The World's Best Jazz Festival Guide

The Best Jazz Festivals From Around The World

The only thing better than live jazz is lots of live jazz. Festivals are the way to make that happen economically and, for the most part, in the company of good-natured people. Here’s a list of some of the top jazz festivals around the world. If you have a fave that’s not listed, let us know. And, as is always the case with these kinds of things, details can change. Always check with the venue before packing up the Rambler and taking the kids on a road trip.

SEPTEMBER FESTIVALS

Pat Metheny, Detroit Jazz Fest, 2012 (Paul Warner/Wire Image/Getty).

Curacao North Sea Jazz Festival
Rotterdam, NL
September 3-5, 2015
Featured Artists: Blind Boys of Alabama
Website

Chicago Jazz Festival
Chicago, IL
September 3-6, 2015
Featured Artists: Muhal Richard Abrams, Dee Dee Bridgewater
Website

Detroit Jazz Festival
Detroit, MI
September 4-7, 2015
Featured Artists: Pat Metheny, Monty Alexander, Brian Blade
Website

Northampton (MA) Jazz Festival
Northampton, MA
September 8-12, 2015
Featured Artists: Gretchen Parlato, Lionel Loueke
Website

Guelph Jazz Festival
Guelph, ON
September 16-20, 2015
Featured Artists: Evan Parker
Website

Monterey Jazz Festival

Monterey, CA
September 18-20, 2015
Featured Artists: Wynton Marsalis, Chick Corea & Bela Fleck, Chris Botti, Dianne Reeves
Website

OCTOBER FESTIVALS

Amelia Island Jazz Festival
Sedona, Arizona
October 4-11, 2015
Featured Artists: Larry Coryell, Kevin Mahogany
Website

Earshot Jazz Festival
Seattle, WA
October 9 - November 18, 2015
Featured Artists: Wayne Shorter, Charles Lloyd, Brad Mehldau
 

Arizona Jazz Festival
Phoenix, WA
October 25-27, 2013
Featured Artists: Chaka Khan, Gerald Albright, Eric Benet
Website

Guinness Cork Jazz Festival
Cork, Ireland
October 22-26, 2015
Featured Artists: Cassandra Wilson, Grace Kelley, Marcus Miller
Website

Vilnius Jazz Festival
Vilnius, Lithuania
October 15-18, 2015
Featured Artists: Bill Frisell
Website

NOVEMBER FESTIVALS

UPDATES SOON!

Exit 0 International Jazz Festival
Cape May, NJ
November 8-10
Featured Artists: Diane Reeves, Kenny Garrett
Website

James Moody Democracy of Jazz Festival
Newark, NJ
November 4-10
Featured Artists: Eliane Elias, Lee Ritenour, Joe Lovano, Diane Reeves, Jimmy Heath
Website

DECEMBER FESTIVALS

 UPDATES SOON!

FEBRUARY FESTIVALS

Portland Jazz Festival
Portland, OR
February 15-24, 2014
Featured Artists: TBA
 

JANUARY FESTIVALS


The Jazz Cruise
Ft. Lauderdale, FL
January 26 - February 6, 2014
Featured Artists: Randy Brecker, Cedar Walton, Bob Sheppard, Marcus Miller
Website

MARCH FESTIVALS

Berks Jazz Festival
Reading, PA
Featured Artists: TBA
Website

APRIL FESTIVALS

Musicians playing in jazz band on stage
Jon Feingersh/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images

UNC/Greeley Jazz Festival
Greeley, CO
April 24-26, 2014
Featured Artists: Wayne Shorter, Christian McBride
Website

Sea Breeze Jazz Festival
Panama City Beach, FL
April 24-27, 2014
Featured Artists: Brian Culbertson, Trombone Shorty, Special EFX
Website

Denton Arts and Jazz Festival
Denton, TX
April 25-27, 2014
Featured Artists: Al Jarreau, Asleep At The Wheel, Brave Combo
Website

New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival
New Orleans, LA
April 25 - May 4, 2014
Featured Artists: Gregory Porter, Branford Marsalis, Dr. Lonnie Smith, Pharaoh Sanders, Nicholas Payton, Al Jarreau, Chick Corea, Terence Blanchard
Website

St. Lucia Jazz And Arts Festival
St. Lucia
April 30 - May 11, 2014
Featured Artists: Dee Dee Bridgewater, Monty Alexander, Omar Sosa
Website

MAY FESTIVALS

2.-Al-jarreau-Daniele-Venturelli.jpg
Al Jarreau. Daniele Venturelli/Getty Images

Juneau Jazz And Classics Festival
Juneau, AK
May 1-16, 2015
Featured Artists: Curtis Salgado, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy
Website

Jacksonville Jazz Festival
Jacksonville, FL
May 21-24, 2015
Featured Artists: Regina Carter, Spyrogyra, Tito Puente
Website

Atlanta Jazz Festival
Atlanta, GA
May 22-24, 2015
Featured Artists: Marcus Strickland, Alfredo Rodriguez, Pharoah Sanders
Website

San Diego Jazz Festival
San Diego, CA
May 22-24, 2015
Featured Artists: Eric Benet, DW3
Website

Sacramento Jazz Jubilee
Sacramento, CA
May 22-25, 2014
Featured Artists: Tower of Power
Website

Exit 0 International Jazz Fest
Cape May, NJ
May 29-31, 2015
Featured Artists: Dr. John, Rebirth Brass Band, Sean Jones
Website

Newport Beach Jazz Festival
Newport Beach, CA
May 29-31, 2015
Featured Artists: Boney James, Rick Braun, Kirk Whalum
Website

JUNE FESTIVALS

3.-Dianne-Reeves-Jack-Vartoogian.jpg
Dainne Reeves. Jack Vartoogian/Getty Images

Discover Jazz Festival
Burlington, VT
May 30 - June 8, 2014
Featured Artists: Gregoire Maret, Tony Bennett, Regina Carter, Ron Carter and Benny Golson, Geoffrey Keezer, Maceo Parker, Cecile McLorin Salvant
Website

Capital Jazz Fest
Annapolis, MD
June 6-8, 2014
Featured Artists: Diane Reeves, Rachelle Ferrell
Website

Jamaica International Jazz Festival
Kingston, Jamaica
June 8-14, 2014
Featured Artists: Joe Sizemore, Pie Grande, Pat Braxton, Nikki Waters
Website

San Francisco Jazz Festival
San Francisco, CA
June 12-23, 2014
Featured Artists: Ahmad Jamal, John Scofield, David Sanborn, Gregory Porter
Website

Playboy Jazz Festival
Los Angeles, CA
June 14-15, 2014
Featured Artists: Dianne Reeves, Kenny Barron, Arturo Sandoval, George Benson with Earl Klugh, Jose James
Website

JazzAspen Snowmass
Aspen, CO
June 19 - Jul 7, 2014
Featured Artists: Trombone Shorty, Diana Krall, Tony Bennett
Website

Elkhart Jazz Festival
Elkhart, IN
June 20-22, 2014
Featured Artists: Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Bucky Pizzarelli, Fourplay
 

Rochester International Jazz Festival
Rochester, NY
June 20-28
Featured Artists: Roy Hargrove, Gap Mangione, Snarky Puppy, Jason Marsalis, Cecile McLorin Salvant, Brubeck Brothers, Vijay Iyer, Etienne Charles, Dianne Schuur, Marcus Miller
Website

Ottawa International Jazz Festival
Ottawa, Canada
June 20 - July 1, 2014
Featured Artists: Joey DeFrancesco, Snarky Puppy, Bill Frisell, Diane Reeves, Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Ambrose Akinmusire, Bobby McFerrin, Norma Winstone
Website

Vancouver, BC International Jazz Festival
Vancouver, BC
June 20 - July 1, 2014
Featured Artists: Medeski, Scofield, Martin & Wood, Arturo Sandoval, Bobby McFerrin, Charles Lloyd, Cassandra Wilson
Website

DC Jazz Fest
Washington, DC
June 23-29, 2104
Featured Artists: Marvc Cary, Cyrus Chestnut, Snarky Puppy
Website

