The Muckenthaler’s Annual Jazz Music Festival is coming back beginning May 13 after a year-long hiatus with the mindset that anything is possible.

Muck Annual Jazz Festival: Spring 2021 is returning with new energy described as “eclectic, cutting-edge and contemporary” after having to cancel last year’s festival due to COVID-19.

“Our stage will be graced by world-class performers, people who feed their soul by playing for a crowd. And they’ve been unable to do that for a year or more. There’s an audience that hungers for the joy of live music. We expect the collision of these two forces to be a joyous release of energy,” The Muck CEO Farrell Hirsch said.

Barbara Morrison is a high-octave jazz and blues singer performing at this year's Muck Annual Jazz Fest 2021.

Barbara Morrison is a high-octave jazz and blues singer performing at this year’s Muck Annual Jazz Fest 2021. Photo credit: The Muckenthaler

Hirsh described the theme of the festival as “everything is possible.” He pointed to the assortment of renowned and Grammy-winning performers in the lineup, with ages ranging from 17 to 87. Acts include jazz and blues singer Barbara Morrison with her 3 1/2 octave range and Bill Cunliffe with his rendition of the album “Blues and the Abstract Truth, Take 2” by Oliver Nelson.

Each night the festival will center around a different genre of jazz with influence from around the physical and musical world.

“Think of the bacchanalia that erupted across Europe when the Black Plague finally receded. Think of Times Square when it was announced that World War II had ended. I think we’ll be touching on that same sublime emotion; that our lives are once again ours,” Hirsh said.

Bill Cunliffe and others performing onstage at The Muck's 2019 Jazz Festival.

Bill Cunliffe and others performing onstage at The Muck’s 2019 Jazz Festival. Photo credit: The Muckenthaler

The Muck will be following the most recent Orange Tier guidelines for outdoor venues issued by the state of California. According to Hirsh, the center hopes that by mid-May the state can achieve Yellow Tier which will allow for greater attendance and slightly fewer restrictions.

Nevertheless, capacity will be limited. The center will require masks to be worn and concert-goers stay socially distanced. Ticketing will be paperless and vaccinations encouraged.

The jazz festival will be held at The Muckenthaler's outdoor amphitheater.

The jazz festival will be held at The Muckenthaler’s outdoor amphitheater. Photo credit: Jeremy Yamaguchi

Muck Annual Jazz Festival: Spring 2021 will run from May 13 to June 17 with performances hosted in the evening from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. at The Muck’s outdoor amphitheater.

Tickets are on sale now at for $35 per performance or $150 for the season pass that includes six live concerts. Tickets bought last year for the canceled Spring 2020 Jazz Festival will be rolled over to this year’s event.

Hirsh expressed hope that the audience will be cooperative, and the staff attentive.

“The challenge will be adjusting expectations but we’ve been doing live events legally and safely without any incident,” Hirsh assured.

Those interested can get questions answered or refunds issued at

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Jocelyn Rabadan (She/Her) is a journalism major from Orange, CA. In her free time, she like's to watch documentaries, journal and connect with friends online.

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