Beat the travel blues and bring the festival home to you.
Jazz up your regular routine with special performances from around the globe. Keep the spirit alive and let these sultry sounds inspire you to start planning your next trip.
So, what is jazz anyway?
Well, the great Louis Armstrong, the man who bears much of the responsibility for influencing jazz improvisation and interpretation as we know it today, once said: "If you have to ask what jazz is, you’ll never know."
This North American musical genre was born in the late 19th century in New Orleans, combining European harmonies and African elements such as blue notes, improvisation, and syncopation. Its popularity continues to spread throughout the world, enriching itself by feeding on the musical roots of every place it goes.
Jazz festivals offer a unique opportunity for musicians from all over the world to come together and perform. Each year thousands of jazz festivals celebrate this ever-expanding genre of music. Festivals range from 3 to 10 days and are part of the cultural line-up of most major cities. Attending a jazz festival is a must-do for any music lover if this sounds intriguing to you, be sure to keep an eye out for the 2021 dates.
Here is a list of the world’s leading jazz festivals to beat the blues:
St. Lucia Jazz Festival (May):
In 2019 the St. Lucia Jazz Festival established a collaboration with Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York. Together they’ve revamped the festival to become one of the top jazz events in the world. The three-day festival features world-renowned once featured at Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York. Check out Ruben Blades and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra for a taste of Latin Jazz.
The Festival International de Jazz de Montreal (June-July):
Ranked by the Guinness World Records as the largest jazz festival in the world, for the past 40 years, jazz aficionados take over the streets of the city of Montreal to enjoy world-class concerts. This year the festival was getting ready to celebrate its 40th anniversary, but unfortunately, due to COVID-19 the event was canceled. However, the music goes on! Festival organizers have partnered with icimusique to present a specially curated playlist of the Montreal International Jazz Festival 2019.
Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland (July):
The Montreux Jazz Festival takes place for two weeks every summer in Switzerland, on the shores of Lake Geneva. The festival offers a unique opportunity to experience the artists up-close and personal and encourages deeply memorable, even legendary moments. This year the Montreux Jazz Festival is offering jazz lovers free access to 50 concerts, available to stream for 30 days.
Copenhagen Jazz Festival (July):
Every summer since 1979, Copenhagen’s historical Centre becomes a jazz mecca. The 10-day festival is jam-packed with concerts featuring some of the world’s best musicians. Kids are encouraged to attend, and special kid-friendly programs such as painting workshops, singing events, and live jazz for kids are included. Here’s what you could expect from the Copenhagen Jazz Festival.
Monterey Jazz Festival (September):
Monterey Jazz Festival is one of the oldest festivals in North America. It was founded in 1958 by the jazz DJ icon, Jimmy Lyons. The festival features dozens of acclaimed acts, well-known jazz musicians, and other rising stars in the industry. A unique feature of this festival is the organizer’s commitment to creating opportunities for young musicians. For over half a century, the Monterey Jazz Festival has been changing lives through jazz education. Their innovative series of year-round Jazz Education Programs reach 3,000 students annually. Discover some of this young talent, and enjoy their musical repertoire.
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