The timeless Nice Jazz Festival
The start of a true love-story1948. Louis Armstrong plays his first notes in Nice and, not long after, Django Reinhardt improvises some gipsy-inspired tunes on his amazing guitar. This was actually taking place at the Opera of Nice and in the former city casino (which does not exist anymore) which were hosting one of the first Jazz festivals in France. This was the beginning of a long love-story between Nice and Jazz music.
Moving forward to another time and place. From 1974 and for many years, the Nice Jazz Festival would take place in the gardens of Cimiez, a bucolic and lovely area of Nice. Nowadays, if you walk along the alleys of the garden, you will probably meet the busts of Louis Armstrong and Lionel Hampton who will remind the visitors of the glorious days of the festival in those magnificent gardens. It’s here, below the centennial olive trees or in the Roman theatre that some of the greatest stars of Jazz and Blues played in front of a passionate audience: BB King, Lionel Hampton, Miles Davis, le Golden Gate Quartet, Stéphane Grappelli, Herbie Hancock, Oscar Peterson, Dizzy Gillespie, Art Blakey and many others.
The tradition lives onNowadays, the festival still attracts hundreds of fans from France and from all over the world. In a new location, near the Place Masséna in the center of the city, the festival now welcomes classics and emerging musicians, not only in Jazz and Blues but in many different types of music.
A tradition that has lasted for decades is the possibility for visitors to walk from one stage to another and to discover different musicians. Depending on your mood, you will discover all kinds of artists playing Pop, Rock, Electronic, Folk as well as Jazz music.