Jazz in Paris
One upside to having one of the apartments in Paris is the amount of jazz festivals present in the city. For music lovers, together with free things to do in Paris, the musical festivals celebrating jazz that take place annually in Paris can’t be missed. Parisians enjoy their jazz, as well as cultural experiences. Most of the festivals have musical events happening on different stages, while a fair full of cultural experiences and exchanges happens around them. Most of these events take place in public areas, although tickets into the main tents for front-row seating can become expensive.
The Banlieues Bleues Festival starts the Paris jazz scene out in style in early March every year. It continues on weekends until mid April, and finds the northern cities and suburbs of Paris engulfed in blues musical traditions and performances. Centering in Saint Denis, Pantin, and other nearby areas, all cities separate from Paris that urban sprawl has engulfed into the city, this festival is designed to welcome the warmth of spring.
Coming slightly later in the year, the Saint Germain des Pres Jazz Festival engulfs the very streets of Paris themselves. In the latter half of May, this festival creates a celebratory environment in Saint Germain des Pres, the Latin Quarter, and Montparnasse. Some of the events and concerts are free, but others will charge admission to get a seat under the performance tent and actually see the band performing live. Other events take place indoors during this festival, and those can’t be listened to for free.
We all know there is a famous chocolate festival in Paris and you can even take chocolate tours in the French capital. However, the annual celebration of jazz culminates in the Paris Jazz Festival. This is by far the longest musical festival in the city, and perhaps the best to attend when visiting Paris. It takes place during the final two weekends in June and during every weekend in July. The festivities center around the Parc Floral, a 22,000 square meter botanical garden just outside of the city. Every year, this festival focuses on themes of different musical instruments and showcases how these different instruments are used in Jazz from around the world.
Each of these festivals focus on jazz from different parts of the world. While the main principles of jazz exist in all forms of the blues, different areas of the world have taken these concepts and bent them to their own designs, giving jazz its multiple flavors and styles from different cultures. The Paris jazz festivals seek to explore all types of jazz from the world over. These festivals frequently feature performers from Switzerland, France, Belgium, Italy, Spain, and Romania.
To celebrate the jazz cultures from outside Europe, performers from around the globe are brought in. From Africa, a mixture of jazz music and tribal drumming is celebrated by performers from Ethiopia and Egypt. Middle Eastern tones are frequently added to the jazz concept with musicians from Iran and Iraq. Music of the local gypsy styles are featured. The concerts are frequently rounded out with the stylistic offerings of the Brazilian, Argentine, Korean, Cuban and American cultures. American performers are usually further broken down into New Orleans style, and regular.
If you are a vegetarian, check out the best vegetarian restaurants in Paris.