Nice Jazz Festival, started in 1948 by Jacques Hebey and originally called the “Jazz Festival”, received its current name in 1994 and comprises the first jazz festival of international significance. Thanks to the original concept of the event, it has become one of the three most prestigious jazz festivals in Europe. Musicians originally performed on three different stages amid the olive groves of the Gallo-Roman amphitheatre on Cimiez Hill, the Scene Matisse and the Gardens making for a pleasant atmosphere and allowing the audience to wander freely and enjoy the music. Over time the Nice Jazz Festival has attracted some of the biggest names in jazz including Dizzy Gillespie, Cab Calloway, Lionnel Hampton, Jimmy Cliff, Gilberto Gil, Miles Davis, Sarah Vaughan, Charlie Mingus, Eubie Blake, Michel Legrand, Asa, Morcheeba, Macy Gray, Seal, Avishai Cohen, Aloe Blacc, and Keziah Jones ,etc.
Jazz in Nice isn’t anything new! Nice has a long history of jazz and it is considered part of the city’s historical heritage. Despite this tradition, in 2011 the festival received a modern makeover thus it is now more accessible and attracts even more visitors.
The Nice Jazz Festival has now moved from Cimiez Hill to Place Masséns and Jardin Albert 1er with the Theatre Verdure and Scène Massena hosting performances. The organisers are trying to go back to the roots of the event and thus reconcile the idea of a festival in the heart of the city for everyone’s enjoyment.
Two venues and two different atmospheres. The Theatre de Verdure stage will be hosting performances by top musicians for a small audience of some 2200 visitors. At Place Masséna, more than 6000 spectators will get the chance to watch the latest talent on the current jazz scene.
In addition to jazz, festival-goers can expect several musical styles such as soul, funk and even an innovative fusion of jazz and electronic sounds. The festival organisers really wanted to create an authentic international jazz event, which is reflected in the rich programme on offer, their choice of art director and the new participating venues for an even better show than ever.
Over 500 musicians and 75 concerts will feature in one of the biggest jazz festivals in Europe. The 2012 Nice Jazz Festival programme has yet to be confirmed, however if this year’s Nice Jazz Festival is anything like previous editions then you won’t be disappointed. In the meantime, keep an eye out for further information to be published.
All you Jazz lovers out there and visitors to Nice, make sure you rent with LocalNomad Nice so you can fully enjoy all that the Nice Jazz Festival has to offer!