Montreal International Jazz Festival
Montreal, QE
June 26-July 6, 2014
Featured Artists: Cecile McLorin Salvant, Roy Hargrove, Diane Reeves, Keith Jarrett, Ambrose Akinmusire, Kenny Garrett
Website

Saratoga Jazz Festival
Saratoga Springs, NY
June 29-30, 2014
Featured Artists: Donny McCaslin, Tony Bennett, David Sanborn and Bob James, McCoy Tyner, Gregory Porter
 

JULY FESTIVALS

Beaches International Jazz Festival
Toronto, ON
Website

Copenhagen Jazz Festival
Copenhagen, Denmark
Featured Artists: Gregory Porter, John Scofield, Chick Corea and Stanley Clarke
Website

Heineken Jazzaldia
San Sebastian, Spain
Featured Artists: Snarky Puppy, Muhal Richard Abrams, Wadada Leo Smith, Dave Holland: Prism
Website

Montreux Jazz Festival
Montreux, Switzerland
Featured Artists: Magos and Limon, Booker T. Jones, Teri Lyn Carrington, Monty Alexander
Website

MoldeJazz
Oslo, Norway
Featured Artists: TBA
Website

North Sea Jazz Fest
The Hague, Netherlands
Featured Artists: TBA
Website

Stanford Jazz Festival
Stanford, CA
Featured Artists: TBA
Website

Syracuse Jazz Festival
Syracuse, NY
Featured Artists: TBA
Website

Umbria Jazz Fest
Perugia, Italy
Featured Artists: TBA
Website

AUGUST FESTIVALS

Roy Hargrove, Telluride, 2012,Photo by Ingrid Lundahl/Courtesy Telluride Jazz Fest
Roy Hargrove, Telluride, 2012. Roy Hargrove/Telluride, 2012 (Photo by Ingrid Lundahl/Courtesy Telluride Jazz Fest)

Belleayre Music Festival
Highmount, NY
August 1-7, 2014
Featured Artists: Django Rhinehardt Festival All-Stars
Website

Newport Jazz Festival
Newport, RI
August 1-3, 2014
Featured Artists: Bobby McFerrin, Jazz At Lincoln Center Orchestra, Trombone Shorty, David Sanborn & Joey DeFrancesco, Dee Bridgewater
Website

Telluride Jazz Festival
Telluride, CO
August 2-4, 2014
Featured Artists: John Scofield, Stanley Clarke, Dr. Lonnie Smith, Meshell Ndegeocello, Galactic
Website

Downtown Oakville Jazz Festival
Toronto, ON
August 8-9, 2014
Featured Artists: Daryl Stuermer, Dr. Lonnie Smith, Ruthie Foster
Website

Litchfield Jazz Festival
Goshen, CT
August 8-10, 2014
Featured Artists: Gladys Knight, Stanley Clarke, Poncho Sanchez
Website

Richmond Jazz Festival
Richmond, VA
August 9-10, 2014
Featured Artists: Cassandra Wilson, Regina Carter, Teri Lyn Carrington, Earl Klugh, Bill Frisell, Dianne Reeves
Website

Litchfield Jazz Festival
Goshen, CT
August 8-10, 2014
Featured Artists: Cyrus Chestnut, Cecile McLorin Salvant, Mike Stern
Website

Long Beach Jazz Festival
Long Beach, CA
August 9-10 , 2014
Featured Artists: Ramsey Lewis, Rachelle Ferrell, Al Jarreau
Website

San Jose Jazz Festival
San Jose, CA
August 8-10, 2014
Featured Artists: Snarky Puppy, Monty Alexander, Charnett Moffett and Jana Herzen, Marc Cary, Catherine Russell, Donald Harrison, David Sanborn
Website

Montclair Jazz Festival
Montclair, NJ
August 16, 2014
Featured Artists: Christian McBride, John Scofield 
Website

Jazz In The Valley
Poughkeepsie, NY
August 17, 2014
Featured Artists: George Cables, Buster Williams, Javon Jackson, Gary Bartz, Steve Turre, Lewis Nash 
Website

Chicago Jazz Festival
Chicago, IL
August 28-31, 2014
Featured Artists: Terrell Blanchard, Cecile McLorin Salvant, 
Website