Ballard Jazz Festival (BJF), held in the quaint-cum-trendy Seattle neighborhood along Salmon Bay, is of the Northwest’s newer cultural events, but has established itself as a major addition to the Seattle music scene and a worthy destination, whether you live south of the canal or south of Portland. Each season promises more music than ever in many of Ballard’s iconic institutions.
About Ballard Jazz Festival
Located in an area bordered by Puget Sound and Salmon Bay, water was and continues to be an important part of the Ballard neighborhood. Home to Hiram M. Chittenden Locks, the waterway links Puget Sound with a vast inland harbor composed of Salmon Bay, Lake Union and Lake Washington. In the years following WWI, Ballard’s shoreline reached its high point of development.
Today in the metropolitan area of Seattle, Ballard continues to be the center of a unique combination of manufacturing and commercial fishing industries and recreational boating. There is a vibrant commercial district with unique shops, restaurants and music venues. But the water is always there. Whether waiting while the Ballard Bridge opens to let a ship pass through, watching a sailboat race off Shilshole Bay on Puget Sound, or enjoying a delicious salmon dinner, water is always a part of life in Ballard.
The Ballard Jazz Festival was conceived in 2003 to highlight the thriving neighborhood of old town Ballard and Seattle’s world-class jazz musicians. In just a short time, the event has grown into an internationally recognized festival. For a week in May, all eyes and ears seem to focus on Ballard.
The community of Ballard welcomes jazz festival attendees for dining, shopping, music and mingling, including an increasing number of out-of-state tourists who have made the Ballard Jazz Festival a destination event. Even with it’s growing successes, the Ballard Jazz Festival’s main goal continues to be the celebration of this community and of the artists who live here.
2018 Ballard Jazz Festival
When: Saturday, May 16 – 19, 2018. Some of the festival events are 21+, so choose carefully if you have some kiddos in tow.
Tickets: Regular prices $15-$110, from individual events to an all-festival festival pass. The Jazz Walk to multiple venues on Friday night is $35 (some all ages, some 21+). All Ages Main Stage concert on May 20 is $35, students $18.
Discounts: Advance online purchase $13-$100. For the best deal on tickets, order tickets through the Ballard Jazz Festival website and pay no service charges.
Volunteer: Volunteer at the festival to get an insider’s view of the event and enjoy some events for free.