As a music genre, jazz isn't for everyone. That said, those who feel it, really, truly feel it. From the deep chords of stand-up bass to the sexy tones of the saxophone, the mashup of classical music and African folk songs really soothe the soul. So between all the vibrating electronica fests and pop concerts this year, make sure you travel out to a few of these incredible jazz festivals.
New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival
April 28-30 & May 4-7 2017
In a city so rich with history, the very essence of jazz can be found in New Orleans. Since its inaugural show in 1970, the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival has been known as one of the biggest music festivals of the summer, and it caters to literally all eclectic ears. Between acts like Stevie Wonder, Earth, Wind & Fire, Maroon 5, and Lorde, music lovers can enjoy genres like Folk, Rock, Bluegrass and most importantly, Jazz! The festival is held over two weekends, which means that you can experience all kinds of amazing sounds for six full days without ever needing to leave New Orleans.
Beale Street Music Festival
May 5-7 2017
The Beale Street Music Festival kicks off this week as part of the month-long Memphis in May International Festival. This year’s diverse mix of headliners includes Snoop Dog, Bush, Jill Scott, Wiz Khalifa, and Tory Kelly. With so many artists in one place, this festival will definitely appeal to everyone. As an added bonus, the music fest is just a small part of the bigger, month-long festival in Memphis!
TD Toronto Jazz Festival
June 23 - July 2 2017
While exploring Toronto, enjoy some of the greatest jazz musicians of all time at the TD Toronto Jazz Festival. The main shows will be at Nathan Phillips Square, but the city is scattered with over 350 shows in more than 40 venues throughout the 10 days. With Aretha Franklin, Guy Porter, and Joss Stone set to take the stage, you seriously don’t want to miss this.
Montreal Jazz Festival
June 29 -July 8 2017
Crowned the world’s largest jazz fest by Guinness World Records, the Montreal Jazz Festival takes over the entire city for 10 days each summer. In it’s 37 years so far, the festival has delivered show-stopping performers, and this 38th year is certainly no exception. This year the line up is just as great as it's always been, with the likes of Charles Bradley, Laurent Coulondre, and Acid Arab spread out across multiple venues and stages. And for the final cherry on the cake, Bob Dylan is the headliner.
Cape Town International Jazz Festival, Cape Town, South Africa
March 31- April 1 2017
Taking place annually at the Cape Town International Convention Centre, this International Jazz Festival is the largest music event in sub-Saharan Africa. With over 50,000 people in attendance coming from near and far, this grand venue hosts some of the biggest names in the industry. This year, Darren English, Laura Mvula, Dope Saint Jude, En Vogue, and Andra Day all took to the stage as they entertained and dazzled the audiences. With such variety, the range in sound appealed to anyone and everyone! As you plan for 2018, keep this show on your list of 'top jazz festivals worth traveling to.'
Music festival is in full swing; VIVA dove into the thick of it at this year's Coachella Music Festival: