Jazz on the Côte d'Azur

29 June 2017

Every summer the Côte d’Azur hosts two prestigious jazz festivals. The Nice Jazz festival takes place from 17 – 21 July and Jazz à Juan from 15 -23 July.

Jazz à Juan

Since 1960 in Juan les Pins, the Pinede Gould, an open space behind the beaches covered by pine trees, is transformed into a mini stadium with the most stunning view of some of the world’s most famous musicians playing against the Mediterranean sunset. The festival was started by Sidney Bechet and has welcomed artists including, Miles Davis, Ella Fitzgerald, Norah Jones and Lionel Ritchie.

The full 2017 programme can be seen here. Some of this year’s highlights include Tom Jones, Macy Gray, Gregory Porter and Sting. As the venue is small and intimate many of the concerts are sold out early, but don’t fear, book a table for dinner on the beach or take and picnic and sit on the sand and you can appreciate the music for free! To book tickets visit the website.

Nice Jazz

Nice hosted the world’s first ever jazz festival in 1948. The great Louis Armstrong performed in that first year which culminated in a huge jam session at the Negresco hotel on the final night! Nowadays the festival is held in the Théatre de Verdure, an open air venue at the bottom of the Promende du Paillon between the spectacular Place Massena and the Promenade des Anglais.

Nice Jazz is renowned for attracting some big names and this year is no different. De La Soul open proceedings on 17 July and in the following days performances by Mary J Blige, Cory Henry and the Funk Apostles and Red Black Light are amongst the line-up. The full line up is here. Tickets range in price and you can also get a pass for the 5 days allowing access to all the acts. More information is on the website.

The chance to see live music during your stay on the French Riviera is an opportunity not to be missed. The setting and the jazz harks back to a bygone era of glamour when the area really was the ratpack’s playground!

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