As we approach the height of summer -- a time when so many music festivals are in full swing -- IgoUgo is here with our picks for the top summer jazz festivals. Featuring performances by artists as varied and unique as Chick Corea, B.B. King, and Prince, our picks will let you experience a wide range of genres and styles.
As of this writing, the Montreal International Jazz Festival has already kicked off the season. The biggest annual festival of its kind in the world, the event, which runs from June 25th to July 4th, is an all-day affair that features concerts from noon to midnight, many of which are free for attendees. The hot ticket item over the weekend was Prince, who played through a wild set that lasted for close to four hours.
Photo by ssulivan
Coming in a close second is The Montreux Jazz Festival, which runs from July 1st to the 16th on the shore of Lake Geneva, in Switzerland. First held in 1967, the festival used to be held in the old Montreux Casino before the building burned down in December of 1971. (The fire began during a Frank Zappa concert, and is now best known as the subject of the Deep Purple song “Smoke on the Water.” The casino has since been rebuilt.) The event also encourages up-and-coming artists through a number of prestigious jazz competitions. If you decide to go, we recommend you pay a visit to the Chateau de Chillon.
Photo by phileasfogg
When I think of Perugia, I think chocolate. You can wait till October to attend the Eurochocolate celebration, but if you show up in July, you can pay a visit to the Umbria Jazz festival. Its medieval setting provides a unique combination of music, food and wine -- and like the Montreal festival, many of its concerts are free. It starts on July 8th and ends, like the Montreux, on the 16th.
Photo by airynfaerie
Finally, there’s the Chicago Jazz Festival. This event grew out of separate annual memorial concerts to Duke Ellington and John Coltrane, though it didn’t officially become one festival until 1978. Chicago’s Culture Center, Grant Park and Millennium Park all host free jazz concerts on Labor Day weekend. As wildhoney269’s review in 2003 put it: “Highlighting some of the music Chicago is known for, the annual Chicago Jazz Festival says goodbye to summer and hello to fall.”
Photo by wildhoney269
More Things to Do in These Places
Things to Do in Montreal
Things to Do in Switzerland
Things to Do in Chicago
Posted by Nik’sMom (Terre Grilli)