There is no better way to appreciate the beauty and soul of jazz music than attending a jazz festival. In essence, a jazz festival is pretty great if you like outdoor musical settings. Besides, the music is usually incredible on its own.
So if you have the time and the budget, visiting a jazz festival is the best way to explore authentic and organic jazz music. As a guide, here are three of the world’s best jazz festivals:
Newport Jazz Festival. Held every summer in Newport, Rhode Island, Newport Jazz Festival is considered the “grand daddy” of North American Jazz festivals. The fest is known for its historic performances from legendary artists Bille Holiday, Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald, Duke Ellington, Thelonious Monk, John Coltrane and Miles Davis.
Beaulieu Jazz Festival. Compared to other fests, this music gathering is more modern and hosts more indie performers. What I like most about Beaulieu Jazz Festival is the experience the fact that visitors are allowed to camp, wear eccentric dresses, etc. The festival is held in the U.K. so you may want to save a few bucks for air fare, food, and accommodation.
New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. The place itself is special. New Orleans is the birthplace of jazz music and today it has the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. Probably the grandest on the list, New Orleans Jazz fest has 12 stages offering jazz, gospel, Cajun, Blues, R&B, Rock, Funk, African, Latin and Caribbean music. It’s a mix of everything.
Jazz festivals are often crowded, so it’s wise to book and plan everything months before your trip. Long live jazz!