Hampton Jazz Festival History

Hampton Jazz Festival has brought the best of jazz, pop, blues, soul, and R&B for 50 years. Each year the event is more exciting than the last. The event is brought to you in partnership by Hampton University, the City of Hampton and the Santangelo Group, Inc.

The City of Hampton and Hampton University have partnered to present Hampton Jazz Festival every year since Hampton Coliseum opened its doors in 1970. Hampton Jazz Festival began in 1968 as a one-time celebration of Hampton University’s 100th birthday on campus at Armstrong Field, but audiences were hooked and the event became an annual tradition. Each June, tens of thousands of loyal fans, from all over the nation, converge in beautiful Hampton to be a part of this three-day celebration.

The annual Hampton Jazz Festival presents the opportunity for us to marvel and appreciate the many visitors who journey here to enjoy American music at its best. This annual gathering has become more of a reunion – a celebration a friends, family, culture, music, and life.