A continent located in the northeastern hemisphere, Europe is known for its rich art and cultural heritage. Along with its well preserved historical culture, Europe also features breathtaking picturesque sceneries, artistic architectural monuments and efficient infrastructures.
If you ever come to Europe you will always find yourself in a new cultural zone every time you travel from one country to another. All of these magnificent countries are characterized by their profound differences in both art, culture and lifestyle and all of this is best reflected in through their music and festivals. So if you ever happen to visit any part of this continent, attending a few Jazz festivals in Europe is a must.
12 Best Jazz Festivals In Europe
Now the people from all over Europe are known for their well-mannered behavior, high social etiquettes and kind and generous nature. And one extra quality that makes them even more special is their way of living. They know how to celebrate the art of life and they express it through their love for music. Jazz being one of their favorites can be heard all over Europe. They are also known for hosting some fantastic jazz music festival and it is something that you must attend if you ever happen to visit this land of paradise! So here is a list of all the famous Jazz festival that are held in different corners of Europe and something you can completely look forward to!
1. Montreux Jazz Festival
This is one of the biggest Jazz music festivals in all over the Europe that takes place usually in the last week of June or the first and the second week of July. This popular Swiss festival firmly has ruled the heart of people for over half a century now and will continue to do for many more years to come. Jazz being the anchor of this festival is what attracts the visitors to this mega event every year. Although they also play other genres of music but jazz is the firm foundation of this festival. Along with their soulful upbeat rhythms and blissful ambiance what makes this festival even more glorious is the spectacular background light works that adds extra zeal to the whole atmosphere. No wonder why it is one of the most respected jazz music festivals in the world.
Location: Montreux, Switzerland
Cost: €30 per person
Highlights of the festival: Jamiroquai, N.E.R.D, Jack White, Van Morrison, Tyler, and Jon Hopkins
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2. Jazz Middelheim
Hosted in the heart of Belgium, this music festival has got all the right reasons to take your breath away! Being the oldest jazz festivals in entire Europe, they very well know how to retain their culture and take their visitors by storm by their jaw-dropping Jazz music. Coming to this festival is one of the nicest ways to spend a week in Belgium full of fun and happiness. The organizers over time have excelled in the art of curating the best lineups of nationally and internationally renowned jazz artists while also giving chances to the new budding talents who never fail to surprise the audience. This also helps in keeping the festival fresh as ever even when it happens years after years!
Location: Antwerp, Belgium
Cost: €3.50 per ticket or pass
Highlights of the festival: Melanie de Biasio, Brussels Jazz Orchestra, Steve Coleman and Five Elements
3. Love Supreme Jazz Festival
Coming to these music festivals will be one of the best decisions you will ever make! Trust me! It is the ultimate paradise for all those who love Jazz music from the core of their heart. And the best part about this musical affair is that it goes on for three days allowing you plenty of time to sink in to the beauty of this divine music. Also along with their exquisite jazz musical performances they also feature an array of eclectic lineups which include different genres of music form pop to hip hop! It is one of those few festivals where you can witness the interconnection of all genres of music.
Location: Lewes, United Kingdom
Cost: €58 for two people, camping from €16 per person
Highlights of the festival: Jamie Cullum, Madeleine Peyroux, Kamaal Williams
4. Jazz à Vienne
As charming and historic the town of Vienne is, so is this jazz festival that is held here every year. This music festival is a true powerhouse in all its aspects. This music festival has been rewarded as one of the biggest jazz music festivals in the world and that too for all the right reasons. They have been known for performing on some of the best jazz music and its related music genres. And what glorifies this festival even more the main stage that is present in the 700 seat amphitheater, the interiors and decor of which screams of their rich European culture from every nook and corner of it. Thus with one of the most beautiful stage settings and talented jazz music performers, this festival should be in your priority list for sure.
Location: Vienne, France
Cost: Tickets for amphitheater gigs starts from €36, a seven-night ticket is €180 and three nights is about €80
Highlights of the festival: Bobby McFerrin, Christophe Chassol & Brecht Evens
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5. Django Reinhardt Festival
With a setup so dreamlike and music so heart touching, this jazz festival is something which will give you give chills down your nerve and indeed a wonderful long lasting memory. This festival is all about contemporary creativity and not even for once does it fail to impress you! They aim on innovating new creations and influencing the budding talents. Also, form mesmerizing stage setups to awe-striking lightings and the blissful music everything is simply phenomenal!
