©Geoff Goldswain

Côte d'Azur: a land of jazz... and festivals!

Every year, the Côte d’Azur resounds to the sounds of jazz, soul, blues, rock and pop as international stars thrill audiences with their heady melodies. Here are the top jazz festivals not to be missed this summer!

Jazz à Juan Festival

At the dawn of the 1950s, the French discovered Duke Ellington and Sidney Bechet thanks to the 33 rpm record. Two sacred monsters of jazz who came to France to play in just two cities: Paris and Juan-les-Pins. Revolutionary for its time, the Jazz à Juan festival has welcomed the jazz pantheon since 1960: Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald, Nina Simone, Louis Armstrong, Miles Davis, George Benson and even Ray Charles, who gave his very first European concert here… It’s easy to see why Jazz à Juan is THE legendary festival on the Côte d’Azur!

In the eyes of stars from all over the world, the Gould Pine Forest is the image of La Scala in Milan for an opera artist. Gospel, blues, swing, bebop, jazz-rock, modern jazz or electro-jazz, sacred monsters and rising stars deliver authentic jazz, with the Mediterranean Sea and its sunset in the background of each concert.

From July 8 to 18, 2024, the artists will be rocking the seaside resort to the delight of festival-goers.

The Nice Jazz Fest

The Nice Jazz Festival, renamed Nice Jazz Fest’, is set to be an exceptional event in 2024, celebrating its 76th anniversary with a varied program that attracts jazz fans from all over the world.

Takingplace from August 20 to 23, this iconic festival transforms the beautiful city of Nice into a dynamic stage where the spellbinding sounds of jazz, whether contemporary or classical, resonate. This year’s edition will welcome jazz legends and promising new talents alike, offering memorable performances in iconic venues such as the Théâtre de Verdure and Place Masséna.

In addition to concerts, the festival will feature workshops, meetings with artists and exhibitions, making Nice Jazz Fest’ 2024 an unmissable event for music and culture enthusiasts.

The Jazz à Ramatuelle festival

38 years ago, the village letter carrier brought jazz to Ramatuelle. The meeting of the “swing factor” with Guy Lafitte, the great French saxophonist, was a major turning point in what is now a “real” jazz festival! The natural, soothing atmosphere of the Jardins du Théâtre provides a genuine space of serenity for artists from the French and international jazz scene, conducive to the most captivating melodic and vocal performances.

From June 25 to 29, 2024, the soul of jazz will be at play at the Jazz à Ramatuelle festival! An eclectic program and a musical melting pot drive the jazz prodigies who present their albums between fierce energy and true gentleness. The Amazing Heystone opens the evening in style.

Lars Danielsson Quartet, Dal Sasso Big Band, Kyle Eastwood and, last but not least, Ana Carla Maza will take you on a journey between groovy blues jazz and joyfully melodic rhythms!

Jazz in Roquebrune-Cap-Martin

Between July 12 and August 25, in the gardens of Villa E-1027, Jazz sous les Étoiles will welcome 3 musical groups of very diverse styles: A trio composed of a flute and 2 guitars will play a repertoire ranging from traditional flamenco to flamenco-jazz; a trio led by pianist Benjamin Prischi will improvise on the basis of well-known jazz standards; the CharlieRock and Rolling quintet will offer us the Bayou Blues, an immersion in New Orleans jazz of the 50s. Produced by the association “Eileen Gray. Etoile de mer. Le Corbusier” association production.

The eco-festival La Note Verte in Roquebrune-Cap-Martin, France’s first outdoor jazz festival, offers a unique musical experience to close the season in style. On September 7 and 8, this eco-responsible festival offers free concerts in picturesque locations at sunset and sunrise, combining hiking and music. On Saturday, the duo Paul Pioli (guitar) and Pierre Fenichel (double bass) will play mainstream jazz at Mont Gros, followed by the dynamic Incroyable Freak Band on Buse beach, performing New Orleans themes and fusion compositions. On Sunday morning, the Luigi Martinale trio, featuring internationally renowned musicians, will present a modern jazz repertoire at sunrise on the Cap Martin point. An invitation to enjoy music in exceptional natural surroundings, while respecting the environment.

Not forgetting the more intimate ones!

The most perched is undoubtedly the Peillon Jazz Festival! Considered one of the most beautiful perched villages in France, Peillon is hosting its second jazz festival. From June 28 to July 1, 2024, no less than four evenings of jazz await you. Each evening features 3 exceptional concerts by immensely talented artists: Airelle Besson, Lionel Suarez, Diego Urcola, Denis Leloup, Eric Legnini, Pierre Bertrand, Thomas Bramerie, Franck Agulhon and many more…

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The 2024 edition of the Jazz à Porquerolles Festival will focus on world music and the Resistance. And it’s at Fort Sainte Agathe that the score will be played. Charles Lloyd, Jason Moran and Eric Harland open the ball on July 7. This will be followed by a host of artists from the four corners of the globe, to be discovered until July 10, 2024. Pure pleasure and dream programming to sweeten the mood.

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For the third edition of theApéro’jazz, Peymeinade welcomes the So’ Jazz group on Saturday, July 27, 2024. Come and enjoy this warm evening in the heart of the old village and listen to jazz at aperitif time Buvette and foodtrucks on site.

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The Saint-Paul-de-Vence Classique & Jazz Festival welcomes classical music and jazz enthusiasts to one of the most beautiful villages in the south of France from July 20 to 28, 2024. Baroque, jazz, piano recitals and quartets of geniuses enchant the Place de la Courtine and the Fondation Maeght around artists as varied as they are complementary.

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From August 8 to 10, 2024, the enchanting setting of Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat’s Jardin de la Paix, sheltered by pine trees and cradled by the sea, will play host to the 12th edition of Saint Jazz Cap Ferrat. Yusan, Omar Sosa and the Lehmanns brothers will bring the many colors of jazz to life in this exceptional setting.

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The Jazz au Château festival in Cagnes-sur-Mer attracts a loyal audience and tourists to its jazz concerts every Friday evening from June 21 to September 13, 2024. These events energize the economic life of the Vieux-Bourg, enriching the discovery of the medieval site of Haut-de-Cagnes.

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Festi-Jazz is a week of jazz in Saint-Cézaire-sur-Siagne! Masterclasses, concerts and a festive atmosphere all week long, for the pleasure of Jazz shared by participants and audiences alike! See you from July 28 to August 04, 2024!

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