The Best Jazz Music Events You Must Attend

Jazz music is over 100 years old. Jazz borrows heavily from all world cultures and it has grown to encompass many styles and musical instruments. Most of the current music genres like hip hop and R & B have drawn their influence from jazz.

There are three venues in the world famous for giving the best jazz music festivals. They include:

The Montreal Jazz Festival in Montreal, Canada

The Montreal Jazz Festival is an international festival that has made its mark due to its sheer performance size. Back in 2004, the festival bagged the Guinness Book Record for the largest jazz festival in the world. It still holds the title as the largest in the world today.

The festival lasts for 10 days, during which time millions of people, including tourists, flock to Quebec to watch performances from 3000 artists from all continents. Fans have a choice of around 450 free outdoor concerts or over 200 paid performances, making the Montreal jazz festival a truly encompassing event for people from all walks of life.

Artists like Michael Bubble, Aretha Franklin, Diana Ross, Gershwin Legacy and Diana Krall and groups like Mother-Mother and the Cat Empire have featured performances at the festival.

The Montreux Jazz festival, in Montreux, Switzerland

Named the 2nd largest jazz festival in the world, the Montreux jazz festival is a yearly event held every July in Switzerland. The festival, founded in 1967, gets its name from the city of Montreux, which is the festival’s host city.

In 1977, the festival went on for 3 weeks and fans experienced the most electrifying mix of jazz and disco music drawn from all continents of the world. Since the 80s, the festival’s array of performances lasts over a span of 2 weeks.

Since its inception, the festival has evolved to include the Montreux Artists’ Foundation, whose aim was to groom budding talent through competitions and jazz conferences. The foundation serves as a spring board for launching young artists into the music scene every year.

The evolution of the festival also includes the jazz café, which serves as a platform for discussions between fans and performers. These cafes have expanded outside of Switzerland in cities like London and Zurich, further serving to unify cultures across the world.

World famous artists such as Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder, Alanis Morisette, Miriam Makeba, Bob Dylan, Alicia Keys and Lenny Kravitz have performed at Montreux over the years, with each year’s events staged to outshine the previous.

Denmark Copenhagen Jazz Festival

The annual jazz festival in Copenhagen marked 36 years in 2014 since its inauguration. More than 1000 artists perform at every festival, which happens in over 100 venues. More than 250,000 fans attend each year, making the festival one of the largest in Europe.

Popular venues for performances include the Copenhagen Opera House and the Danish Theater. Other performances happen outdoors in places like Tivoli Gardens, a popular amusement park, or in the streets and city squares, which adds to the vibrant scene of the city during summer.

There are performances tailored for kids in order to encourage you to attend with your children as well as to get the younger generation interested in jazz music.

Musicians from around the world perform at the festival. Popular names include Angelique Kidjo, Chic Korea and Tony Bennet.

So next time you are looking for a music event to attend, you have three good options to choose from.

Sue Menza

Sue Menza is an experienced event organizer with 10 years’ experience in planning music festivals. She compiles her experiences gathered from her travels and from working with artists from all over the world. To find out more about what she has to advise, visit her site.