Tri-C JazzFest Cleveland is an educational festival with year-round programming that culimates in a three-day summer music festival that takes place at Playhouse Square, located at 1501 Euclid Ave. in Cleveland, Ohio. Nearly 500 artists perform indoors and outdoors playing jazz and other genres. Indoor concerts are ticketed and feature world-class musicians in Playhouse Square's historic theaters. All outdoor entertainment is free.

Founded in 1980 by Dr. Thom Horning and Reginald Buckner, Tri-C JazzFest stays true to its mission to:

  • Foster the history and nurture the future of jazz
  • Provide educational opportunities for students of all ages and in all walks of life
  • Bring world-class jazz to Cleveland

DownBeat Magazine describes the festival as offering "the type of diverse, top-tier talent typically found at a much larger festival, along with some adventurous programming that was spiced with compelling international flavors."

The Tri-C JazzFest educational component connects students of all ages with local and international jazz artists. The inclusion of students and teachers ensures the future of the art form in Northeast Ohio. Outreach programming provides free cultural access to Cleveland’s underserved population.

In addition to the indoor and outdoor music during the festival weekend, Tri-C JazzFest also offers a talk tent to get to know artists, shopping, beer garden, street performers and games, Kids Club and much more, as part of the free outdoor component. Learn more about our history here.

Uncertainties created by the COVID-19 outbreak have led to the cancellation of the 41st annual Tri-C JazzFest Cleveland, presented by KeyBank, scheduled for June 25-27 at Playhouse Square. However, we refused to let COVID-19 silence the music we love, and that's why we still made toes tap this year, just in a different way.

A free virtual festival showcasing Cleveland's deep reservoir of jazz talent streamed across various online platforms over three late-summer nights, Friday, Aug. 21 through Sunday, Aug. 23, 2020. 

Tri-C JazzFest partners with various Cleveland venues, including Playhouse Square, the Tri-C Metropolitan Campus, the Cleveland Museum of Art, BOP STOP at The Music Settlement, BLU Jazz+ and Nighttown.