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Kuumbwa Jazz has grown from its small beginnings to one of the most highly respected jazz-presenting institutions in the country, attracting artists of national and international renown. We present over 120 concerts per year at our intimate 200-seat venue, plus concerts at the Rio Theatre and Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium.
Since 1975, our nonprofit arts organization has presented the full spectrum of jazz, preserving the history and legacy of this unique art form. Our jazz education programs include: Summer Jazz Camp for grades 8–12, Kuumbwa Jazz Honor Band, Master Class Series, Artist-in-Residence Program and Artist in the Schools Program. Since 1983, our education programs have reached thousands of residents of all ages in Santa Cruz County.
Kuumbwa Jazz has been bringing the best in jazz to the Santa Cruz community since 1975. We’ve grown from a small, nonprofit arts organization into one of the most respected jazz-presenting institutions in the country, attracting artists of national renown, like Stanley Clarke, Habib Koité, Branford Marsalis and Esperanza Spalding.
Our weekly concerts featuring jazz, blues, world music and beyond are presented in our intimate 200-seat theater where, no matter where you sit, you’re close to the artist. Dinner, fine local wines and micro-brewed beers are served at Kuumbwa-presented concerts starting an hour before the musicians take the stage. All ages are welcome!
Since 1983, our jazz education programs have reached thousands of residents of all ages in Santa Cruz County. Kuumbwa Jazz is also available to rent for your own concert or private event.
Come see us and find out why musicians and locals alike call us the best sounding venue West of the Rockies.
Kuumbwa – Swahili for “act of spontaneous creation.”
“This is my favorite place in the world to play!” – Benny Green
“It is one of the world’s great jazz venues.” – Joshua Redman