Crescent-Jazz Festivals
The World's Greatest Jazz Festivals

The World’s Greatest Jazz Festivals

How many of you have attended a jazz festival and not being nostalgic about it? Well, we understand that jazz festivals are immensely popular events for its universal appeal, fun, and enjoyment. This is why people who have attended a jazz festival want more. Even some of them are constantly searching for upcoming jazz festivals to make sure their appetite for experiencing the diverse culture is met.

So, in this article, we are going to talk about the world’s greatest jazz festivals to soothe your anxiety for wanting more. Each of this festival will open up a new horizon for you as you will understand each host city offers its unique local flavor with these events. Let’s move further and explore the best jazz festivals in the world.

1. New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival (New Orleans, Louisiana, USA)

The World's Greatest Jazz FestivalsThe very first jazz festival on our list is the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. Dubbed as the Jazz Fest, this event started its journey in 1970. The New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival is a seven-day cultural fest, which celebrates the musical heritage of New Orleans.

Along with jazz music, the festival offers discerning music genres such as Gospel, Cajun, Blues, R&B, Folk, Latin, Rock, County Music, Rap, and Bluegrass. With various musical acts, performing every day on 12 different stages, the festival provides something for everyone. Not to mention, you will have an abundance of food vendors, offering local cuisines like jambalaya, beignets, gumbo, etc. All in all, the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival will make your seven-day stay truly remarkable.

2. Montréal International Jazz Festival, Quebec, Canada

The World's Greatest Jazz FestivalsThe Montréal International Jazz Festival is hosted in Quebec, Canada. Since its inception in 1980, this festival has grown in stature and popularity. In 2004, this festival was regarded as the biggest jazz festival in the world. On that year, the festival included more than 700 concerts, performed by 3,000 musicians. In fact, the festival entertained millions of people for a 10-day period.

What’s more, some of the big names such as Ella Fitzgerald, Ray Charles, and Aretha Franklin have performed in this jazz festival. The most amazing fact is almost all of the celebrations are free of cost. For this reason, each Montréal International Jazz Festival draws more than two million jazz enthusiasts as some of the best music performances are seen in various outdoor and indoor concert halls like the P.D.A. (Place des Arts).

3. Copenhagen Jazz Festival (Copenhagen, Denmark)

The World's Greatest Jazz FestivalsIf you love jazz, then you must have heard that Copenhagen is the hub for European Jazz. In every summer, Copenhagen hosts the annual Copenhagen Jazz Festival, which spans for a 10-day period. Different renowned musicians from around the world come and perform in the Copenhagen’s Opera House, Royal Theatre, and cafes and small clubs.

If it is not enough, the festival-goers can enjoy stunning music on the harbor front while swimming in the Danish sea. Even the kids love this festival as it offers special kids program like painting workshop, singing competition, circus, and many more things. In truth, Copenhagen Jazz Festival is more than just a music fest with its distinct musical appeal and famed sightseeing places.

4. Le Festival de Jazz de Montreux, (Montreux, Switzerland)

The World's Greatest Jazz FestivalsOne of the iconic jazz festivals of all time, Le Festival de Jazz de Montreux first came to life in 1967. Claude Nobs, a passionate jazz lover, organized the first ever festival on Lake Geneva’s shoreline in Switzerland. Up until now, many world-famous musicians such as Duke Ellington, Larry Coryell, Sonny Rollins, Ray Charles, and Oscar Peterson have graced and performed in this festival.

‘Deep Purple,’ an English rock band formed in Hertford in 1968 write their famous hit song ‘Smoke on the Water’ and they were inspired by this event. Nowadays, Le Festival de Jazz de Montreux hosts more than 200,000 people each year and the event is hosted in June for up to two weeks.

5. Monterey Jazz Festival (San Francisco, CA)

The World's Greatest Jazz FestivalsMonterey Jazz Festival is the longest-running jazz festival in North America, which is held in Monterey CA for a three-day period. Started in 1958, the festival is held on the grounds of California’s Monterey Fairgrounds. With three outdoor and four indoor stages, which are spread over 20-acre of Oak studded grounds, the festival offers 78 events on three consecutive nights (Friday, Saturday, and Sunday). Likewise Copenhagen Jazz Festival, this festival is also more than just a jazz festival as it hosts many education programs with workshops, exhibitions, and panel discussions on different topics.

Bottom Line

It doesn’t matter which festival you are attending, if you love music and want to experience a new culture, then each of the above festivals will amaze you in different ways. So, tell us what we have missed by sharing your comments below.

Reykjavik Jazz Festival

Reykjavik Jazz Festival

Jazz music is one of the coolest music genres of all time with millions of music aficionados love it wholeheartedly. With that being said, Reykjavik jazz festival is one particular music fest that draws around thousands of people from around the world. With various music artists from across the globe, this music fest is held in Old Town of Reykjavik.

If you combine the Iceland’s immaculate nature and hot nightlife with soulful jazz music, Reykjavik jazz festival would surely make your life inspiring and dynamic. Not to mention the opportunity of experiencing the mysterious Blue Lagoon or the beautiful black sandy beaches will definitely soothe your inner thirst for nature and beauty.

So, in this article, we are going to take to the most recent Reykjavik jazz festival, which took place in August 2017. Put your sleeves up and let’s find out how the music fest unfolded its magnificence among the jazz lovers.

When was the Reykjavik jazz festival held?

