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San Jose Jazz Summer Fest 2020 canceled due to coronavirus pandemic

San Jose Jazz Summer Fest, one of the Bay Area’s most popular cultural events, has been canceled for 2020.

It’s a huge hit for Bay Area jazz fans, who have flocked to this annual festival for the last 30 years, but the cancellation was deemed necessary due to ongoing concerns over the coronavirus pandemic.

“SJZ Summer Fest is one of our flagship live music events of the year,” says Kim Walesh, San Jose’s deputy city manager and director of economic development. “The city really benefits from the hard work of nonprofits such as San Jose Jazz.

“Once it’s safe for our residents to be at large-scale gatherings, we want to see a full revitalization of the festival. The social benefits are obvious, and its substantial economic impact on small businesses throughout downtown San Jose will be vital as we return to normal life.”

It’s not just the fans who are missing out.

“As popular as the San Jose Jazz Summer Fest is with the public, the importance to musicians is even broader,” says San Jose Jazz artistic director Bruce Labadie. “Artists from the world over reach out to perform. The local music community prepares special projects and relies on Summer Fest to reach and develop audiences. Young, emerging artists often receive their first opportunity to perform to large audiences (here). These lost opportunities are an unfortunate consequence of the cancellation.”

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The event was set to take place in August. Now organizers will turn their attention to preparing for 2021.

“Our mission is to bring community together through music,” says Brendan Rawson, the executive director of San Jose Jazz. “We are committed to evolving to new ways to accomplish that while also adapting our plans to return Summer Fest in 2021 stronger than ever.”

San Jose Jazz is also canceling its annual Summer Jazz Camp, which was originally slated for June.

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