Festival Frenzy!


The Lemon Bucket Orchestra dives into the crowd at the Ottawa Jazz Festival.

(Photo: Chris Parker)

Ah, spring, when a jazz fan’s mind turns … to summer festivals! From fantastic locales to intimate encounters, from rising jazz outposts to legendary jazz settings, now is the time to start making those plans and prepare to go where the fun is. DownBeat’s annual jazz festival guide, which appears in the May 2024 issue of the magazine, is a great place to start. We’ve pulled together 145 opportunities to find a great jazz experience pretty much anywhere in the world. And we shine a spotlight on five fests to consider.

In Pittsburgh, you’ll find one of the world’s great jazz towns, right there in the Midwest, and one of the rising-star festivals on the circuit with the Pittsburgh International Jazz Festival.

Over in the unlikely jazz hub of Victoriaville, Quebec, Canada, the Festival International Musique Actuelle pays tribute to the mind-expanding sounds of the avant garde, celebrating 40 years of adventurous programming.

We also travel down to Brazil to check in on the 20th anniversary of the Rio das Ostras Jazz & Blues Festival, a crowd-pleasing event located on the area’s famed beaches and lagoons.

Across the pond, in Rome, Casa del Jazz’s Summertime serves as a rising star on the scene, offering a variety of national and international talent in one of the more beautiful settings in southern Europe.

And back in Canada, DownBeat checks in with the Ottawa Jazz Festival, celebrating its 44th edition while transitioning to a new generation of management.


Happy travel planning! DB

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    Jim Rotondi was acclaimed for his wide, round trumpet tone, remarkable virtuosity and assured swing.

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