Here on the Rise Gear blog, we ran down some of the best music festivals to plan your trip around; but left out some important ones: jazz festivals! Some of the most well known music festivals are based around this melodic and groovy genre, and deserve their own special shine. Premiere vocalists and instrumentalists, both up & coming and established have made appearance at one or more of these prestigious festivals over the years. Check out our list of the world's best jazz festivals and find out which one you should head to. Keep in mind the dates vary by year, so check the official website of each one to be sure when to fly in and out.
1. New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival
New Orleans, Louisiana
When: Late April - Early May
When you talk about jazz, you have to mention the music's birthplace, the city of New Orleans. In its 40 year history, this Jazz has played host to legends like Duke Ellington, Miles Davis, Bob Dylan, Sarah Vaughan, Fats Domino & so much more. Be sure to take special advantage of the array of food vendors to experience to true taste of Louisiana.
2. Montreal Jazz Fest
When: Late June - Early July
Over two million people pack the streets of Montreal to take in the sights or cuty and the sweet sounds of Jazz music from over 3,000 artists performing at hundreds of shows around the city; many of them free!
3. Jamaica Jazz & Blues Festival
Montego Bay, Jamaica
When: Late January
Originally started to bolster tourism during a traditionally slow travel period, the festival has grown exponentially and expanded beyond it's main stages in Montego, spreading to venues all across the island. The festival has hosted acts like Anita Baker, Hall & Oates, Patti Labelle, Lou Rawls, as well as Céline Dion, who is a particular favourite of Jamaican audiences.
4. Havana International Jazz Festival
When: Mid to Late December
With as much impact as Cuba has had on Jazz music as well as the emergence of Afro-Cuban Jazz, it makes eprfect sense why this tropical city would have its own ode to the genre. A rich mixture of Latin jazz, salsa, and rumba, the sounds of Cuba converge at a number of venues across the city of Havana; bringing you front and centre with the island's history and culture.
5. Cape Town International Jazz Festival
Cape Town, South Africa
When: Late March - early April
Since the year 2000, Cape Town has been home to the largest Jazz festival on the African continent. Artists from Erykah Badu to Cuban Jazz legends Buena Vista Social Club and many more have graced the stage at the festival's main venue, the Cape Town International Convention Centre.
Wherever you go to enjoy the sounds of jazz this year, be sure you're well prepared and pack using one of our Rise Gear
bags to be the perfect sidekick on your next trip.