The South of France is home to a plethora of beautiful beaches, historic towns and luxurious restaurants and bars, all of which make it the holiday destination of choice for many who frequent the region time and again. The sun-soaked French Riviera has all that you could need from a holiday abroad, whether you’re travelling alone, with a partner or as part of a larger group, and it can be reached in just a few hours from most airports in the UK. However, one area in which the destination is becoming increasingly well-known for is jazz music. Enthusiasts and musicians from all over the world travel to this beautiful part of France to make the most of the many opportunities to listen to talented jazz artists, and some may not even realise they like the genre until they have visited for themselves! We’ve decided to put together some of the best events and locations to check out during your stay in our luxury holiday villas in the South of France.
Nice Jazz Festival
Nice’s relationship with jazz became more recognised at the end of World War Two, with the Nice Jazz Festival introduced into the city’s culture in 1948, and it has been held there annually ever since. Notably, the event was opened by Louis Armstrong, who performed in an old Roman amphitheatre in the neighbourhood of Cimiez. After growing in popularity, the festival is now held in the central Place Masséna and has hosted jazz legends such as Ella Fitzgerald, Ray Charles, Herbie Hancock and Miles Davis. The festival for 2019 is scheduled for 16th– 20thJuly and has headline acts such as the Black Eyed Peas to look forward to. Anyone staying in or around Nice during the third week of July should head to the website to browse the line-up and plan their visit.
Jazz à Juan
Another festival started in the 1960s takes place around the same time as Nice’s jazz festival. Jazz à Juan attracts more of an independent, unconventional crowd but is sure to provide fantastic jazz numbers over fourteen days of festivities. Located close to Fitzgerald’s Villa Louis, this fantastic event encapsulates all of the old town atmosphere from a forgotten era and celebrates some of the most underrated, talented artists in the business. Antibes Juan-Les-Pins welcomes a concert every day at 6.30pm, making it a fantastic pre-dinner setting for a couple of drinks before the sun goes down. One evening is dedicated to a so-called Jazz Off, whereby four stages in four corners of the city play at the same time to see who can attract the most crowds. There’s no better time to be in Antibes!
Marseille Jazz A Cinq Continents
The most beautiful and interesting buildings in Marseille become the backdrop of all kinds of jazz-related events every July. From concerts at the Palais Longchamp to the outdoor amphitheatre located at the water’s edge, the atmosphere in Marseille is brilliant at the best of times, let alone when an international music festival is taking place. Events take place from the 8th– 21stof July, so browse the website today to help plan your visit.
Cave Romagnan, Nice
Close to Nice’s railway station sits Cave Romagnan, an iconic bar that is popular with both visitors and locals alike. Owner, Manu, is a big jazz fan and will play his favourite songs loudly and proudly, particularly on evenings at the weekend. The vibe is good, although it is relatively small inside, so prepare to spill out on the streets as you’re dancing to your favourite jazz number.
B Spot, Nice
On Wednesdays to Saturdays, head to the home of jazz, blues and soul music with a visit to B Spot in Nice. You’ll need to book ahead of time if you’re so inclined to sample some of the delicious tapas that is on offer, or try your luck on the day if you don’t mind standing – or dancing – whilst you listen, enjoy and soak up the infectious atmosphere. Jam sessions take place after the Jazz evenings and it’s worth noting that these are free to attend on Sunday nights.
Home to jazz every night of the week from 9pm, head to this friendly local bar a little earlier to make the most of the fantastic drinks deals that are on offer. The scene often turns into a jamming session from midnight until close, and this is a local institution for the many that visit the establishment week in, week out.
Le Cosy, Antibes
Tucked away in a secluded cave, at Le Cosy you can relax in a peaceful setting, lounging on cushions while you enjoy the fabulous jazz and blues music. Exuding chic glamour, the bar is unapologetically romantic and makes for a fantastic spot for loved-up couples who are celebrating a special occasion or anniversary to visit.
That concludes our guide to just some of the best opportunities you have to listen to jazz music during your time in the South of France. Whether you’re an all-out enthusiast or you’ve never heard a jazz record in your life but want to try something new, the jazz scene here has something for everyone to enjoy. For more inspiration on taking your next holiday to this beautiful corner of the world, check out our recent blog posts including 5 Reasons to Visit the South of France.
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