The Best Jazz Music Festivals in the World

Just as jazz exists in many formats so does the jazz music festival, there are so many variations of both the music and the festival we thought that we would highlight some of the very best jazz festivals that you can visit all over the world.

The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festivals

If any place in the world is synonymous with jazz music, it has to be New Orleans. This great event happens every year in late April and early May and is a real celebration of not just the music but the culture of Louisiana as well. Also known as New Orleans Jazz Fest the festival takes all over the city, and explodes into different venues right over town. Food is almost as important as the music and celebrates the regional dishes of Louisiana such as Jambalaya, Crawfish, Po-Boy, Catfish, and of course BBQ.

Musically speaking, there is a wide choice available, and past artists have included the likes of the Rolling Stones, Katy Perry, Chris Stapelton, Pitbull, and Santana. Of course, these headline acts are complimented by some of the best local and international jazz performers.

The Montreal International Jazz Festival

Held annually in July, is the wonderful Montreal International Jazz Festival and is one of the most respected jazz festivals in the world. No matter what type of jazz you like, this festival will have something to suit your taste.

It first appeared on the scene in the early 1980’s and ever since has broken all manner of records for attendances and artists. In 2004 the festival attracted over two million people to Montreal all gathered to see the best jazz musicians in the world. Where the New Orleans festival is not a pure jazz festival, Montreal International Jazz Festival certainly is. Artists that have appeared at this festival include, Buddy Guy, Bobby Bazini, Dianne Reeves, Steve Gadd, George Benson, and Charlie Cunningham.

The Montreux Jazz Festivals

Set in sleepy Switzerland is one of the most prestigious jazz festivals in the world. Every July some of the best international jazz artists gather for a serious jazz festival. Each year an estimated quarter of a million jazz fans gather to Montreux to hear some of their favorite artists perform. Although some of the artists are not strictly jazz, only serious musicians are selected to appear, some of the jazz luminaries that have played at Montreux have included, Billy Cobham, Pat Metheny, Yellowjackets, George Benson, Jazz Messengers, and Buddy Guy.

The Tobago Jazz Experience

If you are looking for something completely different, then why not travel out to the Caribbean to enjoy some great live jazz. This festival is still quite new to the festival scene but has already attracted people like, Lauryn Hill, David Rudder, Grace Jones, and Wyclef Jean. The Tobago Jazz Experience is truly an amazing celebration of the culture of the Caribbean and its music. The people of this part of the world certainly know how to party and this festival is a fine example of that.