The John Natsoulas Center for the Arts presents

Davis Beat and Jazz Festival

The Beat Goes On! 

The Davis Jazz & Beat Festival is returning for its 12thyear. Experience live jazz, poetry readings, and performance painting on two stages at the John Natsoulas Gallery on October 11thand 12th! This interactive, multi-disciplinary festival features over 50 musicians and artists including Pulitzer Prize winning poet, Gary Snyder.

Free admission. All ages welcome.

The only festival of its kind in America! This lively collaboration between poets, jazz musicians and painters is the only completely free jazz festival on the west coast. Experience an intimate gathering filled with poetry readings and painting improvisation set to the rhythm of live jazz. This is a unique opportunity for attendees to experience exclusive performances by well-known artists of all kinds. With over 100 musicians and artists performing, there is truly something for everyone.

This 12th annual event is the premier collaborative festival in the region. Combining visual art and music, this multidisciplinary celebration evokes the true spirit of the Beat art movement.

Don’t miss the book reading and signing by Pulitzer Prize winner, Gary Snyder! A noted member of the Beat generation, Snyder is a critically acclaimed author who easily ranks among the best poets of his generation. Snyder’s poetry manages to provide a fresh perspective on metaphysical themes, which he makes relevant and compelling.

The festival will also feature the Jack Kerouac poetry contest where winners are selected to perform original work accompanied by the Tony Passarell jazz trio on Friday October 11th!


  • 7pm – Gary Snyder Headliner Poet
  • 7:30 – Gary Snyder Book Signing
  • 8:00 to 9:30pm – Winners of Jack Kerouac Poetry Contest Reading MC Andy Jones with Tony Passarell Trio


Outdoor Stage

  • 2:45 pm – New Harmony Jazz Band  – Performance Painter Vadim Puyandaev
  • 4:00 pm – Henry Robinett – Performance Painter Myron Stephens
  • 5:00 pm – Brubeck Institute Quintet – Performance Painter Laura Hohlwein

Indoor Stage

  • 4:00 pm – Delbert Bump Trio
  • 5:00 pm – Maximum Earnst Quartet
  • 6:30 pm – Linda Bair Dance Company
  • 7:00 pm – Poetry & performance featuring Indigo Moor
  • 8:00 pm – Hyena – 9 piece Afro Beat Ensemble

What others are saying about the Jazz Festival:

“I don’t know of anyone else who is doing this level of interdisciplinary collaboration between the visual, musical and literary arts. It is truly great work.”
-Joyce Jenkins, Poetry Flash

“Those for whom the San Francisco Beat phenomenon is merely the stuff of legend can get a taste of the real thing in an all-day conference sponsored by the John Natsoulas Gallery in Davis.”
-Kenneth Baker, San Francisco Chronicle