What is the Best Jazz Festival? A Comprehensive Guide

Jazz is a genre of music that has been around for centuries, and it has evolved and changed over time. From its roots in New Orleans to its modern-day iterations, jazz has become a beloved genre of music for many. But with so many jazz festivals around the world, it can be hard to decide which one is the best. To help you out, we've compiled a comprehensive guide to the best jazz festivals around the world. The Cape Town International Jazzfestival is one of the most popular jazz festivals in the world.

Held annually in South Africa, this festival features some of the biggest names in jazz, as well as up-and-coming artists. The Eltham Jazz-Food and Wine Festival is another popular event, held in Australia. This festival celebrates jazz music with food and wine pairings, making it a unique experience for attendees. The PDX Jazzfestival in Portland, Oregon is on the verge of its 15th birthday. This festival honors those who have made jazz what it is today, as well as those who will continue to push the genre forward.

The Reno Jazzfestival is another long-running event, having been around for almost 60 years. This festival focuses on education, welcoming students, educators and professional musicians to the University of Nevada for exhibitions, impromptu sessions, contests and awards. The Monterrey Jazzfestival in Mexico has been donating its profits to music education since its creation. The Greater Hartford Festival of Jazzis New England's largest free jazzy event. Held in mid-July in Hartford, Connecticut, this festival attracts more than 50,000 jazz-enthusiasts each year. The Rochester International JAZZ Festival has grown to host more than 320 shows during its week's duration.

This includes a record of more than 100 free shows and more than 1,500 artists from around the world performing in 20 diverse venues in downtown Rochester, New York. The Monterrey JazzFestival in September is a full musical event that includes more than 100 performances, workshops, films, conferences and exhibitions. The live music of jazzs' biggest names, along with the coastal beauty of Fort Adams make this a must-see on the Spanish musical calendar. The Lionel Hampton International Jazzfestival has been held for more than four decades at the University of Idaho in Moscow, Idaho. The New Orleans Jazz& Heritage Festival has made it its mission to combine a wide mix of artists and genres, attracting some of the biggest names in modern music to its legendary stages. The Rochester International Jazzfestival CGI navigates every genre of creative improvised music from every corner of the world. More than 50 years later, jazz-musicians from Berlin and around the world are still coming together to play at the Jazzfest, making it one of Europe's oldest and most prestigious festivals. The Atlanta Jazzfestival has been the scene of music legends such as Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie and Nina Simone for more than 40 years.

The Jacksonville Jazzfestival offers a more traditional lineup of the biggest names in the genre and has been a staple of the Midwest jazzy circuit for nearly four decades. The first San José Jazzfestival took place in 1990 for two days in August in the Plaza de César Chavez, attracting 10,000 attendees. Every year for 10 days, this French-speaking metropolis becomes a place of lively and vibrant jazz—where fans of all stripes rub shoulders with jazz-lovers in their purest form. Finally, the Miami Smooth JazzFestival celebrates several musical genres with an emphasis on Smooth Jazz/Latin Jazz/R&B.