The Reykjavik jazz festival was held from 9th to 13th August 2017.

Reykjavik Jazz FestivalWhat’s the specialty of Reykjavik jazz festival?

This jazz festival is a prestigious and international jazz event, hosting various music and fine arts performances from world-class artists. From contemporary jazz to Latin jazz, avant-garde, gospel and big bands, the jazz festival features many renowned music genres. Additionally, Iceland’s local and internationally acclaimed jazz musicians have performed on this music fest. Not to mention, the entire jazz festival is hosted in the small coastal town, which is against the backdrop of magnificent mountains, making it an enticing event for thousands of music-goers.

Which artists performed in Reykjavik jazz festival?

As we have pointed out that many world-leading and local jazz musicians have performed in this music fest, artists such as Fred Hersch Trio, Ole Morten Vågan, Vincent Peirani & Emile Parisien Sigurður Flosason & Lars Jansson, Emile Parisien, Kvartett Ólafs Jónssonar, Agnar Már Magnússon tríó, and Volcano Bjorn.

Who organized the Reykjavik jazz festival?

Reykjavik jazz festival was organized by the FIH Jazz Department, which was assisted by FIH cultural fund, the State Fund for Music, and the City Of Reykjavik.

What were the other attractions of Reykjavik jazz festival?

Reykjavik Jazz FestivalAside from jazz music, there were plenty of attractions, which entertained the people. Iceland is renowned for its natural beauties with different awe-inspiring places. Besides, the gourmet foods such as the organic lamb and seafood draw many admirers from around the world. So, people who went to the festival were able to enjoy these things as well. Not to mention the geothermal waters of the mysterious blue lagoon and legendary surfing spots would have made many people nostalgic.

Bottom Line

The bottom line is Reykjavik jazz festival is all about representing the best Icelandic music with a unique culture. In fact, this festival is one of the best ways to impost Iceland as a magnificent country with tradition, culture, and history. So, stay tuned for next year’s jazz festival and share your thoughts about the Reykjavik jazz festival with your comments.

History of French Jazz

History of French Jazz

In 1948, the first-ever jazz festival in France took place in the city of Nice, but if you want to know about its history, you have to go beyond that. So, in this article, we are going to talk about the history of French jazz and explain how the cultural landscape of France became synonymous with jazz.

The inception of Jazz music in France

History of French JazzInitially, jazz music came to France with African-American soldiers. During the World War I, they were stationed in France. However, in the early 1920s, jazz music took off to a flying start as F Scott Fitzgerald labeled the 1920s as the jazz age. After the World War I, French and US people were left with traumatic experience but this is when jazz music gave them life with its soothing and lively sound, becoming a perfect antidote to their sufferings. In fact, jazz music was a definitive source of purging the horrible memories of World War I.

French Riviera in the 1920s and the Jazz music

During the 1920s, France had a flamboyant time when people find it difficult to come to terms with World War I. As we have said, jazz music helped people to forget the horrific memories, many people from around the world would come to France, especially the Russian and American artists, musicians, and writers. They would head to straight to Paris which is famous for its liberal way of life. In fact, Paris was a destination for all kinds of people who want to party and enjoy the natural climate and beautiful sceneries. With the influx of these artists, the French Riviera, especially Nice, Juan-les-Pins, and its neighboring cities had become a place to live a carefree life with jazz music.

Now, in 1926, F Scott Fitzgerald had published The Great Gatsby and he had arrived in Juan-les-Pins. He instantly hired the best jazz musicians and started to live in Villa St Louis (now the Hotel Belles Rives). The local people had observed that along with Fitzgerald, those American and Russian artists had thrown parties with jazz music. Those parties tend to last until sunrise with people enjoying the enticing and peaceful sound of jazz music. However, all of these would take a blow with the Great Depression in the 1930s. The Americans would return to their home but the jazz music in France would survive this tough time

History of French JazzFrench Riviera during World War II and the evolution of Jazz music
The jazz music in France would continue its trend post-1930s, especially through an organization, named – The Hot Club. This club was founded by the Parisian students who continued to promote jazz to the French people. Within a short space of time, this club would become a symbol of jazz music, drawing top talents from all over the France. Even the club would bring American jazz musicians onboard with Louis Armstrong became the Honorary President of the Club.

When the World War II hit the world to its bottom, jazz music became more intertwined with the French culture. People viewed the jazz music as some sort of resistance to Nazi movement. Various jazz concerts were held to show support to the World War II victims, ultimately becoming a source of a rebel to the illicit political regime of Hitler. The Hot Club would then worked hard to make jazz music ‘Frenchify’ and make it a symbol of peace and hope in the eyes of French people.

The very first International Jazz Festival in 1948

When the World War II was finished, jazz music was fully established in France. And in 1948, Nice put the jazz music on the Riviera map. Louis Armstrong along with his all starts band came to Nice to perform at the first ever Nice International Jazz Festival. On that festival, renowned jazz musicians such as Ella Fitzgerald, Dizzy Gillespie, and Miles Davis had rocked the world with their amazing performances.

In this way, jazz music was born and established its trend in France. Along with the Nice International Jazz Festival, another jazz festival would make its way into the French culture, which is known as the Jazz à Juan Festival. This festival was first held in 1960, hosting numerous global jazz musicians.

From that time onward, these two jazz festivals have entertained millions of people. The Nice festival starts things off in July and the Jazz à Juan Festival cap the month of July in a stylistic manner.