans
  • RaJazz

2013 Artists

  • Gladys Knight
  • The O'Jay's
  • KEM
  • Leela James
  • Bobby Brown
  • Ralph Tresvant
  • Johnny Gill
  • Fantasia
  • George Benson
  • Forte Jazz Band feat. Brian Pinner
  • Jill Scott
  • TGT
  • Bob James & David Sanborn feat. Steve Gadd and James Genus
  • Karla Crump

2014 Artists

  • Charlie Wilson
  • Jaheim
  • Jonathan Butler, Norman Brown and Alex Bugnon
  • Jackie Scott & The Housewreckers w/ special guest William ‘Mobetta’ Ledbetter
  • The O’Jays
  • Chaka Khan
  • Morris Day & The Time
  • Spyro Gyra
  • Toni Braxton
  • Babyface
  • Dave Koz, Mindi Abair, Gerald Albright and Richard Elliott
  • The Now & Then Trio + One

2015 Artists

  • Jill Scott  
  • Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue
  • Eric Benet
  • Avery*Sunshine
  • Jennifer Hudson
  • KEM
  • The Whispers
  • Myra Smith
  • Frankie Beverly & Maze
  • Fantasia
  • BWB feat. Norman Brown, Kirk Whalum and Rick Braun
  • The Unifics

2016 Artists

  • Gladys Knight
  • Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue
  • Michael McDonald
  • Leela James
  • Kenny "Babyface" Edmonds
  • New Edition
  • Judith Hill
  • Forte Jazz Band featuring Brian Pinner
  • Charlie Wilson
  • Stephanie Mills
  • Boney James
  • Joselyn Best

 

2017 Artists

  • Jill Scott
  • KEM
  • Brian Culbertson
  • Gerald Albright
  • Jonathan Butler
  • The O'Jays
  • Fantasia
  • Anthony Hamilton
  • West Coast Jam - Richard Elliot, Norman Brown, Rick Braun
  • Maze featuring Frankie Beverly
  • Patti LaBelle
  • Ramsey Lewis
  • Bobby 'BlackHat' Walters

2018 Artists

  • Kustom Made
  • Jazmine Sullivan
  • Gregory Porter
  • Charlie Wilson
  • Lakeside
  • Avery*Sunshine
  • Boyz II Men
  • Maze featuring Frankie Beverly
  • Con Funk Shun
  • Lalah Hathaway
  • Xscap3
  • Kenny G

2019 Artists

  • Ashley Felder
  • Najee with special guest Eric Roberson
  • Tamia
  • Maxwell
  • The Bar-Kays
  • Will Downing & Maysa
  • Anthony Hamilton
  • KEM
  • Gerald & Selina Albright
  • Ledisi
  • Babyface
  • Maze featuring Frankie Beverly

2020 Artists

​​​​​​​(postponed to 2021)

  • Charlie Wilson
  • Andra Day
  • Jonathan Butler
  • Liz Terrell
  • Anthony Hamilton
  • India.Arie
  • Brian Culbertson
  • Chuck Brown Band
  • KEM
  • Fantasia
  • Jazz Funk Soul (Jeff Lorber, Everette Hart, Paul Jackson, Jr.)
  • The B.B. King Experience