Walk: Fillmore Jazz Festival
Distance: 2.5 miles
|Annual Fillmore Jazz Festival: Sounds of the City
So, this is what Ciwt's little neighborhood looked like today and every first weekend of July during the Fillmore Jazz Festival. It's the largest free Jazz festival on the West Coast, drawing over 100,000 vistors. Ciwt's photo captures the present very organized version of a festival that began as a virtual free for all with people imbibing any variety of booze and drugs and scaring audience members and shoppers. Many stores simply closed their doors for the two day event. Trash was everywhere when it was over. Neighbors hated it.
But over the years and to their credit the producers have worked with neighbors, and fine tuned the logistics so that the musical spirit and multiple stages fill the streets while there are designated listening, shopping, eating and even drinking areas - and there isn't a hint of trash the next day. It's really professional, rich, joyful with top class talent that blends art and soul in one the the country's most unique neighborhoods. This said by Ciwt who is normally not a street fair fan.
Jazz is authentic to the Fillmore, and the Festival has a rich and colorful history. Against the backdrop of World War II, dozens of Fillmore Street Jazz clubs hosted the era’s major musical talents, including Ella Fitzgerald, Duke Ellington, Count Basie, and Billie Holliday. Stars such as Joe Louis, Marilyn Monroe, Clint Eastwood and Sammy Davis, Jr. were in the audiences. At the legendary Jimbo’s, Louis Armstrong went to check out Charlie Parker (the only known time they were under the same roof). Chet Baker snuck out of the Fort Mason barracks to jam all night, and John Handy played Bop City with John Coltrane.