An American drummer / percussionist and a jazz educator Brian Melvin has played together with numerous world class jazz musicians, like Joe Henderson, Mike Stern, John Scofield and Jaco Pastorius. He has been a house drummer at Blue Note Jazz Club (bluenote.net) in New York and has played at The 55 Bar (55bar.com), a jazz club established during the notorious Dry Law period in America. Currently Brian Melvin resides in Tallinn (www.brianmelvin.com).
A jazz musician, a saxophonist, a master of improvisation and a teacher (www.denisspashkevich.com) has taken part in many international music projects and significant Baltic an international jazz festivals (www.denisspashkevich.com).
Both of them have an extensive festival experience they would like to share with Anothertravelguide.com readers, too.
Jazz has become a universal language, understandable for millions of people around the globe and the entire world map is dotted with jazz festival venues. Even though jazz was born in America, most of the well-known jazz festivals are taking place in Europe (more than 100 in France alone). Even China has something new to offer in jazz context.
Many jazz festivals across the world have already been visited, while there are numerous of others still to be experienced.
Vast majority of festivals are taking place at the same time, tickets are quite expensive and the hosting cities are not cheap either. Some events are just perfect for festival goers with their entire families while others are more suitable for attending alone. In some cities festivals take place in parks or historic city centers, while similar events in Japan, Turkey and Spain charm with their beautiful seaside and lakeside venues.
It's not unusual that some festivals grow and develop into arenas for other musical genres as well, finally turning into a wide-scale music event, while still "wearing" the name of a jazz festival. The best jazz festivals perhaps are the small ones, deep-rooted into jazz music traditions.
For a better understanding what you would like to see, hear and experience, it's advisable to visit several jazz festivals, starting with the ones taking place in your home country and the neighboring countries.
Yet without any doubt, major world-scale jazz festivals are worth visiting, too.
Many lists of notable jazz festivals are topped by Copenhagen Jazz Festival (jazz.dk). The entire city becomes a venue of this huge festival - its streets, cafes and large concert stages. The festival delights with a vast representation of local Danish musicians, since not so many countries can boast such a great involvement of domestic groups and musicians. Copenhagen is one of those European cities that have the tightest historically-rooted link with New York's jazz scene. Many American jazz players moved to Copenhagen in the middle of the previous century, promoting therefore the development of jazz throughout the country. Today's Danish teenagers are sharing among themselves Charlie Parker's recordings.
Scandinavian jazz festivals stand out with their top level of quality, making it worthwhile to pay attention also to events of the experimental jazz festival Tampere Jazz Happening (www.tamperemusicfestivals.fi/jazz), Pori Jazz Festival (www.porijazz.fi) and Stockholm Jazz Festival (www.stockholmjazz.com).
Worth mentioning is Tallinn International Jazz Festival "Jazzkaar" (www.jazzkaar.ee). Its events are taking place in clubs and small town venues across Estonia throughout the year, too.
Among the Mediterranean festivals to choose from are Umbria Jazz Festival (www.umbriajazz.com), taking place in Italian jazz mecca - Perugia, Aruba Jazz Festival (www.caribbeanseajazz.com) in the Antilles and the most famous Spanish jazz festival - San Sebastián's Jazz Festival (www.heinekenjazzaldia.com), a wonderful beach, San Sebastian old town and Victoria Eugenia Theatre serving as its venues.
A three-week jazz festival can be experienced during San Francisco Jazz Festival (www.sfjazz.or) in the USA, while the Newport Jazz Festival (newportjazzfest.net), dubbed "the grandfather of jazz festivals", and the New Orleans Jazz Festival (www.nojazzfest.com) surrounds its visitors with their truly legendary ambiance.
Other must-mention jazz destinations in Europe are North Sea Jazz Festival (www.northseajazz.com) in the Netherlands, Montre Festival (www.montreuxjazz.com) in Switzerland, which is one of the oldest in Europe, and Brussels Jazz Marathon (www.brusselsjazzmarathon.be)..
Mount Fuji Jazz Festival (www.enotes.com) in Japan is one of the most significant jazz events in Asian, representing a number of Blue Note Records artists.
A great destination for jazz aficionados is Japan - equally famous for its jazz music traditions. After the World War II, both jazz and baseball were linking Japan and the USA, but in the '70s and the '80s, many American jazz musicians moved to live in Japan. After a certain decline during the '90s, jazz in Japan enjoys a staggering support both from the state and business sector. Japanese people are extremely fond of jazz and festivals held there are as impeccable as Japanese gardens! Perhaps only Germany with its perfectly manicured lawns and solid mechanical and electronic engineering tradition is capable of competing with Japan in this respect. Possibly it's thanks to an innate culture of these countries.
Also Chinese jazz festivals are swiftly developing, the most intriguing being Smooth Jazz Festival in Hong Kong.
By the way, jazz music lovers would be able to find their oasis even in India, too.
Huge jazz music supporters nowadays are Brazil and Argentina. Jazz has reached every corner of the world, giving an impression that the globe has shrunk under its impact.
Leigo Lake Music Festival (www.leigo.ee) in Estonia is a unique phenomenon on the European music scene, surrounded by picturesque nature and offering a diverse program that unites classical and chamber music, rock, jazz and even pop. The concert stage is situated on an island in the lake, while listeners are comfortably seated along its sloping shores. Play of live fire in the form of thousands of candle flames makes this festival even more memorable.Share it:
Keywords: jazz festivals, jazz