If you’re a fan of jazz and enjoy travel, there are a number of festivals all over the world which cater exactly to your interests. In addition, there are holidays popping up which allow amateur musicians to work on their own talents and share their hobby with other enthusiasts. While you’re appreciating jazz this month, why not plan for a holiday which allows you to delve deeper into both the history and future of the art.
Montreal International Jazz Festival
The biggest jazz festival in the world is the Montreal International Jazz Festival. It takes place this year from 28th June to 7th July and currently holds the world record for the largest attendance, with a recorded 2 million visitors. Every year it features roughly 3,000 artists from over 30 countries, resulting in more than 650 concerts (including 450 free outdoor performances) across 20 different stages, from concert halls to free outdoor stages. The second largest jazz festival in the world is the similarly named Montreux Jazz Festival, which takes place at Montreux on the Lake Geneva shoreline in Switzerland.
Festival Django, ReinHardt
For a more intimate and specialist experience, the Festival Django Reinhardt is a Gypsy jazz music festival held at Samois-sur-Seine, France. It began in 1968 as a single day celebrating Django Reinhardt and his contribution to music and by this, its 50th anniversary, the festival now runs for a week and combines a musical program with creative, leisure and artistic activities about jazz, guitars and Gypsies. It takes place this year from 5th to 8th July and has become a mecca for musicians and fans alike.
Mardi Gras, New Orleans
For the ultimate party, Mardi Gras in New Orleans is not to be missed. The parades start in January with a range of themed floats and accompanying events. Just after Mardi Gras comes Family Gras, a free carnival event designed with families in mind which includes concerts from international artists alongside local Louisiana talent. Make sure you book early as most hotels and package deals for bleacher seats or restaurant deals are booked up way before the end of the year.
Learn to play in Italy
If all those festivals provide inspiration, another option is to attend a jazz holiday where you can take to the stage. Breaks which support the learning and development of classical and jazz guitar are available across the world and allows holiday makers to work on their skills and enjoy the best of the country. For example, a course in Bologna, Italy includes not only morning workshops and the chance to perform to a friendly audience, but also wine tasting and social events such as evening barbecues to enjoy the best of the wine and cuisine from the region.
An explorer Mastercard® could help.
Wherever you go, make sure you pack an explorer multi-currency Mastercard®. The chip-and-PIN protected card is more convenient and secure than carrying cash, and you won’t be charged any fees for using it outside the UK, which means you can keep the free-wheeling spirit of jazz alive wherever you are.
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