Nice Jazz Festival

The Nice Jazz Festival (/ns/, NEESS), held annually since 1948 in Nice, on the French Riviera, is "the first jazz festival of international significance."[1] At the inaugural festival, Louis Armstrong and his All Stars were the headliners.[2][3] Frommer's calls it "the biggest, flashiest, and most prestigious jazz festival in Europe."[4]

Over the years, many artists, such as Lionel Hampton, Dizzy Gillespie, Ray Charles, Ella Fitzgerald,[5] Helen Humes,[6] Herbie Hancock, and Miles Davis,[7] regularly appeared at the festival. After 1994, it saw a change of emphasis, with more world music and pop. But the festival's newest organizer, Vivian Sicnasi, has reinstated an eclectic mix of traditional and modern sounds with an international line-up; it remains "one of the Riviera's biggest annual events."[8]

Set in the vast Jardins de Cimiez (which contains a Roman amphitheatre), the event features several separate stages where groups perform simultaneously each evening, for eight days in July.[4]

In 2011, following years of falling attendance, the festival was moved from Cimiez to the more centrally located Place Masséna. It was reported that about 30,000 spectators attended the five-day festival in 2011. The 2012 festival took place from July 8–12 and performers included Herbie Hancock, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Erykah Badu, Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings, Gregory Porter and the Jimi Brown Experience.

The 2016 Festival, scheduled to begin on 16 July, was cancelled in the wake of the truck attack on 14 July 2016.[9]


  1. ^ Axelrod, Alan (1999). The Complete Idiot's Guide to Jazz. Alpha. p. 23. ISBN 978-0-02-862731-1.
  2. ^ Shepherd, John (2003). Media, Industry and Society. Continuum International. p. 281. ISBN 978-0-8264-6321-0.
  3. ^ Larkin, Colin (1995). The Guinness Encyclopedia of Popular Music. Guinness. p. 3034. ISBN 978-1-56159-176-3.
  4. ^ a b Porter, Darwin; Danforth Prince (2007). Frommer's Provence & the Riviera. Frommer's. p. 26. ISBN 978-0-470-13827-4.
  5. ^ Nicholson, Stuart (1993). Ella Fitzgerald: a biography of the first lady of jazz. Da Capo. p. 213. ISBN 978-0-306-80642-1.
  6. ^ Smith, Jessie Carney; Shirelle Phelps (1996). Notable Black American women. Verlag für die Deutsche Wirtschaft. p. 310. ISBN 978-0-8103-9177-2.
  7. ^ Cole, George (2005). The Last Miles: The Music of Miles Davis, 1980-1991. U of Michigan P. p. 407. ISBN 978-0-472-11501-3.
  8. ^ Porter, Darwin; Danforth Prince; Cheryl A. Pientka (2007). France for Dummies. For Dummies. pp. 45–46. ISBN 978-0-470-08581-3.
  9. ^ "Jazz Articles: 2016 Nice Jazz Festival Cancelled". Jazz Times. 15 July 2016. Retrieved 19 July 2016.

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Coordinates: 43°41′47″N 7°16′08″E / 43.69639°N 7.26889°E / 43.69639; 7.26889