John Natsoulas Art Gallery - 521 First Street
October 6, 2007

2018 Update

Friday, October 12 2018: 7-9 PM
Saturday, October 13 2018: 2-8 PM

Annual Davis Jazz Artists Festival

The annual Davis Jazz Artists Festival offers a wealth of sparkling musical gems and a selection of exciting performance painters for families and fans of all ages. Whether you’re looking for the haunting tones of a jazz chanteuse, the sounds of cutting edge, or hard-driving big bands, or classical jazz combos—or just a great cultural experience, surrounded by music and art—the Davis Jazz Artists Festival will deliver it all. Mounted as an event to provide a collaboration between music and the visual arts, the festival will serve as an educational event for younger artists and musicians and will benefit the Davis High School Band’s Program.

This is the most unique jazz festival in the country, representing the first festival featuring jazz musicians in collaboration with Performance Painters. Painting to jazz has a history beginning, at least, in the early part of the twentieth century with Henri Matisse, the French Fauve painter. In the ‘30s. ‘40s, and ‘50s many contemporary painters, including Jackson Pollock, followed Matisse’s example, finding inspiration and fresh rhythms from working to improvisations of jazz.


The 1st annual Davis Jazz Artists Festival was held at three venues - Davis CommonsJohn Natsoulas Art Gallery and the Log Cabin Gallery on Saturday, October 6, 2007 from 12:00 to 6:00 p.m. - free to the public.

All three venues at this year’s Davis Jazz Artists Festival featured artists painting to the music of jazz bands. Much like the earlier jazz painters, these young artists express themselves at a rapid pace in a public venue—something not seen anywhere else in the country. This ground-breaking event will include 150 jazz musicians, 20 visual artists and one well-known jazz poet.

The Saturday evening opening reception celebrated the performance painters and their paintings of the day, which will be on exhibition. The winner will be announced and awards given out. Also that evening, we will celebrate the work of African American artist and civil rights activist Larry Clark, whose paintings of jazz musicians will be on view in the main gallery. A special exhibit of the Jazz Suite lithographs created by Henri Matisse in 1947 will be on view.

Past Performers

Nationally renowned jazz performance painter Nancy Ostrovsky, UC Davis Jazz Combo, Davis High School Jazz Band and Combo, Adam Jenkins and The Ganbare Spirits Ensemble, Race!!!, Capital Jazz Project, Latin Jazz Ensemble of CSUS, Steve Vanoni and the Horse Cow crew, Gerry Pineda Trio, featuring Rob Lautz on vibes, Steve Roach on trumpet and Gerry Pineda on bass,
Various jazz poets.