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Nice Jazz festival 2024 in South of France

nice jazz festival 2024Nice Jazz festival 2024 [Photo courtesy of Ville de Nice Julien Veran]


It is quite incredible that the Nice Jazz festival was the very first jazz festival in the world. The inaugural Festival de Jazz Nice was held in February 1948, 74 years ago. The 2024 Nice Jazz festival is the 74th Jazz event on the French Riviera and will take place from 15 to 19 July 2024 at the Théatre de Verdure, Place Masséna, Nice. Today, this important Nice music festival is one of the most prestigious Jazz festivals in France and is regarded among the elite international Jazz festivals that includes Monterey, Montreal, Montreux, Newport and the recent newcomer, Havana.


History of the Nice Jazz festival

The Nice Jazz festival has featured virtually all of the Jazz greats, including the great guitarist Django Reinhardt, the beautiful voice of Ella Fitzgerald, Pharoah Sanders, Dizzy Gillespie, T-Bone Walker, Louis Armstrong, the French Jazz violinist Stéphane Grappelli, the Herbie Hancock Quintet, Art Blakey and the master that is, Miles Davis. In fact it would be easier to say who has not appeared.

Some of the more notable appearances over the years have featured Fats Domino, Chuck Berry, Carlos Santana, the Oscar Peterson Trio, Roy Eldridge and Charlie Mingus.


Premier Jazz festival in France

nice jazz 1948


The first Jazz event in Nice was held in 1948 and featured the great Jazz trumpeter Humphrey Lyttleton, Stéphane Grappelli, Django Reinhardt and Louis Amrstrong. The event was held in the old Nice Casino. But that was it, there was not another Nice Jazz festival for the next 23 years.

The event was reformed in 1971, this time at the Théâtre de Verdure, which has been the base of the Nice Jazz festival since 2011.

Jazz has a special resonance with the French people. It was first introduced to France during and after World War 1 and its following was expanded primarily through the famous Paris Jazz club, the Hot Club. Jazz gained a strong following amongst the Parisian artistic community and the young students. It was at the Hot Club, that artists such as the guitarist Django Reinhardt and violinist Stéphane Grappelli first came to prominence (eventually both forming the Hot Club Quintet, billed as the first “French” jazz band.


nice jazz france


During the Second World War and the occupation of Paris, the French Jazz musicians took to renaming all the American tunes into French and relabelling the music from "swing" to "French Jazz" in order to stay on the right side of the Nazi authorities. It even got to the stage that Louis Armstrong's tunes were re-credited to a mythical Jean Sablon. It should be pointed out that the Hot Club was not a sympathiser to the Nazis (even if many Nazi officers did attend the club). Far from it. Many active memebers of the French resistance movement attended the concerts organised by the Hot Club in order to pass on information to Brtish spies.



The modern day festival of Jazz Nice


jazz festival niceJazz festival Nice [Photo courtesy of https://www.nicejazzfestival.fr]


In 2011 the Mayor of Nice, Christian Estrosi, made the smart decision to move the Festival of Jazz from the Jardins de Cimiez, in the outskirts of the city back to Nice seafront (where it first started) but now in two locations, the Albert 1st Gardens and the Theatre de Verdure. Also at the same time, a supplementary festival: Off Jazz Nice, brings Jazz to different venues throughout the city. The following year, the Nice Jazz Festival was exported to its twin city, Miami, USA. The Miami Nice Jazz Festival is now in its 4th year and it is still the only international jazz festival in Miami.

Recent editions have featured such artists as George Benson, Dr John, the Gipsy Kings, Ben Harper and Earth, Wind & Fire. Last year's Nice Jazz festival attracted over 40,000 people and featured such performers as Jamie Cullum, Charles Lloyd, Kool and the Gang, Lauryn Hill, and the French act Yael Naim and Benjamin Clementine.

The Nice Jazz Festival 2023 was attended by more than 37,000 people, with over 30,000 tickets sold for the official concerts and 7,000 people attending the free jazz concerts across the city of Nice.


Lineup of 2024 Jazz festival Nice

nice jazz 2016The line up of the 2024 Jazz festival in Nice has yet to be released, but if the 2023 festival is anything to go by, there sure to be some eye-catching headliners. I think the artist that really intrigued me from 2023 was Neneh Cherry, who will be opened the festival. Other featured artists included Nile Rodgers who performed with the Jazz-Funk outfit of Chic.

The 2023 full line-up includes:


  • NENEH CHERRY. Friday 17 July 2024 - Place Masséna - 8:00 PM.
  • JACOB BANKS. Friday 17 July 2024 - Place Masséna - 9:15 PM.
  • NILE RODGERS & CHIC. Friday 17 July 2024- Place Masséna - 11:00 PM.
  • NUBYA GARCIA. Friday 17 July 2024 - Théâtre de Verdure - 7:30 PM.




Weather in Nice in July



The weather in Nice in July is exceptional. With average daily temperatures of around 24oC/75F, the days are often hot and sunny. Perfect for supping a cool beer and listening to some great music. With an average of 14 hours sunshine per day in Nice and very little chance of rain, it is the perfect place to enjoy one of the World's biggest Jazz festivals. Come and enjoy the sun on the French Riviera, whilst chilling out at the Jazz concert!





Travel to Nice France

nice france views



You can reach the Nice Jazz festival very easily, with direct cheap flights to Nice airport from London Gatwick & Heathrow (British Airways), Canada (Air Canada), Dublin (Aer Lingus & Ryanair), New York (Delta), Brussels (Brussels Airlines), Dubai (Emirates), Cologne/Bonn, Düsseldorf & Stuttgart (Germanwings), Madrid (Iberia), Amsterdam (KLM) and Istanbul (Turkish airlines). Easyjet also run regular flights to Nice airport from Amsterdam, Barcelona, Berlin–Schönefeld, Brussels, Geneva, Lisbon, Liverpool, London-Gatwick, London-Luton, London-Stansted, Marrakech, Naples, Paris-Charles de Gaulle, Paris-Orly, Rome-Fiumicino and Venice.

Nice airport is located just 7kms from the centre of Nice and it is well connected by train and bus routes. Buses go direct from the airport to the Promenade des Anglais and the Gare de Nice railway station. The nearest train station to Nice airport is Nice-Saint-Augustin (15 minutes walk). Nice has also developed a Tram line that services the Airport and the centre of Nice at Place Masséna.


Nice Jazz Festival 2024

Venue: Place Massena stage and Theatre de Verdure, Nice, France.

Dates: 15 to 19 July 2024

Tickets: Multi-night passes are 80€ for 2 nights, or 150€ for all 4 nights. Reduced price tickets of 32€ are available for students and seniors



Visit the Best music festivals in France 2024?

iain pink smallI hope that this article has provided you with a good overview of the Nice Jazz festival. If you are planning a visit to France in 2024 and you want to catch a French music festival or during your stay, then the following articles will be of interest to you. During the summer, the South of France has plenty of festivals to visit - from the bizarre to the wonderful

If you would like some more detailed information or if you have any questions, then just drop us a quick message and we will come straight back to you. I wish you a wonderful stay in the South of France. Contact Iain by Email or by phone +33 6 95 00 28 44



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