Ventura Music Festival – Ventura CA


Ventura Music Festival Announces 2020 Honorees

The Board of the Ventura Music Festival is pleased to announce its 2020 Honorees for Outstanding Contributions to the Arts and Community.   Speaking for the Board, its president Richard Reisman said: “These two prominent individuals – Barbara Meister and Jordan Laby, together with their late spouses – have made culture- and community-changing contributions that literally created the arts landscape in Ventura and beyond, to say nothing of their important contributions to health (CMH) and education (VUSD).”

The Laby and Meister cultural legacies include founding and ongoing support for the New West Symphony, Ventura Music Festival, Rubicon Theatre, Focus on the Masters, Laby Harmony Project, Ventura County Ballet and more.  Each of these institutions is now celebrating a 20th or 25th anniversary which means the number of people impacted, including the youngest members of the community, is in the hundreds of thousands.  

“I’m always struck by their humility,” said “Festival Executive Director Susan Scott. “Each has accomplished so much, both professionally and philanthropically, yet neither seeks the limelight and talks instead about ‘giving back’ and the importance of arts and music education for children and recognition of local artists as cultural assets.” 

The 2020 VMF Honorees will be honored with a video, dinner and live music performance at the annual VMF Honoree Awards and Cabaret Fundraiser on Thursday, April 30th, at the Ventura Beach Marriott hotel.

Past honorees include Betsy Blanchard Chess, Doug Halter, Nancy and Spencer Garrett, Justice Steven Z. Perren, Micheline Sakharoff, Freddie Contarino, the Limoneira Company and E. J. Harrison.

Ventura Music Festival Announces 2019 Honorees

Betsy Chess & Limoneira are honored by Music Festival for outstanding contributions to arts & community

(Ventura, CA) – The Board of the Ventura Music Festival is very pleased to announce its 2019 Honorees for Outstanding Contributions to the Arts and Community. The new honorees are a prominent citizen and a prominent company, respectively: Elizabeth (Betsy) Blanchard Chess, for outstanding individual contribution, and Limoneira, for corporate contribution.

Read More

“All That Jazz” at Namba on July 19th

Ventura Music Festival presents

“All That Jazz” at Namba Performing Arts Space
47 S. Oak Street, Ventura
Thursday, July 19th, 7:00 – 8:15 pm


Opening set by Coda jazz trio
Charles Levin, drums
Bevan Manson, piano
Tom Etchart, bass

Joined by winners of the 2018 Student Jazz Competition
Matthew Kupberberg, piano
Finn Dunham, alto sax
Henry Urschel, alto sax

Doors open at 6:30. Open to the public, early arrivals encouraged.

Student Jazz Competition Results Are In!

Pictured: Finalists Finn Dunham, Matthew Kuperberg, Jonah Goldstein, and Henry Urschel

VENTURA COUNTY – Serving as competition judges, renowned musicians Bevan Manson, Eddie Arkin and Tom Buckner selected the winners of the 2018 Student Jazz Competition. Each year the winners receive $500, $250 and $100 cash prizes for first, second and third place, respectively. The students also receive multiple opportunities from VMF to perform for the public throughout the year, including the annual Rising Stars concert in May and other events to be announced.

Read More

Save the Date: Ventura Music Festival Cabaret

(Ventura, CA) – The next major event of the Ventura Music Festival’s 2018 season will take place on Thursday, April 19th with the 3rd annual VMF Cabaret. A celebration of music and culture, the Cabaret will take place at the Wyndham Garden Ventura Pierpont Inn, honoring Spencer & Nancy Garrett and the Pierpont Racquet Club for their outstanding contributions to the Ventura community and culture.

Read More

VMF Presents Free “Concert for Ventura” on Sunday, February 25th at 3 pm


(Ventura, CA)—The Ventura Music Festival is presenting a free, post-Thomas Fire “Concert for Ventura” on Sunday, February 25, from 3 to 4:30 pm in Mission Park—on Main Street across from Mission San Buenaventura in Downtown Ventura. Open to all, the goal is to celebrate Ventura’s indomitable spirit through one of life’s biggest unifiers—the gift of live music.

Read More