Jazz In San FranciscoHistory and Where to Hear it
San Francisco has a long history with jazz music. Learn about our history and where to find it now, from festivals to clubs and bars.
When you see the Tony Bennett statue outside of the Fairmont Hotel on Nob Hill, you will gain a better understanding of how San Francisco has embraced its jazz history. In December 1961, in the hotel’s famous Venetian Room, Bennett first sang "I Left My Heart in San Francisco.” The song quickly became one of the city’s official anthems. Dedicated in 2016, the statue signifies the city’s ongoing love affair with the song, the music, and the musicians who make it. And, if you go to a baseball game at Oracle Park, there is nothing like hearing "I Left My Heart in San Francisco” played after a Giants victory.
Much has been written about the historic jazz clubs from the 1950s and 60s — Jazz Workshop, The Blackhawk, Basin Street West, Todd Barkan’s Keystone Korner—and the classic jazz albums recorded in the city, including Thelonious Monk’s 1959 album Alone in San Francisco, the 1961 Miles Davis album In Person Friday and Saturday Nights at the Blackhawk, Complete, and Duke Ellington’s Concert of Sacred Music at Grace Cathedral from 1965.
San Francisco always honors its jazz and blues history while listening for what will push the music forward. The city also continues to celebrate jazz and blues as an art form that is best experienced live and in the moment.