Written by Hugh Collins
5 alternative jazz festivals
Luanda Jazz Festival
The musical highlight of the year in Angola is the annual Luanda Jazz festival (http://luandajazzfest.co.ao) which takes place in late July or early August each year. It’s now in its fifth year and over the years has attracted an eclectic crowd of well-known artists. Another festival to look out for is the Luanda Blue Fest, which looks to become a regular annual fixture featuring national and international hip-hop and kuduru stars. Blue is a major soft drink manufacturer. The first Blue festival was held in the Coqueiros stadium in May 2011.
Pescara International Jazz Festival
Abruzzo’s claim to fame in the music world is as a result of the Pescara International Jazz Festival, held in July. It first took place in 1969 and has been an annual event since 1981; the 2010 festival will be the 38th. Over the years, the festival has drawn some of the biggest and best names in jazz history: Ella Fitzgerald, Duke Ellington and Woody Herman, to name a few. Recently, the producers of the festival have tried to expand the repertoire by including such artists as Bob Dylan, Gary Burton and James Taylor.
Angra Jazz Festival
Jazz it up in the mid-Atlantic. The Angra Jazz Festival on Terceira, Azores, in a former bullring where over 500 people get close to top bands playing mainstream jazz – regarded as one of the best in all of Portugal.
Skopje Jazz Festival
In Skopje, Macedonia you can see some of the best jazz singers on the global circuit for a fraction of the big capital prices.
Brussels Jazz Marathon
Held on the third weekend of the month, this jazzathon features more than 100 concerts performed by over 450 international jazz artists at venues throughout Brussels, including the Grand’ Place.