The stage is set for some terrific jazz festivals in the next few months! Which will have you grabbing your saxophone and dancing in the streets? I know this article gets me to want to start jamming on mine! Holiday Lettings picks some of the best from New Orleans to Nice.
New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, USA
24 April – 3 May
Every day is a jazz festival in New Orleans, but it’s not often that you get to catch Tony Bennett and Cassandra Wilson, two of the highlights scheduled for 2015’s event. This is also a great opportunity to discover the local culture, whether you dig into alligator pie or watch Cajun musicians crafting accordions.
There’s music everywhere in the city 365 days a year, and drifting around Frenchmen Street to spot street performers is great fun. While you're at it, join a ghost and vampire tour to see another side of this city’s unique spirit. Of course, if you’re into New Orleans’ elaborate parades, you’ll appreciate the extravaganza at Mardi Gras World.
Cheltenham Jazz Festival, UK
29 April – 4 May
Whether your musical taste is more Caro Emerald or Wilko Johnson, you’re sure to be tempted by some of the acts at the star-studded Cheltenham Jazz Festival. It takes place in Montpellier Gardens in the heart of Cheltenham - the perfect spot to sit back and take it all in.
It would be a shame not to browse the trendy boutiques right by Montpellier Gardens while you’re there. For something completely different, you can experience the ancient art of falconry in the surrounding countryside. Sports enthusiasts could try their hand at archery or clay pigeon shooting at Prescott Shooting School, just to the north of town.
St Lucia Jazz and Arts Festival, The Caribbean
30 April – 10 May
Sit back and feel the chill vibes of this R&B and calypso-tinged fest. Arturo Tappin and Jimmy Cliff are definite highlights for 2015, and the venues are just as stellar: the main stage is set amid tropical forests and beautiful beaches, not to mention open-air concerts in many of the island’s quaint villages.
Make the most of the rest of your time on beautiful St Lucia. Adrenaline junkies will love the hair-raising zip-lines at the Treetop Adventure Park. If you’re on the west coast, how about lacing up your walking boots and hiking the Tet Paul nature trail? You can also cycle through the nearby Anse Mamin sugar plantation and admire the lush vegetation.
Montreux Jazz Festival, Switzerland
Montreux Jazz Festival offers 200,000 music fans two whole weeks of fun. There's something for everyone here with acts as eclectic as Miles Davis, Nina Simone and Pharrell Williams wowing audiences here over the years. While you’re here, it’s well worth joining a music workshop or enjoying a show aboard a boat on Lake Geneva.
The town is a terrific base for exploring this stunning area. Music fans will love the Queen Experience, where you can admire the band’s clothes and remix their classic tracks yourself. Alternatively, if you jump aboard the Swiss Chocolate Train you can sample the delights of the Cailler Chocolate Factory and also stop off to try the delicious local Gruyère cheese.
Nice Jazz Festival, France
Nice Jazz Festival was the world’s first major event of its type and has hosted legends from Ella Fitzgerald to Ray Charles. In summer 2015, you can catch 500 artists taking part in over 75 shows that blend world music and pop influences. The festival makes the most of its stunning location too - rumor has it that some of the 2015 concerts will take place in the atmospheric Roman amphitheater and olive groves.
When the show’s over, you can get lost in the Old Town’s maze of narrow streets. After you’ve navigated your way out, stroll down the Promenade des Anglais; the views over the Baie des Anges are heavenly. For some more culture while you’re in the city center, the National Chagall Museum is an excellent destination.
Now, go see live music and get your funk on!
Copyright (c) 2015 Russell Eric Dobda