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 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 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)
If 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)
One 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)
Monterey 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.
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.