Location: Fontainebleau, France
Cost: 40€ per person
Highlights of the festival: Thomas Dutronc, Ibrahim Maalouf
6. Gent Jazz Festival
The Gent Jazz Festival is held towards the end of June or in the first week of July. This music festival features a more traditional take on jazz while also exploring the other genres of music which are widely loved among the majority of the crowd. Their musicians’ lineup consists of a varied group of renowned performers which will take you through the best of both worlds.
Location: Gent, Belgium
Highlights of the festival: Diana Krall, Gregory Porter, John Zorn
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7. North Sea Jazz Festival
Held in the land of one of the most beautiful places in Europe, this music festival is way too perfect to exist in reality! Being the largest indoor jazz festivals in the world, this jazz festival is an epitome of perfection! From the magnificent artists that perform here to the awe striking stage decor and bewitching backdrops everything screams of perfectionism. Undoubtedly it deserves to be on top of your bucket list when touring in Europe.
Location: Rotterdam, Netherlands
Cost: € 80 to € 230.
Highlights of the festival: Bad Bad Not Good, Ibeyi, Tom Misch, Snarky Puppy, The Roots and Friends
8. Jazz In Marciac
This music festival features world-famous performers from all over the world. The backdrop of the stage setup is as jaw-dropping as are their performances! It is a grand celebration of the jazz music culture and something all jazz lovers must attend once in their life time.
Highlights of the festival: Dianne Reeves, Maceo Parker, John McLaughlin, Ahmad Jamal.
Suggested Read: Udaipur World Music Festival: Sing Out Loud Your Love For Music!
9. Oslo Jazz Festival
This jazz festival is held in over 18 different venues in the entire city of Downtown, Oslo. With over 90 unique and breathtaking performances, this festival has gained a lot of popularity, especially in recent times. It is usually held in the first or the second week of August and is defiantly one of the best options to spend your week if you visit Oslo during that time of the year. The entire city screams of the jazz fever as they sink into the ablaze aura of this festivity.
Location: Oslo, Norway
Cost: €40 to €250
Highlights of the festival: Laura Misch, Omar Hakim & Rachel Z, Lisa Simone
10. Alfa Jazz Fest
A musical treasure in true sense, this jazz festival is known for their grand celebration of the jazz art form. It features some renowned artists not just from Europe but also from US. You attend this festival you will witness a blend of jazz musical influence coming from different parts of the world. It is a festival worth attending as it lets you dive deeper into the musical culture of jazz!
Location: Lviv, Ukraine
Highlights of the festival: Esperanza Spalding, Pat Metheny Quartet, Branford Marsalis and Dianne Reeves.
11. EDP Cool Jazz Festival
The EDP Cool Jazz festival is held across the two different places in Portuguese during the summer time. Hence it is more like a cool summer concert featuring a blend of contemporary jazz music with unique rhythmic styles and sound. Some of the internationally renowned performers take the courtesy to give some outstanding performances leaving an unforgettable impression in your heart. And what adds more glory to this iconic celebration is the scenic environment and intimidating atmosphere. Come sink in to the aura of European culture and witness one of the most talked about events in town!
Location: Cascais, Portugal
Cost: €160.00 for registration per person
Highlights of the festival: The Roots, Jamie Cullum, Diana Krall, Jessie J, and Jacob Collier
12. Umbria Jazz Festival
This is a festival that is unique in many ways. They are known to present the authentic jazz music with a twist of modern touch to it. The contrasting effect of the modern jazz music along with the antique historical settings completes a completely different kind of an environment which attracts visitors from all over the world. The city itself is known for its artistic intellectualism and one can easily find its influence in the Jazz music concert that is held here. This festival is all about creativity and celebrating the art of music! Come here into witness a festival that has a rich cultural influence along with blissful ambience!
Location: Perugia, Italy
Highlights of the festival: George Benson, King Crimson, Richard Bona, and Hiromi
Further Read: 12 Things You Don’t Need On Your European Packing List
Thus with ample of options to attend a jazz music festival in Europe, there is no way you will be left untouched with their rich cultural heritage. So plan a trip to Europe right away and make sure that you attend at least a few of these amazing jazz music festivals and witness some of the grandest celebrations of the Jazz culture!
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